Review by KasketDarkfyre
"Back in the Pack..."
Racing games in the arcade are fun to play and can easily take your pocket full of quarters in a matter of an hour. With the first Daytona USA, you had plenty of NASCAR style racing on different tracks that were both large and detailed as well as cars with plenty of crash detection. Now, you’re back in the driver’s seat that allows you to play through the game in different styles of tracks that work both in realistic and fantasy tones!
Competitive game play at its best, you're in a race with 7 other players that can either be computer controlled, or are human controlled in a three lap race around a huge race track. Something that could be called on the first time through is the lack of car choices that you're allowed to make, and even the track layout is the same each time you play!
Some of the finer points revolve around just the in-game racing. With the mechanics of the game coming as close to real live racing as they can get without being there, you'll find that coming around the tracks, having to down shift and then having you up shift can be a challenge on your skills. With enough practice though, you'll find that smashing into the wall isn't a problem anymore. There are some in game secrets and once found, add a little variety to the game itself!
The control is set up as a race car would be. You have an adjustable seat, an easy to use steering wheel, several different view buttons as well as an adjustable music selection and a gear shift level on the right side of the machine. The control is easy enough to use, with a gas and brake pedal with most of your driving revolving around getting used to using the gear shift and pedals together so you're not smashing into the wall. Outside of that, it's a simple interface that a racer of any age can learn and use effectively with a few races under their belt!
Possibly the best way to experience this game is in the racing car style cabinet that actually gives you some hydraulic lifting and movement with the way that the track rolls. The experience really is different and can give you a real to life way of driving a car without the devastating effects of flipping you all over the place when you do happen to smash into the wall. I’ve only seen this type of cabinet at Game Works in Auburn Hills, Michigan!
The audio tracks are adrenaline pumping themes that can be selected by a button press on the front of the machine. With that being said, the speakers rest behind you in the top of the driver’s seat, and immerse you in a realistic world of racing with all of the usual sounds that are not limited to squealing tires and the high pitched whine of an engine that is coming to its red line capacity.
The visuals are clean and clear, with the track being well detailed to the point of even seeing the clouds float by in the sky ahead of you. Shadow and lighting were also taken into effect to show you some semblance of the sun in the sky when traveling beneath trees or structures over the race track. Add this in with cool car designs and different race views that include first person, just ahead or just behind the car, and the ever popular chase view, and you've got a race experience that is pleasant to the eyes!
The biggest point to this sequel is the different tracks that you can roll through. With a comestic lift that is really noticeable from the start, there is little that you can compare to the last game. Most racing game fans really won't see too much here that will make a difference other than being able to race on something other than a normal racing field!
With the competitive spirit in most people, the amount of money you spend on this game will be high. At fifty cents to a buck to play, it can also be costly if this is the only game that you're going to play in the arcade or night club. Where the money factor is, is not so much with the challenge of the game, but more or less just wanting to beat out your friends again and again, and with a four player interface set-up, you may find your wallet getting lighter and lighter by the race!
Daytona USA 2 involves all of the addicting factors of racing, and that is the competitive side of people. With realistic racing, and the fact that you can get from two to four players racing against each other in a virtual world that is as real as it gets without actually being there, Daytona is worth not only the time spent, but the money you'll dump into playing this title over and over again!
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 05/10/02, Updated 05/10/02
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