Sega have always been very good at sequels, with Virtua Fighter and House of the Dead growing bigger and better with each addition, but OutRun 2006: Coast to Coast is a very rare find: a follow-up to a follow-up that still manages to feel completely fresh.
Drifting around corners, gliding between traffic and reaching the next stage with seconds to spare feels every bit as good as its 1984 brother. Coast to Coast improves on OutRun 2 by adding routes across America to the classic courses, and the horrible-sounding “Heart Attack” mode, combined with the “OutRun miles” system of unlocking extras, keeps this an engaging single player experience.
I’ve intentionally included this much higher than the original OutRun, even though I said in my first post that only the top twenty are in sequential order. OutRun 2006: Coast to Coast takes all the best elements of the original and updates them; from the cars’ handling to the classic European-flavoured routes, it’s an extremely faithful sequel. The new music isn’t quite so consistent in its quality, but Shiny World stands out as an extremely strong track with a brilliant bassline and a lead guitar line to make your ears explode. That’s to say nothing of the stellar remixes by Richard Jacques, which take the Latino essence of the originals and infuse them with a Euro dance-stroke-carnival euphoria that’s infectious enough to start a conga at a moment’s notice. If you’ve ever seen Mr Jacques play Magical Sound Shower live, you’ll appreciate the dexterity and complexity of these reworkings.
Did I already mention there are rumours of OutRun Online in development by Sega and THQ? Let’s hope Sumo can muscle in there as well!