originals\ Aug 3, 2014 at 10:00 am

The Crew makes me want a modern version of Cruisin’ USA

The Crew makes me want a modern version of Cruisin’ USA

I remember the first time I saw Cruisin’ USA in arcades. I was still in elementary school, a far cry from my days of driving and travelling cross country. This was the only way for me to “see” locales such as California, The Grand Canyon, Chicago, and other digital sites as I would traverse from San Francisco to Washington D.C.

I pretty much thought it was the coolest game ever. Imagine my excitement when I found out it was available for the Nintendo 64. Screw Mario Kart 64, I had Cruisin’ USA.

Serious side note: Mario Kart 64 is far and away the better game. Moving on, now…

The Crew has managed to spark my memories of Crusin’ USA, mostly due to the extremely liberal re-imagining taken by the game’s map of the United States of America. In The Crew, Florida has gained a couple of pounds, Texas has decided to move a couple hundred miles east, Las Vegas appears eager to be Denver’s newest next-door neighbor, and New York City wants to officially be this countries capital by appearing where Washington D.C., in theory, should be.

That’s okay though; this is a video game, not a history lesson. I’m fine with Northwestern Ohio being represented by nothing but farmlands as I make the five mile trek to Detroit even though I can’t recall seeing many farms the last time I drove through Toledo. You know what other game had very unrealistic representations of the United States? Cruisin’ USA. Chicago was a highway underneath a train track and a tunnel. Iowa and Indiana were represented by nothing but farm land. Players would head towards the Grand Canyon after driving through the Redwood Forest. These aren’t exactly 100% realistic circumstances, but they worked due to the enjoyment of the game.

The Crew lacks that enjoyment, instead showcasing frustrating gameplay and unpolished controls. It’s not that there isn’t potential for the final version of The Crew to turn things around because, well, there is. But ultimately I shouldn’t have stronger feelings for a good-not-great 90s arcade game than I do for a 2014 open world racer releasing on relatively new consoles. 

[Image source: Retro4ever]

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