Daytona USA Championship Circuit Edition

Daytona USA Championship Circuit Edition
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Game Name: Daytona USA Championship Circuit Edition
Media: 1 CD-ROM
Publisher(s): SEGA
Developer(s): SEGA AM2 / AM7
Genre(s): Racing
Release Date: November 1996
Serial Number: MK81213-50
Region: PAL

Daytona USA Championship Circuit Edition (CCE from now on) is often viewed as the poor relation of the original Daytona USA and rightfully so.

Daytona USA CCE Title Screen

Daytona USA CCE Title Screen

Initially Daytona USA CCE looks like it improves massively on the original with it’s wider range of cars, tracks and better graphics but it does have some major issues that make it inferior to the original game.

With 5 tracks and 8 cars there’s a wide variety of track styles on offer and a car for anyone’s taste in handling, speed, acceleration and appearance.

Some of the cars inevitably are just re skins of another car but that simply ensures that those who wish to race equal cars in 2 player mode don’t have to use the same car.
For those who’ve already played Daytona USA, three of the tracks won’t offer anything new as they were in the original game but there are still 2 new ones to learn.

From a graphical standpoint Daytona USA CCE is excellent the cars and tracks are well detailed and the pop up issue from Daytona USA has been resolved.

Daytona USA CCE Gameplay

C.C.E though it had many faults was a huge graphical improvement on the original.

I would personally say that it’s one of the better looking 3d games on the Saturn, sure it’s not as good as a lot of PS1 games (the Ridge Racer series comes to mind immediately particularly Type 4) but it still looks very good and more importantly there’s no obvious slowdown.

The audio is a contentious issue as the actual sound effects (engine note, types screeching etc.) are all very good but the music and comments from your team boss (‘you can pass him’ etc.) vary from being poor to terrible which is a shame as good music and radio communication can add massively to the atmosphere of any racing game.

Now on to the games biggest issue, the handling is absolutely abysmal and really should never have been changed from the original, the only track on which they don’t have an adverse impact on playability is Three Seven Speedway (the easy circuit in Daytona USA) but that’s a boring oval, if you want to only race on ovals you might as well just go and play the superior (in terms of oval racing) Andretti Racing which has a wide variety of ovals (plus a few non ovals too).

Overall this game has plenty of potential but it is ruined by the appalling handling but I’d say it’s still worth picking up on the cheap as it can be quite entertaining if you choose the right car and the right track. There was a third version of Daytona USA that was only released in Japan, Daytona USA Circuit Edition (CE) which keeps the music and handling of the original game but has the tracks, cars and improved graphics of Daytona CCE, so if you’re given the choice between CCE and CE go for CE every time.

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