Review by NeoGeo

"Slightly different take on the standard racing game"

I had missed out on the game when the Dreamcast was in its decline, so when I went looking for games I came across a cheap copy and snaffled it up. I knew that it was an ok game in terms of how it looked by viewing magazines, but the gameplay is slightly different from other racers.

Graphics: 9/10
You could describe them as the standard SEGA graphics that look similar to the ones used on 18 Wheeler. Everything is crisp and sharp but close-up detail of some textures is lower. The car you drive, although not totally realistic (in terms of physics) does show off some nice lighting effects as you see the sun’s rays bounce off the shiny bodywork. The courses are of the same quality as the cars, quite high, but maybe the Dreamcast could do slightly better. I guess the developers didn’t go totally overboard with the visuals to keep it running at a smooth 60 frames per second.

Sound and Music: 7/10
Nothing amazing; there isn’t much variety and you could easily forget as you are speeding to try to get into the lead. The music tracks, while good quality, are lost in the roar of engines and the screaming of breaks. In the set-up menu there are some very good-quality sound samples that are played when you select a specific item. When driving you can hear the intercom fairly clearly but it is supposed not to be totally clear for realism. Overall, the noises that the cars make are good, even the effect of hitting a concrete wall very fast.

Gameplay: 7/10
The basic game is slightly different from your average racer. You speed around a simple track with 39 other cars attempting to get into pole position. This makes the racing aspect even more fun and frantic. Getting into the lead is pretty easy but once you crash and black smoke starts bellowing out of your car then things become more tricky. I found the problem with the gameplay is the way in which your car moves. It just looks and feels unrealistic. You press the control stick to the left and the car rotates from the center as if it’s wheels were not touching the ground. The car turns as if there were a pole through the middle and the front wheels have nothing to do with it. A plus point to the driving is the car damage you sustain which makes the game slightly more believable. But you do not sustain enough damage. For example, you smash into a wall and the side panel of the car is dented slightly. I suppose this is to fit in with the sort of medium realism feel to the game.

Overall: 8/10
Daytona is an above-average racer that is slightly different from other titles of the genre. If you like your racing games to be highly accurate with perfect car physics then this is probably not for you. On the other hand, if you like action games and maybe more light-hearted racing games then this is a good choice. It may not have tons of options to keep you occupied but if you can find it cheap then it is worth the money for a quick spin.

Rent or Buy?
You have really got to buy this because it was one of the Dreamcast’s last big releases. The only minor fault is the steering/car physics which can be slightly dodgy. But on a plus side the graphics are good and the learning curve is not too steep. It is easy to pick up and play and you won’t have difficulty winning the earlier races. It’s just whether you will want to come back for more. If you are into racing games this is a must buy; even if you are not such a fan you should still purchase this because it is pretty cheap and will provide some entertainment.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 10/10/02, Updated 10/10/02


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