Rolling Start: A Taytona Arcade Racing Review

Daytona USA is a racing game like unlike any other that came before it or since. It is what you call a great game but that’s not what we’re reviewing right not (believe me, Daytona USA reviews are already being done to death) but we’re talking about a “unofficial remake” as some would like to call it.

I’m talking about Taytona Arcade Racing.

Taytona Arcade Racing was and is singlehandledly developed by one Esequiel Spinelli who, basing on his YouTube channel, is a giant fan of Daytona USA and other video games. He released the via his own studio VKR games nee AES Software and is playable on Android devices and, it used to be, on PC. There are plans to get it back there but it’s neither here nor there for the time being.

Graphics: Since there is no story mode, I mean why would you have a story mode on something like Daytona USA, let’s get into the graphics. The graphics, for an independent project with a one-man team, it’s good. In fact, it has this Unity Engine/PS3/Dreamcast vibe. It kind of looks like Daytona Racing 2001 for the Dreamcast if only the original Daytona USA was remade for it.

Nothing much to say about the graphics here, this is good at best and decent at worst so there’s that. The menus and some buttons can be a bit gaudy to look at as the choice of fonts are a bit on the tacky side of things. Enough about that, let’s get moving.

I kind of like how the car gets deformed when you crash onto something though, something that he ported to Android really well.

Gameplay: Let’s start with the controls, if you’re on touch controls or on a controller, it works just fine although doing a drift can cost you your race position as there seems to be too much spin on the car as you press/touch the drift button or that I just suck ass at this game.

As for the replay value, there are multiple modes to choose from:

  • Championship
  • Quick Race
  • Multiplayer

Championship is basically race your way to the top with CPU controlled cars and be number one on all nine tacks the game offers. Quick Race will let you select the track and either do a 40-car race to the finish or a time trial mode to garner the best time possible and multiplayer is an online free for all wherein you can join at any race but don’t expect to win if you joined late as the race can end if whoever the first placer was crosses the finish line on his last lap.

Remember the original game’s four camera modes touted as the V.R. modes? Taytona added an extra one to the other four that were already in Daytona USA and that is the “inside the driver’s seat” view. Not sure if this was on Daytona USA 2001’s VR modes but I’m 100% sure that this isn’t in the original arcade game that Spinelli based it on so that’s an advantage. I’d suggest to stick to the two third-person views if you’re not familiar with playing the game in first-person mode though as you’re more prone into slamming into walls or, again, I just might suck ass in the game.

Speaking of the nine race tracks in the game, three are from Daytona USA, three seemed to be from real-life locations (and even one of them came from Sega’s other racing game, Super Monaco GP) and the other three are just downright bizarre. Did he ran out of other Sega racing games to get maps from that he resorted to Speed Racier-tier locations? I surely don’t know but they just don’t fit the Daytona aesthetic for me.

Another nitpick of mine when it comes to gameplay department is that you cannot change the controller mapping so you’re stuck with the default control layout if you’re using a controller but the default overlay seemed to be easy to pick up and play so there’s that.

One more thing, the collision detection in this game can go from alright to downright bizarre as CPU cars will just go through you as they zoom in and overtake you and sometimes, when you hit your car on the walls, and drift at the same time, expect the back of your car to be engulfed by the void as it goes through the wall, something that just makes me laugh from time to time.

Multiplayer: In multiplayer mode, depending on where you’re from, your experience might vary as some cars will just teleport out of nowhere and if you look closely at the opponent cars during a race, latency can be sooo evident that it looks like you’re having internet connection problems. LAN mode is another APK though so that’s a bummer that you have to install another version of the game just to do local online multiplayer.

Sounds/Music: Nothing much can be said on the BGM department because it’s just two songs from Dayotna USA’s OST and that’s it. The rest are instrumental tracks from the same OST and the sound effects are there except for the spotter that tells you to stop burning your tires every single time you drift and I say that’s something in the right direction for me but not if you’re itching for the authentic Daytona USA experience on Android.

Other Stuff: Customization options are a bit limiting as you can only choose the color of your car and the name and country you’re from in multiplayer mode. Aside from that, there’s nothing else.

Overall: Taytona Aarcade Racing is the best way to “play” Daytona USA on your phone or smart TV if your device cannot emulate either Saturn, Dreamcast or MAME versions of Daytona USA quite well or if you just wanted a decent to good arcade racing game without the flash of the Asphalts or NFSs.

Enoy the gameplay video. I apologize if there’s no sound in it as my phone cannot do well with recording this with the internal recorder or other recorder apps as it causes audio sync issues. So if you want, you can put in some TM Revolution or some Eurobeat or just the good old theme song from Daytona USA if you want to.

Until then, I leave you with this review for the next time we see each other, I’ll be releasing my piece on the MNL48 rival groups. See you next time!

The End

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