Just recently picked this game up, and I've gotta say this is currently my personal favourite SEGA Dreamcast title. Although the visuals won'tJust recently picked this game up, and I've gotta say this is currently my personal favourite SEGA Dreamcast title. Although the visuals won't blow anyone way, it's the thrilling, fast-paced game play that brings you back to this arcade classic time and time again. This is pure arcade racing action at its best - no unbalanced or irritating power-ups, it's just down to you and your driving skill. There is a vast array of tracks to race around (Although initially it may seem like there is only eight, all tracks have a regular, reverse, mirror, and mirror reverse mode, effectively giving you 32 tracks.) and a bunch of unlock-able cars. Cars each have different stats and control very differently, so it is easy to find a driving style that suits you best. RGB sliders allow you to create custom paint jobs for each car, which another welcome extra.
The music in this game is very odd, and undoubtedly SEGA - it's so bad it sort of does a complete 180 and becomes undeniably awesome. Even if you don't buy this game, I'd recommend checking out the soundtrack. It's certainly... unique. Alongside the cartoonish crash physics, it's clear the developers weren't taking themselves too seriously and this helps make Daytona a blast to play - just so long as you aren't looking for ultra realism. I wasn't expecting the next Gran Tourismo, but this game never claims to be, and instead basks in its own wackiness.
Like many other arcade games though, this game extremely difficult. It also seems to get some sick enjoyment from singing the catchy 'Game Over' jingle at the end of every stage - even when you actually win the race. I personally really like this difficulty. Although it may not be for everyone, it gives you a great sense of accomplishment when you finally win. To come 1st you pretty much have to run a perfect race without any screw ups. This may not sound too hard, but part of the challenge lies in adapting to the controls - perhaps the most frequent, criticism of the game. In my opinion, it just takes some getting used to, particularly when you use this technique I picked up from an online video. If you move your thumb from side to side over the analog stick the controls will be very twitchy and over-sensitive. However, if you push the analog stick forward and sort of roll your thumb around the top to go left and right the car's steering becomes much smoother and easier. Still perhaps a little over-sensitive, but I certainly got used to it. The game's area of exploration and secrets lie in your control of the car - every now and again I will find a new technique, and finally being able to flawlessly drift around that particularly tight turn provides a great sense of accomplishment.
Daytona USA 2001 is in my opinion a must-have title for any racing or arcade fans. The graphics aren't amazing, but they do the job. Customisation options really add longevity to the game, and the fast paced nature of the races keep you on the edge of you seat the whole time. I unfortunately do have to knock off a point for lack of accessibility, as Daytona is not kind to new players. If you don't want too much challenge, this probably isn't the game for you. However, for me, as a fan of arcade racers, Daytona USA really hit the spot and excels in almost every other area.
At the time of writing this, Daytona USA 2001 is only available for SEGA Dreamcast. Although the original arcade version is available for digital download on Playstation and Xbox, this 2001 version has never seen any sort of re release. This could be the reason for it's high price online, although to be honest I don't think there is the demand to support it. I bought my copy for £25, and if you aren't familiar with arcade-style racers or difficult games, I wouldn't spend much more. But if you do like racers and you see it at a fair price, then pick this game up! You won't be disappointed!… Expand