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USA Raser (Sony PlayStation)

Purchase

During my visit in Germany in September 2009, I had the chance to purchase the game USA Raser for PlayStation, german version. I paid 5 Euro for it, being a fan of the PlayStation racers since 1997, I was hoping it will be a good addition to my software collection. I used to have the original PlayStation (PSX) and later slim PlayStation (PSOne), but sold them, after I was able to play most of the games with controler pad, via emulators on my AmigaOne.

Package

USA Raser game for PlayStation - box, covers, manual and CD. The game came in ordinary PlayStation CD box. On the front cover with big blue and red font is written the title - USA RASER. The background is a collage of the American flag, New York city with the Statue of Liberty and a speeding car, chased by the police with turned lights on. Above the title is written in German - MIT HIGHSPEED DURCH AMERIKA! (With high speed through America!). On the top left is placed the PlayStation logo with the PAL tag. On the back cover are four screenshots of the game with outlined four main features and the six characters. The game is for 1 Player, requires 2 Memory Card blocks, supports Analog Control Compatible and Vibration Function Compatible as outlined on the bottom, along with the developer of the game - the dutch company Davilex. There is also written a web site dedicated for the game - www.us-racer.com, which is not working. The game is licensed under SLES 03810 product code. Under this code are listed two games - A2 Racer Goes USA and USA Racer, which along with the manual covers and the CD label, where are also the names USA Racing and USA Raser, is confusing enough about the true name of the game. The manual of the game is consisting of eighty pages with parts in English, Deutsch, Francais, Nederlands, Svenska and Suomi. The manual is descriptive enough with sections about startup of the game, controls, characters (the US Racers), Menu, Options and items to be picked when racing. The CD with the game is almost half full with 301.2MB in use.

The game

USA Raser game for PlayStation - language selection screen. The game starts with language selection screen, where only four languages are available for choose, despite the fact the manual had six languages. After selecting the language, the script goes on with a logo, then a short text intro about how it all started and how only six racers have the chance to play. Then animation follows, with a scene of cops and racers. After the title is shown and animation of the porter of the game to the PSX (Inverse Entertainment), follows loading from the memory card. The menu of the game does not gives much, there is no option to see the memory card contents, or to listen to the tracks. The controls can be set from four preset configurations. At least the music on the menu screen is okay, although a little bit repetitive. At the background is the USA flag with stars having various speeds flying around. There is not much to do in the menu, so the music repeats are not annoying. After selecting Race, the player have the options for Single race, Time Trial and Tournament. The first two options are for practice and training, while the third option is the real game with the USA race. Playing in the Tournament unlocks the tracks which are closed for play at the beginning. In the tournament there is selection of the player name and character. The trials, which first have to be passed or the US Race which can be selected only after completion of the two tournaments, are followed by the track selection and the garage, then is the real disappointment from the game. At the start it looks like ordinary racing game, but this illusion goes off, shortly after the first turns are taken. There is no difference is the car is driven over the road or off road, there is not difference of the terrain. Although there are six characters in the manual and for selection, during play there are only four, including yourself. There is not much challenge to beat three opponents, especially when their driving skills and artificial intelligence are not very good. But if you overdrive them, do not be so happy. Even if you drive very fast and use all your Nitro, a single mistake will reveal that the opponents were always behind you, ready to pass, no matter how bad drivers are they when you drive along with them. The player shall not be stressed if he is at the last position and needs to drive backwards to find the right way. No problem. Just drive normal for some seconds and you will notice that the leader racers are very close to you, like they were waiting for you to beat them and have stopped for a while. The police and the other cars are acting very strange as well. Sometimes the police will try to stop you, whatever the cost, even driving at rear gear, then very fast speeding and catching you. Other times the cops will be happy to escort you and will drive in front of you, without any other actions. But be very careful and always push the accelerate button, because if a car hits your at the back, it can stop you! Some of the ordinary cars when seeing you, try to turn sideways, in order to save the crash. But other times they crash directly at you, like they did it on purpose. At some stages, the big busses will start rotating like mad, hit by small cars. Also do not try to drive near the walls or other obstacles. They can stop you, without hitting them. The physics of the game feel totally wrong and unrealistic, ruining the whole gameplay. The tournament was very easy to win. Good is that the game have autosave option as default, so the progress is saved automatically. It is not recommended to play the whole game at once. Better take a rest for some days and then play again. The training will not be lost, because for this game, training is not required at all.

Stages

The game have eight different stages in total, every of them with own peculiarities and beautiful sights. Six of the stages are in towns and two are in the nature.

New York

USA Raser game for PlayStation - New York stage. Seen is the statue of liberty on the left and a skyscraper on the right. New York is a City Type track, where the race is mostly in the city and around the bridges. Length of the road is 2.8 miles. It have sunny condition. The roads are wide and easy to drive on them. The route is easy to pass, there are no hard turns, especially with the wide streets. The player will have the chance to drive on several famous streets like Broadway, Wall Street and Park Avenue. It is possible to take alternative route on the bridges. There are traffic lights, but they seem to not work, although some of the cars seem to stop for some reason. There is not much traffic in the city, during the race. Some great scenery can be seen like the Statue of Liberty and the biggest skyscrapers in the city.

Los Angeles

USA Raser game for PlayStation - Los Angeles stage. Seen are palms, buildings and wide road. Los Angeles is a mixed city and outside the city type track, 2,7 miles long. The condition is clear. Some of the turns are very hard and there is need to slow down the speed. The player will have the chance to see nice scenery of outside the town and inside the famous movie studios. There is even racing around the famous big Hollywood sign around the road. There are several constructions places on the streets, where the player have to be cautious. There is even ride in the famous channel, where the chicken game takes place in many movies. The southern climate is seen and can be felt by the palms. The drivers must be extra careful about these palms, because if they are hit, the speed is lost.

Chicago

USA Raser game for PlayStation - Chicago stage, under bridge with invulnerable item taken. Cloudy city, with 2,6 miles long race track, placed between the buildings. The police is very angry and follows the racers around, trying to stop them at any cost. The turns are in many places very hard to take. There are many ninety degrees turns, and even U-turn. On the stage there is special item to be picked, called invulnerability, which repairs the racer's car and protects him from damage. The bad weather condition, does not affect the gameplay and what is viewed. The turns and other cars are easily seen. Big buildings, train bridges and skyscrapers can be seen. There are very wide roads, but also narrow passage, where the cars have not much space to pass and can hit the walls anytime.

Las Vegas

USA Raser game for PlayStation - Las Vegas stage with house and big advert about cars, jeeps and exotics. The city of the casinos, roulettes and entertainment in the desert is presented for the USA racers. It is 2,55 miles long and the drive is at night. Most of the roads are very narrow, with complex turns and many alternative routes, leading to various items to be picked. Some of the most beautiful hotels can be seen and the Sphinx recreation as well. Other great views in this beautiful city are not rare. Although it is generally hard to drive on this stage and win is harder than on the others, it is one of the greatest stages in the game and it is always joy to race on it. The police will follow the racers, but the main danger here is car wreck, which can happen very often, especially in the narrow passages. The weather condition is normal, and everything is clearly seen, despite the fact the race is at the night. The city, being very rich one is lightened with many lamps.

Washington

USA Raser game for PlayStation - Washingon stage with big tower and flag seen. The capital of USA have 2,75 miles long race track situated in the city. The streets are wide and it is easy to race across them. There are some jumps placed around. Monuments from the history of the United States of America are all around the road. They are easily distinguishable from the other sights in the city. The racing is with nice weather condition at very sunny day, so everything is clearly visible and the racers can enjoy the seen pictures. Some of the items to be picked are placed highly above the road, but they still can be taken, without jump. The police is often seen, but they will have a hard time trying to stop the racers on such big streets. Although the track is long, the average speed is very high, making it one of the fastest stages for completion.

Miami

USA Raser game for PlayStation - Miami stage on narrow street with many bridges around. Another city race track, only 2,44 miles long, relatively shorter than the others city stages. It is harder, because of the many turns, narrow streets and traps, where the faster racers can fall, losing their speed. It is sunny day, but there are not many great sights on this stage. The race is situated on two parts of the city, which are connected by very wide bridges above the water, where ships are seen. The police will try to make the racers life hard, but it is not something to seriously consider about. Most of the streets are very wide, but there are some very narrow passages, where the drivers must slow down and be extra careful with the walls and the other cars, in order to avoid wreck and lose of leading position.

Yosemite

USA Raser game for PlayStation - Yosemite stage with unexpected turn from the regular road. Unlike the other stages, Yosemite is in national park race, only 2,3 miles long, but not easier. The race is mostly in the forest, but there is also turn from the regular road into the cliffs. The racers will have to pass under trees, tunnels and very narrow bridge, where the police will wait for them, but will not take the risk to enter into direct collision. Most of the times the police cars are driving in front of the racers, only scaring them. There are also fallen trees, big stones and rocks, making the racing at high speed dangerous and easy to lose the distance advantage gained at the straight passages. Not many other cars are present on the track, but still the driver have to be careful about car wreck, especially on the narrow places with police cars.

Grand Canyon

USA Raser game for PlayStation - Grand Canyon stage with big cliffs and small houses. The shortest track is situated in the world famous national park. It is only 2,2 miles long with sunny day weather condition. Most of the passages are wide with high average speed, but there is also some very narrow, where the speed is very low. At these passages the player can lose direction very easy and lose position. Most of the sights are cliffs, but they are nice to see nevertheless. The police although not regularly present on the track, will try to stop the racers, without much success. There is not considerable risk of car wreck, making the stage one of the easiest to drive on and become first.

Conclusions

The game although with promising name and many great stages, unfortunately is not very good implemented for the console.

  • Gameplay: 3/10 - The cars are totally uncontrollable. It is easy to win and hard to lose. There is no motivation to play the game.
  • Presentation: 4/10 - Nothing special. I still wonder what is the correct name of the game.
  • Graphics: 4/10 - The graphics are not tempting, but there are some nice views. Random details appear from anywhere during the game.
  • Sound: 3/10 - Very bad sound, almost unaware of the racing.
  • Story: 4/10 - Uninteresting story about the race drivers in USA with random characters.
  • Overall: 36% - The name sounds promising. The Sony PlayStation have much better racing games.

Memory Card save

Thanks to the regular autosaves, I had my position stored on the memory card, for later continue of the progress and practice on the unlocked stages.
Download Memory Card with progress of USA Racer for Sony PlayStation

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