The OutRun 2 Review Page

Arcade Hardware: Chihiro Board

It all started back in 1986, with one of the most amazing 2D racing games ever developed. Out Run was the title, and it was zipping truckloads of sprites past like nothing before. Starting out from a single point on the track, racers take their Ferrari off at hair re-combing speeds to one of 5 possible finishing positions. And the same applies to the 2nd version of the game, even though now in 2004, it’s 18 years since the original came out. This time everything is 3D, and with the awesome power of the Chihiro board, AM 2 have produced the most amazing looking cars and scenery that you’ll have ever seen. Now speaking of the Chihiro board, and despite that it’s basically a XBOX, OutRun 2 actually uses 512 MB of RAM — that’s 8 times the amount the XBOX has, which makes it a wonder that the game actually was able to run on the console. Of course quite a few of Sega’s disc based arcade games require such large amounts of RAM, because the drive goes to sleep for something like 72 hours, or until the RAM’s data becomes corrupted. Apparently. This is due to the nature of arcade games running constantly and a way of preventing drive wear.
Yu Suzuki must have a thing about Ferrari cars, what with Ferrari F355 Challenge also y’know, and as such, this game is a Ferrari official licensed product. You’ll certainly notice anyway when you start collecting the cards in the mission area. What area? I hear you asking. Yes, it’s the all new Mission Mode, which gives you 101 tasks to do from remembering the order of fruit and collecting hearts, to driving down the correct coloured parts of the road and answering maths questions. And you better be a good driver when you attempt these, because knowing the right answer or which part of the track to drive on is useless if you can’t control the car in the right area. But there’s plenty of room for practising and retrying. For those of you who have never had the joy of playing the original game, despite the fact that it came out on nearly every Sega console, Atari ST, ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, Amiga and even PC (for DOS), (Did I forget anything there?) you can also unlock the game in OutRun 2. It looked a little blurry to me, but other than that it appears to be pretty spot on. You start off with 9 credits, control is pretty much the same as the default OutRun 2 settings, and gear change is with A & X. Personally I prefer the set up how it is in Shenmue 2, but it’s only a couple of button changes, so it’s not really a big deal. But who am I to complain? It’s a bonus dealie anyhow.
OutRun and of course this 2nd one, is all about getting to the next checkpoint as fast as you possibly can while attaining the highest score at the end of the race. In OutRun 2, nifty powersliding unlike anything braking wise that you’ve seen in the original game, is a key factor to getting you, your chick and your Ferrari around the tight corners that challenge you on the road. Of course powersliding correctly and at a decent speed is something you’ll want to master in order to actually drive well to the finish.
OutRun 2 isn’t one of those damn boring simulations - it’s a true arcade racing game, and speed is the order of the day. The scenery just zips by at an amazing speed, making The Need For Speed games look like old Grandma out wheeling her shopping trolley in comparison.
Now, as if it isn’t already enough that you get OutRun 2 to play in your own home, and the original OutRun, but AM 2 have also very nicely included some cool bonus tracks to play on too after you complete the Stage 4 and Stage 6 missions in the Mission Mode area.
And they aren’t just any tracks either, they’re from Daytona USA 2 Power Edition and Scud Race! (More ecstatic drooling…) Yes, indeedy. And considering that neither of those games ever got released on the Dreamcast, you now have the chance to race those tracks for the 1st time at home! (Considering of course that you probably don’t already happen to own the arcade versions of the games somehow.) Is that a mega awesome bonus or what? Naturally, if you want to be a bit more authentic, you’ll crack out the F40 car for Scud Race before setting out. ;-) So, how do they compare to the originals? Pretty damn spot on, to tell you the truth, bar a couple of changes here and there, and a bit of a frame rate drop on the daytime Beginner track, but other than that, pretty sweet. Okay, so Sonic’s pic near the tunnel wall has gone, and the spinning Saturn logo in Scud Race, and by the looks of it, the red demon / devil over the Advanced track in Daytona USA 2, but really it’s not a big deal. Even though they’re from the Model 3 board, the tracks still look stunning, and they’re the greatest bonus ever that could be included with the game. Totally yum!

Desert — The track is dusty and constantly shows it flying up from under your tyres.
Cape Way — Check out the detail in the town surrounding you. Beautiful scenery and high speed driving — what could be better?
The Beginner day time course of SCUD Race
The Expert track of Daytona USA 2: Power Edition

Graphics: This is another one of those games that you need to put a bucket under your chin for to catch all the drool. Whether it be the ultra realistic scenery or the real car reflections, the water effects or the high amounts of detail that do it for you, (or let’s face it the whole lot,) you’ll be dribbling and slobbering like an idiot the whole time. The Ancient Ruins track has some excellent sand that blows in the wind across the road, and the Tulip Garden area looks beautiful. The cars are immaculately detailed and are instantly recognizable to their real versions. A little bit jagged looking here and there, but all in all very, very smart. 98%
Pretty much as smooth as the arcade version, apart from a couple of areas of slow down. As far as background animation is concerned, 1stly there are the zillions of other vehicles moving about on the track, which always keeps things looking busy and iteresting. 2ndly there are some great looking effects with grass and dirt flying up, and 3rdly you also get some neat animation from Alberto and his woman also. 95%
OutRun is often regarded highly for it’s memorable music, and once again the 3 original tunes (, Splash Wave, Magical Sound Shower & Passing Breeze,) have made an appearance, although done up more so for today’s standards. There are also terrific new songs, especially Shiny World, and you can also unlock the original songs, plus some excellent Euro Remix versions. The cars all sound fantastic, with great engine noises, as do the crashes and what have you. Speech in the game is clear, and various other menu effects and what not are pretty good too. 98%
If you picked up how to play this easily in the arcades, then it has to be said that the XBOX version is right on the money also. Although it does feel a bit different with the control pad after using the wheel. All in all very good control wise. 97%
There’s those 101 missions to do, the original game to play, those bonus tracks and scores to improve on too, so there’s heaps to keep you occupied. And then there’s XBOX Live as well… 95%
Once again AM 2 rub it in everyone’s faces that they are the gaming masters. This is an essential purchase for your XBOX. Unless of course you happen to own the arcade version. Uh, then again probably not. Get your butt into gear and buy this up like now. 98%


If you’re nowhere near completing the 4th & 6th segments of the Mission Mode, or just can’t manage them for some reason, & are wetting your pants in anticipation to play the Daytona USA 2 and Scud Race tracks, you can still unlock them anyhow! In the Gallery section where you enter ya codes, put in: TIMELESS, and you’ll be in action. Sweet!