In memoriam, Donald Sutherland

Cruis'n USA

Moby ID: 3587
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Description official descriptions

Originally an arcade machine, Cruis'n USA was then released for the Nintendo 64. The game asks players to choose from four vehicles to race in a variety of courses throughout the USA —based on real locations, their names are: Golden Gate Park, US 101, LA Freeway, Arizona (easy mode); Beverly Hills, Death Valley, Iowa, Indiana, Appalachia (medium difficulty mode); San Francisco, Redwood Forest, Grand Canyon, Chicago, Washington, D.C. (expert mode). Various pre-race options included are the choice of automatic or manual transmission, various controller configurations, as well as background music selection option.

Players take control of the vehicle from a third-person perspective, and while avoiding various hazards along the way, must beat the clock as well as the CPU-controlled rivals to achieve first place.

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Credits (Arcade version)

97 People (78 developers, 19 thanks) · View all

Hardware Design
3D Graphics
Sound FX
Additional Code
Cabinet Art
Additional Art
Mechanical Design and Motion
Sound System
DCS Guru
[ full credits ]



Average score: 54% (based on 35 ratings)


Average score: 3.2 out of 5 (based on 53 ratings with 2 reviews)

An Atrocious Racer

The Good
Only one good track in the game.

The Bad
Controls are horrendous, graphics are bad.

The Bottom Line
The first road-based racing game on the N64. I remember this being panned in magazines, but surely not much can go wrong with something as simple as a racing game, especially one that Nintendo themselves published?

Unfortunately, there is a lot to go wrong. Almost the entire game feels exactly the same: driving along the same four lane roads, dodging the same few cars and turning over the slight bends – hoping that your card doesn’t decide to swerve too much. The handling is dreadful and everything just feels floaty, even collisions. The only distraction are the different backgrounds (which you can see loading in), and this is not enough to stop the game from becoming stale before you’re half way through it – which is an impressive feat when the game is less than 30 minutes long.

There was one level that stood out: a redwood forest level. Most of this is two lanes, with the roadside visuals up close and some large trees to drive under. In most racing games, it wouldn’t be a good level, but in Cruis’n USA, it’s the best by a long way.

If you really want to, you can complete the game on harder difficulties in different cars to unlock faster versions, but the first playthrough is so dull that there’s really no reason to do so. I can see this being fine in the atmosphere of an arcade, spending a few quid on it, but for a home console release, this is just bare bones.

The Cruis’n series had a few games on N64 and there’s even a new game on the Switch, so hopefully this series improves as it goes on.

Nintendo 64 · by Cube1701 (41) · 2024

A port that's not the best

The Good
The gameplay looks solid and music sounds cool enough. An arcade style that what racing is. The graphics are decent enough for the N64 at the time.

The Bad
The graphics and music has decreased compression it's for it's 64 Megabit/8 MB limit which makes it not look good. The controls don't handle like a car. A car wheel could have been used for the game. Midway and Nintendo spent too much time trying make it arcade perfect, but got rid of some humor and the ending if Nintendo can not censor Mortal Kombat. A Playstation port would be okay for better music and more content.

The Bottom Line
This is isn't the best port of the arcade game but they tried. If they spent more time and try to put more space on the cartridge to 16MB. You be better off playing the arcade version at a pizza place. The port may not be good for some players. Not worth owning for any player who a fan of retro arcade racers. I have to say to net pick it...

Nintendo 64 · by Mario Duenaz (19) · 2010


N64 Changes

In the process of porting the game from arcade to Nintendo 64, a few small things were censored to fit Nintendo's rating system. The Trophy girl at the end of races had a Cruis'n USA top drawn on instead of a bikini. Also, the ending scene of the president in a hot tub with bikini clad women was removed. Finally, the transmission option 'XL Powershaft' was renamed 'XL Power', and the ability to hit and kill animals (like deer) was entirely removed.


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  • MobyGames ID: 3587
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Chris Martin.

Arcade added by mars_rulez. Wii added by gamewarrior.

Additional contributors: DreinIX, Victor Vance, Leeona.

Game added April 3, 2001. Last modified May 29, 2024.