OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast (2006) - MobyGames (2024)

The Good
Outrun is a name that only brings a smile to my face. The original game was released by Sega in 1986 as a coin op arcade. Back then I was still in school and I remember that me and my friends would miss some classes just because we were too busy playing Outrun on our local Arcade and Billiards hall. Well Outrun is a heavy name, simply because it was a pioneering concept back then. It was one of the first arcade games to feature the player’s car in third person, the sprites crated a pseudo 3D impression, it’s graphics were amazing back then and featuring the red Testarossa with the girl on the co-driver’s seat it was very trendy! Remember, we are talking about the era of Miami Vice and Axel-F here.

A couple of years later after the arcade it’s launch, Outrun gets transferred to the micros. But neither version had the impact the original coin-op had, that being due to technical shortages mainly and there were no wheel controllers to buy for your Commodore 64 (or any other micro) in 1988!

After the first Outrun a couple more sequels were released, none of them would make you smile as the original coin-op. Then the lights gone off, the red Testarossa (and F40 to the sequel) remained in the dark to catch dust and the years gone by.

It’s only very recently that I’ve discovered Outrun 2006: Coast to Coast. The title got my attention immediately and just a week ago I bought a copy of this re-vamp. And I’m glad I did!

The first thing that you feel in Outrun 2006, just like the original 1986 title, is a light headed happiness. The day is beautiful, you have an open road before you, A brand new Ferrari and a girl by your side to accompany you on the wild ride! Even if the sky’s black and pouring like mad, Outrun 2006 wins your sympathy on the spot.

The graphics are simply beautiful and very well done. Nice simple surround modelling with beautiful textures and colours. And yes it looks very cartoony and unreal, but such is it’s heritage. Outrun would be not so big if it wasn’t a cool cartoon story.

On the other hand you have 15 officially licensed Ferrari models, beautifully and craftily modelled for you to drive. 15 genuine road models are at your disposal, plus another 15 racing or moded versions. The cars are all works of art, abundant in detail and authenticity.

Indeed Outrun 2006 is an evolution in many ways. Not only you have a nice wide choice of what Ferrari you’ll race with, you also have a wide choice in competition modes, beginning from the classic Outrun re-done, Outrun 2 SP, Coast to Coast, Heartbreaker, Race against Ghost cars for the ultimate timing etc. In any type of race you do you earn Outrun miles, according to how well you did and how well you performed various tricks of the trade. Outrun miles are useful in buying (unlocking) extra Ferrari models, car body colors, tracks, music tracks, etc. The more precisely and well controlled your riving is the more the miles you’ll earn.

In Coast to Coast mode, which is the main new feature you have 2 options: Racing to impress the girl by performing the tricks she asks while keeping within time limits, or racing against other Ferrari maniacs for a podium standing, or to get a higher score in drifting or slipstreaming.

As you would expect from this game the car’s handling is very arcade like. Don’t expect a simulation of the Italian beasts. Here you’re having the ride of your life at the touch of a button. For instance, you can perform mile long drifts very easily, but controlling your drift precisely is an art you’ll have to master in order to survive the competition. Also the gear shifting has changed. In previous Outruns the player would shift from Low to High gear in order to get the car going properly. Here you have a choice of an automatic transmission system or a manual 5 or in some models up to 6 gears manual transmission.

Unlike any previous Outrun, here you have the choice of 3 views: The classic third person view, a bumper view and a inside view, which doesn’t create any visual problem as it happens in other racing games. The arcade fun orientated handling of the your car in Outrun though, makes the third person view more practical in use. And the thing I loved about it is that it is very easy to do so, even if you’re not used playing in this view. I always play racing games viewing the road from the bumper or from in-car view, but in Outrun I switched to third person without any problem at all, something that is impossible for me on other racing games.

On the sound front, there’s the selection of classic Outrun hits like ‘Passing Breeze’ etc in every version and remix there ever was. Even the original 1986 versions are here for you to listen while playing. What is the use of that? Well if you’re 34 years old and you’ve spent like a fortune in coins for Outrun when you were 16, having the original tune in your ears, certainly takes you a long way back :)

The thing that I loved most about Outrun 2006 is that it is very well implemented and thought after. Technically it’s re-vamping from the original is superb and I dare to say that Outrun 2006 had the same exciting impact as the original had on me. The graphics are up to date and the whole feeling and light headed atmosphere is there left intact. Sumo Digital did a fabulous work on this title! I suspect that most of these guys have grown up with Outrun!

The Bad
The thing that puts me off personally in this game is the difficulty to recover from a drift to a straight course. It requires loads of practice not to end up on the road side, simply because when you loose your tail your Ferrari is all over the road. Having said that, note that it is really crucial to learn how to master the recovering technique as impacts cost you speed and time. Also the handling in general, although being arcade like, it’s not the best or the smoothest I’ve seen, quite the opposite. Although drifting is as easy as saying the word ‘drift’, changing lanes to overtake is a difficult task, the car’s movement is so awkward and sudden that sometimes it’s only luck that’s keep you going.

The opponents never do mistakes, they are deadly precise and wait for your mistake for their benefit to gain distance. As for the traffic, they really are driving on a planet of their own, but such was their behaviour in the original as well.

On the engine sound front now, all models sound the same and to be honest this is the most boring sound I heard on a modern racing game. Although the engine roar resembles the distinctive sound of the Ferrari engines, it is nowhere near the real thing.

The modes of racing, although supposedly having a wide selection of races, most of them are identical and the racing playground follows the original pyramid layout of the 15 original stages. An addition of the ability to play (or buy / unlock) the stages in reverse mode is included but that doesn’t affect really the product life cycle factor any longer.

The Bottom Line
Undoubtedly Outrun was a pioneer in the electronic game world. Re-vamping such a strong concept is good, especially if the technology advances are so rapid that such a re-vamping would be beneficial for all. I feel that this was the right time for Outrun to be reborn in a fresh shell, and that re-birth was done exceptionally in my opinion.

The only things that make me quite skeptical are two facts: Surely for people who have played the original Outrun when they were younger, the 2006 version makes up for a nice nostalgia article to have in their collection. On the other hand, for younger players, without the essential background of the original, I suspect that this title won’t offer them much and at the end of the day would rather be a disappointing purchase, mainly due to the awkward handling of the player’s car and the rather simple, quick and repetitive race modes.

The second thing that troubles me is that I wanted something more from this title. By saying that I really mean that racing for a maximum of 5 minutes per session, on the original track set is ok, but what happens after that? Gameplay lacks evolution here and I really wanted to see a longer lasting Outrun with fresh new ideas and stuff.

OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast (2006) - MobyGames (2024)
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