Who wants a slick looking, fun to play, well crafted arcade driving game with high replay value for a budget price? Well, look no further than this game. Plucking this 7$ game off of the shelf of my local game store (along with Taito Legends PS2 for 9$) is one of the best things that i have ever done for myself in quite a long time.
In a sense, this game is a small compilation of sorts. First, you get Outrun 2, the 3-D sequel to the classic Arcade game Outrun, included.
But this disc also just happens to include Outrun 2SP, which pretty much beats it's precursor in every possible way-first, you get a ton of spanking new tracks, which are just plain fantastic!
Despite what your first impressions might believe, Outrun is not a "racing" game-it is a driving game, where you race against the clock to get to the end of each level or reach every checkpoint, and take the occasional branching path every now and then, with the usual arcade trying to get the highest score fare to motivate playtime, all while driving in a cool looking car, hot girlfriend by your side, while listening to some catchy tunes and soaking in the lush, easy on the eyes scenery. This game keeps the original timeless formula, but gives it the much needed update it was begging for. It's easy to play, and it's production values will rock your world.
When it comes to graphics, this game is nothing short of eye candy. These tracks are just beautiful to look at-you even get to visit some great locales like the Niagara Falls, San Francisco, Mayan Ruins, and good ol Palm Beach. The graphics are identical to the PS2 version, but are slightly grainier. But what is NOT so hot about the graphics is the unstable framerate. Seldom does it ever reach 60 fps, with the game usually stuck around 30fps, and on rare occasions you'll encounter some nasty slowdown. (but this dosen't hamper the gameplay so much the presentation anyways..) But once you get into the gameplay, you probably won't even notice or care.
I also love the fine selection of old and new vocal music tracks, which you can even select before you start a race! My personal favorite is "Night Flight".
The sense of speed is just amazing-i could say it's like an interactive roller coaster ride! Unfortunately, there dosen't seem to be any kind of replay videos like say Ridge Racer (also for PSP) does, which personally is a dissapointment to me, since the races are just as fun to watch as they are to play!
The controls are up to the task, but get used to using that D-pad: the analog nub is not well suited to a game like this. Also, it takes a while to learn how to drift properly in the game (let go of the acceleration and then brake) but once you get used to it you'll be having even more fun that before! I do like how this game includes a cool "slip stream" feature which gives you a speed boost when you're lining up behind another racer.
There are three game modes: the standard classic arcade mode, a "racing" mode, and the awesome "heart attack" mode in which you accomplish tasks for your girlfriend while you race against the clock. This is really fun and full of replay value, and while some of these goals are rather generic (dodge/hit the cars, cut the lines) others are downright bizarre! (dodge meteors and UFOs, bounce a huge beach ball by ramming it with your car)
Another unique thing is that as you play, you gain Outrun miles which serve as money. With this you can go the shop area which lets you buy stuff cars, music, and new stages, which really increases the replay value even more. I really love this touch they added.
And as usual, multiplayer is still around via wireless play, which i like. This PSP version also has an edge over the PS2/Xbox versions, which don't have local multiplayer-just online only!
So what do i not like about this awesome game? Well, for starters, good luck trying to crack into the high score screen (dominated by some random guy called "Sega")!
I'm also quite annoyed that you have to own the PS2 version of this game and a USB cable to connect both platforms to unlock certain items! (i did actually see the PS2 version in the same store i picked up the PSP version, but i decided to get Taito Legends for PS2 instead)
And while this is only a personal con, i'm quite perplexed as to why they didn't include the ORIGINAL arcade Outrun in this disc as well-especially when taking into consideration that the original version of Outrun 2 for Xbox had it included as an unlockable!
But anyways, with fun gameplay, with lots of eye candy, plenty of replay value, and high production values in general, Outrun 2006: Coast 2 Coast has got to be one of the finest games to grace my PSP. Get this game if you ever find it, it's the best driving arcade game you can get for this platform. And at less than 10$ for a typical used copy, what have you got to lose?
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