Daytona USA Hits the Track AgainOctober 30, 2011 at 11:19 pm | Posted in Reviews | 1 Comment
Tags: Daytona USA, NASCAR, Playstation 3, PSN, Retro Gaming, SEGA, Sega Saturn, Sports games, sports video games, video game soundtracks, video games, XBLA, Xbox 360
Do I feel that NASCAR is a sport? No. Did Sega Sports produce the original Daytona USA games? Technically the home releases were labeled as such. Talk about a conflicted retro sports gamer! Given that I recently talked about the state of downloadable sports titles here, I would have been remiss if I didn’t take a look at the recent HD release of Daytona USA.
Priced at $9.99 on PSN or 800 points on XBLA, Daytona USA is a 60 frames per second HD arcade recreation of the nineties classic that boasts multiplayer without having to be sitting in an uncomfortable racing seat, and a number of single player course challenges to differentiate itself slightly from your old Sega Saturn copy (besides the frames per second of course).
In addition to the original arcade mode (with easy, normal, and arcade difficulty), there is the aforementioned Challenge mode with challenges that increase in difficulty and use all three tracks (like maintaining speeds or completing a lap without hitting any walls) as well as Karoake, Time Trial and Survival modes (with online scoreboards). Karoake mode offers the gamer the chance to pick their favorite song from the soundtrack and sing along with the lyrics at the bottom of the screen while they race around without any stopwatches or opponents on the track (you go until the song thankfully ends). This is as dull as it sounds, although if you ever wanted to know what the lyrices were after “Daytona Lets go Away” – you were looking for “Way hey Wey hey Wey hey Way” and “Tu tu tu tu lu tu tu tu tu tu tu lu tu tu”. I’m not making that up.
The cars, courses and options are all the same from the original release and there were no RPG aspects added where completing the course challenges or winning online races will net you car upgrades or new vehicles. Outside of collecting trophies or achievements and beating my previous track records, the bulk of the replay value is in the multiplayer experience. Daytona USA offers up to eight players at one time racing through any of the three courses. You can create or find your own session with options you choose or join a random one. The lobby has a specific time limit to fill before a race begins so you are not waiting forever for a game and may have just three opponents one race and up to eight the next. By default you end up back in the same created room after the race so you don’t have to stress about re-finding a game. It builds continuity also as you get a number of opportunities against the same group of players. I thought the multiplayer ran well outside of some clipping while being tossed in the air after a collision.
Also recaptured in its original entirity is the game soundtrack. The Daytona USA soundtrack is often talked about and revered in gaming circles and the familiar Daytonaaaaaaaa squeal during “Lets Go Away” is so catchy I found myself whistling it the entire weekend after I purchased the game.
Overall, at this price point, if you are a fan of the original, racing games in general, or are nostalgic for burning quarters while trying to handle a greasy steering wheel and challenging your friends, this game is worth a look. It’s a fun multiplayer recreation and SEGA should be applauded for a solid HD remake and getting another “sports” title out for download online. If you’re looking for add-on material or a new Daytona game, this is not the DLC you’re inquiring about. Daytona USA is retro all the way.