Genre: Racing Developer: Sega of Japan Publisher: Data East Players: 1-2 Released: 1994
An overused internet cliché term can be used to describe this utterly awesome title: OMG. It stands for “OutRunners is a Must own Game!” This game, in my opinion at least is the best racer in the Genesis library. The only other game that could possibly compare to this title are the two latter Road Rash forays. Everything in OutRunners is fun. And what more can you ask for in any video game? Well, its not quite the most fun game ever made for Genesis, but it should be in any fan’s top 10. That’s not to say that there are a few items of business that detract from this great piece of an outstanding franchise.
For one, even if you are playing alone, you are stuck in the two-player split-screen mode. Now, I don’t believe that the game slows down at all like Sonic 2 did (ugh, that was annoying. Especially with that TV box that switched you and the other player’s places), but it detract from the bountiful colors that the OutRun games give us. Other than that, I think that the only other problem is that when you take the forks in the road, it never tells you where you are in the world until after the game is over. Sometimes you can tell where you are, but most of the time it is difficult to pinpoint exactly where.
So, what makes this game so, like OMG? Ok, enough of the lameness. This game delivers enough even to satisfy that guy who was so pissed off at you in the old Sega CD commercials. Lets start off right when you turn on the game. For some reason, likely because it was 1994, in the peak of the console wars, Sonic and Tails fly by in their Sonic 2 planes and give us the trademark Sega sign. Okay, that’s a cool and nice departure from the usual intro screen. Second of all, the game continues an OutRun tradition of having absolutely positively the best and possibly the most memorable music on the console.
One of our forum members, Joe Redifer, has a video on YouTube that shows some of the voices that are present in the majority of titles on the Mega Drive and then their Sega CD counterparts. Obviously, OutRunners was never released for the wonder machine, but it does have the baddest voices (I mean, real bad, like that scene from Terminator where Ahnuld says “Ill be back” to the night watchman bad) that describe the various cars you can drive.
Wait, did I just say various cars? Take that, OutRun. Oh yeah, this game has a bunch of cars to choose from that are all pretty awesome in their own right. They all have their own characteristics as well. I’m going to act like the guy from OutRunners in describing them. The first car that comes to mind is MAD POWAH! which has the fastest speed. Then there is Bad Boy, which is the tank of the OutRunners crew and is good at ramming cars and eating small children. Er, omit the last part. There is a cool 4×4 called WWWWWILD CHASER (I swear, it’s what he said). The original Outrunmobile is here, called Speed Buster. My least favorite car, is the fast-accelerating, but low top speed Quick Reactor. I don’t really like it much simply because it makes you depend on mistakes by your opponent to win the race. Two middle-of-the-line cars are available the Smooooooooooth Operator and the handling powered Easy Hahnnnndling.
This game has no control problems whatsoever, but the one thing lacking on the control scene is a lack of an overdrive button, similar to the one on Super Hang-On and games of that ilk. That would have been a great addition to this already outstanding title. The A.I. is fairly standard for the time, but does like to bump into you and try to get the upper hand, especially when the roads get narrow and you are neck and neck. The graphics in this game are not bad, but they certainly aren’t anything to write home about. I would give the graphics a C+ if I were to grade them. Kinda bad, but not so much that it detracts from the fun. A new addition to the OutRun scene is the ability to change the music in the middle of the game. The music, in keeping in the OutRun tradition, is unbelievable. It is enjoyable and fast paced, and it fits perfectly into the high speed gameplay.
Is this the best OutRun game ever produced? I would say it is #2, only behind the original OutRun arcade cabinet. Whenever I see an original OutRun cabinet, I play it no matter what, and that is probably the best one ever made. But this game is no doubt the best Genesis version in the series, and barring my not having played the two Xbox versions, this could be the best console OutRun ever produced. This is certainly better than Turbo Outrun and Outrun 2019, and certainly is at least a little better than the original classic. Like, OMG, this game is totally worth the five to ten bucks your going to pay for it. Seriously.
SCORE: 9 out of 10