Review

Outrun Online Arcade Review (Xbox360)

OutRun hasnít changed much over the years, and this, the ninth (I think) of the series is no different. Developed by Sumo digital and based on OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast, this iteration is just as frustratingly good as all the other OutRuns out there. Race across the grid with your girlfriend finding you sexier the more rival cars you overtake, and more of a jerk the more you crash. You know how it is.

Like every OutRun ever, you need to get from A to B as quickly as you can, whilst avoiding hitting other cars and basicallyÖwell, thatís it. The fun part comes in because of the hilarious speeds you can chalk up along the way. In fact, thereís even an Achievement if you can get one of the 10 different vehicles there is to choose from over the 300km/ph mark. You can choose between the Ferrari F50, Enzo, 360 Spider, F40, Testarossa, 288 GTO, 512 BB, Dino 246 GTS, 365 GTS/4 Daytona, and the obscene curves of the 250 GTO. Not a bad choice.


There is no better feeling. Trust me.
212km/ph?! Too slow. No corner should see you go less than 250.

There are other game modes to, like Time Attack and a couple of challenge modes, but going across the grid, taking all the possible routes to the five different goals is where itís at. The controls are simple: right trigger accelerate, and left trigger brake: thatís it. However, if you really want to knock up the fastest times and therefore the highest scores, youíll need to switch from Automatic to Manual and learn, or master, the art of drifting.

The corners in OutRun arenít very forgiving and often come when youíre least expecting them. Drifting comes into play when you drop quickly down then up a gear. This manoeuvre allows you to turn your car sharply round the bend whilst losing very little in the way of speed. If you take the easy route to your goal - keep heading left - then drifting isnít necessary, but taking one of the harder routes and making sure you reach your checkpoints they become a must.


Go past a rival car and your girlfriend loves it...and you!
Not a bad view, that.

OutRun is pure arcade gaming. You need to be alert, have lightning reactions, and whilst you learn the courses - because letís face it, itís the only way to get round without a scratch - be prepared to reinforce your controller as you hurl it across the room. Yes, OutRun hasnít changed.

Another Ďsong that remains the sameí is the selection of music that you must choose before each race. This inclusion puzzled me somewhat as Xbox 360 has the capability of in-game soundtrack. Choosing one of the tinny, retro sounding tracks can be fun just for the silliness of it, but either the inclusion of a WipeOut-esque soundtrack would have been much more preferable. Still, the accompanying music does somehow fit into the whole arcade feel that is ever-present throughout this conversion.

One of the problems with the game is the lack of a trial mode. Being able to practice and therefore make perfect one of the many course that include Miami beach, Easter Island via Manhattan, Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, the Niagara Falls and a trip through NASA HQ. Just as you master one course and go into a new one, you find that thereís a whole new set of turns to learn and you really begin to ask yourself if crossing the finishing line is really such a worthy reward for imprinting several different track layouts in your brain. Iíd say ďNo,Ē to be honest.


Sliding in between two cars is where the real skill lies.
Itís dog eat dog in the arcade Sega racing world!

Like so many other games on Xbox 360, the game really comes alive when played online. Much hilarity will no doubt ensue as you career into each other and beat your best friends lap time by some millionth of a second. However, if you want to prove to the world how sexy you are behind the wheel and top the global leaderboard then youíre out of luck: itís unranked only, Iím afraid to inform.

OutRun Online Arcade is OutRun. Did you like OutRun last time you played it? Do you like it enough to pay 800 MS Points for it and rack up some Achievements? Do you like it enough to play against your friends? These are the questions you must ask yourself before buying, if you havenít taken the plunge already, of course. As far as this reviewer is concerned, if you havenít played the game already, then you really owe it to yourself to give it a try. However, if youíve played OutRun many times over the years, then youíll need to ask yourself if Online Arcade is offering anything other than what youíve seen countless times before.

Top Gaming moment: Drifting for over a minute

Comments

By crawlroman (SI Core) on Apr 24, 2009
crawlroman
I played the demo,it's pretty nice ;)
By slaythat (SI Veteran Member) on Apr 24, 2009
slaythat
This arcade racer doesn't do anything new, but its tried-and-tested formula continues to defy its age.

The Good:
Easy to pick up but challenging to master Multiplayer is a lot of fun Online leaderboards are a good incentive to keep playing Great controls make even insane drifts relatively easy Impressive sense of speed.
The Bad:
No multiplayer rankings Less content than previous iterations.
By stuntkid (SI Elite) on Apr 26, 2009
stuntkid
Lots and lots of fun but no online leaderboard really brings the game down.