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OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast Review

Developer: Sumo Digital Publisher: SEGA
Release Date: April 25, 2006 Also On: PSP, PS2 and Xbox

The OutRun arcade series is known for its laid-back, carefree arcade racing style. It’s shallow but it’s fast, it’s colorful and it’s fun. SEGA and developer Sumo Digital released OutRun 2 on the Xbox a while back and this year they’ve remade the game with a few extras for the Xbox, PlayStation 2 and PSP. The final product is extremely shallow but undeniably fun and accommodates to those with a limited budget.

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OutRun is about three things: high speeds, Ferraris, and impressing girls with both of the first two combined. OutRun 2006 gives gamers a few different modes to speed through, including a Coast 2 Coast mode that gives all sorts of challenges. There are basic races through the game’s 30 tracks as well as interesting “Heart Attack� modes. The Heart Attack modes are the most entertaining, as you’re given a random goal (such as ramming passing cars or, strangely, avoiding UFOs) and a small amount of time to perform this goal. In both racing and Heart Attack, better performance rewards you with better scores.

The control style in OutRun 2006 is similar to other arcade racers, with unrealistic turning mechanics and even more unrealistic physics. Still, it’s entertaining and exhilarating to pull off a slick drift around a huge U-Turn or weave through incoming traffic at high speeds. There is also a draft mechanic that allows you to pick up on the wind tunnel that is created by another racer. This mechanic is strange, as it allows you to draft from an extremely long distance behind your opponent, but it works well enough.

There isn’t much else to OutRun besides an Xbox Live multi-player service, but the scarcity of other OutRun players online won’t provide much of an entertaining online experience. Visually, OutRun 2006 is colorful and bright. The locations that you speed through vary in appearance, from beaches and forests to neon-lit cities and mountain trails. The frame rate rarely if ever drops, so the constant high speed factor is maintained very well.

Possibly the best version of OutRun 2006 to pick up would be the PSP version, because OutRun is one of those games that you’ll have an urge to play that’ll come and go pretty quickly. Nevertheless, OutRun 2006 is a solid title for racing fans and those with some heavy arcade nostalgia. It’s only $30, so it’s worth picking up if you missed the Xbox’s OutRun 2 or you’ve been craving a simple racing game.

Graphics: 8
Sound: 7
Gameplay: 7
Creativity: 5
Replay Value/Game Length: 6.5
Final: 7
Written by Cliff Review Guide