More Reviews
REVIEWS ONE PIECE Unlimited World Red Review
"Unlimited World Red"? More like "Sorta Limited Town and Extended Areas... Red. And Blue. And Some Yellow."

Magic 2015: Duels of the Planesw Review
Flirting with disaster year after year, Duels of the Planewalkers has unfortunately overplayed its hand.
More Previews
PREVIEWS Hand of Fate Preview
Dungeons & Dragons mixed with the Batman: Arkham series... wait, what?!
Release Dates
NEW RELEASES Sacred 3
Release date: 08/05/14

Hohokum
Release date: 08/12/14

Tales of Xillia 2
Release date: 08/19/14

Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare
Release date: 08/19/14


LATEST FEATURES Women in the World of Villainy: Achieving the 50/50 Split
We're getting more women in our video games narratives, but why do men still make up the majority of enemies?

The Four Remaining Halo 2 Multiplayer Maps That Deserve a Remake
The Master Chief Collection is getting a total of six remade multiplayer maps from Halo 2 and we know two of them already.
MOST POPULAR FEATURES Picking Your Gender: 5 Industry Professionals Discuss Queer Identity in Gaming
Women from Naughty Dog, ArenaNet, Harmonix, and Gamespot unite to talk about what they want from games in terms of diversity.
 
Coming Soon

LEADERBOARD
Read More Member Blogs
FEATURED VOXPOP Kakulukia
Why Sunset Overdrive Can Go Suck A Lemon
By Kakulukia
Posted on 07/14/14
Yesterday, while cleaning up my media center, I found my copy of Ratchet & Clank: Into The Nexus, which I bought sometime before Christmas last year. I had been pretty excited about this game pre-release, what with it being the first "traditional", albeit shorter than usual,...

Cruis'n USA Review

By:

06/06/04
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE  
PLAYERS 00 
PUBLISHER  
DEVELOPER  
RELEASE DATE  

Strap yourself in for the ride of your... well.... day.

Racing games exist for one of two purposes. They either attempt to recreate high speed driving without the actual risk of life and limb, or they suck eggs. Most gamers agree that the former is more desirable (except a friend of mine who will actually spend the day sucking on eggs. No joke. He's a little...off.) I personally love a good racing game to spice up the day. When the guys at Nintendo decided to spend some energy on building a cool arcade racing game, they didn't mess around.

Cruis'n USA made a big splash as a coin-op, despite the high price of play. Much of the game's popularity can be attributed to a powerful graphics engine and incredibly smooth handling and control. As the first racing game for the N64, I was intrigued by the potential of the port. Unfortunately, Cruis'n USA provides a flat experience that falls short of the arcade version.

Cruis'n USA is your basic racing game. There's no plot; you just get in a car and drive. There are several different modes to play, the best of which is the extended 14 stage cross-country commute. Here you must make your way from San Francisco to Washington D.C. by placing first in each stage. If you succeed, you earn a faster car (and you get to see the secluded and little known farm on top of the White House). You can also choose to race just a specific stage or compete with a buddy in a two-player split screen mode.

You initially have four cars to choose from (Want more? Check out our code magic ), each with a different top speed , 0-60 mph rating, and turning/cornering ability. You can choose automatic or manual transmission, and can modify the presence of other racers, the difficulty level, and the music.

I found that the problem with this game is the sheer, well, boredom of it all. The arcade version worked well because the graphics were outstanding. The home version fails to live up to its rather burly predecessor, even with the 64 bit oomph of the machine. The graphics are, in fact, the weakest for any N64 game to date, with flat, flavorless scenery. There are also some minor problems with fill-ins and some general polygonal errors, the worst of which involves the abrupt appearance of other vehicles in previously empty spaces. The cars look decent, the road looks decent, the backgrounds look decent, but the whole thing together looks like an incredibly souped up SNES game.

Control is also an issue. The N64 needs a steering wheel (they're coming 'soon'), or Nintendo needs to not make games that require them. Driving a car with the analog joystick on the N64 controller is neither particularly fun nor easy. You steer the car with your thumb on a little stick, again highlighting the differences between arcade and home versions. We have opposable thumbs for a reason., one that doesn't involve auto racing. This is not to say that all racing games need wheels. In fact, one of the coolest racing games I've ever seen is harder with a wheel than with the D-pad (that would be Wipeout XL for the PSX).

There are a few bright spots in the game. Three different camera perspectives are available, which liven up the action by allowing you to change viewpoints in mid-race. I found the first person view to be easily the most immersive and exciting, though it was also the most difficult to get used to.

Also, the movement is pretty smooth, despite the problems with the control. Objects, scenery and other cars pass by with fluidity and near seamless mapping. The San Francisco stage looks cool; it's by far the most well-translated.

As the first racing game for this fledgling system, Cruis'n USA is really nothing more than a poor copy of the arcade model. It's not a terrible game by any means; it's just rather bland. If you're dying for some high speed to throw into your N64, I'd advise saving your money. This one is a definite rental.

Revolution report card
More from the Game Revolution Network




comments powered by Disqus

 


More information about Cruis'n USA


More On GameRevolution