Review by Psycho Penguin

"Here's a game that was killed by "professional" reviewers..."

When I first heard of Cruisin USA coming out for the Nintendo 64 I was very excited. After all, I had been an avid fan of the arcade version, and was a very big player of it. The game featured lots of outstanding courses to drive in, and the game overall was very fun. But when the game finally got released for the Nintendo 64, the magazine reviewers crushed it and gave it terrible scores. I knew better than to let some overpaid writers tell me which games to buy, so I rented the game out, not sure of what to expect.

Would it be as fun as the Arcade version that I was a big fan of? Or would it be the terrible gaming experience that the magazine writers said it was? Well, after renting it out and playing it for a while, I decided that while this game did have its share of problems, it was still a very good game. So, overall Cruisin USA is a good, yet somewhat flawed racing game. I still enjoy playing it a lot, and I am sure you won't totally hate it, so give it a try and see what you think of it.

There is not too much of a storyline to the game, as you may expect, this being a racing game and all. All you really are doing is racing from state to state. So, you are a car driver, and you are in a race against other cars in a cross country race. Works for me, I don't see that as being a bad storyline. I happen to rather like it, actually.

The graphics in the game may just have been the most criticized part of the game, but I don't think they were half bad. The cars were nicely detailed, as each looked original and unique. You can even make out certain little details on each car, which was definitely a nice touch. You can even make out little details in the game environments, like the cornfields in Iowa, or the cactuses in Arizona. I really enjoyed these. Now, there is a downside to the graphics, as you have probably read by now if you have read ANY other Cruisin USA review. Yes, the game suffers from bad fog and pop up. However, the game still looks great, regardless of whether there is pop up or not.

I love the music, as you get a wide variety of music tracks, and the coolest part is you can choose which one you want to listen to. If you'd rather not choose, each stage has its own unique theme that really fits the feeling of the stage perfectly. The arcade version had some really awesome music, and the Nintendo 64 version is definitely no different. I truly enjoyed the music. The sound effects are quite solid, especially the sounds of the cars crashing into each other. Plus, you can't beat the train barreling over the tracks, or as it follows you, you can hear it. It's awesome. The sound effects are top notch, as well.

Controlling your car has never been so easy, and fortunately you can choose which control pattern you want, so you can customize the controls to your own individual liking. I definitely think that this, while not being a novel or innovative idea, was definitely a welcome addition to the game. I always used the same control format, as it fit me well, so you will definitely be able to find a control format that works best for you.

Cruisin USA is an exciting arcade racer that still stands as my second favorite Nintendo 64 racing game (a system known for its tons of racing games). The game is your classic arcade racer, as you ride through a whole bunch of stages. Sure there is pop up here and there, but it doesnt really affect the gameplay TOO much. You get a cool amount of cars to select from, and some of the stages are quite fun. I love the stage where you have to outrace a train, and if you dont get there on time and beat it you will end up smashing into it. Other fun things including running over cows. That iss classic stuff right there. Overall, the gameplay is polished and well done, and it is truly underrated for the most part.

It's definitely fun to play this game, and you will want to replay it a lot for sure. It's one of those addictive games that never really got the credit it deserved. It's a fantastic and fun game that will keep you playing for days on end. The fact that there are two different challenge levels increases the replay value. Plus, there are a few secrets, like getting to drive a school bus, that will make you want to keep playing the game.

This game is somewhat of a challenge, but even the worst racing game player (like me) will soon conquer it if they keep up at it long enough. It is certainly not the most challenging game out there, but I do consider it to be a decent challenge in its own right.

After reading the review, I am sure you know what my final opinion on the game happens to be. While the game is not as fun as the classic arcade version, it is certainly not as bad as the reviews made it seem out to be. I like this game. Rent it out and see if you do.

Good Points
-The game is truly fun to play.
-The cool secrets increase the replay value.
-You get to drive through various parts of the country.
-Running over cows has never been so fun.
-The stages have some innovative ideas to it, like having to outrun a train.

Bad Points
-Yes, the popup is pretty bad.
-There's no four player mode.
-There is a lot of slowdown in the two player mode.
-You don't get to go through as many states as I would have liked.

I Run Down The Game.. Psycho Penguin Style!
Storyline - 8.3/10
Graphics - 9.3/10
Music - 9.2/10
Sound Effects - 9.1/10
Control - 9.2/10
Gameplay - 9.3/10
Replay Value - Above Average
Challenge - Average
Game Length - 2 Hours
Is This Game Worth A Purchase? - Definitely.
Overall - 9.3/10

The Last Line
it's not as fun as the arcade version, there is some pop up, but none of that matters once you see how fun it is. Get this game today!

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 03/01/00, Updated 01/03/02

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