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Game info

Daytona USA

Daytona USA
GenreRacing Sports
Developer / PublisherSEGA AM2 / SEGA
Media1 x cd
Reviewed byndial
Back in 1993 Ridge Racer and Daytona USA were the two big racers in the arcade and each changed the racing genre in their own ways! Daytona USA was layer converted to the Sega Saturn and PC. It was a launch game for the Saturn, and had to be out the door with the console on launch day of the console! Although the AM2 developers team failed to recreate the arcade game in all its glory for the Saturn, the game was one of the most addictive racing titles for the system.
Daytona USAThe track design is excellent, and the level of difficulty awarded to each track is well implemented. There are three courses of different difficulty here: The Three-Seven Speedway track which is actually the beginner track and is a classic Daytona course with only one corner. The Dinosaur Canyon track, which has plenty of long straights and plenty of hard corners to drift. The final course, the Sea-Side Street Galaxy track is a pretty long course with only two long straights, and plenty of hair-raising corners!
There are only two modes of play: Arcade Mode (race against 40 other cars and the clock) and the Saturn Mode (race against up to four cars but no clock). Note that each car has its own acceleration, and grip capabilities! Controls are fine and the overall experience is good. The beginner track (Three-Seven Speedway), which is actually based on the real Daytona circuit, is a very simple track, with only one corner that might cause players trouble. The advanced course (Dinosaur Canyon) is probably the best course in the game and has plenty of long straights for pushing you car to the limits, and plenty of interesting and hard corners to power-slide around.
Although the slower frame-rate, when compared to the original coin-on version, gameplay here is equally addicting (of course as long as you have an arcade racer Joystick/Wheel).
The gameplay has held up fairly well in the conversion the vehicles have a similar handling to the ones in the arcade game and they still get horribly smashed when you crash.
Overall Daytona USA is a good conversion of an excellent arcade game, although its few glitches.

Unfortunately there a few original catchy graphics effects missing here, due to Saturn's limited capabilities when compared (of course) with the arcades. Driving occurs only during daylight. No weather, only daylight driving, and most of the shadows-effect are missing too (found only some shadows in the tunnel and under bridges). Fortunately, a few other (nice) effects are supported here, such the firework effect when crashing other cars and walls, and the reflecting sky effects on the car windows.
The overall audio experience is great. The music is quite good and the original tunes from the coin-op are re-composed now with real instruments. The sound effects are quite good too and the quality of the speech from the announcers does the job well.
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Gameplay sample
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Hardware information

Sega Saturn

Sega SaturnCPU: 2 x Hitachi SH-2 32-bit RISC (28.6 MHz) each has 4 kB on-chip cache
MEMORY: 1 MB SDRAM fast RAM for both SH-2 CPUs (faster), 1 MB DRAM slow RAM for both SH-2 CPUs (slower), 512Kb internal ROM
GRAPHICS: dual custom VDP chips for graphics processing:
Custom VDP 1 32-bit video display processor (running at 28.63 MHz) for sprites/polygons, 512Kb SDRAM, supports texture mapping and Gouraud shading, Custom VDP 2 32-bit video display processor (running at 28.63 MHz) for backgrounds/video out, 512Kb SDRAM.
VGA: 320x480 or 640x480, non-interlaced (progressive scan), Hi-Vision: 352x480 or 704x480 (480i), non-interlaced (progressive scan)
SOUND: Motorola 68EC000 sound controller (running at 11.3 MHz / 1.5 MIPS), Yamaha FH1 DSP sound processor, "Saturn Custom Sound Processor" (SCSP), running at 22.6 MHz, 44.1 kHz sampling rate
The Sega Saturn (default) color palette
24bit RGB 16,7 million-color palette (all on screen)
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