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Usually when you have to wait for something for a long time, you either get disappointed or admirative once it arrives and finally try the thing out for the first time. However, having played on the new Sega Saturn with some of the new games available for this console placed me in a situation where I still can not say whether I am completely convinced or absolutely deceived. Fortunately, I did enjoy one of the three games we had to review and at the same time, I was relieved that my expectations for this platform had not vanished for good. Therefore, the first review will concern the game I prefered, with the two others following later on.

Daytona USA, as you probably know, is one of the greatest arcade racing games ever made and undoubtely, it will be some time before anything else comes close. But despite all the compliments we can reward to Daytona USA, there are some elements that prevent us from playing with the game whenever we want. First, the arcade is not always open when we want it to be. Second, you might consider waiting your turn before seating in the cabin AND finally, you must pay to enjoy your favorite game! These dramatic inconvenients have been taken in consideration and the result of this is the tremendous Daytona USA for the Sega Saturn. Gone now are the nights without Daytona USA. Wiped out are the waiting queues in front of the arcade and most importantly, cash will remain in your pockets (although an initial fee is required for the console and the game!).

On a more seriouse note, Daytona USA on the Sega Saturn is quite an awesome conversion of the arcade hit that even offers two distinct modes. The first one called 'arcade mode' features the same options as the original game with three tracks each of them asking for higher driving skills, and the choice of a manual or an automatic car. The second mode named 'saturn mode' offers four cars to choose from and the same three tracks. While I understand Sega wanted to keep the initial number of tracks for their conversion, it would have been a good idea to add extra-tracks, but then it is just a thought.

As soon as you start the game, you will be amazed by the game speed. I do not know exactly what the frame rate displayed on the screen is, but I can assure you that it is the fastest I have ever seen on a console. It is dazzling and it literally draws you into the action at lighting speed. The realism of the texture-mapped graphics and the soundtrack achieve to condition your mind so that after a while, the only things you can perceive are the sound of the roaring machine you are driving, the other drivers that keep trying to pass you and the road that streams under your wheels.

The four views available (in the car, bumper cam, first person removed and twice removed) provide the player with a realistic and unique experience. Moreover, the player can switch from one view to another during the game by simply pressing buttons on the control pad so that he or she can select the perspective that is more appropriate for the driver's skills.

Daytona USA is first of all a stock car racing game and naturally, it involves cars bumping into others, crashes against walls and obstacles, etc... anything you can expect to see in a real stock car race. Therefore, when your car runs into sidetracks or another car, not only will your car be damaged, but its control and speed will be affected. Fortunately, the pit stop will help you repaire any damages, but the best way to win the course is still to avoid crashes that penalize your time.


Among the games presently available for the Sega Saturn, Daytona USA is the game you can not afford to miss at all. The conversion is outstanding and really deserves to be pointed out as sometimes conversions can be everything except good.


Overall: ****1/2


In North America:

Sega of America Inc.,
255 Shoreline Drive,
2nd floor,
Redwood City, CA 94065

In Europe:

In UK:

Sega Europe Ltd.,
247 Cromwell Road,
London SW5 9GA

In Netherlands:

Sega Video Games Netherlands B.V.,
47, Huizermaatweg,
1273 Na Huizen.


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