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Daytona USA: Championship Circuit Edition (Saturn) artwork

Daytona USA: Championship Circuit Edition (Saturn) review


"Despite its attempts to be an improvement over the original Daytona USA, Daytona USA: Championship Circuit Edition still sucks. Graphically. You'll still be able to spot pop-ups that appear in each track, though, things don't pop-up as much as the original. But they're still pretty noticeable, especially in the replays. The visuals have been completely redone, so nothing from the previous installment has been lazily brought over here. Are they an improvement, though? Well.... kinda, but, ..."



Despite its attempts to be an improvement over the original Daytona USA, Daytona USA: Championship Circuit Edition still sucks. Graphically. You'll still be able to spot pop-ups that appear in each track, though, things don't pop-up as much as the original. But they're still pretty noticeable, especially in the replays. The visuals have been completely redone, so nothing from the previous installment has been lazily brought over here. Are they an improvement, though? Well.... kinda, but, that's mostly due to the better frame rate which makes the racing look much smoother. Unfortunately, some things do look worse in CCE, like when you reach the shuttle launch site in one track, and you end up seeing this UGLY, transparent window that replaced the original's fence. There's some other ugly things, but I think you get the point.

However, the gameplay is still just as good, though, with some modifications. The race cars don't control as arcade-like as they used to, and there's an emphasis on mastering your drift (not surprising, since the team that ported Sega Rally did this game), which gives you this feeling that they were trying for a realistic approach. But, you can easily adjust to the new feel, even though you'll have to relearn how to drive the old courses under these new conditions. I think it's quite neat, actually. CCE would've turned out to be a much shorter experience if you could just breeze through three of the five tracks in just under an hour after starting. Another interesting change is that your opponents are more aggressive here. Granted, all they do is turn in front of your car at the last second, but they do it more frequently this time, and in numbers, too. Also, turning during corners is much more dangerous. Unlike in the first where your car just slides off of your opponents like butter, in this version, hitting someone will break you out of your drift, and your chances of hitting something else are huge.

Among other new additions are the... addition of two new tracks, National Park Speedway and Desert City. I'm just gonna say it: National Park Speedway sucks. With the exception of a hard, right turn, this is honestly the worst track in CCE. It's not even visually impressive, either. The only highlight is the roller coaster, the rest of the track looks bland and lifeless. Desert City, however, is pretty cool. This track is filled with sharp turns every couple of seconds, leaving little room to breath. And there's a railroad set around the track, so at various moments, you can spot a train moving along on it, and if you're lucky, you can race beside it at times. To top it off, the music sounds quite good and energetic, which fits with the track's twists and turns.

Speaking of music, the thing that might turn off quite a number of people is the fact that the original's soundtrack has been remixed in CCE. Loved the vocals for Let's Go Away ("DAYEEETONA!") and Sky High ("I WANNA FLY, SKY HIGH!")? Well, you won't have none of that here. That's not saying these remixes are bad, you'll be treated to an intense, rock version of Let's Go Away and a techno-esque version of Sky High. Both of which sound nice, but they're just inferior to the original's vocal versions. Don't worry, though, you still get to hear some Sega Cheese in the form of two new songs. However, if you're not prepared for what you're getting yourself into, these songs will send you into a coma. In the intro, your ears will be treated to incredible lyrics like "Contact, we have ignition. Blast off, is all systems go... rackin up the road!" and "Spreeead yourrr wiiings! Fly like the sons of angels!". And during replays, as your car is kicking butt and taking names, absurd lines like "Born to be a rebel, the one that got away!" and "Winner takes all... it's the American dreeeammm!" will definitely raise an eyebrow.

Unfortunately, you can pretty much suck everything out of this game in just a few short days, but Daytona USA: Championship Circuit Edition is entertaining while it lasts. And even though the "improvements" and additions aren't that significant, it's just about enough to make it slightly better than its predecessor. I just wished they would've kept the original songs as a bonus... like in the Japanese version. Oh well, at least you get to control a horse again at one point. A horse!

You had me at hello.

Rating: 7/10

pickhut's avatar
Community review by pickhut (February 11, 2007)

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