Review by Sukerface
"Second best NASCAR game, only 2003 Season beats it."
Around the time this game came out, I was all hyped up not about it, but about NASCAR Thunder 2003, and I thought that Dirt to Daytona was going to be crap. Well, I now realize that it should have been the opposite. 2003 sucked the big one (and don't get me started on the next EA NASCAR game, but that's for another time), and Dirt to Daytona easily is the single best console NASCAR game in existence. Now, if only greedy EA hadn't taken the rights, we might have seen an even better version come out the following year. Oh well...
It's a racing game. Most of those don't have stories, and the ones that do usually have pathetic ones. Luckily, this game is one of the ones that doesn't have a story of any kind.
You can tell that Infogrames wasn't focusing on graphics. They are good, but they could have been better. But I'd rather take a good gameplay engine over good graphics anyway, so it doesn't matter much to me.
Music and Sound: 8/10
While there is only one song-a generic country-like song-the sounds themselves are perfect. Everything you hear is done perfectly. The only thing that prevents this from getting a 10 is that annoying country song.
It is a great game multiplayer-wise. While there are less cars in multiplayer than there are in NT2003's multiplayer, the ood physics engine makes up for this, big time. It's just plain more fun.
This is where the game truly shines. It has perhaps the best gameplay of any racing game on a console ever. That includes Gran Turismo, Project Gotham, and others. It is just that good. You start off on the lowly dirt track circuit. The way you play evolves with what you are driving. If you are driving a dirt car, you need to sling it around the corners like a real dirt track driver does. If you are driving a Cup car, you need the same delicate style the real guys use. It is a blast, especially in career mode. Which brings up another point: Unlike NT, you buy parts to upgrade your car. Too slow? Buy a new exhaust system or a new engine. Car not handling well? Buy a new suspension kit or a new aero package. It is a lot of fun as you slowly climb the ranks, slowly get better, and eventually win a Cup championship. But wait, there's more! In single race, you can unlock nifty little cheats. Some are really funny and aren't really meant to give you an advantage (not that it would matter; you cannot get points with cheats on anyway), others just make you go faster. This is truly a masterpiece in the gameplay department.
I myself just recently started from scratch again. This is my fourth time playing through the game. So, it is highly replayable, and is always a blast, whether it be your first time through, or your fourth.
This is what I would definitely call the ultimate console NASCAR game. Perfect in nearly every way possible. Words cannot describe the greatness of this game.
You might as well buy it, and for two reasons. For one, It's only $15 anyway, and for two, I have only seen one store in my area that carries it, and I doubt there are many nationwide that do. I also recommend that non-NASCAR fans give it a try. I'm sure that at least some of them will like it.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 07/13/04
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