Outrun – Review (XBLA)

By Cuan “Cracker” Robertson

Overview

The Outrun series has had a very long and interesting life spreading from its arcade routes in the 80’s and making appearances on the Sega, Playstation 2 and original Xbox systems, always looking better, but never changing the core of what the game is that made it so much fun to play. That core being driving Ferrari’s at break neck speeds through traffic.

For those that have never played Outrun before, the game is a true classic arcade racer, going around corners sideways at over 300km/h is definitely the special of the day, as you try impress your passenger enough by getting to the next check point on time.

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Features and Game play

Outrun comes with 10 fully licensed Ferraris which are all available from the outset, but there is basically no difference between the cars when it comes to speed or handling. The only modifications that can be done to the car before the racing begins is the option to change the colour of your Ferrari, and if you want to race in manual or automatic.

The single player experience allows you to compete in 3 types of races: Outrun mode, time attack and heart attack mode. Outrun mode sticks to the traditional game play, where you race from one check point to the next before your time runs out, and at the same time accumulating points for drifting, passing opponents and passing checkpoints. There are 5 different ending points, with various paths to reach each of them. Time attack mode is very similar to Outrun mode, but instead of accumulating points, the whole point is to try beat the clock. And finally heart attack mode is where your girlfriend gives you a series of challenges, such as avoiding collisions, collecting coins or drifting on certain sides of the road. At the end of each challenge, you are rated on your performance, where a perfect score gives you an “AAA” rating. There is a full online leaderboard for all modes, so replay value is extended with trying to beat your best scores or times.

Now a big feature that either makes or breaks a game is the online play. And Outrun holds its own in this department, there is nothing special here, but it does its job well. Up to 6 players can race against each other, there is no ranked or unranked races, so no annoying levelling has to be done. There is minimal lag when playing against international players and you luckily don’t see cars flying all over the screen.

Bits I Loved

  • Anyone can play it, but still challenging
  • Lots of replay value
  • Good multiplayer system
  • Value for money

Bits I Hated

  • Some achievements can be frustrating, but it all adds to the challenge in the end.
  • Battle to find multiplayer games at times.

Conclusion

Outrun is a decent arcade remake and is definitely worth the 800ms points that it costs. It has a good balance of easy pick up and play fun and trickier challenges. The online play and online leader board, as well as the challenging achievements will provide a decent amount of replay value.

If you are looking for a fun arcade title that can kill 5 minutes or a few hours of your time, then I advise you give Outrun a spin.

Link to site for more info, screen shots and videos: Official Site

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