Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Daytona USA Reviews--Kill Me Now

It's worth mentioning I revised the Kyle Busch article to include the Ron Hornaday mutiny that occurred last Friday.

Ok, so Daytona USA has been out for two weeks and most of the "professional" reviews are in.  And most of them fall within the 8-9 range which is good.  You can see the list of reviews here.

Now there's really nothing amazing about any of the average reviews.  I can't go through them all.  They say stuff like, "It's Sega's classic arcade racer with funky tunes but it's nonetheless old."  Okay, I see what you mean.

But first, I would like to commend the website Gamestyle for giving this Daytona port a 10 out of 10, the only reviewer to do so thus far.

Wasn't a fan of Daytona in the arcade? Then don't expect any different here. That is the 1% dealt with. For everyone else, this port brings home the magic of the arcade version in the best way possible. Rose tinted memories are transferred to reality, both in terms of how the game looks and how it plays.

Well said.  How nice of you to bring up the 1% of people who don't like Daytona.  I would say that number is larger than that but let's deal with the heathens, shall we???  Descend into the abyss, if I don't come back in 15 minutes...just wait longer!

From a review site called HonestGamers which gave the Daytona port a 5 out of 10...

This is the best Daytona USA ever released for play at home.

BOOM, there you go, review's over.  If it's better than the Saturn, PC, or Dreamcast versions, then how come this isn't higher than a 5?  Let's continue...

And herein lies the trouble with Daytona USA. It’s always been extremely limited. A few cars, a handful of tracks, the choice between automatic and manual transmission, and four vantages points from which to survey the action. That's essentially it. Being able to take on mirrored versions of tracks or tacklekaraoke mode – well, those are just fleeting distractions. The sobering truth is that there's not much here, and there never was.

What a load of ass.  Let me say two things: one--this is an Xbox Live Arcade Title.  THESE KIND OF GAMES ARE MEANT TO BE SMALL!!!  HENCE THE TERM, "ARCADE"!!!  Two: come say this game is "lacking" to me.  Or my friends on GameFAQs.  Or the guys from Singapore/Japan/wherever who play the crap out of this game.  Cause it certainly ain't "lacking" to us.

What made this game a phenomenon in the nineties – besides the fact that in ’93 these graphics were considered slick and ahead of their time – was the ability for us arcade-going gamers to sit with seven drunk friends in aligned cockpit cabinets, hammering the pedals, locking the wheel into turns, jamming the shifter down to screech into straight-aways, all while we hoped that hot girls looked on.

This just seems strange to me.  This paragraph could apply to just about any lousy 90's arcade racer, like Ridge Racer or Cruis'n World (YES, I SAID IT).  Daytona was different because it was deep man...  They don't make arcade racers with that kind of handling and quirkiness anymore.  So for you to take that for granted is kind of sad.  BTW, ever considered buying a racing wheel for your 360/PS3 and inviting over the boys, girls, and booze for the "authentic" Daytona experience?

Daytona USA was an experience. And it’s the sort of experience that can never be brought home. Sure, we can search online for seven like-minded old school players to have a go, but that doesn’t come close. What might have come close, would be local multiplayer, so that at least you could invite friends over and split-screen race to your hearts’ content. Guess what? Local multiplayer is not available. Oops.

Like I said before, the game's scope wasn't meant to include local multiplayer.  Not to mention that Daytona is that heavy of a game that you wouldn't want to share the screen with another player.  Do you even have ONE friend you know in real life that plays Daytona USA?

It’s a shame, because there is a demographic of players who want simpler, easier to pick-up-and-play titles in the face of the growing complexity and luster of the today’s top racing games, but Daytona USA swings the pendulum too far the other way, and gives us extreme barebones action, which manifests a definite fun factor, but one that cannot be sustained. Especially not when you’re playing all by your lonesome. And remotely racing with whichever few strangers you can find on the Net is less consolation than you might think. At least the kitschy main theme can still elicit a laugh or two: Daytonnnnaaaaaa! Let’s go away!!

I tell you what--I'd rather pay ten bucks to play Daytona online with seven other people at home, even if it's just for ONE HOUR.  But no, we can play "forever." Try finding working 8-player Daytona setups in a real arcade, including friends.  Sega did the best job that they could to port this.  To say this game is absolutely gimped is disgusting.  Oh, it's also nice you tacked on an additional .5 overall to the score just for the "kitschy" theme alone.

I'm done with that guy's review--it was mediocre and it pissed us all off.  I've never heard of this website before nor will I ever hear from it again.


I know this is paining ya, but there's MORE!!!  The Official Xbox Magazine scores this game a 4.5 out of 10...

Once upon a time, texture-mapped polygons, bare-bones drifting, and gradual loss of tire grip were enough to earn a cheering crowd, but those days have passed. Daytona USA might lazily scratch a nostalgic itch, but there’s little else to entice modern audiences.

Arcade mode’s three bright tracks offer differing course lengths, lap counts, and turn severities. You’ll slipstream behind opponents to improve acceleration and top speed, coax your car to just the right drift angle as you squeal around tight turns, and try not to slide into walls when your tires turn to mush. Now you can even rewind time Forza-style from the pause menu. If your car didn’t control with all the grace of a buttered concrete block, those features might be worth exploring.

Online multiplayer rekindles fond memories of linked arcade machines, and 30 brief challenges break up the solo routine. But clunky handling and crayon visuals are a harsh reminder of why we rarely visit with the ghosts of videogame racing’s past. Daytona USA was once a pace-setting leader; now it’s a museum-ready relic.

+ Rewind feature lets you correct mistakes; serviceable multiplayer; retro arcade simplicity.

– Jittery handling; just three tracks; irritating soundtrack only true fanatics will love.

– Smoothed textures and a steady framerate can’t mask its age.

? Why doesn’t it include local split-screen multiplayer?

And that's it.  I'm dead f***ing serious.  That's the whole review.  And it's going up in this piece of trash magazine.  "Official Xbox Magazine," my ass.  This review addressed NOTHING other than that the "handling sucks" and that "it has a rewind mode."  Nothing else.

The handling.  MY GOD, THE HANDLING.  Learn to play the G-D game, you nebbish.

Barebones drifting??  Give me ONE game in recent history that has a SEMI-DECENT drifting system.  No, there isn't one because it's all this "Formula-D" crap or "boost to gain nitrous" or some load of ass like that.  So, no dice.

Tires melting???  What the hell game mode are you playing???  If you play the regular arcade/time-trial modes, there's no tire wear whatsoever.  The fact that he harped on it more than once is just downright idiotic.  A better line would be "The Survival mode sucked," but no, the handling eternally sucks, the game is unplayable, etc.  Wtf.

Crayon visuals?  I'd rather be staring at Daytona USA than the dreary, generic landscapes of Split/Second or GRID.  I mean that times a thousand.

Soundtrack???  You kiddin' me?  You mention the words "Daytona USA" to any arcade connoisseur and the first words you get back are "Roooolllinnnnnnnggg  Sssttarrrttt!!!!"  People hate the Daytona soundtrack?  Where are these people?

"Rarely visit the ghosts of videogame racing's past?"  "A museum relic?"  Alright, bro.  F*** it, let's throw all old racing games in the trash!  All aboard the Need for Speed/Burnout train!  First of all, why is that, of all old games, RACING GAMES must be ignored but other genres don't???  We still play Mario, we still play Zelda, we still play Contra, we still play Street Fighter, we still play Doom, we still play Final Fantasy, but we CAN'T play Daytona USA.  Just burn all bridges to the past and replace them with a shiatload of production value, useless cinematics, and a trail of DLC.  What a putz, a pustule, a schmuck.

Let me just conclude saying this.  What good does this review do?  We're talking about a ten-dollar XBLA title that'll probably be brushed under the rug within a month.  So you played the game for five minutes and didn't like it?  Why does it MATTER that this review's in the magazine or not?  I learned NOTHING about the game at all other than one (stupid) man's opinion of the thing.  Besides, you can always download the demo and try the game for yourself.  Who cares what this guy thinks when you have the demo???

Official Xbox Magazine...does anyone really care about this trash?  Like do you wake up in the morning, read gaming news on GameSpot, Kotaku, Reddit, Joystiq, etc. and see tons of wonderful media about OXM?  No, and that's because it's garbage so it needs to go away.  Not to the museum but to the dumpster behind the museum.  Then thrown in the incinerator.  Good riddance.

Oh, and I expect that there will be one intrepid reader out of a thousand who will say this.  "Eric, why do you trash games like Split/Second and Need for Speed when you've only played them for five minutes???  Isn't that hypocritical???"  Five things:

1. I play these games for more than five minutes.  As much as it pains me too, it's my solemn duty to do so.  I've plunked numerous quarters into Fast & Furious and I had a stroke.  So, never again, I said.

2. I write better reviews with MORE INFORMATION than these guys do.  Like if a game sucks, I don't say "the tires are made of butter," and then call it a day.

3. I'd like to think I have more clout on traditional racing game reviews than some guy who's only been reviewing games at OXM for just two weeks (seriously, here's the guy's profile).

4. I'm not getting paid to do reviews.  The other guy is.  So I do these reviews purely for my own respect and integrity.  Lord knows that this guy was probably shuffling through game after game to make a buck off of a few paragraphs he types down on the fly.


The irony of this whole situation is while OXM scored the game a 4.5, the UK version of OXM scored it a 9.0.  Its review is actually more informative and gave a nod to Daytona USA 2.  Thus proving that American gaming is dead as we know it.  Seriously, the United Kingdom is friends of Sega...we know this very much now.

An arcade classic and a reverential conversion mean that the definitive version of Daytona is finally available on XBLA. We can't wait to see which of Sega's spectacular arcade back catalogue will be next to receive the same attention. You know, Daytona USA 2 never got a proper home conversion either...


Oh, and one more kick-in-the-ass for the road.  So, a few months ago, my mom unwittingly got another subscription of GameInformer the last time she went to GameStop.  Oh, God, no.  But I still read it anyway just to gain surveillance on the "enemy."  My mom brought a few of these magazines down to Florida when she visited so I scanned through them as usual.

They reviewed a game.  What game you ask?  Burnout: Crash.  Gave it a 7.5 out of 10.  I s*** you not.  EDIT: Forgot to post the link to the review so here it is.  I couldn't even get through this whole review before it came up with the blanket statement--"uh, it's good, just go buy it."  Love this line at the end:

Crash also includes Kinect functionality for Xbox 360 owners, but I wouldn’t recommend this sloppy option. Hopping and stepping around replace the simple analog stick and button controls with disastrous results.

Wait, so using the Kinect with this game is BAD?  What about the commercial with David Hasselhoff and all the posers??  I thought the Kinect was super-awesome-fun??   Well, that's ONE thing Criterion did right.  See Sonic Free Riders...no standard 360 control, no dice.

And you remember way, WAY back when I brought up the GameInformer reviews on Burnout 3 and OutRun 2?  OutRun 2 got a 6.5 score.  Burnout: Crash got a 7.5.  That means that Burnout: Crash is A WHOLE POINT BETTER than OutRun 2.  Doesn't that make you want to kick a baby?

Oh, and God Forbid if GameInformer were to actually review Daytona USA.  They said that OutRun 2 was "an old man on Viagra" so what does that make Daytona USA???  A mummified corpse from the seventh century??  Forget about it!!


EDIT: And there's another bad Daytona USA review I missed!!  This one is from a site called Thunderbolt Games.  Gave it a 5 out of 10.  It said "omg not enough cars & tracks to unlock" and "wtf no local multiplayer" but I already dealt with that.  Lousy short-ass review.  NO MENTION OF HOW "GOOD" THE CONTROLS ARE.  They also said this:

The Xbox Live play was decent, though it took me quite a few tries to find races to join. And it may seem a little nitpicky, but I hate it when racing games don’t give me an option to restart the current race from the pause menu. Overall,Daytona USA is a lazy port that could have offered players more.

Um, you CAN restart the race while in pause menu.  Press Y to restart, right next to the rewind button, another feature you forgot to mention.  Another garbage review, guy didn't even bother playing it for more than 5 minutes.  PISS OFF!!

Get out, you enemies of Sega.


  1. I'll bring up Sonic (yet again), IGN reviewed Sonic Unleashed for the 360, one of their reviewers made a video review, in which he claims that the controls are "fatally unresponsive", and then DELIBERATELY jumps over a speed pad into a bottomless pit. He couldn't even hold down the boost button and instead kept tapping it, the stupid idiot. In the end, they scored the game lower than Sonic '06 for whatever reason.
    Oh, yes, someone even cut out that part from the review: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jhbaJtojrA
    The reviewer even SLOWS DOWN before the damn booster pad.

    In short, never listen to "pro" game reviewers. They were probably like "UHH HOW DO I DRIFT" and 5 minutes later, when they realized there's no nitrous, they turned the game off and called it shit. If it was the original Ridge Racer they reviewed, it'd get at least 7, even though that one didn't have nitrous either.

  2. I couldn't agree with you more and I checked out the Xbox review and a lot of people were pissed off that he gave Daytona USA was given a 4.5. And I agree with the first comment. Don't listen to pro game reviewers. Review the games for yourself. For me the fact that they port this game to PSN and XBL, is a 7, but for Sega to do everything in their power to make the player relive the glory days of the arcade classic and enhance the experience with new features that doesn't obscure the feeling of the game at all....
    You just went from a 7 out of 10 to a 9 out of 10. Kudos to you sega....

    Now I hope that you can do the same for Daytona USA 2 and SEGA SUPER GT!!!!!!!!!!
    Sorry. I really really really want to see Scud Race on the PSN and XBL. :P

  3. Game Informer, AKA the egregious shit pile that Game Gestapo has been forcing it's customers to buy for twenty years. One of the top gaming mags? SUGGESTIVE SELLING WILL DO THAT. Thanks social engineering! What a crock of shit. A small wonder that Game Gestapo doesn't employ telemarketers to sell even more happy horsepuckery to expand their business. Maybe next year? I buy my games at Target or Best Buy, it's a lot less annoying, and intrusive. You can only tell upsellers to go fuck themselves in so many ways before it gets really old.

    It's like that episode of Futurama where companies were advertising in people's dreams. If such a thing is possible, Game Gestapo will be leading the charge, I'm sure. Cockshiners.

    Anonymous is right, "pro"game reviewers have no integrity. ESPECIALLY GAME INFORMER.

  4. Wow, thanks for bringing up the IGN Sonic Unleashed video. Nobody likes IGN and this stuff is why. Because Sonic "is for little kids/furries" so don't give that crap the time of day. Total BS.

    Then again, who cares what review sites say anymore. It's such a mess with game publishers soliciting game journalists for user info/trends. You know these journalists are biased, in some way. Well, that's what happens when video games become big business.

    The only review site that still seems credible to me is Giant Bomb. Because their review style is actually pretty good, plus it's made up of Jeff, Alex, and Ryan, three guys who left GameSpot after "Kane & Lynch"-gate. But I mostly watch them for their "First Look" vids because they actually play the game for more than 15 minutes, plus they're usually entertaining...

    Jeff Gerstmann's Kane & Lynch review that got him fired from Gamespot: http://youtu.be/aBD0cUeeEQc

    Notice how Jeff went into great detail about why the game sucks unlike Mr. Dude's Daytona USA review. So Jeff deserves some credit here.

    GameInformer is incredibly mediocre although there's maybe a few articles worth reading. They pretty much rate all the AAA-titles super high to get people to run to GameStop to buy them. Otherwise, I wouldn't call GameInformer "evil," but they're just a mediocre magazine attached to a lousy franchise.

  5. The most part of the reviews really sucks. And what really scares me is that, a lot of people seems to decide if they will buy a game or not because of the reviewer opinion. So, a dumbass like that from the Xbox magazine makes a crap review and prejudices the sales of the game. Great post. Greetings.

  6. LOL, the listing lists Game Industry News' score as "7.5 out of 5" If only, if only.

  7. Just discovered this blog and as a diehard fan of classic Sega racers I couldn't agree more. People have no problem going back and playing Contra or Street Fighter or Mario, but old racing games are the odd ones out. This is why I don't trust mainstream reviews anymore.

    Some websites, as you said, have handled Daytona well though. GamesRadar for instance, gave it a 9. And the reviewer, Justin Towell, truly is an expert on classic arcade racers. I believe he set a world record time in Sega Rally on the Saturn.

    I have my own site called Time Extend, and I reviewed Daytona and gave it an 8. I feel like I justified it pretty well though.


  8. Hey bro, nice website. I understand an 8/10 score. Didn't know about the wheel force feedback. And I also wish there was a online lobby option for random tracks without mirrored but what can you say. There could always be more features in a Daytona port...

    However, some reviewers have no knowledge, interest, and/or appreciation of Daytona USA so of course they're not going to like it. That's what makes reviews so frustrating...

    This blog also appreciates readers from all over the world so thanks for posting, everyone!