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Daytona USA (Saturn) artwork

Daytona USA (Saturn) review


"Daytona USA sucks. Graphically. Playing through the game for the first time, you'll be appalled by the constant pop-ups that plague each track. One second, you'll be seeing nothing up ahead but the pretty, blue sky, only to be staring at a tunnel that you need to enter the very next second. And if you've never played the arcade version before, you'll most likely have a hard time figuring out some of the objects in the game. In the Beginner track, there's an instance where you'll suddenly ..."



Daytona USA sucks. Graphically. Playing through the game for the first time, you'll be appalled by the constant pop-ups that plague each track. One second, you'll be seeing nothing up ahead but the pretty, blue sky, only to be staring at a tunnel that you need to enter the very next second. And if you've never played the arcade version before, you'll most likely have a hard time figuring out some of the objects in the game. In the Beginner track, there's an instance where you'll suddenly see a weird, red circle floating in the air. Once you get closer, and upon further inspection, you see that it was a roulette wheel sign. There's a bunch of other butt-ugly things in this port, but I think you get the point.

Amazingly, however, you'll forget all about the ugliness after just a few playthroughs. That's because the game is just fun to play. Daytona USA only has three tracks to race on, but you have a lot of work cut out for you if you wanna go from your starting 40th position to 1st place. The Beginner track is obviously the easiest of the three, but it provides some challenge in the form of one sharp turn and cars that make quick turns as you close in on them. The Advanced race is where the real challenge begins, as you take on a longer track and multiple sharp turns, and of course, Expert is the hardest one, where it puts all your skills to the test as you endure unforgiving turns and opponents.

It won't be easy trying to win these races, and granted, it probably comes off as sounding kinda bad, but it's not. Even though I failed numerous times, I enjoyed the challenge. I can't believe I'm admitting this, but it took me over an hour to finally win the Advanced race, a race that only takes about 4 minutes to complete (hey, I haven't played this in years). If a game can get me to play a track for THAT long, and hardly complain about it, I think it did its job at sucking me into its world. The Expert race was even more brutal, it wasn't until I went from Arcade Mode to Saturn Mode, and picked the best car, that I finally won first place. Oh, yeah, there's two modes to choose from. However, there's only minor differences between the two, with the Saturn Mode being the easiest with no timer and a variety of cars to choose from.

Also, there are a bunch of goofy, enjoyable things in Daytona USA that really make it stand out from other racers. In the Advanced track, if you go up a ramp off course, you'll eventually see a dead end with a sign that says "CONGRATULATIONS YOU JUST LOST YOUR SPONSORS!". Hitting the X button as you near the slot machine in the Beginner track might net you some extra time if you get all three 7s, entering specific initials during the name entry screen will allow you to hear a short, Sega ditty, and you can even make the Jeffry statue in the Expert track break dance. However, the game's soundtrack takes the cake. Hearing "ROLLLLLING STARRRRRRRRRRT" at the beginning of the Beginner track never gets old, listening to the guy sing "Dayyyeeeeetona, let's go away!" pumps you up as you pass a bunch of cars on the Advanced track, and then there's "I wanna fly sky high! Let's go together!" that pops up during the Expert course. Heck, you even have the ability to sing along with a simple karaoke code! The Sega Cheese is strong with Daytona USA.

Unfortunately, you can pretty much suck everything out of this game in just a few short days, but Daytona USA is a lot of fun while it lasts. And while the pop-up is pretty bad, there's just too much good stuff here to even care about that one glaring problem. I mean, come on, you get to control a horse at one point. A horse!

I love you, Sega.

Rating: 7/10

pickhut's avatar
Community review by pickhut (January 28, 2007)

Fun fact: excluding PickHut, the last time someone submitted a Sega Saturn review to the site was over three years ago.

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