Outrun 2006
Coast 2 Coast

Format: PC

5 060004 767427
Age Restrictions: 3+
23 June 2006

Encounter the best that OutRun has to offer across 30 glorious stages, including the original
OutRun2 and OutRun2 SP arcade stages - from the sun-drenched sands of Palm Beach to the charms of Cape Way and Ancient Ruins, through to the wonders of the Milky Way and heights of Skyscraper stages. With online gameplay and an all-new license mode, which route will you take? With blistering graphics, remixes of the original soundtracks and gameplay that demands one more play...

OutRun - a game I wasted a good deal of my pocket money on and was the sole reason that I missed the sun for an entire holiday one year. Yes, back in the '80s I was an Outrun arcade addict. Earlier this year (2006) Sega launched its Sega Classics Collection, which proved to me that my memories of OutRun where best left as that - sweet, sweet memories.

In the years since OutRun was first launched, the home console market has appeared and grown to make arcades almost obsolete. Over the years something simple has been lost in driving games. Most of the racing games that are released today require you to understand some basics of driving - like finding the racing line or knowing when to brake. OutRun was simple - you never hit the brakes, unless it was an emergency. The way to beat the clock was to dodge the other traffic on the road and power slide into every corner.

You'll want to start on the checkpoint to checkpoint game. Here you have to weave your way through hardly any traffic - easy eh? Well not a few levels on. It soon becomes clear that putting your pedal to the metal and weaving isn't going to work as well as you thought. It's much better to hang back and then go for the gaps in the traffic. Slow is the way to go... but not too slow.

This game also allows you to choice between 15 different Ferrari cars and, for some odd reason, comes with online play. I've always thought that OutRun was best enjoyed as a single player experience. I couldn't really see the need for online play - although it's great that Sega have included it for those who want to compete with up to six other players.

Should you get bored of racing from checkpoint to checkpoint, there is always heart attack mode. Here you must perform various dangerous tasks ahead of your opponents. These include making your way from the back of the pack and weaving your way through numerous layers of traffic, hitting other cars or drifting for as long as possible.

While this is still not the best game on the market, nor one that is likely to keep you entertained for that long, it's still damn good fun while it lasts. With the introduction of Coast 2 Coast, some of that spirit of simple gaming is alive and well. In fact, this is about as close as I've come to reliving the experiences of a noisy '80s arcade. A truly great gaming experience.

Nick Smithson

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