OutRun2 (Xbox) review
"Hey, remember OutRun Europa, Battle OutRun, and *gulps* OutRun 2019?......... Well, AM2 seems to have forgotten them. Or at least they want to forget, which is made more obvious with the latest sequel's title, OutRun2. And who would blame them? I mean, the quality of those previous games ranged from mediocre to just plain sucking balls. So, of course, it's no surprise they want the game to be the followup to the original classic, OutRun. And trust me, af..."
Hey, remember OutRun Europa, Battle OutRun, and *gulps* OutRun 2019?......... Well, AM2 seems to have forgotten them. Or at least they want to forget, which is made more obvious with the latest sequel's title, OutRun2. And who would blame them? I mean, the quality of those previous games ranged from mediocre to just plain sucking balls. So, of course, it's no surprise they want the game to be the followup to the original classic, OutRun. And trust me, after playing through OR2, that's a good thing. A very good thing.
It shows, too. Once you enter OutRun Mode, you'll get hit with a wave of nostalgia as you play through it for the first time. Nothing much has changed at all, it's almost exactly like the original, except the experience has been thrown into the third dimension. The goal remains the same: race through the traffic and beat the impending timer of doom to one of five finish lines. As you carry out this goal, your metrosexual driver (Alberto) and his female passenger (Jennifer, who looks like Joan Rivers), will get to race through a total of fifteen ever-changing destinations (you only get to race through five in every play-through, though).
Such diverse locations range from the coastal city of Palm Beach, the towering walls of a majestic castle with the sunset shining upon them, and a country setting that has wind mills and a tulip garden that's as colorful as a Skittles bag. Everything is just so full of color and detail that you'll end up wanting to go through every single route to witness it all. And the scale in some routes are breathtaking, too. In Deep Lake, you'll be gazing up ahead at a giant bridge and within seconds, you'll be right inside it, basking in its size and length. And in Cloudy Highland, as you roar down a huge hill, in the distance you'll see a big s-turn, surrounded by a group of trees and dense fog, being wowed by the sight and then realizing that you'll be drifting through it in a matter of seconds.
You'll be driving in Ferrari's finest cars as you enjoy the scenery. From the bullet-like design of the Dino 246 GTS, to the futuristic and slick looking Enzo Ferrari, you'll have the opportunity to go behind the wheel of over ten of these powerhouses. Though, they won't all be available from the start, you gotta work for them. And yes, the Testarossa is also here. Rounding out this wonderful package and completing the trip through memory lane are the tunes you'll be listening to as you barrel down the road at 180 mph. There are the three returning classics, all of which have been given a face lift. You can rest assure, though, because they sound fantastic. You get to pick between Splash Wave, with its upbeat guitar solo, the tropical jazzed-up delights of Magical Sound Shower, and the calming melodies of Passing Breeze. There's also a couple of new tracks to listen to. Some of them fit with the "OutRun" vibe (Risky Ride and Shiny World), but others will just end up giving you a constipated look on your face (the vocal versions of Night Flight and Life was a Bore).
Basically, not much has been altered to distance OutRun2 from its predecessor. The only actual addition to the gameplay would be the ability to drift; don't worry, it's very easy to perform. Hell, I did it on accident for the first time and was able to use it pretty well from then on. While it's a simple technique to pull off, it'll take quite some time to master. Sure, you could probably drift through a big u-turn quite well, but can you successfully drift through a tight s-turn while dodging a car, bus, truck, and manage to keep your speed up to a respectable level? It'll take some time to do crazy stunts like that, but once you're able to master drifting, you'll feel great pulling off these amazing maneuvers in what seemed like bleak situations. As you can tell, the ability to drift is quite a welcome addition to OutRun2's simplistic gameplay.
Once you've finished messing around in OutRun mode and yarn for something more challenging, you can try out the Heart Attack Mode; it's basically like OutRun Mode, except in this mode, you have to attempt to please your female passenger (this time, the skimpily dressed Clarissa) by trying to pull off risky stunts she'll shout out. These can range from having to drive over a colored stripe on a certain lane, passing as much cars as you can, or not crashing into anything. They may sound simple in writing, but trying to do them while going over 150 mph, avoiding traffic, and racing against the clock is quite a crazy task. You'll receive hearts and a grade as you do these, and depending on how well you did will determine the number of hearts and the main grade you get at the end of every route (which will be tallied up in the end for the final grade and total hearts). You'll also get a different ending depending on how many hearts you've gathered, which ups the replay value of the mode, not to mention trying to achieve a high ranking.
The End. 8/10. Great Arcade Racer. Buy Now.
Well.... at least it could've been that way. I mean, you already have a great game that could have easily been a straight port to the Xbox from the arcade, with minimal new features. But no, hell no! Sumo Digital went the extra mile to add a crap load of bonuses into this version. While not on an epic a scale as Panzer Dragoon Orta's Pandora's Box, it's sill pretty damn impressive (and much better). Of course, most of these goodies won't be lying around just for you to scoop up, you gotta earn them. Cue OutRun Mission Mode. In this Xbox exclusive mode, you'll have the daunting task of completing one-hundred and one missions over the span of twenty-one stages. These missions will push your abilities to the limit as an OutRunner.
The passenger for this mode, Holly, will put you through all kinds of refreshing, and at times, eccentric missions. Like Snap Happy. In this task, you'll have to take pictures of giant hearts that are scattered throughout the race. Doesn't sound so hard, right? Well, what if I say you have to take these pics while drifting and align the shots to get a great angle? If that doesn't convince you of how wacky these missions are, then here's another example: in Crazy Convoy, you'll have to make it through the entire mission without crashing into anything if you want an AAA grade. It would sound like a simple task, but the traffic is hellbent on screwing you over by constantly changing lanes. How about Memory Test? Here, you'll have to memorize groups of fruits and zoom through the correct answers, hoping you'll get the right one. And then there's Math Mayhem. Yes, in this mission, you'll have to do math while beating the timer and traffic. Guess you never thought in a million years that you'd be doing math in an arcade racer, did ya?
Holly's got quite a temper, too, as she'll literally go crazy on poor Alberto if you achieve anything below an A. Get a decent grade like B and watch in horror as she violently shakes his head as you cross the goal. And you'll see this happen a lot. Don't think you can easily accomplice an A or above on most of your first tries. You'd think this would be a frustrating thing, but surprisingly, you won't mind. Sure you'll get upset, but then you'll just restart the mission again and attempt to do better. And once you eventually get that A, you still won't be satisfied and go for the big prize: AAA. In most other games, you'd be too pissed off after failing so much and quit for awhile before trying again, but in OutRun2, you'll just keep pushing yourself, determined to go for the big grade. If that's not replay value, I don't know what is. Of course, you'll be rewarded handsomely for all that hard work: a slew of new cars, different versions of all the music (the instrumental version of LwaB destroys the vocal version), and bonus tracks from Daytona 2 and Scud Racer.
There are just so many other stuff I want to mention, but I won't. If you love arcade racers, I want you to experience OutRun2 for yourself. It does so many things right, it's scary. Not only is it an amazing game, but an outstanding sequel and port. It doesn't stray at all from the fundamental gameplay elements that made the original so memorable, but at the same time, improves upon them and shines in the process. So, what are you waiting for? It's probably one of the greatest arcade racers to be released in recent years, you'd be screwing yourself by missing out on this beautiful journey.
Community review by pickhut (January 25, 2005)
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