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December 11, 2011
Daytona USA - PS3 Review
Release Distributer Publisher Developer Offline Players Online Players
3/11/2011SegaSegaSega AM212-8
Media HDD Install Resolution Move Controls Tilt Controls OFLC Rating

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Daytona USA is available now on PSN.
"Rolling Start!!"... I would love to know, over the years, how many laps I've done in Team Hornet's Car 41 after seeing that phrase flash up on the screen. It must be in the hundreds, if not thousands of laps. It's amazing to think that a racing game, with only a single car, three circuits, and some pretty average audio has stood the test of time to become a classic. It is a classic, and every few years Sega roll the game back out to the current generation of consoles to keep the masses happy. The PS3 is no exception and this game, with quite a few tweaks and additions, is now available for the price of a fast food meal. Time to hop back in Car 41 I say...

Daytona USA includes plenty of game modes to sink your teeth into, which is surprising given the cheap nature of the game. The Arcade mode allows you to select the Difficulty (from four different settings), the Time Limit, Mirror Mode, the number of laps (normal, Grand Prix, or Endurance) and Grip Loss which sees you losing grip over longer races. After setting these options you then select from the Beginner, Advanced or Expert tracks and then whether you'll use the Automatic or Manual car - the latter of which has a slight speed advantage, but requires gear shifting of course.

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About to go for... Rolling Start!!
As a racing game Daytona USA still holds up well with an impressive, solid, 60fps frame rate which keeps the action smooth, even if the cars on-track occasionally glitch. Drifting though seems a little more awkward the more modern games such as the more recent Outrun titles, although it is superior to the botched Dreamcast version. Still Daytona USA remains an engrossing, lightweight arcade styled racing title. Before you ask, the Poker Machine works, the statue rotates, and the seagulls fly beside your car on the cliff tops.

Besides the main racing modes the developers have included 30 Challenge modes to enter - which includes hitting a certain number of cones on the track, completing sections without hitting walls, maintaining a speed, overtaking a number of cars and much more. Next up you can grab a microphone to complete the very strange Karaoke mode where you will sing the games songs, enter a Time Trial mode with online scoreboards and entering a Survival mode.

Multiplayer modes are also supported so you can race online. We struggled to find any online players, so if you want to race in multiplayer you'll want to have some friends with the game so you can set up a race for up to 8- players with private slots, selecting the course, number of laps, if non-player cars are on the track, transmission type and if catch-up is turned on. We didn't play a lot of online racers, not enough people seem to have the game but those we did were fairly lag and issue free.

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Selecting from the three courses in Daytona USA.
Of course we have to remember that Sega have released this as a download only title to keep it cheap, and as such they haven't poured a fortune into beefing up the game. Still it would have been nice to see some beefed up visuals (throw in a few surprises), a new track or two, a few car selections (or even the ability to change paint jobs and decals) or a few minor gameplay tweaks could have been afforded to the game.

When Daytona USA released in arcades back in 1993/4 it was heavily praised for its stunning visuals, and to this day it still impresses. This PS3 version has been given a new lick of paint however with improved textures, a bump in resolution and most importantly support for widescreen TV's which gives you a bit more view. Having said that given that the game wouldn't be pushing the system to its limits we were surprised to see a little bit of pop-up on occasion, primarily in the Expert track, while the cars occasionally had clipping issues, particularly with the walls which they appear to pass through when spinning out.

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Daytona USA is now in HD widescreen.
Despite some memorable (or should that be memorably bad) songs, the audio in this game is pretty lackluster. Cars make fairly generic engine and skidding noises and while surround sound channels are used, it's not what you would call "acceptable" by today’s standards. Still with some re-arranged music this release captures the essence of the original arcade release very well indeed.

It's not perfect, and not a patch on today's racing games, but for those that played the original game in the arcades this is well worth the small asking price. For around $AU12.95 (or less if you have PlayStation Plus membership) you really can't go wrong with this game even if you only get an hour or two out of the game. This is a title which we'll return to frequently just for a few minutes of fun. Sing it with me: Nosss-talll-giaaaa.

Review By: Dave Warner

GRAPHICSFaithful to the arcade original, but in HD and widescreen. Still it's not pushing the PS3 which means the occasional glitch is disappointing.
SOUNDRemixed music, car effects and one or two words. Not an audio tour de force.
GAMEPLAYThis is classic, arcade, Daytona perfectly replicated on PS3.
VALUEFor $12.95, and less for PS+ subcribers, you can't call this a rip-off at all.
OVERALLDaytona USA is a great port of one of the greatest arcade racing games of all time. Well worth putting in your download shopping basket online.

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