I’ve been playing arcade-style racing games since Night Driver (read your video game history books kiddies).
And there have been some truly great ones over the years, but none have (improved on previous versions of or) left as many original lasting and important artifacts in the area of arcade racing game design as OutRun.
- Non-centered car on the track
- Different music to choose from on your “radio station”
- Force feedback steering
The original was just an effing great game, and there’s no denying that.
There haven’t been that many great home versions of this arcade favorite, and even fewer great follow-ups
…though…the GBA version of OutRun on the Sega Arcade Classics was pretty excellent, and I did enjoy the pseudo sequel “Out-Runners” in the arcade and on Sega Genesis.
I really really liked OutRun 2 in arcades and on the X-Box, but it came and went too quickly, and there simply wasn’t much to do in terms of re-playability…there were some things to unlock, but the game wasn’t aggressive enough about putting you through the paces.
And the online play? I owned the game since day one, and I don’t think anybody outside of Japan ever bought the damned thing. The only matches I ever had were against Japan players. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that).
I was pretty sure that OutRun 2 was the last that I’d see of my beloved Ferrari arcade racing franchise…
To my shock, delight, and surprise, and, probably big support in Japan, Sega has bestowed the GIFT of OutRun 2006 : Coast 2 Coast on PS2 and PSP gamers.
I only have the PSP version, so I can’t vouch for the quality of the PS2 game, but I can say that the PSP version is the BEST thing since dropping quarters in the original outrun arcade machine.
It has a really robust amount of extras to unlock, and you get points towards them in just about any area of the game…INCLUDING ONLINE PLAY!!!
It has a really nice selection of tracks, from the original OutRun 2, to Remixed versions, to goal-specific races. It has mini-games while you’re driving (hit a giant beach ball with your car, crash into traffic ala Burnout Revenge, drift through areas of the road)…
And, I’m SHOCKED at how many people are playing this game online…not JUST from Japan, but all over the world!!
At the end of the day, this is STILL just OutRun…straight line racing (with forks at checkpoints) from area A to area Z, with traffic and or multiplayer competition…nothing open-ended, no real-world city environments…
…but if you’ve burned through everything in Ridge Racers, and you’re looking for something faster, more light-hearted, nostalgia-inducing, with a TON of people online to compete with…get this game. Period.
And, if you’re a FAN of OutRun and you don’t already own it…well, shame on you!!
Best part, it’s only $30!!!