Game:Out Run 2Publisher:SegaDeveloper:Sumo DigitalGenre:RacingGameTested for:XboxAvailable for:XboxUSK:Released in:11/2004
While EA, Rockstar & Co. with jostling orgies (Burnout 3) or tuning operas (Need for Speed Underground 2, Midnight Club 3) beat out the favor of racers, Sega discovers its heart for veterans. Instead of following every trend, the Japanese polish a classic up to date – Out Run 2 starts 18 years after the debut and a successful arcade premiere now on the Xbox.
It is easy to explain that the Microsoft console in particular can enjoy the exclusive benefit of the luxury car, after all the original machine is based on technology very close to Xbox thanks to the ‘Chihiro’ board. In view of this fact, it is reasonable to conclude that “Out Run 2” could end up as a quick-fire port. But nothing was further from Sega and the British developers of Sumo Digital: Of course, all arcade modes can be found on the DVD, but there are also plenty of new modes and ideas to keep the motivation high.
Out Run 2 remains true to the classic in the basic sequence: Again you swing behind the wheel of a Ferrari, have a fancy companion on the passenger seat and rush elegantly through idyllic landscapes – even the beloved songs like ‘Magical Sound Shower’ or ‘Splash Wave’ are included again . You don’t need any other tools apart from the accelerator and brakes, because weapons or similar abstruse knick-knacks are taboo on the peaceful journey. You don’t have to worry about oncoming traffic or similar strenuous obstacles, only slower vehicles need to be overtaken regularly. So that you don’t step on the brakes too often, Sega donated an easy-to-learn drift model to the noble planes, with which you can slide quickly and elegantly through the tightest corner combos.
In Arcade mode, you embark on a journey through five stages with a time limit on your mind. When you have reached the end of a section, you decide at a junction whether you want to go left (easier) or right (more difficult). This means that you will see a maximum of one third of all 15 landscapes on the way to your destination, so a total of 16 course combinations are possible. Since a five-minute race is not enough for a full-price game, you can enjoy numerous other modes: The time hunt and the ‘Heart Attack’ (follow your co-driver’s instructions to please her) are already known from the machine, plus Xbox Live support for up to eight racers at the same time and the comprehensive mission.
101 challenges await you here, divided into around 20 different categories: In addition to normal tasks such as beating certain competitors, time hunts, performing spectacular drifts or driving through cone gates, more unusual disciplines are also on the program. For example, you should add up numbers while driving or internalize the order of the displayed fruits in order to take the correct turn at the end. You need a sure instinct to break through light barriers between closely spaced civilian traffic, and good timing is required to photograph monuments next to the piste.
As a reward, you will receive trading cards with which you can unlock numerous bonuses: In addition to other Ferraris (four new Xbox speedsters have joined the eight machine models), alternative music mixes, backward routes and bonus routes, the machine beckons as the crowning glory where everything began – the originalOut Run.
Ulrich Steppberger says: Out Run cannot be killed, as the great second part proves. The capable developers have brought the machine into the living room at home with practically no compromises, which is particularly good news for old hands: no hip tuning fuss, instead a high-class design, straight-forward old-school racer feeling. Graphically there is nothing to complain about, the eye is spoiled by lovingly designed environments and always smooth scrolling. There’s a lot of praise for the imaginative mission mode, which unexpectedly gets a lot out of the basic principle and, thanks to the clever collector’s aspect, motivates for longer. Sure, against bombatrasers like Burnout 3 works Out Run 2 still a bit dusty, but it doesn’t matter: If you love your Xbox, treat yourself to the cute Nobelfitzer.
Oliver Schultes says: I’m not as easy to please as my colleague Ulrich is with current console racing games. As a complex machine with a bucket seat and sports steering wheel Out Run 2 have enough charm for several costly rounds, but at home in the living room the port loses much of its charm. Graphics in machine quality are now standard – the simple structure becomes clear all the faster. In terms of game depth, competitors are like Project Gotham Racing 2 or the coming one Grand Touring 4 miles ahead, despite the nice bonus modes Out Run 2-home version. But enough ranting: Sega’s speedster celebrity is still fun – just not as long as some well-known rivals.
+ Graphics like the machines
+ great old-school feeling when driving
+ motivating mission mode
+ successful unlockable extras
– playfully inevitably somewhat simple
– Music a matter of taste
Lovingly implemented version of the fast racing classic with fun home bonuses.
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