Out Run is one of those games that was a must-play in the arcades back in the 1980s, a time when the arcade was -the- place to play the best games. Of course these days it is home alternatives which dominate in players’ hearts.
Since the 80s there have been many remakes and sequels of Out Run on a variety of consoles, but there were those who felt that they didn’t match to the original game. The original arcade had a 3D mode which, due to its technology, was extremely difficulty to replicate on the home consoles (though props to the Master System version for managing a version in conjunction with its SEGAScope 3D Glasses). For these reasons among others SEGA and M2, as part of their 3D Classics range, have added Outrun to their 3D re-masters list.
The basic layout of Out Run is straightforward ; race against an ever decreasing time limit through five courses, avoiding traffic and obstacles on the edge of the road in order to arrive at the finish line. A junction at the end of each course throws up a quick left or right route decision on the player. The outcome sees the road transform into a different location depending, culminating in five different endings. Like Super Hang On (another 80s SEGA arcade hit) there are no rivals to beat ; just you and your girlfriend on the open road traveling through different areas. The controls are simple ; you steer and drift through corners and avoid crashing into obstacles or other traffic on the road. A cool feature of this version is that the game can be controlled by either buttons or the touchscreen. Further additions include the ability to change the severity of the time deadline
The presentation of Out Run 3D shows demonstrates that M2 are excellent at re-mastering these games. In addition to keeping it faithful to the arcade original, they have made some improvements like giving it a 60 frames per seconds (fps), as opposed to the 30 fps rate found in the original. The 3D effect generally works very well in this game, although it can be distracting when travelling at high speeds so best to keep it on 2D if you’re focusing on those turns.
There are five songs to choose from, three which will be familiar to players plus two exclusive tracks which were added using the original sound hardware when making the remaster so they feel like they were part of the original game. Despite the 3DS not having the best speakers, the songs still sound great.
When you finish routes, you get to unlock certain features such as better drifting, higher speed and these can be toggled on and off via the touchscreen. This adds something new to the game and changes the pace and strategy of how you play.
A feature that would have been great to add to 3D Out Run is an online leaderboard, as this game is popular for those wanting to get and brag about high scores. Another thing some people may notice is that the Ferrari logo has been changed to a generic logo due to licensing issues, which is sad to see as many saw Ferrari and Outrun as synonymous with each other.
This version of Out Run is by far the closest experience you will get to playing it in the arcade on a home console, and the ability to play it on the go helps as well. The game is quite challenging on its default difficulty, but that can make the player more determined to experiment with different routes in other to reach the finish line.
- Great Soundtrack
- Beautiful presentation, especially in 3D
- Simple gameplay
- No online leaderboards
Final Score 9/10