Monday, 26 June 2017

Daytona Championship USA review + arcades in Whitby

Today we have 2 posts in one of sorts. Both of the subjects are related today, so I thought it would be best to have one post with them both. Anyway, let's get on with it.

Arcades In Whitby

I had a nice holiday in Whitby recently. I enjoyed the beaches, ice cream, and fish n' chips, but there's one other essential thing that makes a seaside town a seaside town- arcades.

Whitby has 3 arcades in total, all oddly right next door to each other. Of course there's 2p pushers, crane and fruit machines in all, but I'm here for the games of course. Which sadly, one of them, Fun City, did not have. 

However next door was Funland, and they were stock full of games. For me highlights included both Sega Rally 1 & 2, a deluxe version of Time Crisis II with massive screens, and After Burner Climax. All of these were cheap at 50p a credit. There was also Manx TT, Dancing Stage Euromix, Jurassic Park Arcade, The Walking Dead, and Super Alpine Racer. I did have pictures of this arcade inside, but due to poor lighting in there they didn't come out well. Sorry.

The last arcade was Pleasureland. There was another Walking Dead, plus a Moto GP, but I was most excited about one game in particular which I knew was there already. Daytona Championship USA.

                                                                                                                                                Announced by the Sega arcade division's Twitter a day before I went, I was ecstatic when I first saw it. The first new Daytona in the UK and it's where I was about to go on holiday. What were the chances. Needless to say, I spent quite a bit of money on this machine, and I have prepared a review as such.

Daytona Championship USA (Sega, 2017) Review

First, let me get this out of the way, I think this could possibly be a misconception when it comes to other peoples reviews of this game. Daytona Championship USA is not Daytona USA 3. It is not a sequel. It is a remake of the original Daytona with extra content added. This is probably going to confuse a lot of people and sadly the game may be negatively received as such. Anyway with that out of the way lets talk about the game.

You immediately get the feeling of the old Daytona from the attract mode- there's a beautiful new version of Let's Go Away blaring out of the speakers, there's that classic Daytona font, and the signature Sega blue skies are there.

The graphics are nothing special. They're very nice, the blue skies have never looked better and the new cars are brilliantly detailed with all the sponsorship logos. It looks great for an arcade game. I say arcade game because the standard of graphics for these things nowadays is just about on par with PC'S and consoles, as the game does run on adapted PC hardware.

There is a selection of 6 courses to choose from, 3 of which are remodeled tracks from the original. They are all faithfully remade with each trackside detail included, in fact the mountain side Sonic is of course now the modern design!


The new Beginner course, Daytona International Speedway, is a simple oval course based off of the real Daytona speedway. We have a complete new recording of Let's Go Away accompanying it, and Takenobu Mitsuyoshi never fails to impress me.

The new Advanced course, Lakeside Castle, may be a mirror of Dinosaur Canyon, but that doesn't mean it's bad. The course is bursting with colour, with fireworks being set off in the beautiful sunset sky. The music for this track is good too, people have noted it's similarities to a track from the Dreamcast remake, but I couldn't care less really. It's still good music in the spirit of Daytona. Also Sega Rally references. Yay.

Finally, the new Advanced course, Metro City, is pretty much the same story as above, it's a mirrored Seaside Street Galaxy and its music is similar to one from the Dreamcast remake. But still, it's all good, there's some nice eye candy thorough the course and the music is still just as energetic.

Instead of only being able to have a quick race on one circuit, there is now the 'Championship' mode, where of course you go from track to track. Well, not really. Unfortunately, you have to place first and only first to advance to the next track which isn't very easy, as you could imagine, so it's kind of pointless unless you're really really good at the game.

One feature sadly gone (at least in most cabinets) from the first Daytona is the H-shifter, in its place is a up-down shifter. This makes power sliding just that bit trickier to pull off, but I personally am not bothered. I know some purists of the original may not be happy about it, and I do understand. In response Sega have said arcade operators can choose to have a 4 gear shifter, but none of the cabinets that have shown up so far have got them.

The steering is alright. Apparently the dev team working on it used a slightly modified version of the original engine, and it definitely feels like it. It did seem a little off in places, and the force feedback was a little irregular, but Sega have promised a update to the software very soon which improves the steering and fixes some bugs.

The attention to detail is brilliant and you do get a feel that the team working on the game had a lot of appreciation for the original. The little jingles from old Sega games can still be heard when entering them at the name entry screen, the Jeffery statue trick still works, and there is even some references to Sega's past on track sponsor boards like this 'To be this good takes AGES' slogan. It's stuff like this that makes the game just that bit nicer.

Lastly I must mention the great design of the actual machine. Looking at it in pictures, I have to say I didn't like it, but in person it's a lot better. The engine underneath the seat is a nice touch, and the control panel is almost an exact replica of the original deluxe cabs of Daytona. While I thought they were ugly and unnecessary at first I do quite like the screens on the marquee's,

So, finally, Daytona Championship USA is... good. Nothing ground-breaking or anything, but good. Which, as I said before, am afraid will make people have the false perception that it's a bad game and doesn't live up to the original's heights. But I for one know this could've ended up worse knowing Sega, and what we have is great in this day and age, especially for a modern arcade game. Overall, I give Daytona Championship USA a 8.5/10.

(Apologies for the lack of posts recently. Been stuck on ideas for stuff to put on here. Don't be surprised if this happens again. But I do have a couple of things coming up in the next week, so stay tuned. See ya.)

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