|Review by PsyMan|
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PC: OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast
Surprise, surprise! As you already figured out, this is a review... and to be more exact it's my first review for The Emulation 64 Network. I was bored to death and didn't have anything to do so here it is. Anyway, talk is cheap, so let's get started.
OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast is a driving game ported from home entertainment systems to personal computers. It is the latest part of the OutRun series but can also be considered as a conversion of the arcade games OutRun 2 and OutRun 2SP instead of a totally new game.
OutRun 2006 keeps the classic arcade style of the older OutRun series. The point is to drive your Ferrari fast enough to reach the goal before your time runs out and without making the lady that sits next to you jump out of the car screaming (just kidding). Since you mostly race against the clock and on most of the game modes the other cars are like obstacles, the term "driving game" suits the game better than the term "racing game".
The game has a total of 15 Ferrari cars, 15 enchanced versions of these cars, 15 stages from OutRun 2 and 15 stages from OutRun 2SP to choose from. At the end of each stage you are forced to turn left or right in order to choose your next destination until you reach the final stage. If for some reason you made the selection to play only one stage then the left turn will make you continue playing the same stage and the right turn will make you end the game.
Before starting playing for the first time you will have to create a licence. Your name, nationality and star sign as well as your offline and online ranks will be stored there. Other players will also be able to check your licence out when playing online.
The first major game mode of OutRun 2006 is the Single Player mode. The main purpose of playing this mode is to gather OutRun miles in order to unlock all the locked matterial of the game. This locked matterial includes most of the available Ferraris, more colors for them, music tracks, as well as more stages for the time attack and the online modes.
This mode has four different sub-modes to choose from:
- The first sub-mode is called Coast 2 Coast. From here you can race against other cars and complete some tasks in order to win a lot of OutRun Miles.
- Next we have the OutRun mode. In this mode you have to drive through 5 of the 15 stages in order to reach the goal before your time runs out. You can also try to play all the 15 stages in a row. You can select if you want to play the OutRun 2 or Outrun 2 SP set of stages before you start the game.
- The next sub-mode is called Heart Attack. In this mode you have to fulfill the demands of the lady that sits next to you. You will have to complete tasks as simple as avoiding crashing your car and as weird as hitting a giant beach ball!
- The last sub-mode is the well known time attack mode. Here you'll have to drive as fast as you can in order to break the computer's or even your own records. The game also saves a ghost of the car (and player) that drove faster on each stage.
The second major mode of OutRun 2006 is the multiplayer mode. From there you can race against other players via internet or via local LAN. You can also change and restrict the multiplayer options depending on how good player you are, how many stages and cars you have unlocked and the type of game you want to play.
Unfortunately the game does not have a way to let you chat with other players, neither shows you the type of internet connection and the ping of the other players. As a result, the player that hosts a game can configure the game as he wishes without asking the rest and players with slow internet connections will make the gaming experience of the rest players worst.
The last major mode of OutRun 2006 is the OutRun 2SP mode. This is an exact replica of the OutRun 2SP for the arcades. It has the exact same menus as the arcade, the same cars, the same audio tracks, etc.
This mode has less cars, less music tracks and less stages than the single player mode but it doesn't force you to unlock them, plus it offers a different humorous video each time you reach a different goal. Other than these, this mode offers the same things as the Single Player mode excluding the Coast 2 Coast sub-mode.
The first thing that you will notice once you start playing are the vivid colors. Your car is so polished that it will reflect every object and every ray of light will make it change its color as it is supposed to do. Almost every stage is filled with bright colors and many minor (or not so minor) details.
The configuration of the game gives you the option to chose whichever resolution you like (as long as your video card and monitor can handle it) as well as different quality levels of anti-aliasing and the option to enable or disable fog as a workaround for users with weak hardware.
The only problem is that the intro video and some 2D graphics (mostly the menus) look a little blurry (and a little stretched on widescreen monitors) probably because the game was originally designed to run on a TV and not a PC monitor. Fortunately this does not seem to exist after you exit the menus and start playing.
Music themes that came from another era. That's the fist thing that comes to my mind when thinking of the OutRun 2006 music. Most of the tracks are remixes of music tracks found on older OutRun titles but there are also some very nice new tracks. The original tracks are also there but they are quite outdated and they are there mostly like a nice addon for retro fans.
Sound effects are there when they should be and come along with the rest game but other than that they are not something special. One of the nice effects is the sound of the car's engine that fades out when you start driving and fades in when you are about to reach the goal. That's pretty cool especially when you're racing against another player and you are both reaching the goal at the same time or when you are about to run out of time just before the finish line.
The only available sound option is the volume control for the music and the sound effects in order to control the balance between each other.
So... You're driving a Ferrari Testarossa on a never ending bridge at 300Km/H with an attractive lady sitting next to you while listening to some cool music and admiring the mountains, the sea, the turn... The WHAT? Fortunately OutRun 2006 will not dissapoint you on this matter. Moving your car will be a breeze after about 1 minute of gameplay and when you learn how to drift you will be able to drive through the most dangerous and sharp turns at enormous speeds. Either if you use a keyboard, a digital pad, an analog pad, a joystick or a steering wheel you will not encounter any problems. The game also gives you the option to use automatic or manual transmission depending on what you think is best for your driving skills.
If you have difficulties controlling the car you can adjust the movement sensitivity and arrange the buttons from the controller configuration option of the game.
OutRun 2006 is one of the few sequels of older games that make you feel just as you did when you were playing the original.
The port of the game from the original platforms (X-BOX, PS2) can even be considered as the best PC port of the year up until now since it manages to keep acceptable hardware requirements while keeping performance at very high levels.
Unfortunately the internet multiplayer mode of OutRun 2006 needs work and cannot be considered as one of the game's strong parts. Other than that the game will offer you countless hours of fun.
Overall Rating: 9/10
OutRun 2006 can be considered as a pure arcade racer. If you liked the original OutRun or want to try a different kind of racing game then you will definately like it. On the other hand, if you're looking for a racing game similar to the Need for Speed, Grand Turismo or Project Gotham Racing series then OutRun 2006 Coast 2 Coast is not for you.