Arcade Belgium
OutRun 2 SP review
OutRun2 SP - Special Tours
* Developer: Sega AM2 (2004) * Testers: Sophie & Nomax

One year after the release of the very good OutRun 2, Sega brings us an upgrade to his famous racing game. If Sega decided to make a new version of this game, it's that they could do better, so they did!

* Jump in
For this new version, a new cabinet was created. First shock, this "deluxe" machine worthes its names since we get into a yellow Ferrari 360 imitation (which rear lights light up when braking). Beyond the screen size, the sound-system's quality impresses. Even the seat vibrates thanks to the sound! The last change compared to the twin version is that you shift gears on the steering wheel, this adds a little extra to the driving comfort.

2 twins can be linked-up. That's deluxe!

As said before, OutRun 2 SP also exists as a twin version. This cabinet is identical to the one used for the original OutRun 2 except that the red decals are replaced by yellow ones. An upgrade kit is available to easily transform an existing OutRun 2 cabinet.

Here's a classical gear shifter. And there, the gear shifter is behind the steering wheel.

* Settings
The game begins with the choice of your Ferrari (and the transmission). First good surprise: 2 new cars (the 250 GTO and the BB512) are added to the 8 models already available in the previous version. Each car is available in several colors (that you switch using the brake and gears). Then, let's choose a game mode between OutRun mode (normal mode), OutRun 15 Courses, Heart Attack mode, Time Attack mode and Time Attack 15 Courses. In the 15 courses modes, you race all the 15 courses in one shot instead of only 5 in other modes. All these modes take place on new courses. However, other game modes featuring original OutRun 2 courses are available by pressing the "view change" button on the game mode select screen. At last, let's switch on the radio to listen to one of the 14 tunes (including 4 new tracks and the 3 original OutRun classics)!

Hard to choose one... The radio has evolved since the original OutRun!

* Let's go!
This isn't the North Sea...It's summertime, the sun is shining, let's go for a ride through the most beautiful sceneries of North America. You start the engine and the journey begins. Your loyal blond haired girlfriend is still one of the party for better (overtakings and controlled skids), for worse (crashes). First shock: the landscapes are magnificent (here the beach), the driving is easy to handle, the road is wide and there's a lot of traffic.Here comes a rival. Surprise: a rival makes his entrance and he's not alone: he's got his own blond girl, he'll try by all means to make you ridiculous to your girlfriend's eyes. It's up to your driving skills to stay always number one on the road. After this little warm-up on the beach, you come across the first junction: follow the left road (the easy one) to arrive on the Golden Gate. But be careful: don't miss your turning while listening to your friend telling you to look at the ducks, the planes and the ballons in the sky. This said, you can't avoid to stare at the scenery throughout the journey (across the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, Easter Island, New York, the snowy montains, the jungle, the big forest, ...).

* Game modes
Jennifer, Alberto and Clarissa.Let's introduce the characters: you are Alberto (25 years old, handsome, the playboy of the game)whom Jennifer (23 years old, rich, selfish and in love with Alberto) has offered a Ferrari. There's also Clarissa (22 years old, demanding, loves thrilling drives) who never misses an opportunity to challenge Alberto. We just talked about the main mode (OutRun Mode), it's played with Jennifer at your side. This mode's goal is to go through 5 stages you choose while accumulate a mximum of points. Overtake, beats the rivals, finish the courses in the shortest time, increase the score. The most original game mode is undoubtedly the Heart Attack Mode in which you must impress your friend Clarissa by succeeding in a series of challenges like overtaking cars, avoiding crashes, making successful drifts, catching ghosts, passing under arks, ... Heart Atack Mode: here you must drift to the end.Your score (from E to AAA) depends on the number of hearts Clarissa gives you according to your performance. You can also choose the Time Attack Mode where the objective is of course to do the best time. The presence of ghost cars will ease your task. In this mode, you'll be able to choose between normal or tuned cars. Tuned cars have a higher maximum speed, loose less speed while turning but they have a slower acceleration and are less responsive. Once became an experienced driver, these will help you to save precious seconds. If you play with friends, the versus mode (up to 4 players) is made for you. In this case, the leader can choose the next course. Take notice of the fact that both OutRun and Time Attack modes exist also in 15 courses version (instead of 5). In any case, you'll be able to join the world ranking by entering the password given at game's end on the official website.

Ghostbusters... And here's the result!

* Checkpoint
To finish OutRun 2, you'll have to travel through 5 stages among the 15 of the game by choosing between 2 ways at the end of each course. Unlike many other racing games, the driving is immediately easy to handle and makes this game accessible for everyone. The road is wide, the car reacts immediately, the gearbox is sequential, time given at each checkpoint is enough and drifts are easy to realize (especially in manual transmission).There's some traffic on this bridge!There are 2 views available: bumper view and rear view (maybe more comfortable to drift). A OutRun 2 particularity is to take place in the middle of the traffic, what causes inevitably some accidents. However, those don't penalize much because they don't make you loose too much speed and time. Indeed, instead of obstructing you during several seconds, crashed cars disapear. When you leave the road, you loose less speed than in the original version, which heats up multiplayer races. A welcomed new feature in this version is the slipstream effect: when you follow a vehicle, you profit of the aspiration (as in Daytona USA and 18-Wheeler). In OutRun 2 SP, the cars' specifications are more equal. Due to the Ferrari license, cars don't get any damage.

* Under the hood

Admire the landscape.This game has gorgeous graphics, we can't stop to say that the environments are splendid, varied and exotics. Each course has its own atmosphere and is full of details you discover as you play. We can only be amazed by the landscapes' magnificent aspect (especially the waterfall) and the attention paid to details (like the realistic reflection effect on the wet road in Las Vegas). Add to this that the cars are extremely well modelized and are accurate reproductions of the originals. The only black point is as always with the Chihiro, a marked aliasing problem.Drift and sun.

The animation is perfect, the sense of speed is there. Regarding musical ambience, there's a wide choice of tunes but we'll remember especially the original themes from 1986. After all those years, it's a real pleasure to hear them again (for the numerous nostalgic players). Like all racing games, the sound effects aren't unforgettable except the dear passenger who talks often (to congratulate or reprimand the driver).

* Sum up
Without hesitation, OutRun 2 SP really stands out from other racers. The magic is still there: we're once more feeling like being on holiday driving our Ferrari under the palm trees. Ideal to escape after a hard day working. Graphically flawless and so funny, this game is a hit and you'll want to play it again and again. Especially with its 30 courses (15 new and 15 from the original version), it will take time to see all the games' twists and turns as well as alone as with friends. So, this Special Tour version is much better than the original.

Under the palm trees... The 15 SP version's courses.

* Score

External aspect 16/20
The twin version comes in the standard Sega cabinet coloured in black and yellow. Special mention to the Deluxe cabinet shaped as a yellow F360 Modena that doesn't pass unnoticed thanks to its functional rear lights and its quality soundsystem.18/20
Attract 17/20
The demo describes the game in depth and shows many game sequences.
First impression 18/20
We're charmed right from the start: holiday feeling, great sense of speed, wonderful graphics. That's fun!
Originality 18/20
Challenges, linked courses, paradisiac scenery and the Ferrari make OutRun2 a unique title.
Addictiveness 18/20
After the first game, you want to go further to discover the other courses. The game is so good that you always return to it.
Graphics 18/20
We'll never say it enough, this game is splendid, there are many different sceneries and the vehicles are very well modelized.
Sound 18/20
The original tunes are still so good and the new ones aren't bad either. Sound effects are basic but numerous.
Gameplay 19/20
Very easy to handle, this racer suits to everyone. It's very easy to drift. On the deluxe version, gear shifter on the steering wheel is an extra.
Overall 19/20
Brilliant! At last a breath of fresh air blows on the world of racing games.

Text/Pictures: Sophie & Nomax.
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