Cruis'n USA (N64)
Well, I rented Cruis'n USA and played it heartily as long as I could stand it. Let's just say that everything isn't exactly coming up roses...
GRAPHICS - 4/10
They're functional at best. The frame rate is so-so, the cars are so-so, and the backgrounds are just plain sad. Everything looks extremely two-dimensional, to the point that when you run over a anything it just falls down as if it were a cardboard prop. There is pop-up, and although it's not as bad as, say, Daytona for the Saturn, it's... well... let's say it's unique. Midway tried to achieve some sort of fog effects to diminish the level of draw-in. What they got looks nothing like fog by any stretch of the imagination. The background still appears suddenly, but rather than just "popping" in, it fades in. The result is that it looks as if Scotty is beaming down the scenery from the Starship Enterprise. It's comical at first, then it's just plain sad. The only aspect of this game that even looks good, much less 64-bit, is the intro, when a car drives through the title screen, shattering it (the screen). It's all downhill from there, kiddies.
SOUND - 2/10
AAAAACCCCCKKKK!!!! If I have to listen to that HORRENDOUS music one more time... The sound effects are whinny and flat, but as compared to the background music, they're phenomenal. The tunes are some twisted form of country-techno that is one step up from elevator music in quality, and one step down from Barney the Dino in annoyance factor. Be afraid, be very afraid...
GAMEPLAY - 4/10
The ability to adjust the sensitivity of the analog stick would have been a wonderful feature, had there been a setting that was actually any good. As it stands, control varies between hyper-sensitive and sluggish, with nothing in the middle to satisfy. To add to the pain, there is no, I repeat, NO sense of speed in this game. I think if they had written the code to let you pop open the hood, you would be able to see the little polygonal hamster powering your car. I'm serious, if you stuck these cars in the real world, they would get passed by people on crutches. One final note - for some reason, Midway programmed the oncoming traffic such that everyone likes playing chicken. I was driving along on the right side of the road with no other cars visible, and all of a sudden someone going the opposite direction just swerved into me, and caused me to crash. This wasn't an isolated incident, either. It was as if the lead car put a hit out on me. At first, this was amusing, but after being constantly pelted by Buicks, my sense of humor tends to wither. To sum up the control in a word: bad.
REPLAY - 3/10
This score could be misleading, because anyone who could get by the bad sounds, graphics, and controls would probably find a high level of replay value. However, the rest of us are not likely to want to play this game more than once. I did only so I would have enough material to write this review. This one isn't even worth renting.
FINAL SCORE - 3/10
You could do a lot better than this game. If you want a racer, get Wave Race. If you really need a car racing game in your home, buy a Saturn and get Sega Rally. Really, this game has no business being on the market, and we need to send Nintendo and Midway the message that this kind of tripe just doesn't cut it.