Yu Suzuki's five finest moments

As legendary Sega man steps down, we celebrate his legacy

Hang On was the first game that let you sit on a life-sized bike model and control the game by leaning into the corners, just like you would do on a real bike.

It sounds obvious now, but the immersion this gave players turned the modestly quick and good-looking title into a white knuckle thrill ride.Twisting the throttle on the life-sized handlebars was like riding a real motorbike, and Sega's arcade dominance began in earnest.


Above: The gameplay's pretty basic, but the experience made it great

From this came the logical progression to Suzuki's After Burner II, which was given a deluxe 360 degree rotating cabinet (seen in Terminator 2!), and culminating in thesit-in Ferrari of Suzuki's masterpiece racing sim Ferrari 355 Challenge. The experience offered by this three-screen Ferrari game was sorealisticthatF1 driver Rubens Barichello reportedly considered installing one to practice driving on. And he drives the most advanced sports cars in the world.

Oh, but there was another game with a red sit-in car that you may have heard of...

2)Demanding the best for OutRun
Suzuki may have constantly pushed the boundaries of graphical quality and style, but his demand for quality didn't stop at the visuals.He has a strong interest in the arts and music in particular and it was his wish that 1986's OutRun would feature studio-quality music on its soundtrack.

He may not have composed the iconic tunes himself (that was Hiroshi Miyauchi's work), but as director and producer, it was his vision of the ultimate blue-sky driving game that led to its conception. To refresh your memory, listen tothis wonderful excerptfrom Magical Sound Shower, OutRun's most memorable tune.

Of course, the game isn't only known for its music. The choice of route at the end of the stage, the unlicensed Ferrari-alike car, the blonde in the passenger seat... and of course the Super Scaler graphics technology that allowed for the most amazing impression of 3D the 1980s would see:


Above: Back in 1986, this looked like Race Driver GRID does to us now

Suzuki's games would influence countless others, not least some of Sega's best efforts, with the halcyon skies of the company's best coin-ops all nodding to this peerless experience.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

The longest-serving GR+ staffer, I was here when all this was just fields. I'm currently Reviews Editor but still find time to speedrun Sonic levels and make daft Photoshop articles.
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