22 December, 2011

Daytona USA

  • Release Date: 1993
  • Platform(s): Arcade
  • Developer: Sega
  • Genre: Driving

The first time you successfully drift around a turn in Daytona USA, it all makes sense. First, steer into the curve. Then hit the brakes -- you'll learn how hard you need to push on the pedal -- and correct against the turn just so . You'll find yourself sliding sideways at high speed, your car in a delicate equilibrium between spinning out and bolting off the course, poised to explode onto the straightaway. Realistic? Not exactly, but so natural that any other racing game you play afterward will feel stilted and awkward.

Among its many technical innovations, Daytona USA is credited as a pioneer of texture-mapped polygons, giving its 3-D models a more organic look than those of Sega's earlier efforts, Virtua Racing and Virtua Fighter, with their plain, flat-shaded polygons. Texture mapping is used to great effect here, framing the racetracks with lush greenery, imposing cliff formations, and varied cityscapes. Up to eight competitions can be networked locally for epic in-person battles, which is where drafting -- riding the slipstream behind another player's car to create a slingshot effect out of turns-- can really make a difference.

Daytona USA also has its share of infamy. During the attract mode and on the Dinosaur Canyon racetrack, you are subjected to a cheesy, lounge-style song called "Let's Go Away," sung in English by a heavily accented Japanese man. You won't be able to get it out of your head.

A disastrous home version for the Sega Saturn in 1995 is reviled for its choppy frame rate and flickering polygons. In 1996, Sega would rectify the situation with Daytona USA Championship Circuit Edition, which sports improved graphics, truer handling, and three new racetracks. More faithful to the arcade original -- except for its instrumental only version of "Let's Go Away" -- the Championship Circuit Edition is the definitive home version.

1 memories:

I still occasionally go and play this with a couple friends down at the arcade. <3 Daytona

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