Daytona USA CCE


I have an irrational love of "Daytona". It’s blocky, it’s got cartoon handling, it’s glitchy, it only (shock horror) supports the digital controller on Saturn, but it’s oh, oh so fun. I would imagine some of you are at least somewhat familiar with "Daytona USA", as it is the world’s most successful arcade game, at least in terms of worldwide sales. I bet you dollars to donuts that many arcades, theatres, bowling alleys and other locations with arcade games still have "Daytona" units linked up ready for action. The nearest arcade to my house (a 15 minute drive - yes, they’re far and few between nowadays) has four units linked up, and they still make money.

When the Sega Saturn launched, one of the launch titles was "Daytona USA". It was unfortunately rushed to market, as Sega decided on a rather misguided rushed release months ahead of the initially expected release date. If you’re interested in the history of the Saturn and the laundry list of mistakes made, opportunities missed and enemies gained, then I recommend looking on the internet. Perhaps here.

I could go into greater detail about the game itself, but there's a very useful and concise history of "Daytona" games here.

So, what is it I like about "Daytona"? It’s good, clean, simple fun. I don’t have to think, I don’t have to worry too much about the perfect driving line or the dubious charms of “realistic handling”, I can just hold down the accelerator and fang it around the course. Even when you crash, you get a rather amusing flying car animation, reminiscent of what you see in "Out Run" (perhaps a direct homage?). Little touches are endearing too, like the sound and music – the music is genius.. Come on, people. I even like the stings when you select menu options and the like. It creates an atmosphere I like, as if I’m back in a 90s arcade. Unfortunately the CCE version omits most of the vocals for the music, but it's still tops. It's worth getting a regular "Daytona USA" edition just for the "ROLLEEEEENG STAAAAHT!" vocal.

"Daytona". It’s the vibe of the thing.

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