It%26rsquo;s really very simple. You drive fast; it looks pretty; a lovely blonde urges you on. Yep, Outrun is really very, very simple. Outrun was born in a time when games were dumb as hell. It was a good time rammed with simple thrills and instantly accessible excitement. In the 80s nobody was especially concerned with physics, simulated car handling, real-world tracks, or halfway-decent clothing. All that mattered was going fast in a flashy car. Keeping things simple, Sega gave you a Ferrari, a girl, and miles of branching road. Take the left path and things stayed easy; take the right and they got hard.
Outrun 2 - in spite of Outrun games numbering significantly higher than two %26ndash; was everything 80s brought up to date. Modern visuals, fabulous widescreen, remixed music, and the same loon-o-handling and branching tracks. It was a slice of simple fun for simple gamers, with infinite opportunity to shave milliseconds off your best times and scores. The Coast 2 Coast expansion came later, and added a new course with another fifteen routes, and a big bag of minigames. Outrun Online Arcade is this, minus a great deal, and that%26rsquo;s a problem.
Presumably to scrape within the 350Mb download limit, Outrun Online Arcade has dropped all fifteen original courses, along with several cars. The girl in the passenger seat is still a needy, clingy thrill-junkie fruitcake but where Outrun 2 gave you a choice between girls, Arcade sticks you with the blonde. Even the front-end%26rsquo;s menus are stark and spartan, short on the earlier games%26rsquo; slick presentation.
Outrun was always a deliberately simple and clean racer. It didn%26rsquo;t need anything other than the HD makeover to make it one of the system%26rsquo;s better racers, but it%26rsquo;s lost half the content that shipped with Coast 2 Coast %26ndash; which is sure to arrive later at extra cost. Outrun 2 is a great game, but don%26rsquo;t buy it thinking you%26rsquo;re done with spending.
Apr 15, 2009