Out Run

Let me say this. There is only one version of Out Run worth playing – the arcade version. All conversions to the home computers and consoles were rubbish.

In 1986 this game was visually and sonically jaw-dropping. Fast, massive sprites zipped around with a spectacular car roll if you crashed at speed. The music, oh the music was mind blowing I’d heard nothing like it. Three very different pieces could be picked by the player to race along to – Passing Breeze, Splash Wave and the masterpiece Magical Sound Shower.

No arcade or home computer/console game has been as fun to play as Sega’s Classic. It was a stunning game 25 years ago and it is still is. If you can find an arcade that still has it (especially the full hydraulic cabinet) I urge you to play it.

The Game

The ultimate experience in motor sports simulation, the absolute challenge to nerves and reflexes. Feel the wind in your hair and the pull of the G-force as you power your way along the highways and byeways, a girl by your side and open country before you. Experience the exhilaration and excitement of driving a high performance sports car in this teasing time trial where your co-ordination and nerve will be tested to unbelievable limits.

Critical Reaction

I’d dearly like to provide some proper reaction to the arcade game from the critics of the time but I have been unable to track any reviews down, of course if one of my readers knows where i might be able to find any old arcade review archives….

So, we’ll have to settle for reaction to the home computer conversions;

ZX Spectrum;

Crash – 72/100, Sinclair User – 8/10, Your Sinclair – 8/10

…every effort has been made by the programmers, Probe Software, to reproduce the original in full. And by heck have they made a good job of it…
…the graphics are excellently drawn and true to the original, if a little on the monochromatic side …
…The one big snag, though, is the speed. It’s to be expected really, but everything moves at a pretty sedate pace…
– Your Sinclair

Commodore 64;

ACE – 610/????, Zzap 64 – 68/100, C&VG – 5/10

…Although very fast, the graphics are a touch on the blocky side, and the alternating shades that form the road surface actually detract from the feeling of movement…
…The car doesn’t handle very well, and seems to be linked to how busy the computer is – the more going on the, the more sluggish it is…
– Zzap 64

My Thoughts

Home Computer Versions;

Frankly, and I admit to be exceedingly biased on this one (if you hadn’t already gathered from my opening paragraph), all the reviews were very generous. I suspect that some of the reviews – especially the Speccy ones, marked the scores up due to the incredible technical accomplishment that was achieved in cramming Out Run into the Speccy. Sure it has nicely detailed  graphics and a decent version of the soundtrack but that’s it. There is utterly zero playability due the monumental lack of speed and that is the one single factor that should’ve been present. Oh well.

Arcade Version;

Not that I want to repeat my opening comments but….

Jaw-dropping. Visually and sonically amazing. This was a ground breaking racing game like nothing that had ever been seen in an arcade before. Slick, fast, massive, graphics that whipped around the screen and produced a sense of speed like no other racing game before it. The opening level is impressive but it’s when you move to Stage 2 (Gateway or Devil’s Canyon) that you really go ‘wow’ as your surrounded by large stone structures on either side and with Gateway they also span overhead. It’s really impressive stuff!!

What adds to all of this is the soundtrack. Three brilliant musical choices with Calm, Relaxing and Upbeat choices available there is a tune to suit everyone. My personal favourite is the upbeat Magical Sound Shower as it really gets you going. So it is the Magical Sound Shower that I present to you for your listening pleasure. We have the Arcade version and also the Speccy & C64 home computer versions. Enjoy!!

The Music

1986 Arcade Original;
128k ZX Spectrum Version;
Commodore 64 Version;

About Phendrena

Father, Retro Gamer, PC Gamer.

5 responses »

  1. The music from Outrun is epic. Thanks for posting this.

    • Phendrena says:

      I wasn’t mad keen on the version of Magical Sound Shower in OutRun 2. I always imagined it as a Caribbean inspired tune with steel drums and stuff but the transformation into a semi-jazz piece with the sax kinda blew it for me – It’s still a great tune but not as good 🙂

  2. That game sported some pretty good music as well. 🙂 I remember the intro-tune in particular. Another one is the title from Super Cars 2.. that one rocked!

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