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Xbox Review: OutRun 2006 – Coast 2 Coast

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I own and enjoy OutRun 2 and Burnout 3 on the Xbox. They were released around the same time, and of course the excellent Burnout 3 got a majority of praise and attention. I, as usual, (unintentionally this time) went against the grain and voiced my support and preference for the amazing OutRun 2.

Call me old-fashioned, but I love 1990′s polygonal racers that debuted on Sega’s Model 2 and 3 arcade boards. Think Daytona USA, Sega Rally Championship, Super GT, and the like. OutRun 2 is a welcome throwback to that charming era.

While OutRun 2006 Coast 2 Coast is more than solid, it doesn’t offer anything beyond those other titles as far as innovation. I had high hopes that OutRun 2006 would expand and innovate on OutRun 2’s sturdy foundation.

Unfortunately, however, OutRun 2006 doesn’t offer anything new in terms of game play. If you’ve played OutRun 2, or pretty much any Sega arcade racer from the mid 90s, you’ve played this. While that might put some folks off, I see it as a distinct advantage considering there really isn’t anything else like it on the market currently.

If you love power slides and taking turns at 200 MPH, this is the game for you. If you’re more concerned with tire pressure, then don’t give this title a thought.

The controls are tight and responsive. I’ve always preferred the Type S controller for racing games. The left and right triggers work so well. The left trigger represents the brakes while the right trigger is for the gas. The left analog stick is for steering. The controls are easy to come to grips with, but by no means is that an indication that this is a simplistic racer.

Slightly tilt the analog stick left or right and your car will respond in the same way as if you were turning a steering wheel. Power slides can be pulled off with authority due to the aforementioned triggers. If you don’t master the power slide you won’t master OutRun! Simple controls to learn, a lifetime to master, just the way I like it.

The graphics are beautiful. OutRun 2006 not only benefits from a blazing engine that run at 60 frames per second, but it’s one of the only racers in the Xbox/PS2/Gamecube generation that sports beautiful car models along with fantastic background designs. This is one of the few games I enjoy observing as much as I do playing (for now anyway).

The visuals in this title are more satisfying than the bland, jagged, realistic visuals in titles such as Project Gotham 3 on Xbox 360, which only runs at 30 frames per second (you can send your hate mail directly to me). The fantastic choice of color and design in the backgrounds along with awesomely rendered Ferraris make OutRun 2006 a visual tour de force. That statement is not made lightly.

It’s unfortunate that the audio doesn’t quite match the visuals. Effects such as engines running and cars crashing are well done and perhaps too realistic for this fantasy racer. The soundtrack is extremely limited and all of the tracks from OutRun 2 return. Sega seems to neglect racing/driving game soundtracks for whatever reason. Remember the four songs that would cycle through while playing Crazy Taxi on the Dreamcast?

In the future please include a larger soundtrack Sega! It’s not that the audio is bad; it’s just far too limited, especially for people seeking to unlock all the different game modes.

OutRun 2 was a fairly barebones arcade conversion. Fans didn’t complain at the time because there was doubt that OutRun 2 would even be ported to the Xbox! OutRun 2006 certainly shines in the features department.

You can play the OutRun 2 and OutRun 2 SP arcade experiences if you’d like, which is great for folks that don’t have the desire or time to unlock paint jobs and extra audio tracks. Or you can play through a single-player campaign and unlock cars, paint jobs, challenge stages, and more.

I found myself playing through OutRun 2 SP a majority of the time in OutRun Mode. It allows you to race through every stage the game has to offer enabling you to view every wonderful background in a single race. If that’s not for you, you can still race through the novel branching path system. Major thumbs up to the OutRun Mode, the most significant addition to the series.

I cannot comment on how faithful the arcade conversion is as I’ve never encountered an OutRun 2 SP cabinet. OutRun 2 and OutRun 2 SP run on the Chihiro board, which is a modified Xbox, so I assume it’s pretty spot on. OutRun 2 on Xbox is definitely a faithful port of the OutRun 2 arcade game. Arcade perfect or not, it’s still very pretty. I’ll assume casual gamers won’t know or care anyway.

In Xbox Live play, you will be competing against five other drivers in OutRun, Time Attack, and Heart Attack modes. In Time Attack, you play against ghosts and try and beat the fastest time.

I’ve always been against the “reality movement” that gaming has been headed towards for the past decade or so. I got into gaming to be transported to new worlds and to experience things no one could in the real world. OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast is an arcade/fantasy revivalist racer.

This game should not be missed! It doesn’t innovate but it harks back to a great time in racing and it certainly mimics those old games extremely well. Xbox fans hungry for new games should waste no time and buy this today! Trade in your OutRun 2 disc, you don’t need it anymore.

OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast is rated E (Everyone) by the ESRB. This game can also be found on: PC, PS2, PSP.

About Rob Faraldi