OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast
Developer: Sumo Digital | Publisher: Sega | Release Date: 2006 | Genre: Racing | Website: n/a | Purchase: Amazon
Released way back in 1986 the original Outrun placed you behind the wheel of a red Ferrari Testarossa with a beautiful girl at your side. The aim was simply to reach each checkpoint in time and hopefully make it to the end of the race in one piece. Highlights included the awesome cabinet the game was housed in and of course the memorable music. Now 20 years down the line the series is still going strong and this latest edition is sure to bring some new fans to the franchise. Gameplay wise not much has changed. The basic aim is still to reach the end of each race by driving through a series of checkpoints in time but a lot more has been added. Outrun 2006 consist of the Outrun 2SP arcade game as well as the new Coast to Coast mode where you drive literally from coast to coast beating your rivals and completing some strange tasks. Some extras like a time attack mode and a showroom where you can buy new cars, music, tracks and missions are also on offer.
Besides the classic Testarossa there’s a whole bunch of new Ferraris to pick from including the F50, 360 Spider, 288 GTO and Enzo Ferrari. It’s still not possible to damage any of the cars but they are looking better and shinier than ever. In fact the whole game looks quite polished and some of the stages look very nice indeed. Despite looking good and running fast even in the highest resolutions you won’t be mistaking this for a next-gen game though. Tracks are littered with blocky spectators who jerk around with about 2 frames of animation each and the look is definitely cartoonier than cutting edge.
The music is rather nice and will bring back fond memories if you played the original games. There’s also remixed and Outrun 2 BGM to buy and listen to while racing as you can only listen to magical sound shower and its ilk so many times before you start blocking it out. Speaking of the audio I was rather disappointed with the sound effects which to be honest are rather woeful. The sounds of your car engine and tires screeching are pathetic and there are no separate volume settings for anything so it all just gets drowned out. The controls are also rather twitchy and playing with a gamepad comes highly recommended. The less said about the horrible rubber band AI the better too.
If there’s one thing Outrun is famous for it’s the ridiculous over exaggerated drifting mechanics and Coast to Coast is no exception. Your car will still slip and slide at ever opportunity and it takes some getting used to unless you are a regular Ridge Racer player who also favors this style of racing. The heart attack missions where you do silly tasks to impress your girlfriend like hitting cars, dodging U.F.Os, dribbling beach balls and avoiding meteors make for a rather refreshing change but sadly it’s not long before repetition sets in. Although there are lots of things to do you’ll soon find that the variety isn’t that great and it’s not a game that you’ll want to play for hours on end. While it’s undeniably addictive and has that “one more go” factor you’ll soon tire of it. If you play it in short bursts however it will keep you busy for ages and I think the PSP version would probably be the ideal one to get.
Even if you weren’t a fan of the original or can’t remember that far back Coast To Coast can provide you with many hours of fast and frantic arcade style racing. Just don’t expect too much from it and you’ll be fine.
*Review originally published 2006.
- OS: Windows 2000/XP
- Processor: 1.3 GHz
- Memory: 256 MB
- Hard Drive: 1.5 GB Free
- Video Memory: 128 MB
- Sound Card: DirectX 8.1 Compatible
- DirectX: 8.1
- Keyboard & Mouse
- CD/DVD Rom Drive
- GAME PAD STRONGLY RECOMMENDED