Recently we reviewed a game that takes inspiration from Outrun, REVIEW: Horizon Chase Turbo on Nintendo Switch
Well ever since this game was announced I have been waiting for the Sega Ages remaster of Outrun to hit the stateside eShop. My only experience with Outrun is the Genesis rom on my RetroPie. I am aware that this is the first “3D” racing arcade game and has a legendary soundtrack by Hiroshi Kawaguchi. I had a blast playing Horizon Chase Turbo and wanted to get familiar with its origins. Growing up I have played classic racing games like F1 Race for Gameboy and have become familiar with Pole Position which is similar to Outrun. I decided that a remastered edition that can also be portable was well worth the $7.99.
One thing that had held me back on owning this game is that the only mode is a time attack/checkpoint mode. After Playing for the first time I was wowed by the artwork of the game and the super scaler technology. This game was first released in 1986 and still feels “modern” The game runs at 60fps and weaving in and out of traffic is intense.
Since this is a Sega Ages game, they have loaded it with features. You can add scanlines, smoothing, widescreen, full screen and even play with an emulated arcade monitor view. You can edit how to shift from hi to low gear, change the difficulty setting and also the length of time added for checkpoints. I experimented with these settings and decided to go with scanlines and smoothing because it looked the best way to play. Also, based the images below you will note that I kept the default Outrun border. It is the best in my opinion.
The music makes this game unique. They are all soothing melodies that make the game feel like you are just going for a beach cruise with your babe. When you are driving into the ocean and get that splash effect to appear on the screen you will see what I mean.
The biggest feature I was looking forward to was motion control. However, this was a bit of a letdown. It works great up until the point you flip the convertible Ferrari and the game resets your car. The calibration is off after that point. Allegedly there is a way to fix this, but you need to pause the game and recalibrate the controller. I was playing with the left joy-con. It was fun but feels like a novelty and not practical.
Diving back into gameplay. I love the branching paths. It really feels like you are just going for a Sunday cruise. Right before the next checkpoint, you are presented a fork in the road. Each path has different scenery and its own unique set of challenges. There are 5 different finishing points. Each with its own ending.
There are two ways to play: Old and New Mode. I have only played new. Once you beat the game the score is automatically uploaded to the worldwide rankings. I loved that aspect. I was surprised by the ending scene. After you beat a path in Outrun a new power-up is unlocked. So far I have unlocked the steering wheel that makes cornering easier, and bumpers that lessen the blow of knocking into semi-trailers and other cars blocking your path. When you have those power-ups on your scores get recorded in the “freestyle” mode(power-ups on). There are 4 power-ups total and appear as garages during the attract mode.
Overall Score: B+
This score isn’t an A but that is because this is a casual game and is really only a “beat the hi-score” game. It is an arcade game so you will have that. Nostalgia plays a big factor in the game, but the minor additions added to this classic make it highly playable. It looks and sounds like a modern game. Collision mechanics feel good and the physics of the game feel ‘correct’.
Note: I am very pleased with how this Sega Ages game turned out. Looking to see what they do with Virtua Racer and hoping for a Daytona USA Sega Ages edition.
Finally finishing the game: