Here is a brief history of the Universe, according to UK:Resistance:
1. Big Bang.
2. Galaxies form.
3. Life emerges.
4. Sega Saturn and Daytona USA released in the UK on July 8th 1995.

OK, so maybe I've left out a few facts there, but I'm trying to make you understand what an important game the original Daytona was. At the time it was released, the Playstation hype machine was at full steam, and the slightly rough conversion of Daytona was duly steam-rollered by the much smoother graphics of Ridge Racer. Most magazines were hedging their bets on which game played better, but as far as I'm concerned, Daytona USA was the most playable racer yet released.

So here we are. 1996. And what is the big game of the moment? Well done, it's Daytona CCE and for some obscure reason, it's being launched in the UK first.
Personally, I've been waiting for this game ever since it was announced, and although it has received a couple of 'luke warm' reviews in a couple of UK games mags, I still had to buy it. It was close though, I stood watching it on demo for about 20 minutes, and nearly chickened out, after all 50 pounds for an update of a game I already own is a bit much, but I just had to try it myself.

By far the biggest improvement is the presentation of the game. The original games MASSIVE borders have gone, and the rough looking option screens are now much prettier. Unfortunately, the groovy commentator who asks you to select options has been fired, and the whole game has a much more........packaged feel to it.

But you don't care about the bloody option screens do you? What are the in-game graphics like is the big question, and well, about the only thing I can say is that they are "nice". They aren't really a huge leap from the original, the clipping is better on most of the original tracks, and the new ones seem to have been designed to avoid the problem. The new cars look "nice", with some "nice" colours, the music is "nice" but not as fun as the original tunes, which everyone savaged at the time, but now they are part of Saturn mythology, loved by almost all of us.

Let's get technical. The frame rate is better than the original. My human eyes find it hard to count exactly how many frames are being used every second, but it's impossible to see any real difference between this and Sega Rally, so it must be very close, or right on 30fps. The 2-player mode looks to be slightly slower, but again the difference is negligible. The textures are......nice, but the road surface just doesn't have that 'rushing towards you' look of Sega Rally, and the colours on the new tracks just aren't as bright and vivid. Maybe "bland" is the word I'm looking for.

I've not used any words like "amazing" or "fantastic" yet, have I? And I'm afraid it's going to stay that way as I mention the control of the cars. Sorry to use the 'N' word again, but the control is just plain nice. I'm afraid it seems to have lost a lot of the feel from the original, and the outrageous powerslides that were so essential and fun in the first version, have been toned down quite a bit. Shame, because the clipping on the AM2 harpin on Dinosaur Canyon is a lot better, and if you could slide around that corner with the old games precision and CCE's visuals, this could give me a chance to use a more exciting word than "nice". I think the analogue pad feels a bit too wobbly to really improve the handling much, but the cars seem to respond quite well to it, but it makes cornering pretty unpredictable sometimes, as your car doesn't feel to be in such solid contact with the road.

One feature that is more than a little bit "nice" is the 2-player mode. The clipping seems to get a bit more severe, but all the options like the second place speed boost make it a good laugh. It's a shame that this is going to be compared to Sega Rally, because I would have to say that Rally does everything slightly better.

It's still unmistakably Daytona though, and if you fancy having a couple of new tracks to learn, and a different type of control that you might learn to love, I would recommend giving this one a spin, just make sure you have a good go in the shop. Not just to annoy the assistant, but to be certain that you like the feel of this game. If you didn't buy the original Daytona because of people whinging about the graphics, then this is for you. But if you have the original and want more of the same fantastic formula, you might be disappointed.

And what was so wrong with the original anyway? In the interests of a fair review, I've just had a go again, and it's great! Over the last few months, we've been told repeatedly how rubbish it was, and how CCE was going to be such an improvement. Well I don't see it, I would still say the original is a brilliant game, and you could get it really cheap as well these days, as long as you're not concerned with people whining about a few little graphic flaws, it plays really well, even in these 'Post Sega Rally' days.

So........Daytona CCE isn't the world-beating title that I was hoping for, but a pretty decent game in it's own right. But if you don't have Sega Rally yet, get that instead, because it's still the best combination of graphics and driving thrills on the Saturn, despite the efforts of new Daytona. Sorry.


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