#240 Daytona USA

Posted: 29th April 2017 by Jeroen in Games
Tags: , , , ,

598th played so far

Genre: Driving
Platform: Arcade
Year of Release: 1993
Developer: Sega AM 2
Publisher: Sega

Some time ago we played Sega Rally Championship, as an arcade machine while we wer visiting Euro Disney. This game is two years younger, again as an arcade cabinet, and so we basically go back even further in early 3D graphics on a racer.

As one of the first texture mapped racers, lthis game looks better than any earlier games did – something that I’m sure will underwhelm me – and that seems to have earned it a lot of money. For me, though, the graphics won’t matter, just whether the game plays well.

Our Thoughts

So while playing the game I wasn’t really thinking of this being an old 3D game. One of my first notes is how it has polygonal non-round wheels, although with 1993 in mind, it’s actually quite impressive. There’s some (faked) sky reflection going on in your windows, which creates a pretty good illusion on its own, and the main issue really comes from the weird grainy textures you get in the day – rock noise never looks good and needs a far better resolution to pull off.

It’s a standard track racer beyond that, with checkpointed time limits as you need in an arcade racer, and the best part of the experience seems to be the graphical experience, the excitement of which comes through even now. It doesn’t push it, but it’s present. The good multiplayer – which I’ve been playing around with a bit as well – helps as much, creating the similar racing excitement.

Still, I think the main draw is how this draws you into the race, while keeping things tough enough that you have to push yourself to finish a level. I did a few times – and then cheated to properly see the tracks – but it has this uncanny ability to keep you trying.

Final Thoughts

Daytona USA isn’t the strongest racer, looking back at it now, but the initial thrill must have been amazing and the excitement still seems to be coming through. I quite enjoyed playing it – although mostly making me wish for a home version of this. They couldn’t have managed that back then, but now it feels like a good development for the genre.