Outrunners (Genesis)

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VideoGameCritic
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Outrunners (Genesis)

Postby VideoGameCritic » September 3rd, 2022, 11:36 am

Wow, are you telling me Sega licensed their Outrun franchise for this sorry spin off? Outrunners may deliver split-screen racing, but it's some of the worst split screen racing around, and there's none of the charm of the original Outrun.

Setting up each contest is a confusing mess. Each game is just win or lose, so there's no sense of progression. It's just one big confusing mess.

I feel sorry for the Outrun fan who purchased this back in the day...

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Matchstick
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Re: Outrunners (Genesis)

Postby Matchstick » September 3rd, 2022, 4:53 pm

VideoGameCritic wrote:I feel sorry for the Outrun fan who purchased this back in the day...

Don't - I loved it!

Did you ever see the game in arcades, Critic? I'm not sure if it was the first racing game to use multiple cabinets linked together in multiplayer, but it was definitely the first one I remember seeing:

Image

Once I played it in the arcades, I wanted a home version. Badly.

In hindsight, it might be a choppy mess of a game, but at the time I was just happy to be able to play a two-player OutRun game with my friends at home. The lack of a multiplayer mode was about the only thing I could fault with the original game. OutRunners wasn't the best 1P game, but it did the job fine in multiplayer.

(Though, in saying that, I think Road Rash II did it better...)

I politely disagree that it lacks any of the charm of the original. It features most of the original songs in remixed versions, and the new songs added for the game were quite catchy in their own right. I loved that you could now change the station on the radio as you drove, and could choose different music tracks in-game.

In multiplayer, only the person in first place could do this. It made for a nice incentive to drive well.

Also, the franchise wasn't licensed out to anyone - it was developed and produced by Sega. Data East published the game in the US, though I believe Sega published the game themselves in Japan.

Were you aware that Turbo OutRun had a Genesis / Mega Drive port? It was never released in the US, though it did see a release in Japan and Europe. The port doesn't seem to have been fondly received, but it may be worth adding to your collection. At the very least, I think it's a better OutRun experience than OutRun 2019.

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Re: Outrunners (Genesis)

Postby VideoGameCritic » September 4th, 2022, 10:44 am

Thanks for the alternative view Matchstick. I'll try to keep your comments in mind while writing the re-review.

I guess the fact that it's a Sega game explains why this never appeared on the SNES.

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Re: Outrunners (Genesis)

Postby Matchstick » September 4th, 2022, 4:13 pm

VideoGameCritic wrote:I'll try to keep your comments in mind while writing the re-review.

Honestly, I think your original review is pretty accurate. Despite my happy memories with the game - and how much I enjoyed the arcade original - I never once said that I thought the Genesis version was any good!

I feel like I've been an "OutRunners Defender" ever since I first brought the game home. My friends enjoyed it at first, but it didn't take them long before they wanted to move on to something else. Given the selection of great two-player games in the Genesis library, I can't say I blamed them! Still, it did satisfy my curiosity for what a multiplayer OutRun experience could be like, and for that, I am thankful.

It's easy to question some design choices, though. The fact that the game is always split-screen - even in single-player mode - is a bit odd. I'm guessing this was an attempt to preserve the spirit of the arcade game, which always had two screens. But it still seems strange there is no option for single-screen play.

I still think it maintains that fun, carefree vibe that the series is known for, and even has some goofy style of its own. Your review mentions the Ferrari couple always landing in their seats, but how about the two dudes in the Volkswagen that will periodically be chasing after their own car after being thrown out from a collision? It's definitely a game with a lot of little details, the kind of stuff you only really notice after repeated plays.

It might also meet your criteria for a Winter / Xmas game, too. One of the routes in the game takes you past the North Pole, complete with snow and twinkling lights in the trees. For maximum effect, switch the song on the radio to "Jingle Bells." Yes, that's actually an option in the game.

I also recommend taking the time to explore each alternate route to really see everything that the game has to offer. Each vehicle handles differently, and it's fun to experiment and find the one that works best for you. I've never had much luck with the Pink Cadillac, but I'm still glad its there - complete with its Elvis impersonator.

I won't argue the Genesis port of the game is rough. It's a huge downgrade from the arcade version, and really, I don't see it ever escaping the "D" range of review scores. But it definitely has a style and vibe that helps make it memorable - even if that also makes the game feel like it could have been so much more.


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