‘OutRun’ning The Competition

You have no clue, how long I’ve waited for this time.

Life was a bore, ’till you pulled me out of there…

It’s destiny that we met.

It’s a thrill I was looking for.

No one else could liven up my heart this way…

OutRun <3

OutRun, I love you!  Since I first played you, as your original arcade self ‘too’ many years ago, and since then I have been hooked on you. Nothing could be compared to you… apart from maybe the thrill of wearing orange PVC… no, I was never confused…

OutRun, my ‘no-fail’ entertainment game.  If I ever need a quick fix on something, I pop on OutRun, play for about 10 minutes, then go do something else. Except ‘something else’ rarely happened… I mean… I just wanted to see what happened if I went left, right, left, right right or left, left, left, left, right. My ‘Life was a Bore’* no longer!

So OutRun is still in my heart ‘too’ many years into the future, I still love this game and what I love about the newer versions of OutRun is its ability to just be fun. I take the PSP version of OutRun 2006 Coast 2 Coast everywhere, on trains and planes, as it is perfect for a ‘Night Flight’. And I have the same copy on PS2 and Xbox. And just OutRun 2 on Xbox. And the Sega Ages collection on PS2. (Not at all obsessive…) I love the high level of terrain detail that you ‘rarely’ see when blasting round corners at over 200 kph, the ability to take you to an array of beautiful and sometimes ‘ghoulish’ destinations, the amazing sense of speed that’s been created and my all time hero, The Flag Man!

There is a light hearted, carefree charm behind the OutRun characters. I mean, everyone loves ‘The Flag Man’, and you have your sexy Hero character, Alberto. It’s a good thing he got the OutRun job again in 2006, as his audition for the 5th Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle didn’t go so well. To my eyes, he’s a bit of a stereotypical Italian ‘hunk’. I would actually rather date ‘Flag man’ than you, Alberto, but then there is the orange shirt.  Then again, Flag Man has the cap and the beard you can lose yourself in. But… the orange shirt!?! Aargh!!! Alberto already has a very rich girlfriend called Jennifer, who looks like a preoperative Ivy from Soul Calibur 4. Then again, he also has Clarissa, who… is… ‘another’ girlfriend… probably.  Maybe she’s just stolen Britney Spears’ outfit and Albert’s helping her to escape.

As you can tell, they have all had a lot of surgery, as they haven’t aged much since 1986.

OutRun truly gives you a great arcade experience even when playing on home consoles. Driving sideways, weaving in and out of huge lorries and ‘blocky’ little lilac cars letting you ‘Shake the Street’* because you can. You cannot play this game like a normal racing game, and who would want to, realistic racers are boring. When playing the OutRun 2 SP arcade machine in the Trocadero, most people haven’t a clue how to play because they assume it is just your standard racing game or that they don’t know how to ‘power slide’ and are about to smash into an oncoming wall. You need to know how to drift to be able play the game properly, without the endless crashing or getting smacked in the face by your lady! (Luckily I’m a good driver, and I haven’t had a black eye from best friend Susan… yet.)

It’s a skill that takes a good amount of practice. It is a ‘Risky Ride’* not only at the start of the power slide but also ending it, on the road, still moving at a good speed to ‘Keep your Heart’* pounding, and not ending up in the nearest tree or churning up the grass verges if you ‘Rush a Difficulty’*. Taking on an S-Bend is one of the more challenging parts to conquer, but – gosh – you feel good when you come out of the drift looking awesome. Compensating for the ‘catch-up’ is also a challenge, when your opponent is someone who has never played the game before suddenly overtakes you on a straight, the art of what I call ‘tail-whipping’ is in order, when you drive into the rival car, perform a ‘power slide’ and then drift them into a wall and watch them spin away. MUHAHAHAAAA!

“This is paradise and it’s very nice”

Being able to drive a Ferrari, would be my dream (alongside the Lamborghini ‘Gallado’ of course) but this is the closest I’m going to get to it… for now anyway. The original 1986 OutRun never had the Ferrari licence even though the car involved was blatantly a Ferrari Testarossa convertible. Then after 17 years, OutRun 2 finally shows up, with a new shiny Ferrari licence, a new ‘Shiny world’* and a soundtrack that is better than hearing choirs of angels singing The Cheeky Song by The Cheeky Girls. With a collection of summer sounds including brass, guitar solos and kettle drums. ‘Splash Wave’, ‘Magical Sound Shower’ and ‘Passing Breeze’, have become 3 iconic tunes, and everyone has their favourite to drive too. I’m very much a ‘Magical Sound Shower’ Euro remix girl.

For me, OutRun Live Arcade will be the most played arcade game on my Xbox 360. It will be the epitome of ‘awesomeness’, glowing with an awesome aura, and emitting awesome awesomeness ‘Radiation’*, with its 3 arcade modes, 6 player multiplayer and 15 challenging stages all in lovely high definition. Ready Up readers, listen up (read up?): ‘Who are You’*? You know what my Xbox Live GamerTag is (CaptainStardust), and if you haven’t already added me and are thinking of getting OutRun Live Arcade, there will be 10 very sexy cars to choose from and I await your challenge in my ‘360 Spider’. So meet me on OutRun Live Arcade, April 15th. I’ll be online in the daytime, as I’m not much of a, ‘Night Bird’*.

*Asterisk denotes shoehorning of awesome Outrun music tracks into the blog!







7 responses to “‘OutRun’ning The Competition”

  1. arc14716 avatar

    Interesting blog. I’ve played the original version of OutRun, as well as Outrunners, and the XBox version of OutRun years ago. I don’t suppose that game is backwards compatible, is it?
    Good thing I sitll have my XBox if it’s not.

    May look into getting OutRun for the Live Arcade when I get my 360 back.

  2. Barry avatar

    Outrun2006 on live arcade later this week! Wooooo!

    Im gonna win the race!

  3. NorfolkNChance avatar

    I’m looking forward to this too. Had fun playing the Xbox version years ago and having a laugh at the expense of the kids complaining the game wasn’t realistic… 🙂

  4. Jake avatar

    Just as well you’re reviewing it then, isn’t it? :p

  5. Martin avatar

    Outrun sums up everything that made the arcades great years ago. Cool cabinet, gorgeous visuals and a custom playlist. I think I’ve playede most versions of the game including the spectrum version which came with the soundtrack looped on both sides of a cassette. Do you remember that the dancing horse on the back of the car faced whatever direction you were steering in? Awesome piece of trivia. Looking forward to grabbing some games with you.

  6. Lorna avatar

    I never did get to play this myself, but watched my dad. never being much cop at driving games, I just used to think (despite also not being very car oriented…) wow…I want that car.

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