If there is one title I remember well back when I was 10 it is Outrun, I used to waste away loads of pocket money week after week playing it in the arcades near me and loved every minute of it. The music, the graphics, the sound, the woman by your side, everything was different and cool, it was also a strangely relaxing game. So here we are again, seventeen years later with the sequel, Outrun 2.Seventeen years since its first appearance in the world's arcades the legendary racer returns and it's lost none of the game's original appeal. With blistering graphics, remixes of the original sound tracks and game play that demands one more play, the beautiful journey has never been so appealing.
With Xbox Live and Mission modes coming to the Microsoft Xbox exclusive conversion of this classic arcade racing machine, OutRun2 delivers a unique console experience. Take the wheel of your chosen Ferrari and take to the open road to race against the clock from Palm Beach to one of five final destinations; Tulip Garden, Metropolis, Ancient Ruins, Imperial Avenue and Cape Way.
Fully licensed and approved by Ferrari, players can choose from one of eight different Ferrari cars including Enzo Ferrari, Dino 246 GTS, 365 GTS/4 Daytona, Testarossa, 360 Spider, 288 GTO, F40 and F50.
The Beautiful Journey awaits.
The arcade version has been out a while, and the Xbox was the perfect console for Sega to release it on, why? Well the arcade version was built on Xbox based hardware so it's no real surprise that the conversion has not taken too long to come out. The conversion is perfect, that's the first thing that I have to say, but that doesn't mean we have the perfect game. Outrun is pretty basic in premise, the idea of the main part of the game is to race against the clock to the end of each level before a new one opens up (by choosing one turning or another). Depending on the turning you choose the game can become more difficult or continue on an easy footing for those who prefer some gentle racing.
As you are driving along you come up against various other cars on the road, but this isn't Burnout so they don't cause you too much of a problem when trying to avoid them. The most taxing part of the game is trying to make sure you perfect all of the corners and turns you come to so that you won't run out of time before passing the checkpoint line. The feeling of speed in the game is excellent, something that I remember feeling when I played the original game all those years ago.
Now while I really enjoyed the original game in the arcade, and the fact that Outrun on the Xbox is a perfect conversion, I don't really enjoy the game that much. The game just doesn't keep me hooked for long enough, simply riding around ends up boring me after a few hours play. I can however understand why so many people do like it, as it takes a lot of skill to pull off the slides and turns at the right times to make sure you can qualify for further driving so players will feel compelled to play the game over and over.
In the game there are 12 different Ferraris that you can get race, at the beginning you can only play as 4 of them as the others need to get unlocked. Each car has a different feel to it, but there is not really enough of a difference for you to notice it enough when playing, something else that differs from the old arcade version is that you can now change the colour of your car from Red to anything you like.
Thankfully Sega have seen that the game as it was, may not keep peoples attention for long enough so they have added a number of different game types. Arcade is the same as I have described above but it is Challenge that I seemed to enjoy the most. In challenge mode you get to take part in over 100 different missions. The missions range from races against other opponents to reach the end of a level before them to avoiding or driving through cones. Doing these challenges means you get more and more stuff unlocked in the game, including the original soundtracks. There is also a party mode which lets three of your friends take part in turn in various challenge missions. The aim here is to try and beat your friends.
Now onto Xbox Live! Outrun 2 is pretty good fun online, it's easy as usual to setup races online for up to 8 players and there are some other features like being able to play just friends or set aside places just for them. Play wise the game is fast just like the single player modes were, but there is some pretty bad lag in games I have played in, although it doesn't really effect the gameplay it is noticeable and can deter from what is a good online racing game. There are the usual worldwide leaderboards and you can also play against the ghosts of players to try and out do the best ones.
Graphics & Sound
It's no surprise that Outrun 2 is an excellent conversion of the arcade machine as it used Xbox hardware. But there feels like a bit of extra sheen has been added to the Xbox version itself, which surprised even me. The speed of the game hasn't lost anything in the conversion either and the popup, which is apparent isn't as bad as I expected it might be. Sound is great, but I'm a little disappointed they didn't stick with the original soundtrack instead of the remixed versions as the originals are still better and have to be unlocked if you want to hear them.
Overall Outrun 2 isn't a disappointment, it's exactly the same game as I used to play in the arcade when I was a lot younger, the problem is that I have grown up now and expect a bit more from my racing games. It's good fun for a short time and that's the biggest problem, getting bored is not something I like when I buy a new game. Graphically its excellent and the online side is more fun than the main game, but thankfully the challenge side of the game brings it back up into the mark I have given it. Relive your youth, but don't expect it to feel as fun.