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Thursday, January 5, 2017

Daytona 3 Championship USA Thoughts

John B. Marine | 7:13 PM | |
Since 1994, the Daytona USA series has blown minds. An announcement in 2016 noted the return of one of the greatest racing game franchises in history as Daytona 3 Championship USA was announced. There are only prototypes as of this post. However, speculation on what could be for this new-age Daytona could become is surely a hot topic. Is this Daytona going to perhaps spark a return to classic arcade gaming? Is this Daytona going to show SEGA is NOT dead with racing games? Could this Daytona bring back old-style, old school racing in today's era of realism and crash-happy racing? This blog post only explains my thoughts regarding this new Daytona based on prototypes.

Daytona 3 Championship USA Thoughts

Time to identify this post. Here's a picture for you:

Daytona 3 Championship USA
^ from: (YouTube) - Daytona USA is back ...but better than ever?

Daytona 3 Championship USA is a revival of the Daytona USA franchise while also offering tournament style play. It is an engaging racing game while offering a handful of options and features to make it stand out and be unique. This new Daytona offers up everything in a shiny package. It is easily the best-looking Daytona USA ever. Besides the visual bits, this new title seems to be one to provide fans novice and veteran the full Daytona USA experience only in arcades. Hey- fear not! We used to play arcades because they had some of the best experiences outside of home playing. So don't be afraid to get out the house every now and then to enjoy some quality gaming.

Initial Thoughts.

I classify myself as a simulation racing fan. Despite this, there aren't too many games anymore that are simply about enjoying going full speed. It does seem boring that racing games have mostly gone towards realism. Some even have gone to end-of-the-world chaos, where nothing short of turning a vehicle into scrap metal is acceptable. That even includes the likes of destructible environments (like "Motorstorm: Apocalypse" and "Split/Second" among others).

Daytona 3 Championship USA, then, can kind of be a welcome breath of fresh air. SEGA has long been known as one of the finest companies to make racing games. Maybe there were some people who felt SEGA lost their racing game swagger. I certainly enjoyed "OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast" as far as modern SEGA racing games are concerned. Even still, there has never been a true 21st Century successor to "Daytona USA 2: Battle on the Edge." And no, I am not exactly counting "Daytona USA 2001" for the Dreamcast.

"Daytona 3 Championship USA" offers an experience that will easily resonate with longtime fans of the series. For the first time in the franchise, the game will actually feature the Daytona International Speedway that the series has long modeled itself as. However from videos I looked up in researching (remember the game is in prototype phase as of this post), Daytona USA is NOT modeled accurately. It instead seems more like the classic Three-Seven Speedway many Daytona USA gamers are accustomed to but with a lot of visual cues similar to Daytona. So don't expect an accurate re-creation of Daytona based on what has been documented in videos and pictures.

Speaking of videos and pictures, take a look at this video to get an idea of this franchise reborn:

^ Daytona 3 Championship USA Teaser Trailer HD

Not much is shown in this teaser, but you do get the sense of this franchise being revived proper. Since everything has to be pretty on YouTube (according to YouTubers), it is common to see people complain about how the graphics to this prototype of Daytona 3 Championship USA are. Nothing boils my blood as a gamer quite like someone deciding on whether or not a game is bad only on its looks. Since the game is still in development as of this original post, you can't make anything of it on graphics alone. There's still a game to be played.

(NOTE: You may skip this paragraph if its subject matter doesn't apply to you. It is a further discussion on graphics over gameplay.)
I mentioned that graphics aren't everything; yet, people try to make it the most crucial factor outside of gaming. I hate how people just assume that bad-looking games are the worst. Even the prettiest of titles can still heavily lack in the game playing department. This is a concept of "function over form." Games shouldn't be given passes for being great-looking when the gameplay is unacceptable. Only liking games because of their graphics is like saying only the most handsome/beautiful people are the best. Heck, there are a number of beautiful females won't even give me the time of day or recognition. Or they may even just lack being approachable and friendly. Conversely, some who people would consider not as visually attractive can be highly friendly and caring. You just can't boil things down to graphics or only base your opinions of a game on its graphics. If you do, you are only touching on one element outside of actually playing and enjoying a game. So please- chill out on that stuff.

Areas of Concern.

If you look up extra videos on "Daytona 3 Championship USA," you tend to see many of the lovely visual touches on the cars. The game is actually great looking to me and can only get better (hopefully) when the final game is released to arcades. Legitimate concern was made as people tend to those who felt like Daytona 3 Championship USA doesn't acknowledge "Daytona USA 2: Battle on the Edge." As if to say this new Daytona isn't exactly an evolution from the second Daytona USA game. This is a legit thing to be concerned about especially if you are a veteran of the Daytona USA series. I think (and hope) we may possibly see some of the extra cars from past Daytona USA games. Can you imagine taking on Daytona in the Phantom Full Force car for example? Not that there's anything wrong with rolling with Hornet High-Class, though. It may also be possible to have a choice of cars including the likes of "Daytona USA: Championship Edition" or "Daytona USA 2001."

Another concern is how this game has a sequential shift as opposed to the usual "H" shifter. Not that I am overly concerned, but I do find some uneasiness in not being able to race with the old H-style manual/standard setup. You be the judge on this one.

The Lakeside Castle track is a track that seems to pay homage to Dinosaur Canyon. Its style and feel are like Daytona USA's "Advanced" course, but it is not the classic Dinosaur Canyon course. Prototype videos I've seen featured only three of six possible tracks. It leads one to believe what courses will fill those six extra spaces. Could we possibly see the return of Seaside Street Galaxy (Daytona USA's "Expert" course)? Could the amusement park and/or the city course from "Daytona USA 2: Battle on the Edge" make a return? Could there possibly be a re-make of combining all of the game's tracks into one long course? Or who knows- could we see "Sega Super GT/SCUD Race" tracks make their Daytona USA debut? Maybe we could have some dirt track racing for Daytona USA. There is still a lot to consider on the tracks front in "Daytona 3 Championship USA."

To make mention one last time about the graphics, some have complained about how the graphics look. One of the other niggles some people have with the graphics is how the graphics seem too colorful. I personally don't care about games that look too colorful. It's like everything has to be gritty and dark to look great. Now you do suffer from realism when you don't have the most colorful graphics. That's if you are pursuing realism. Since the Daytona USA series was never about any kind of hardcore realism, who honestly cares about Daytona USA not being colorful? And what difference does it make? If you want gritty, play one of those dime-a-dozen first-person shooters or something.

Could Daytona USA Spark a Revival of Arcade Gaming?

Let's face it- we've become so much into wanting to play games at home or on mobile devices so much that the arcade industry has slowly died. Since "Daytona 3 Championship USA" is only slated for arcades, its goodness means it can only be enjoyed at the arcades. Are you willing to go out to an arcade place to play this game if one of these units were available at it? I still love being in front of arcade units and playing away especially when I'm out and about. Playing games at home is comfortable, but there's nothing like playing an arcade unit. Why do you think certain racing game fans enjoy having racing rigs to play rather than go with a boring gamepad to play racing/driving games?

Final Thoughts.

I am really looking forward to seeing what this new style Daytona USA will be like when it is in its final form. My hope is that this arcade game will remind people what made Daytona USA great in the first place while also giving newer fans a taste of the Daytona USA experience. This game will only be successful if it manages to bring both newcomers and veterans alike the experience only Daytona USA can provide. And to those who think SEGA lost their touch with racing games, maybe this game will serve as proof that it was as if SEGA never left with making great racing games.

All of what I have discussed is all based on what we know about the game from prototypes. As we know, there are prototypes and then the real thing. So I am sure things will greatly change between now and when the final product is released. In the meanwhile, I'd like to thank you for reading this post on my racing/driving game blog- John's Race Space! Take care and be well.

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