OutRun 2006 Coast to Coast ReviewCain Dornan
The sense of speed has grown to become a crucial aspect of any racing game in todays gaming age. No longer are we content with playing a racer that has us slowly chugging along a straight boring strip of road, with the only variation being the occasional fellow road user that you must dodge. Over the past few years in particular, gamers have begun demanding more innovative and in most cases more complex racers to satisfying their growling need for speed. While this growing complexity of eye-watering speed has managed to satisfy a majority of todays gamers, there are many who miss the golden days of gaming, when playing a game was much simpler and, in some cases, more relaxingly enjoyable.
Enter OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast, a game that maintains the feeling of the classic arcade racing games that you played as a kid. You wont find yourself wasting time fine-tuning your ride with a ton of aftermarket parts, nor will you be forced to undergo a series of driving tests to determine whether you are allowed behind the wheel of a car in a video game. Instead, OutRun 2006 consists of straight down-the-line, fast paced arcade racing that will allow long-standing gamers to relive memories of the classic gaming era.
That is, if you like games that are so basic that they are on the verge of being little more than a boring wreck.
OutRun 2006 offers a lineup of 13 different Ferrari cars, ranging from previous decade models through to the latest models of the horse-adorned red beasts. You can race each of these 13 Ferarris across 30 different tracks; 15 that have been pulled from the previous title in the franchise, OutRun 2, and 15 brand-new US coast side inspired tracks.
The games gameplay is spread over multiple modes, including the central single player that hosts multiple different branching events. Theres the Coast 2 Coast mode, which sees you either racing against competitors over a series of courses or by following the orders issued by your ecstatic girlfriend who is seated in the passengers seat next to you, waving her arms widely in the air when you pull-off her commands successfully or attacking you when you fail to do so. Then theres the OutRun mode, which sees you racing against a competitor as you attempt to reach the finishing line with your girlfriend before he does. The Heart Attack mode sees you racing over a series of lengthy tracks as you are continuously given orders by your girlfriend to perform a range of different stylish maneuvers, such as ramming into other vehicles, bypassing a series of large trucks, dribbling an oversized beach ball from Point A to Point B or keeping within a restricted piece of the road. The last of the modes in the single player offering is the Time Attack mode, which sees you attempting to achieve the best time possible around any given track.
Each mode generally offers a string of different tracks and competitive events to participate in, which attempts to draw out a few hours of gameplay time with each individual mode. As a further incentive to play through the game, you are awarded OutRun points for every event that you participate in, regardless of whether you win or lose. Basically, it rewards you for at least attempting each level, however, the points that you earn at the end are determined by what you did and how well you did it during the event.
The PlayStation Portable version of OutRun 2006 also offers a quick race feature, titled Just Drive, which allows you to immediately jump into a randomly generated event at the touch of a button. This mode is obviously targeted towards the portable gamer, as it is a perfect option for spending a few short minutes of your spare time playing. Apart from this slight new addition, the PSP version of OutRun 2006 is identical to its console brothers.
OutRun 2006 offers multiplayer support through either online or LAN, with support for up to six players. Unfortunately, there is a complete absence of any split-screen multiplayer support, a feature that would have been a welcomed addition for those without online gaming access or no additional systems and copies of the game to use.
The game comes complete with the original OutRun 2 SP, featuring all the levels, cars and modes from the original. Of particular interest in this port is the ability to race through a series of 15 different courses, which are linked to each other to create a seamlessly continuous experience. Those who enjoy the simplicity of the OutRun games will obviously find the lifetime of OutRun 2006 doubled with the addition of this port.
OutRun 2006 is certainly far from the graphical splendors of the Need For Speed, Burnout or Gran Turismo games, but it does manage to successfully portray the simple gameplay that it contains by offering simple yet clean visuals that are solid across all platforms. While the PSP version isnt quite up to the standards of the console versions, it does manage to produce consistent visuals that never lag or skip. The attention to detail for the vehicles across all platforms is pleasing, despite the occasionally blurry texture or slightly jagged corners. The games scenery isnt quite impressive, but satisfying nonetheless. The games sound, in particular sound effects and musical flair, has also been kept to the basics, which appropriately fits the gameplay that is on-hand.
With the growing complexity of racing games on the market, OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast is a refreshingly simple racer that sticks true to the classic era of video games. On one hand, classic gamers will appreciate the simple and lighthearted take that the developers have chosen to take, whilst on the other hand some gamers will be quickly bored with its aging gameplay and limited variation in its gameplay. Obviously, whichever hand that you are on will likely affect how much youll enjoy OutRun 2006.
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.