Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Eric Vs. 365 - Day 87 - Cruis'n USA

Day 87 of Eric Vs. 365 features Cruis'n USA for Nintendo 64, which is one of the most "OK-ish" games of all time. Cruis'n was just sort of always "there" and they kept pumping out sequels even though the games were only ever mediocre. Extensive marketing campaigns combined with a system starved for content meant a lot of N64 games ended up with more success than they probably deserved, though. Read on for more Cruis'n USA talk and gameplay video.

Cruis'n USA was one of the first N64 games I ever owned. I got an N64 on New Year's Eve 1996 but didn't actually buy a game until a few months later. We rented games instead, you see. I distinctly remember that Cruis'n USA was cheap at some point - $40 or something - and that is why we bought it in Spring 1997. It was fun enough, I guess, and I did play through it dozens of times in order to unlock all of the vehicles. 

Back then we mostly liked the girl in the tight t-shirt when you won a race. And we liked seeing the bugs splatter on the windshield occasionally. Driving a school bus or a police car was also very, very cool back in those days. The racing itself, however, was pretty mindless and not especially good. It was all we had, though, so we played the hell out of it.

Cruis'n USA ended up selling 1.7 million copies on the N64. On any other system I'm pretty sure it would have been an utter failure, but at the time the N64 didn't have hardly any games so people basically snatched up everything that came out for the first couple years. The marketing for it, and its sequels, was very persuasive and pervasive as well which gave the impression that it was cooler, bigger, and higher quality than it actually was in reality. The Cruis'n series was just a constant "thing" during the N64 days and you couldn't avoid it. 

For this video I drove the max upgraded Ferrari lookalike and easily won everything until I got bored and quit. I didn't make it across the USA, or even to the midwest, but whatever. That's kind of how this game is, just "whatever".