Hey folks, Valkor here. When Sega's Daytona USA was first released in the arcades (1993), I was rounding the final track of my senior year in high school and entering the workforce having locked in my first job. With money flowing in, I made it my business to hit up "Good Times" Arcade at the Hudson Mall here in Jersey City. And believe me those were some good times, because I'd strap on a pair of headphones, get behind the wheel of an 8 man setup and get to racing - either alone or with whomever wanted to race; I didn't always win but I didn't always lose. When Daytona was released on the consoles – first the Sega Saturn and then the Dreamcast, I was beyond ecstatic to bring the arcade racer home. The Dreamcast was obviously the best port but it wasn't without its flaws. Well the Saturn/Dreamcast days have come and gone and other than dipping into a match whenever I could find a machine, I was mostly without my Daytona fix. But thanks to the folks at Sega, Daytona USA is once again back in my life and I couldn't be happier.
For those unfamiliar with Daytona USA, this was arcade racing at its finest! As a single player racer, you're pitted against 39 other cars in a race to the finish line. You have three tracks to choose from, each representing a different level of difficulty (beginner, expert, advanced) and two types of transmissions (manual or automatic). Once you've made your choice then you're off to the races doing your best to stay ahead of the pack and keep up with the time limit because once it runs out then its game over. The PSN (and also Xbox Live) version brings some new flare to the racer, updating the graphics to the HD extreme. You also have the option of hearing the original soundtrack or choosing the arranged version (psst! go with arranged). Finally you get four view modes to choose from - there's in front at the bumper, behind the windshield, behind the car, and just above the car. My personal favorite is behind the windshield, but the 3rd person just behind the car works as well.
What kind of racer would Daytona be if you didn't have a multiplayer? The online version allows you to jump in with other players or you can set up your own track, allowing up to 7 additional players to join in. Other features include a karaoke track where you can sing along to some of the games cheesy tunes, a challenge mode (you get ten challenges for each track), time trial, and my new personal favorite – Survival. 80 laps of pure fun!! It's like being in a real Daytona race… without the worry of death as you enter a turn. OH! A demolition mode would have been nice! Make it online and I'd never leave the house.
At the cost of 9.99 for PSN players (or 6.99 for PS Plus), is this game really worth the cost of admission? Let's find out in the TOV Breakdown!
HELLS TO THE YEA!! Daytona USA is worth every penny and then some. I've plunked countless quarters into the arcade version (and I still do thank you GameWorks in Las Vegas), bought both Saturn versions (regular and Circuit Edition) and also purchased the Dreamcast version. My love for this game knows no bounds. The PSN version is more of a direct arcade port and I'm not hatin on it; this version brought back those old feelings of when I first sat behind the wheel, waiting to take on whatever challenges await. Multiplayer is loads of fun – when people are there; right now the flow of players is on the light side. But I've gotten into some serious 4 player matches. The enhanced graphics of this version of Daytona USA shines! Seriously the game has never looked so clean, so fresh, so brand spankin new; this is the look I've long to see and I wasn't disappointed. Animation is very fluid with a touch of jerkiness to it as you move from side to side. Nothing distracting, believe me. What really brings me back to those arcade days is when you get a decent match going with a good number of players, it's freakin intense! Sure there's not many players now, but I'm hoping that as more and more people pick this up (and as well as they should) then there will be some exciting matches to be had. And I can't wait to take part in them. Overall Daytona USA is addicting, energetic arcade fun that I've so longed for.
This is nitpicking, but I miss hearing the pit boss whose voice is barely audible over the music. Sure you can turn down the tunes, but he's still hard to hear.
THE WHITE FLAG IS UP! THIS IS THE FINAL LAP!
Daytona USA how I've missed you; thank you Sega for bringing back one of the finest arcade racers in existence. That's right I'll say it, other than Daytona 2, Daytona USA is hands down THE BEST ARCADE RACER EVER! Don't hate, appreciate and download it today! So out of TOV 5 stars, I'm giving Daytona USA the ultimate 5 stars it so deserves.