8.6

OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast review
OutRun makes a fast & fun PS2 debut

The good:

Fast, simple gameplay. Includes the most recent arcade version and OutRun 2 content. Online play. Extensive single player modes. Compatibility with PSP version.

The bad:

You can't unlock everything if you don't have a PSP. Some problems with locking up/freezing on some versions. Slightly loose controls.

Summary:

The first game in the OutRun franchise to reach PS2, OutRun 2006 also marks the 20th anniversary of the popular driving franchise. This edition includes content from the Xbox version of OutRun 2, the updated OutRun 2 SP arcade game, and a new single player mode as well as new tracks and licensed Ferrari cars to play with.

The graphics are simple yet solid, and again arcade-perfect. The cars show a high amount of detail as do most backgrounds, but some do look a bit unrealistic especially when they first pop up before entering them during races. The frame rate is generally fast & smooth but there are times when you'll hit some rough spots and momentary slowdown. Sounds are also simple but good overall, the engine sounds are good if not unrealistic and most of the voices from previous games are back. Longtime arcade players will be happy to hear the old "Get Ready" and "Checkpoint" voices from previous versions are once again present. The music is the same as before but the variety has been expanded to include new songs from SP as well as original tracks from OutRun 1989. The quality is hit-and-miss depending largely on your tastes in music. Controls are fairly simple and easy to pick up on and quite responsive, although steering wheel compatibility would have been nice. Also, although the sensitivity can be adjusted, the controls still tend to be a little on the loose side. Gameplay is the same simple point-to-point racing it's always been, but now you also try to pass your fellow rivals on the roads while also racing the clock. The main single player mode features over 100 missions with challenges challenges like racing, drifting, and others. The driving also has been enhanced slightly by adding slipstreaming, or drafting, to the gameplay, which helps add a little bit of depth to the racing. Also included is the original OutRun 2 SP arcade game, which also features content from the prequel, OutRun 2. Multiplayer play is available online for up to 6 players, but it's a little disappointing that there's no offline options for 2 or more players. Sega also made this version cross-compatible with the PSP version, but they made the bad mistake of making some hidden content unlockable only on the PSP version-if you only have the PS2 version, you'll miss out on about 10% of everything there is to unlock, which is extremely disappointing. Also, some versions of the game seem to be prone on occasion to locking up or freezing while loading-in fact, my version refuses to load one unlocked game mode entirely and always freezes during loading while accessing my memory card. The other freezing up is quite rare but it's something to be aware of while playing.

Despite the technical issues and imperfect PS2-PSP connectivity setup, this still remains a fast, fun, and simple arcade-style racer that's aged nicely over the past 20 years. There's more than enough here to warrant a purchase by both OutRun fans and non-fans alike, but those who already have OutRun 2 on Xbox might want to rent this one first to see if there's enough new content to warrant the $30 price tag.

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