Cruis'n USA


A port of the popular 1994 arcade racer by Midway, Cruis’n USA for the Nintendo 64 lets you take the racing action into your home with seven playable hot-rods and fourteen tracks based on landscapes from around the United States. If you’ve ever wanted to tear through the Iowa countryside in a souped-up luxury car, or tour the Arizona desert in a Ferrari, Cruis’n USA delivers the goods.

Most of the tracks are reminiscent, albeit not perfect facsimiles, of the states and landmarks they’re intended to represent, and it goes without saying that no two tracks look alike, and there’s always some variety in the backgrounds and track designs. The issue is that, outside of these superficial differences, there isn’t a lot to distinguish one location from the other, and so, the variations in scenery have little functional influence on the gameplay. This is the area where Cruis’n USA is most likely to fall short of your expectations. While the individual races themselves are fun, the Cruise the USA mode seems more tedious than it was probably planned to be. After a while, the tracks begin to blend together and the game fails to offer anything new as you get ten or twenty minutes into the circuit. The car selection could’ve been expanded, too, and there could’ve been more effort spent in ensuring that each vehicle was programmed with unique handling and acceleration properties. Every car handles the same way: overly sensitive and awkward. If there had been some practical differences among the cars and tracks, there’s no question that Cruis’n USA would’ve been one of the console’s better racing games because the concept is surely interesting. As it stands, it’s one those games that is best enjoyed in short bursts, but not recommended for longer gaming sessions.

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Author: wyldephang
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Parent Category: Nintendo
Category: N64