Outrun 2006: Coast 2 Coast - PSP Review
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. Indeed the lack of updates to the series over the years is one which gamers have been questioning. Last year though Sega, with developers Sumo Digital, updated the series with Outrun 2 hitting the XBox. Now PSP (and PS2) owners get to play the game - and it's damn brilliant.
|Wait till you see this moving...|
Essentially this is two game rolled into one package. The first is Outrun 2, a very cool game which hit the Xbox some times ago and included 15 of the most intense racing stages ever seen on a console. The second game is Outrun 2 SP, the arcade version which includes 15 new stages to master as well as the ability to ‘slipstream’ behind other traffic.
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. 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.
|Hitting the final stage.|
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.
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 at once with complete rankings and results being stored. This is a wonderful addition to the game and certain to keep you playing for several more hours.
|Sliding out is great fun.|
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 the menu system could have been laid out a bit better in places. I would much rather see all the options at once. The save size is also pretty large (1600kb). It isn’t a big issue, but I certainly would hate to see all the games with saves this large and the first time I saved it took about a minute to do so almost reaching the point of turning the system off – something you should never do!
Graphics in this PSP game are damn amazing. Sure there is the odd occasion, especially in the busy later stages, where the frame rate struggles a bit which (from our early plays) doesn't appear in the PS2 version, but overall Sumo Digital have done a glorious job of capturing look of the Outrun series. Most importantly the developers have captured the sense of speed associated with Ferrari’s. This is assisted by the 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.
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.
When it comes down to it Outrun 2006: Coast 2 Coast is probably the most fun I’ve had on my PSP to date and an essential purchase. 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.
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|GRAPHICS||There are some frame rate drops but overall it looks fantastic.||86%|
|SOUND||Plenty of tracks to select from, more to unlock. Good effects.||82%|
|GAMEPLAY||This what gaming is about. Pure pick up and play fun. Total fun.||94%|
|VALUE||Not too many stages but still plenty to unlock and enjoy.||83%|
|OVERALL||Outrun 2006: Coast 2 Coast is one of the most enjoyable games I've played on the 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.||87%|