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April 9, 2006
Outrun 2006: Coast 2 Coast - PS2 Review
Release Date Distributor Developer Players Rating Difficulty
Sumo Digital
Save Size Sound Format Vibration 60Hz Mode 50Hz Border Widescreen

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Wait till you see this moving...
Please Note: Seeing as the PS2 and PSP versions of this game are almost identical the reviews are very similar, with changes made where applicable. Read on...

Starting out as an arcade game many moons ago Outrun is one of those games that you can instantly pick up and play, even if you're a gaming novice. The lack of updates to the series over the years is one which gamers have been questioning with plenty of fond memories waiting to be relived. Last year Sega, with developers Sumo Digital, updated the series with Outrun 2 hitting the XBox. Now PSP (and PS2) owners get to play the game, with plenty of neat extras, and it's damn brilliant.

Essentially this is two games rolled into one package. The first is a port of Outrun 2, the title which hit the Xbox some time ago and included 15 of the most intense racing stages ever seen on a console. The second game is Outrun 2 SP, which appeared in the arcades and included 15 new stages to master as well as the ability to ‘slipstream’ behind other traffic.

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Hitting the final stage.
Both games use the 15 stage pool table styled track layout. As you complete the first stage you’ll encounter a fork in the road, go left for the easy option, or right for a bit more of a challenge. All the time you’re racing the clock, traffic, and your own abilities to power slide around the corners. Power sliding has always been a major part of the Outrun series, and this game is no exception. It’s just so cool to tap the breaks, swing the back out and then slide around a massive corner before hitting the next straight.

As well as straight racing the game gives you the option of entering a series of challenges. These may be to drift as far as possible, crash into all traffic, collect coins littered on the track, break a line between two cars and so on. It certainly adds an element of skill and makes you hone your driving skills to perfection. Unlike so many other racing games though this is always a complete joy.

As you play the game you earn “Outrun Miles”. Essentially these are points for completing tasks, finishing races or even just starting them. These can then be used to buy a tonne of stuff through a shop including new cars, reversed tracks, new music, and new goals. It’s a tremendous incentive to keep playing – not only because you can unlock new items, but because unlike so many other games it's actually fun.

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Sliding out is great fun.
When you get home, and assuming you buy both the PSP and PS2 versions of this game you have the ability to transfer your saved games via USB cable. This allows you to take the game on the road when you need to, and continue on the big screen when you get home. In another form of connectivity the game supports multi-player for up to 6-players online which is really where the fun ramps up even more.

There really is little to complain about with Outrun 2006. It really is damn near perfect, and everything we could have expected. If I were to nitpick, and as was the case with the PSP game, the menu system could have been laid out a bit better. The save size is also pretty large (1473kb). It isn’t a big issue, but taking up around 1/6th of a memory card is a bit harsh.

Graphics in this PS2 version are, as with the PSP game, damn amazing. The big difference is that there isn't as much choppiness to the frame rate. Overall developers Sumo Digital have done a glorious job of capturing look of the Outrun series and most importantly captured the sense of speed associated with Ferrari’s. This sense of speed is assisted by general traffic on the road which chugs along. Background detail is impressive and while normal traffic looks a bit bland the Ferrari's all look quite special. The PSP version of this game includes not only 60Hz and Widescreen but also 480p (Progressive) which is a wonderful addition for those capable of viewing it.

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Heading to the wall.
Audio has also had it’s fair shake up in this title with all new variations on the classic themes. As we've previously mentioned you can also unlock new music with the 'Outrun Miles' including some classic tracks from the 1980's game. Effects are dominated by engine noises, and the screech of tyres as you slide around the corners. Overall I found the audio experience in the PS2 version a bit beefier then the PSP one, not just in the bass levels, but also in the number of ambient effects.

In my PSP review I mentioned that "Outrun 2006: Coast 2 Coast is probably the most fun I’ve had on my PSP to date". Fortunately this amount of fun translates to the PS2 as well and this is one of the best looking games on the system. Sega have been struggling to make a mark since leaving the hardware business but if they keep producing revamped titles like this then their future looks a lot brighter. This is a quality remake of a classic title. Now, if the company could bring us classics like Golden Axe, After Burner and a decent Sonic then we’d all be in heaven. Until then Outrun 2006: Coast 2 Coast is an essential purchase...

Review By: Dave Warner

Order your copy now from Gameswarehouse (PAL version).
GRAPHICSEssentially the same as PSP, but without the frame rate issues.
SOUNDSounds a little better then the PSP version due to beefier speakers.
GAMEPLAYThis what gaming is about. Pure pick up and play fun. Total fun.
VALUENot too many stages but still plenty to unlock and enjoy.
OVERALLOutrun 2006: Coast 2 Coast is one of the most enjoyable games I've played on the PS2 and PSP to date. It's just so much fun sliding around the courses, completing challenges and racing. One to add to the collection, and one to continue the resurrection of Sega.

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