Out Run

So we have another game that is hard to find an accurate port of until the Gods of Retro Preservation M2 came around and gave us the best port possible of what is considered to be the best and most classic driving game ever made. It takes Sega ages alright…ages to port all their arcade classics to modern systems…as well as the Taxman Sonic 1 & 2 to consoles…come on Sega, I’m offering you money for those. Out Run, developed and published by Sega and was released in the arcades in 1986. This game was designed by the legendary Yu Suzuki, who designed the game to be 3D…only to reverse-engineer it back to 2D and still manages to show no signs of aging. I’m going to take a look at the 3DS port as it’s the best port that I’ve played, but I’ll take a look at other ports.

So the game is simple enough, you race your car with your girlfriend, the only opponent is the time limit and other cars and they are mean, lean and strict. You just drive across different areas whilst avoiding other drivers and other obstacles on the side. How the game works is that you will drive to one path of the road. At the end of the road, it will eventually split, and then you can choose which path to take. But whatever path you choose, you will be transitioned to your next destination…even if that said destination could never be in that said country. You see, this was based on Yu Suzuki’s travels across Europe due to the fact that the American landscape doesn’t change since he previously wanted to take an American Road Trip. Anyway, if you manage to go fast and not crash, meaning not wasting time, you’ll reach the finishing line and you’ll get a special ending. In fact, there are five endings to get, each with their own comedic tone.

The gameplay is amazing, especially on the 3DS, it’s such a fantastic experience and is really hard but I’m never mad or get frustrated, it’s one of those games where you’re calm and have some sort of clarity, you can envision that quick-paced driving experience. When it comes to driving, it can be immersive when trying not to crash for the fifth time, but to control your speed, there’s a low and high gear, so you start with low and when you can go no faster, you switch to high to get more speed, though do be careful as driving around tight corners will cause you to crash so you need to control your gear at the right time.

This isn’t a racing game, it’s a driving game and it’s a perfect one. As for it’s challenge, I love it. This includes trying to control your speed, especially when taking sharp turns, that’s the real tricky bit. There’s also the low perspective which can be quite tricky to see what will be in front of you, though it’s up to you to figure out what to do, quick-thinking is needed at times in order to prevent the next crash.

Sega used their 80’s equivalent of the Unreal Engine, The Super Scaler Engine, and it sure works wonders for Out Run. The graphics are pretty good, but with 3D, it’s amazing, it’s colourful, it’s vibrant, it’s such a nice game to look at, even when writing this I can close my eyes and still think of driving around the florida-style scenery in my Ferrari with the girl I…think doesn’t exist, it’s such a memorable game in general. But there’s something else that needs to be added to the immersion…

OUTRUN HAS THE BEST DAMN SOUNDTRACK IN GAMING HISTORY! Sure, there isn’t that much music, but the very few songs I’ve listened to are just some of the best. Give me Passing Breeze and I’m going to have a great time, in fact, there are two new tracks exclusive to the 3DS and they’re really good too.

Overall, Out Run still remains a classic and as for someone who started playing this on his 3DS, it’s a blast, in fact, I’m going to play some more Out Run after this review. I always feel good when playing this. For £4.49, it’s worth every penny, check it out if you haven’t, it’s something nice and relaxing to play for when you’re out and about, btu there other ports you can get, most notably the Sega Saturn port which is also near accurate to the Arcade original, but the 3DS port adds some more features to it if you want it.

But before I go, I’ll take a look at the few ports I played. First up is the Sega Master System port. The gameplay is there and even the level design, though it’s very minimal possibly due to the limitations at the time. It’s a decent game of Outrun and there’s even another version titled Outrun 3-D, where the game is in 3D thanks to the SegaScope 3-D Glasses.

Next is the MSX2 port. The gameplay is there of course and plays well for the system. The level design is decent for what the system could do but the music sounds awful, it’s annoying and ear-grating. But overall pretty good.

Next is the PC Engine port. The level design’s colour is a bit faded, but the gameplay is still good and the music is fantastic on this one, so far this is the closest to the arcade port.

Next is the Sega Mega Drive port. The level design is OK, but the gameplay is somehow less smooth and a bit rugged than even the PC Engine port. Need I remind you that the PC Engine’s hardware capabilities were much lesser than the Sega Mega Drive. How the heck did that happen?

And finally, the Sega Game Gear port. The gameplay is meh and the level design is poor. I wonder why they didn’t port the Sega Master System version to the Sega Game Gear version as they use the same hardware? It’s OK, but it’s not the best port I’ve played at all.

And that’s it for the time being, I’ll go back to Out Run one day, but next up is an Arcade party game Japanese-style.

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