Countdown To Grand Tourismo: Daytona USA & Sega Rally Championship (Sega Saturn)

It’s a long while ’til Grand Tourismo on the PSP, so I’ll be looking at some of the racing games that have personally redefined the way I looked at racing games.

Today’s games are: Daytona USA and Sega Rally Championship for the Sega Saturn!


Back in the mid-90’s, I was one of the few back in the Philippines who actually owned a Sega Saturn. I remember my dad came back form a trip to Hong Kong and surprised us with this huge green and brown box. In it, little did I know, was a piece of gaming history. The model we got was the Victor Saturn, or V-Saturn for short. It was the 2nd model of a JVC-manufactured line of Saturns in Asia and was one of the later models that resembled the original Japanese Saturns, besides the awkward grey color with pink and green buttons. And together with this big surprise, these racing games were immediately available for play.

These 2 games, Daytona and Sega Rally, were released by Sega within the same year: 1995. Coming earlier in the year, Daytona actually got a following not on the Saturn itself, but for its Arcade counterpart, sporting multiplayer support of up to 8 arcade machines side by side. On the Saturn, a souped-up version of Daytona, Daytona USA: Championship Circuit Edition was released in 1996. This edition was the one I was lucky enough to have and play, because not only did it sport 9 cars to play as, but it also had 2 horses, Ura and Ura 2, that could be unlocked eventually. This game didn’t have much variety, as it had only a few courses (6) to pic besides the 10 playable car/horses to choose from. But this racing game was solid, fast, had simple controls and was easy to pick up and play, being an intermediate gamer myself back then.

Ah yes, the ol' babysitter for Christmas Shopping.

Ah yes, the ol' babysitter for Christmas Shopping.

Sega Rally was a different story. This game had a harder learning curve for me then because I had no knowledge to why handling was better than speed, and how speed doesn’t matter without acceleration, etc etc. I had no clue to why I was spinning off-track in a dirt course as compared to a mountainside-Touge course. In hindsight, though, I’d love to play this game again, since it was way more realistic and complicated as opposed to Daytona USA. Of course, there is no comparison, as these are totally different driving genres.

Both simplistic driving games were awesome back then, with the controls and graphics all “realistic” for its time, they were enjoyable up until the REAL driving simulator games came out, predominantly on the Playstation. Still, though, at the arcades, finding such arcade machines gave you a nostalgic feel, when games were “primitive” as compared to today’s. And if any Sega Saturn owner or Arcade frequenter would pic a game to play or own, nothing beats these classic mid-90’s racers.

‘Til the next racing game. Later!


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