OutRun, known in Japan as アウトラン [Auto Ran], "OutRun", is a car racing game developed and published by Sega, originally released for the arcade in Japan on 1986-09-25, but then ported to many other platforms. The game uses a pseudo 3-D display which simulates speed by rapidly scaling-up sprites as you drive past them. The arcade cabinet was released in four forms, a mini upright cabinet, a larger upright cabinet, a more expensive sit-down cabinet which moved and shook with the game, and a deluxe moving cabinet with stereo speakers in the head rest and a race car shape.
I first saw this game in an arcade somewhere in the late 1980s, but I'm not positive where or which cabinet type. I do remember being very impressed with it, despite the fact that most people who played it rarely got very far. Looking at it more objectively now, I'm still very impressed by it's technical capabilities, but find the game to be rather dull in general.
Despite its flaws, I still love watching OutRun being played by a skilled driver, the rapidly moving background graphics leave me with a zen feeling.
I do not own this game, and I have not beaten it.
- Overall: 5/10
- Best Version: Arcade
- The game looks amazing. Not just the impressive arcade cabinet, but the in-game graphics are wonderful. The red Ferrari was an excellent vehicle choice.
- The game has really great music.
- Technically, the game is amazing. Not only can it handle large sprites and rapidly-scale them, but it can handle dozens on the screen at once.
- The alternate routes, each with their own ending was a nice touch, and the sheer number of side-line sprites and attractive look is very impressive.
- After all the flash and polish, the mechanics of the game aren't any different than racing games that preceded it by several years like Turbo or Pole Position.
- Because the car uses sprite mirroring, the Ferrari logo reverses when you steer to the left. This could have (and should have) been corrected by drawing the logo as a separate sprite.
- The game is painfully hard. Even after practice, it is unlikely you'll get very far in the game.
The USA and EU Genesis box art is nearly identical, just with a different cropping. This uses the Japanese art, only with the Ferarri in-tact rather than being obscured with the arcade version. The logo text has the same shape as the Japanese box, but is a boring flat white. This is my favorite box.