Colorwind Reviews Cruis’n USA

46_8Arcade racing games are a lot of fun. Unlike games like Gran Turismo and Forza Motorsport, you don’t have to worry about braking for turns or shifting. You just push the gas button and never let go. Arcade racers are all about speed rather than driving ability. The thrill of it being assumed that you know how to handle a car and flying through different locals and passing your opponent after appearing out of seemingly nowhere. So zooming pass different monuments across America sounds like a great idea. So…what the hell happened?

The main problem is the steering. Now, like I said before, arcade racers are unrealistic in the handling of a car. However, in Cruis’n USA, these cars handle nothing like cars or any kind of motor vehicle at all. You’ll constantly just be swerving around the track and if you want to just nudge your car slightly to the left, good luck. Also, if you nick the edge of an object or another car, you stop almost instantly. Finally, crashes are sort of entertaining but eventually the impracticality of it all will take over. Minor crashes have the other car just bouncing off of you and major crashes have you spin around or flip up in the air and then land back in the road, in the correct direction and you will continue as if nothing happened. Hell, when you flip up in the air, you land and have hardly any speed lost.

It doesn’t help that the graphics and sound is poorly done. All of the car models look like they’ve been cut out from construction paper and colored with cheap paint someone stole from a local elementary school. There’s no reflection or detail or really texture to speak of and all of the people in this game are pixilated messes. Speaking of which, why can’t I run over those people at the finish line? I would’ve added half a point for that! The music is ridiculous and sounds like the soundtrack to Full House or Step by Step. Some might like the music for being super cheesy but it just proved to be background noise. One thing that surprised me is that there’s this woman’s voice throughout the races. She’s there in the beginning with the flag girl, which made me think that it was her voice. However, sometimes during the race, you’ll hear her say “Wow! Mount Rushmore!” or scream when you’re about to run into another oncoming car. How would the flag girl know where you are? She’s back at the starting line! Is there another woman in your car? Like in Outrun? Either way, she annoys me and is more like the chick in Outrun 2, who strangles you if you lose!

I remembered liking this game when I was younger. I liked how fast you can go and I thought a couple of the cars looked cool. Well, hindsight’s 20/20 and this game has not aged well. I mean, you don’t even cruise the whole country! Most of the game is in California and then all of a sudden you go from the Grand Canyon to South Dakota in one level! False advertising! That’s all you do in this game also. The AI in the game is lopsided as well. Sometimes they drive perfectly and sometimes they run into anything and everything. Multiplayer isn’t even worth mentioning. Honestly though, this game’s big undoing is the controls. The driving isn’t fun and that’s a problem for a driving game that wants you to go through 14 stages with each of the seven cars on three different difficulties. I couldn’t do it or rather I didn’t want to do it. I can’t recommend this game unless you enjoy playing bad games and you’ve gotten it for a few bucks or you’re a collector and you have to have every Nintendo 64 game. Do not get this for 10 dollars on the Wii Virtual Console because that’s a rip. Better racing games on the Nintendo 64 are Extreme G and Mario Kart 64. However, if you want to go “cruis’n”, go with Cruis’n World. Not this piece of gravel.

Final Verdict: 2 out of 5


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