Monday, January 23, 2012

OutRunners

John Marine | 1/23/2012 12:50:00 AM | |
OutRunners may well be the most impressive-looking 2D racing game of all time. Some of the most amazing graphical details of this 1992 game from Sega are featured in this game. You usually raced a Ferrari (or Ferrari-looking car) in OutRun games. Here, you race any number of sports cars to complete the dream drive around the world. Unlike past OutRun titles, OutRunners feature more than one course. However, two routes are available to you- East Bound and West Bound. As a fun fact, this is the ONLY OutRun title I have played in arcades. This blog post highlights on this classic racing game.

NOTE: This blog post mostly pertains to the Arcade version of this game.

Since I am mentioning a SEGA Racing game, this gives me a chance to shout out to loyal reader Eric, of "Musings of a Sega Racing Fan." Because of our friendship, I devote all of my Sega racing game posts to my blogging friend Eric. You can visit his blog (as well as Subscribe and Follow if you like his work) at phantomfullforce.blogspot.com.





OutRunners at a Glance ---

Here is your preview of this 1992 game:

^ from: "cabilloso" on YouTube

The goal of any OutRun game is to go from the first stage all the way to the final stage. There are five stages in all. OutRunners is maybe the first OutRun title to feature actual cities and locations since Turbo OutRun back in 1987. Turbo OutRun featured only American venues. OutRunners feature international venues and some actual national landmarks. For example, you could race through France and see the Eiffel Tower. You may go through Japan and see Mt. Fuji. Or, you may even race through Australia and see the Sydney Opera House.

The goal remains the same- go from the start of the tour to wherever you want to finish. This game is actually unlike most traditional OutRun titles in that there isn't really an easy or hard route. How easy or hard the routes are just depend on how well you are able to take on each course. Usually in OutRun games, you always go left to take on the easier courses; and you go to the right road to take on the harder courses. The routes in this game are just based on whatever international location you wish to take on next.

OutRunners managed to find its way to the Sega Genesis/Megadrive from Data East. Unfortunately, the Genesis/Megadrive version is horrendously unlike the arcade version. The home version does not feature anything close to the outstanding graphics and music of the arcade version.

Even if you weren't going to play a game, you could still listen to the music from the OutRunners arcade unit. The game features outstanding music to compliment the range of tracks in OutRunners. The CD-quality music even includes OutRun favorites like "Magical Sound Shower" (my personal favorite OutRun song) and "Passing Breeze."


The Story of Two Routes.

When you begin OutRunners, you may choose to go on a West Course that takes you to San Francisco, or you may take the East Course that takes you to the Grand Canyon. Where you go from there is up to you. In a two-player race, whomever is leading the race can call what the next round is at. So if you're trailing in a two-player race, your opponent gets to choose where the next stop is. So make sure to be in the lead if you want to call where the next race will be at.


Cars.

Unlike most OutRun games, you have a choice of cars to choose from. The eight cars in OutRunners have certain transmission types (for Manual/Standard racing) as well as differing performance levels. Here are some of your choices:

• Speed Buster - a Ferrari Testarossa-type car and the bread and butter OutRun car.
• Mad Power - a Lamborghini Diablo-looking car delivering amazing horsepower.
• Smooth Operator - a silver Honda/Acura NSX-looking car.
• Quick Reactor - an orange convertible buggy.
• Easy Handling - a sporty blue roadster similar to the Dodge Viper R/T 10.
• Bad Boy - a car similar to the AC/Shelby Cobra.
• Road Monster - a long, pink convertible muscle car.
• Wild Chaser - an off-road vehicle similar to a Meyers Manx.


Locations.

Want to go on your own OutRunners world tour? Well, here are some of the many locations you can visit in OutRunners. Each course begins with certain venues and branches out depending on where you want to go. This is only a small number of the game's many locations. I'll leave it up to you to visit all of them should you manage to find and play OutRunners:

• San Francisco - take a tour around the hills and beautiful
• Hong Kong - the game's only night course takes place in lively Hong Kong.
• Atlantic Ocean - go through a large underwater tunnel under the Atlantic Ocean!
• Japan - explore the natural beauty of Japan
• Grand Canyon - a wild ride through the Grand Canyon.
• France - beautiful Paris is for you to explore in all of her beauty.
• China - explore China's beauty, but watch out for bike riders in the second half of this course.
• Australia - visit Sydney and wind your way into the Outback.

There are many more locations to visit in this game, so I'll leave it up to you to explore them all!



--- Final Thoughts on OutRunners ---

OutRunners is really one of the truly beautiful and innovative racing games both in graphics and in overall gameplay. The arcade version is purely beautiful. It may even be the greatest-looking 2D racing game of all time. The many graphical details makes one wish this game were a proper 3D title. Of course, the classic charm of an OutRun title is in full effect ranging from going full speed through real-world locations to the usual pick-a-route format. The arcade version is truly worth playing if you are any kind of racing game fan. This game was released in 1992. Who would think that this game would later be surpassed by another Sega classic later that year or somewhere down the road- Virtua Racing? If you are considering showing appreciation for Sega racing games, you HAVE to mention OutRunners.

There is no way you can call yourself a SEGA racing fan and not consider OutRunners as one of the all-time greats of Sega racing games.





Once again, I'm hopeful my blogging friend Eric is reading this. So if you're out there, thanks for being a loyal reader. Thanks also to people like you for reading!

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