Outrun 2006: Coast 2 Coast PC Games and Downloads
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Outrun 2006: Coast 2 Coast Product Details
Released on 23/06/2006
Encounter the best that OutRun has to offer across 30 glorious stages, including the original OutRun2 and OutRun2 SP arcade stages - from the sun-drenched sands of Palm Beach to the charms of Cape Way and Ancient Ruins, through to the wonders of the Milky Way and heights of Skyscraper stages. With online gameplay, PSP connectivity and an all-new license mode, which route will you take?
- 30 glorious stages, including the original OutRun2 and OutRun2 SP arcade stages.
- Online racing for up to six players, both head-to-head and co-op.
- New mission structure and platform-specific missions.
- Fully licensed and approved by Ferrari: players can choose from one of 12 different Ferrari models including the all-new F430 and Superamerica in standard, lightly and highly tuned forms.
Mark has a sweet tooth for Sega's superb arcade racer...
This is something of a defining moment. A surprise, if you will… nay: a revelation. It's the first time we've ever reviewed a multi-format game based primarily on the PSP version. And there's a good reason for that. After all, it's not unfair to say that the PSP library currently plays host to a plethora of PS2 ports which, in gameplay terms, operate more as cutdown instalments of their full-blown home console cousins than like-for-like translations.
But not this.
No, Outrun 2006: Coast 2 Coast is exactly what we'd have hoped for after playing Xbox Outrun 2. It's a vibrant, colourful and unremittingly FUN car cruiser every bit as blisteringly fast and thrillingly electric as driving games get - and that extends to each and every version of Sega's latest, greatest and ever-most irrepressible arcade racer.
There's a helluva lot of game for your money here. Outrun 2 was no slouch in that department, but this takes the proverbial biscuit. And then covers it in sugared icing, chocolate sprinkles, and syrup the consistency of motor oil. The result is an eye-bulgingly sweet gaming treat that just keeps on giving.
A sweet wafer
Perhaps biscuit is a little off the mark. If Outrun 2006 is a form of videogame confectionary, it's definitely a sweet wafer. The sandwich kind. Holding the game together is its shell; on one side, the familiar racing greatness of Outrun 2 in all it's 15 track, multiple mode glory - on the other a first for home consoles: the full arcade edition of Outrun 2 SP, with it's 15 additional brand-spanking-new courses and a slipstreaming technique a little like the one in Sonic Riders. Except this one actually works.
In the middle, you have the filling: The very same sumptuous, speedy, extrovert powersliding panache that even the Ridge Racer and Burnout games could learn a thing or two from.
A vibrant, colourful and unremittingly FUN car cruiser every bit as blisteringly fast and thrillingly electric as driving games get.
Of course, there's more to the game than just that. Outrun's underlying remit is every bit as simple as it is world famous. You start in any one of number of high-end rainbow bright sports cars and accelerate along a stretch of road, soon catching and veering in between traffic, flinging your Ferrari with the utmost ease through 90 degree turns, and hurtling down the highway towards the next checkpoint in a race against the ever-decreasing time limit.
An exceptional driving experience
Along the way you'll hit five forks in the road, with the left choice offering an easier slant and the right fork presenting a more discernable challenge, allowing you to tailor each race as you see fit. That same free-running mode is available here in both Outrun 2 and SP variants and even a quick start mode labelled Just Race, which couldn't be more perfect for travelling PSP gamers. In all cases, these options offer a delightful foundation for an exceptional driving experience.
If learning to intuitively control a car is your thing, then the less traditional modes will be for you. Heart Attack sees you trying to impress your in-car girlfriend by attempting increasingly zany stunts - from powersliding around corners to weaving between traffic and life-threatening speeds in order to earn a certain number of hearts - in a way, the Outrun edition of Crazy Taxi's famed Crazy Box bonus games.
Moreover, the new Coast 2 Coast subtitle belies a gametype with two distinct selections; Flagman's more serious driving challenges in the arts of drifting and slipstreaming, for instance, are perfectly offset by more girlfriend madness that place you on the traditional Outrun forking road with one extreme difference. Here, you'll endeavour to meet her every command; bumping off other cars, driving between two autos to cut a ribbon tying them together, and even dodging UFOs.
The PSP release looks fantastic, benefiting from the small, pin-sharp screen and hefty audio oomph presented by the portable system.
As if the sheer joy of playing Outrun wasn't enough, all of this time spent on the road will bring yet more rewards. And we don't just mean some of it; we mean ALL. Every single race in Outrun 2006 - regardless of gametype - earns OR Miles, which can be put towards items in the game's shop. Thankfully, these aren't your usual throwaway gaming extras like artwork and a new menu screen; we're talking new tracks, new cars, and even fresh remixes of the game's already superb soundtrack. We said Coast to Coast kept on giving, and if the game is a wafer, then the OR Miles and Shop aspects make up a very welcome chocolate Flake.
It's also a gleefully presented game. On Xbox, it looks even better than Outrun 2, while any anticipated jaggedness in the PS2 version is nowhere to be seen. Heck, even the PSP release looks fantastic, benefiting from the small, pin-sharp screen and hefty audio oomph presented by the portable system. A PSP-PS2 linkup function also allows you to move your license (ostensibly the save file) between the two versions, taking your game on-the-go when you leave home, and simply uploading it back up to the big screen version when you get back in through the door.
Which just leaves the online option. Sadly, finding an open session to join on the PSP version seems to take an Act of God, but when you eventually do, you'll find six-player online battles a real treat in any wireless area - and if you can't, there's always Wireless LAN play, providing you have friends with a copy of the game. Likewise, PS2 and Xbox both feature their own online options with all the requisite Friends Lists and Leaderboards in the package as expected.
But it's what's unpredictable that makes Outrun 2006 such an exhilarating experience. Wind in your hair, tail-whipping the dream of every boy racer around a hectic hairpin and careering past the opposition towards a deep red sunset, planes flying over, Magical Sound Shower blazing it's enrapturing fare right to the centre of your spirit… it's an uplifting moment that few racing games have ever managed to match. Sure, Burnout may be the bees knees as far as high-velocity crash-inducing gameplay goes, and Gotham is unmistakably the current king of next-gen racers, but going Coast 2 Coast offers a journey no-one could fail to enjoy.
- Excellent, enrapturing, exhilarating arcade handling
- Plenty of modes, tons to unlock, and even online play
- Fantastic visuals, steady frame rate and that oh-so-hummable soundtrack
- Won't appeal so much to car-tinkering, realism-seeking GT lovers
- Finding an open online session on PSP is an altogether random occurance
- Err... the menu system can confuse at times ...?
Review by: Mark Scott
Version Tested: PSP
Review Published: 06.04.06
Outrun 2006: Coast 2 Coast Review (06/04/2006)
Mark has a sweet tooth for Sega's superb arcade racer...
This is something of a defining moment. A sur…
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