Sega Racing Classic is a bland, widescreen Daytona

Wow, I haven’t been this disappointed about an arcade game since… I dunno… Thundercross 2?

Sega Racing Classic is the new driving game coming from Sega, and as the flyer suggested, it’s an update of the famous Daytona USA. Yes, the 1995 title that still keeps it’s value; still keeps on earning at locations around the world.

SRC had the potential to be the most amazing/successful arcade update since Outrun 2. All Sega needed to do was…

  1. Keep the Daytona name
  2. Keep the Daytona song
  3. Upgrade the graphics using the Sega Rally 3 engine

And according to the location test (& gameplay videos) at, Sega have managed a Failsational™ 0/3.

Point 1. THE LICENSE. They’ve failed to retain “Daytona” license, so they had to change the name. So far, I’ve found nothing on why they lost the license. After famously signing up with Ferrari for Outrun 2 (& its updates) I find this pretty strange. Having a generic name like “Sega Racing Classic” is a pity, and it wouldn’t have been a deal-breaker, except for point 2.

Point 2. THE SONG. “DaytonnAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH… let’s fly away….” Oh no you don’t – you don’t have the license, so you can’t say that word.
Bugger. Sure it had more cheese than a Dominos Cheeserama Cheesybites pizza with Extra Cheese, but it just needs to be there. The song NEEDS to be there!

Point 3. THE GRAPHICS. According to Wikipedia, the game uses Sega’s new “Ringwide” hardware. Judging by the graphics, it’s not the Sega Rally 3 engine. (More like Thomas the Tank engine…)

1995 - Daytona USA

1995 - Daytona USA

2009 - Sega Racing Classic

2009 - Sega Racing Classic

Yes, my grab of Daytona USA has a fair bit of ugly Youtube compression – but you know what the game looks like, and the “update” below it.. is so close to the original, I fail to see any point in its existance. OK, so it’s widescreen instead of a 4:3 display. But no-one’s refusing to play Daytona USA due to its old school aspect ratio.

Can you imagine your local pub/bar/arcade owner saying “Oooh, I should get SRC, to replace my Daytona USA! Sure, the lack of the original branding makes it look like a cheap clone, but I have all this useless money just clogging up my bank account”

Yes, I’m basing my opinion on footage of a location test. But the kind of tweaks/improvements that follow testing will never scale the mountain of hope that players/operators had for a new Daytona.

#fail Sega, #fail.

*Thanks to Arcade Heroes for the headsup.
*Volvo photo by Flickr user TJ&Kim

8 Responses to Sega Racing Classic is a bland, widescreen Daytona

  1. Joe Larson says:

    Sega is doing a marvelous job lately of letting down their core fan base. I mean, putting Sonic in a car! What’s that about?

    It’s clear that the brilliant people at their helm in the past, have moved on.

  2. Sohrab says:

    Actually I think Sega has not been inovative lately, they should spend more money on inovation rather than only graphics. just personal opinion

  3. Cuber1974 says:

    I have to agree. A lot of the appeal that comes from arcade classics is tapping into the nostalgia that made the game memorable in the first place.

    It’s a concept that many modern designers and operators cannot seem to connect with and properly respect. How do you bring a classic into the modern age without removing the parts of it that made is popular in the first place?

    The trouble is, most of them are either oblivious to this simple principle, or blatantly write it off as a non issue when the reality is, if you mess with the nostalgic components, you effectively write off the support from the largest core of your customer base.

    It’s sheer idiocy really. It would be like taking a beatles classic and setting it to modern trance and wondering why the beatles faithful spit on it.

    If you’re going to do a remake of a classic, then you need to respect and maintain the core components that made it what it is – and that’s what this article alludes to. Sega in this case haven’t done that beyond maintaining the graphics – in which case, why bother?

    I totally agree with the sentiment here. As a classic arcade gamer myself, I abhorre a blatant cash grab that doesn’t pay due respect to the foundation of it’s initial success in the first place.

    Sadly, this is just all too common nowadays…

  4. bengseng says:

    long ago in many years back, i recall reading that point 1 is indeed an issue as ea hold an exclusive rights for 10 over years. not sure if it applies today

    • justonemoregame says:

      Thanks Bengseng.. I hadn’t realised that it’s EA who probably have the Daytona license. I was surprisingly impressed when I tried their NASCAR arcade game a year or 2 ago. It’s better than you might have suspected.

  5. Alex says:

    The point is a re-release, with new modern cabinets that are easy and not so costly to repair for owners, since the game is still popular, and to get rid of things they no longer have the licence for, ie, Daytona.

  6. Alex says:

    Given that intention, a remake to completely replace the machines would be risky. Not everyone was happy with the Dreamcast game after all (I loved it). So to ensure it does what it’s supposed to, it’s just the original game, on a modern setup.

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