The very best of OutRun.

User Rating: 8.1 | OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast PS2
It really is amazing that some of the most simple concepts can make for some truly classic gameplay. OutRun placed you and your girlfriend behind the wheel of a red sports car and took you around the world, giving you control over your next destination. Nearly 20 years later, the formula still works extremely well. OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast features the same classic gameplay that made it one of the greatest driving games of all-time while adding new modes to help spice things up. If you’re an OutRun fan, this game is definitely calling out to you.

If you’ve been out of touch with the OutRun series, you may be surprised to learn that while the series still retains it’s classic gameplay formula, there’s more to do than just beat the clock with your girlfriend. Coast 2 Coast, the game’s main mode has you completing various tasks, but the main attraction here is besting your rivals. Coast 2 Coast is interesting, challenging, and it is nice to see racing elements in an OutRun game, but it just isn’t anywhere near as enjoyable as the Heart Attack and OutRun modes. Heart Attack mode really stands out from the other game modes. You have to make your girlfriend happy by performing crazy stunts like avoid meteors, hitting cars, or dodging UFOs. Since Heart Attack mode is very point-based and throws a lot at you, it really is a total blast to play and can get addictive. A version of Heart Attack can also be found in the game’s Coast 2 Coast mode. OutRun mode is essentially the mode that made you drop countless quarters into an OutRun cabinet back in 1987. Race against the clock with your honey in the passenger’s seat, veer left or right at the fork in the road, enjoy the lovely sights along the way. All of the game’s modes allow you to race on the tracks from OutRun 2 and OutRun 2 SP. Speaking of OutRun 2 SP, you can play the arcade version of said game. An arcade version of the original OutRun really would have been the icing on an already delicious cake, but this game is rich enough as it is.

You’ll need to do more than just keep from crashing to say in the game in OR ’06. By drifting you can get around sharp turns a la Ridge Racer. Drifting is a good way to pass rivals and get through traffic without losing points, but depending on the turn and the car you happen to be driving, it isn't’t always necessary. Sometimes just using the brakes will suffice and in some cases, you may not even need to brake at all. Slipstream is very useful for picking up speed and passing rivals. You drive behind a car to increase speed. The distance between you and the car, however, doesn't have to be very close so the way the slipstream system works is rather tricky.

When you’re not throwing a Ferrari around the countryside turns, you can spend your OutRun miles in Showroom mode. The game keeps track of how many miles you’ve driven in every single mode. These miles can be spent on new cars, different car colors, OutRun songs, and new tracks. Of particular interest are the OutRun 2/SP 15 stage continuous tracks. Once purchased, you’ll be able to drive through all 15 stages of the tracks in OutRun 2 and OutRun 2 SP in one go. In these 15 stage endurance courses, time becomes much of a factor and too many mistakes will keep you from finishing. Making it through the 15 stage continuous courses is possible with a novice class car, but very hard. You’d be better off tackling these courses with one of the outrun class cars. One thing that will probably irk a few players is that some items in the game’s Showroom mode are off limits. Unless you have a PSP and the PSP version of OR ’06, you won’t be able to buy everything. True, the game does give you access to a lot of the goods in the PS2 version, but having to buy the PSP version of the same game just to unlock everything does seem a bit forced. OR ’06 uses licensed Ferrari cars. F50, 360 Spider, 250 GTO, 328 GTS and many others can be bought and driven the way they were truly ment to be driven. Each car looks absolutely stunning thanks to the detailed graphics. Trees, sunlight, streets lights and buildings quickly reflect off of the cars as you drive. OutRun has always been a game where you’re supposed to enjoy the scenery even though you are racing against the clock. It doesn’t matter if you’re flooring it at 300 mph. You still can’t help but admire the Egyptain temples, the Golden gate Bridge, or all the neon signs that decorate Times Square. Looking at all the sights is made even better with thanks to OR ‘06’s wonderful soundtrack. There are remixed versions of the classic OutRun songs “Splash Wave,” “Passing Breeze” and “Magical Sound Shower”. Some of the songs like “Night Flight” and “Life Was A Bore” use lyrics and they sound excellent. “Who Are You?”, “Shake The Street,” “Rush A Difficulty,” and “Keep Your Heart” are from Turbo OutRun, one of the lesser known games in the series and even though they are taken from an old arcade game, they still sound terrific. If you’re feeling nostalgic, the original arcade versions of “Splash Wave,” “Passing Breeze,” and “Magical Sound Shower” can also be heard. With songs from various OutRun games, it can be difficult to decide which song to listen to. Even though there’s a lot of remixed tracks, the soundtrack still manages to stay fresh and diverse.

OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast is a game that was made for OutRun fans and those that really aren't’t into racing games. Yes, it is an arcade game, but if you’re looking for a game along the lines of Burnout or Need For Speed, then you’d best look somewhere else. Even with dazzling graphics, the drifting technique, and the racing elements, the game still feels like an OutRun game. With the plethora of stages and goals to drive on, the game will keep players busy for weeks. Beating your own score in OutRun mode is a game in itself. And who wouldn’t want to cruise to all sorts of splendid OutRun tunes? This is OutRun at it’s finest.