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DF Retro: Daytona USA - why frame-rate has always mattered


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This week, John Linneman revisits one of the most important arcade releases of the 90s - Sega's epoch-making Daytona USA. Built on Model 2 hardware, Daytona is a shining example of an age where arcade gaming technology was generations beyond what the home consoles could offer.
Daytona also highlights that the importance of frame-rate isn't necessarily an issue just for modern gaming - Sega's iconic racer played host to a range of home conversions across the years that simply couldn't match the original, and poor frame-rate was the key reason why the original Sega Saturn port just couldn't capture the experience of the classic arcade title. John's analysis doesn't just cover the Saturn conversion though - every single port and sequel is covered.

 

[video=youtube;Tv_GQNh9D68]
Daytona USA is still for sale digitally on XBLA | Xbox 360 and PSN | PS3 for $9.99 USD in NA. And similarly for the EU.
It's a perfect playing port of the Model 2 arcade game, in HD 1080p.
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Was slightly disappointed not to see a brief mention of the Daytona 2 based bonus course in Outrun 2 for the original Xbox. Not a Daytona game so no need to analyse it, but that's the only home appearance to date for anything related to Daytona 2 and is a fun nod to that arcade classic.

 

When seemingly every other bit of the history of Sega's Daytona USA franchise was covered, that bit stuck out (Although the arcade variants of each game other than Sega Racing Classic weren't given any attention). Would've been appropriate to give it a nod with a few seconds of footage.

 

If anyone wants the HD console port and somehow hasn't yet bought it, don't drag your feet. It has been out for years and that license isn't going to last forever. And we don't always get advance warning of delistings and there's no guarantee you'd see it even if there was.

Edited by Atariboy
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Daytona USA 2 needs to be brought home, in both its forms - Battle On The Edge and Power Edition. They are incredibly fun and Daytona USA 2 visuals hold up well today in 2016, some 18 years after release in arcades.

 

Sega Super GT (aka Scud Race) also needs to be brought home.

This was an earlier AM2 effort on the Model 3 hardware, the second game SEGA release on Model 3 in fact, following Virtua Fighter 3.

 

As for Outrun 2 for the original Xbox, it had bonus tracks based on both Daytona USA 2 and Scud Race (Sega Super GT). Of course, these were done rather quickly by Sumo Digital, very nice efforts, but lacked much of the animation, texture mapping, lighting and other effects of the games they were based on, given they were using whatever graphics engine Outrun 2 used for the Chihiro arcade / Xbox hardware.

 

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I love watching shows like this one. Great use of footage to clearly illustrate the different versions. My take on the DC Daytona USA from 2001 - the control is far superior to the Saturn versions. Even playing with the NiGHTS pad on Daytona CE, I can't get the micrometer 'wheel' adjustments with my thumb that I can do on the DC version. You have to tone done the DC versions controls in options to your liking, then it becomes much more rewarding to control.

 

I never bought the X360 Daytona USA port! I was somewhat burned out of paying for the same game all over again, then forgot about it. I will need to update my payment info and purchase it this weekend.

 

Somewhat related if you like reading opinions about Daytona comparisons:

 

http://atariage.com/forums/blog/618/entry-13203-daytona-cce-vs-daytona-ce/

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Here is a 60fps video of the Daytona USA 2 bonus track in vanilla Outrun 2 on original Xbox.

 

 

Daytona USA 2001 (I bought the Japanese version in December 2000 when it released), graphically it was very much a remake. The car models had far more polygons than the Model 2 arcade version, as well as a completely new lighting model (seemingly volumetric lighting) real transparencies and more detailed texture mapping, to name a few. Whereas, the PS3/360 HD version was strictly a 1080p HD remaster of the Model 2 visuals.

 

Bonus - Another SEGA Model 3 racing game from 1998 - Dirt Devils.

 

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I liked the Saturn version, and Daytona CCE (though they modified the soundtrack badly on CCE so props to the first version for that). I love the X360 version.

 

I always wished they'd do Daytona 2, any version. I loved the track that has that giant red skull thing reaching for the racers.

 

I have been a huge fan of Model 3's graphics and games since VF3; always wished they'd do Daytona 2 and Star Wars Trilogy for home.

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I'm probably in the minority here, but I did not enjoy the Saturn versions very much. I bought Daytona USA for Saturn three times.

 

1. original version in 1995 (NA)

2. Championship Circuit Edition (1996, NA)

3. Circuit Edition (early 1997 Japan import)

 

Framerate was so bad in the original, ~15 fps and draw distance was beyond atrocious. I couldn't overlook these things, it controlled well, but that couldn't make up for the visuals and framerate which made the overall gameplay experience a huge disappointment. Now Championship Circuit Edition and Japanese Circuit Edition had greatly improved frame rate, draw distance, as well as higher resolution and better graphics including textures. Yet they played / controlled very differently, and sort of brokenly.

 

I liked the Dreamcast version for the redone visuals, especially the lighting, and of course 60fps frame rate, but this version had its own problems with control. it was just off, and far too sensitive with the Dreamcast pad. The Japanese version, since it came first, was especially bad in terms of twitchy controls. The U.S. version improved this by adding a sensitivity slider. You had the original 3 tracks, plus the 2 originally made for Saturn (National Park Speedway and Desert City) plus 3 new ones made exclusively for Dreamcast. I only liked one of the new ones, Mermaid Lake, the other two weren't very good: Circuit Pixie and Rin Rin Rink.

 

I absolutely love the PS3 version (Xbox 360 also) and I'd say of the two, PS3 is the one to go for, but you can't go wrong with the 360 version either.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Incidentally, Daytona USA 3 has been announced for arcades.

 

http://arcadeheroes.com/2016/11/01/sega-resurrects-daytona-usa-with-daytona-reloaded-arcade/

 

Bad news is that it looks like we're going to have to wait a few years at least before it makes it home. Hopefully like Afterburner Climax from a few years earlier, Sega will decide in 4-5 years that it has been exclusive for long enough and will bring home a quality port of it.

 

I hope it's not another H2Overdrive. Given up hope on that one ever making it home. Despite other Raw Thrills titles being ported to home consoles, they apparently really meant it when they said this one would be exclusive...

Edited by Atariboy
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Incidentally, Daytona USA 3 has been announced for arcades.

 

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Following yesterday’s rumor of a new Daytona USA comes confirmation from SEGA Amusements that Daytona is indeed back! The official SEGA Amusements twitter account shared an animated gif showing 1994’s Daytona USA, 1998’s Daytona USA 2: Battle on the Edge and for 2016 the above graphic showing the all new Daytona. The game will be playable at the IAAPA trade show in Orlando, and is set to hit arcades at an unknown date.
While we previously speculated that this could simply be a rerelease of SEGA Racing Classic with the Daytona license back in place, and that is not impossible, the way SEGA Amusements is teasing the new game with the first and second really makes this appear to be the third game in the series. It also appears that the name is simply Daytona, as evidenced by the graphic above and the Daytona hashtag. Had the name been something like Daytona 3 or the rumored Daytona Reloaded we probably would have seen PR using such a hashtag already.
So who is excited for Daytona’s return? At what level will this game be? A full third title or a rerelease of SEGA Racing Classic?

Sega just teased a new Daytona USA for the arcade
Pinch me, I must be dreaming. Sega just teased a new Daytona USA, with Sega Amusements - the UK-based arcade division - posting a short video that announced the game's appearance at a trade show in a couple of weeks. It's an announcement from leftfield, to say the least.
Sega Amusements typically plies its trade in redemption machines, and with considerable success. I caught up with them a couple of years ago and found a company that was keeping the company values alive, even if its games were far removed from those typically associated with Sega's 90s arcade heyday.
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There were rumors of Daytona 3 back in 2001 for Dreamcast, then later in 2002-2003 for NAOMI 2 / Sega Chihiro hardware & XBOX, none of which ever panned out.




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But now? IT'S HAPPENING.

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Daytona USA for Saturn captured the arcade experience better than most arcade-to-console ports up till that point and it was easy to beat tracks in the arcade after learning the game on Saturn. It's one of the best examples of how you can capture all of the important aspects of a great game without a super smooth framerate.

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This is still one of my favorite arcade games to this day, great video. The Saturn version is a bit of a guilty pleasure for me. I didn't have, or even play, a Saturn until after it was dead here but there is some enjoyment to be had from the game. Which later leads to frustration when opposing cars can drive through you and other glaring issues with the game. Still worth a play every now and again though.

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  • 9 months later...

Since we don't seem to have a dedicated thread on Daytona USA HD, I figured I'd post that it's on sale on Xbox Live Arcade for the Xbox 360 (And backwards compatible on the XB1) today for $2.49.

 

It has been on sale all week and it ends today, I believe. Some other vintage Sega stuff is on sale, too.

Edited by Atariboy
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Since we don't seem to have a dedicated thread on Daytona USA HD, I figured I'd post that it's on sale on Xbox Live Arcade for the Xbox 360 (And backwards compatible on the XB1) today for $2.49.

 

It has been on sale all week and it ends today, I believe. Some other vintage Sega stuff is on sale, too.

 

Not as many titles as I'd like, but VF2 and Daytona are BC so everyone should get them!!

https://marketplace.xbox.com/en-US/Search?query=sega

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I grabbed Crazy Taxi and the two Sega Vintage Collections to add to my Xbox Live Arcade collection.

 

I had intended to buy the Dreamcast Collection on disc one of these days. But $2.49 is hard to beat and I'm not really fond of Sonic Adventure and Sega Bass Fishing (And it annoys me that only Space Channel 5 Part 2 ever got a HD remastering).

 

I hope the ToeJam & Earl and Monster World collections go on sale next week. That would finish up those Sega Vintage Collection mini-compilations for me on the Xbox 360 (There's also a 5th with Super Hang-On that I bought when it first appeared).

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I grabbed Crazy Taxi and the two Sega Vintage Collections.

 

Yeah, I didn't have Streets of Rage IN THIS FORMAT so I grabbed that for $2.49. I already had the Golden Axe set. Also snagged Space Channel 5 Part 2 YET AGAIN because it's great.

 

Monster World and Wonder Boy collections would be nice to have for next to nothing. I have no nostalgia for them, but I'm somewhat curious.

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That would be new territory for me, too. Assuming it goes on sale next week like I'm hoping, hopefully it leaves a positive impression after I spend a few hours with it.

 

As a fan, I'm tempted to go grab Space Channel 5 Part 2 after reading your post and still might. I just wish the original was here so I could fully upgrade and leave my PS2 collection of the two behind. :(

 

I bought Streets of Rage primarily to check out Bare Knuckle 3. You can switch to the Japanese versions on this release and that one reportedly got changed a lot for North America. Otherwise, I already had the three on the Xbox 360 thanks to Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection (And before that, I bought the standalone XBLA download of SoR2).

 

Of course, I could've always loaded the rom in an Everdrive, but I'm a sucker for classic gaming rereleases. Especially when M2 is involved in developing it.

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If only SC2 has SC1 included as a bonus, like some pressings of Jet Moto 2. Ah well, maybe Sega Forever will come through someday.

 

What makes you think the others will go on sale? I follow a bunch of Sega sites and didn't see anything about this sale. Dreamcast anniversary month or something?

 

My fake Everdrive for my fake HDMI Genesis should arrive by Wednesday. :grin:

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