Daytona USA
Reviewby Al Giovetti
Price: $50
Genre: arcade driving simulator
Developer: Sega Entertainment
Publisher: Sega Entertainment
Phone: 415-508-2800
Requirements: Pentium, 90 MHz, Windows 95, 16 MB RAM, ??MB hard disk space, 2X CD ROM, SVGA graphics card

Company line:

History: Daytona USA was once a great coin op game which lead the masses to drop thousands of the round metal plugs through the coin slots. Then there came the time when the masses screamed for a PC conversion and yet it came, perhaps reluctantly and mostly two years late.


Game play: The car is very controllable with quick response and easy game play.

Modes: There are two modes arcade (Time Attack Mode) and PC. The arcade mode is like the arcade game. The game begins with an allotted time on the timer and you get more time for placing high when moving through certain track check points. You may drive in an automatic or manual transmission car (take the automatic if you want to go faster, but its much less fun.).

The PC mode is for those who want strategy. The strategic element comes from selecting cars from a race horse (yes a race horse -Ed.) to cars with specific types of road holding and acceleration characteristics.

Tracks: Three fictional tracks, beginner, advanced, and expert. The beginner track has eight short laps with a roughly oval track and a pit lane and 40 cars to race with. The advance track requires four longer circuits and is a little more rough with an inside hairpin turn and some squiggles on the straight away, but overall an oval to egg shaped track. The advanced track races 20 cars. The expert track is two very large circuits on a track that goes hog wild with 90 degree turns, two sharp circles and a hair pin for 30 cars to battle it out.

Graphics: The graphics were called "obsolete" by Zach and he knows his stuff. Resolution of 640x480 pixels an only 256-colors is no longer the state of the art. The graphics are texture mapped but they are subject to warping seen in games one or two years ago, but now corrected with 3D graphics cards, which this game does not support.

Animation: While driving, items in the distance are ignored until you get close to them so that track features like turns magically appear when they get close enough preventing you the luxury of planning ahead.

Voice actors: Huh?

Music score: "poor" Zack feels this Japanese rock is the cheesiest he has ever heard complete with ultra campy Japanese accents which make it full of "r"s. Combine the bad music with the fact that you cannot turn it off and retain the other sound and you have a real annoying situation.

Sound effects: "poor"

Utilities: There is no support for driving controllers, such as the ThrustMaster T1 or CH Yoke and pedals. You must use either a joystick or the keyboard, which I prefer.

Documentation: Sparse.

Multi-player: Alas, this is not a multi-player game.

Future plans: Sega is desparate to regain their market dominance against Nintendo 64 and Sony PlayStation with the Silicon Graphics chips.

Zach Meston, Computer and Net Player, volume 3, number 9, February, 1997, pg. 69, 60%
Neil REdding, Boot, volume 1, number 7, March, 1997, pg. 96, 80%.