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Old 11-04-2004, 11:52 PM   #3
Joe Redifer
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 20,105
Out Run 2
8/10
Xbox

When I learned that Out Run 2 was a new game in the arcade, my first thought was "What the hellz? Arcades still exist? NO WAY!" Then I learned that Sega had built the game on Xbox technology, their Chichiro board (or something just as stupidly named) which is basically an Xbox with twice as much RAM and no DVD Drive. Then I saw the game screens. My thought after all of this was "Oh man dat's mad tight yo! I can'tz wait for da perfect Xbox version!" But there was no word from Sega on a home port of the game. Then it was announced that Out Run 2 would be ported exclusively to the PS2. That whole week I was on the toilet with constant explosive diarrhea. Sega finally came around and said "Hey man we were just f*ckin' with ya. Out Run 2 would look like ass on the PS2. It's coming to the Xbox fully intact, we've got our best sumo's on the project!". My diarrhea suddenly went away and I was all better. Fortunately the game arrived on the Xbox pixel perfect. Mostly.

Story: 37/10
The story in Out Run 2 is beyond belief. It makes crappy games like Final Fantasy 7 and Chrono Trigger pale by comparison. Those two games were written by Japanese nerds fresh out of high school. But the story of Out Run 2 was collaborated upon by the likes of Dean Koontz, Stephen King, Michael Crichton, Tom Clancy, Mark Twain, Charlie Kaufman, Yu Suzuki, and Agatha Christie. It simply does not get better than this. You will be immensed at every moment by the drama, suspense, thrills, and romance. The interpersonal lives of the game characters is an amazing tale to behold indeed.

Graphics: 9/10
If you are a graphics whore, and don't even try to tell me that you are not, then you will be very pleased with Out Run 2. The draw distance is amazing. It doesn't look real but it looks awesome. It's like a great painting that runs at 60fps most of the time. There are a couple of spots where the framerate drops briefly, but it's not too bad. The game isn't quite pixel-perfect to the arcade. "OMG! What are the differences?" you ask. I guess I'll answer that since you asked somewhat nicely. Keep that in mind the next time you ask me a question as well. Well the home game is capable of running in 16:9 widescreen, which lets you see more of the race area. The arcade does not run in this mode. So in effect, the home version's graphics are better if you have a 16:9 TV. This game also supports 480p. The slowdown I talked about earlier may be the result of running in widescreen, as I have noticed that games like Ninja Gaiden don't update the screen as smoothly when in widescreen mode, being that it has more to process. But I am too lazy to play Out Run 2 in 4:3 mode just to find out. Bottom line: graphics are very, very good. Much better than those of Burnout 3.


Out Run 2 has awesome graphics.
Check out the awesome drawing distances.


Sound: 7/10
This game has some really good music, and that can't be denied. But it also has some really BAD music. Tunes from the original Out Run were arranged years and years ago and were released on a CD. Sega has taken these exact tunes, changed them a wee bit (but not much) and included them in Out Run 2. There are also 2 new instrumental guitar-themed tunes that are pretty good as well. Then there are the 2 "songs". Listening to these will make you shoot yourself, rise from the grave and shoot yourself again just to be sure. They're that bad. Instrumental versions of these 2 "songs" can be unlocked in the Mission Mode. You can also unlock versions of the original tunes redone by Sega Europe musician Richard Jacques (no relation to Jacque Cousteau). Richy was responsible for the music in Sonic R, Sonic 3D Blast, Jet Set Radio (Present and Future) among others. But these "Euro Remixes" don't amount to too much in the way of new and different, but they are a nice change of pace. You can also unlock the original 1986 arcade chiptunes.


Musician Richard Jacques says "I once shared
an e-mail with Joe Redifer long ago". Yes, it's true.
You can believe him.


Gameplay: 8/10
I hate rating gameplay because it's the part of the game that nobody cares about. Oh well, I guess I should do it. The game is great fun, and most of the time you are racing aganst the clock. You don't drive around in circles forever (eg: lap races), but instead you need to make it to the checkpoint before your time runs out. That kicks ass. Most people downplay Out Run 2 because you can't tweak the differentials, shocks, or whatnot. Also you don't drive around in circles or do "takedowns". Out Run 2 has no desire to be Gran Turdismo or Burnout. It is a pure arcade racer. And that's why it shines. I am sick of games that take themselves so damn seriously. Out Run 2 also has an insane Mission Mode where you can unlock stuff like cards. Everyone love cards. It's usually either exceedingly easy or frustratingly hard. The Maximum Speed contests are the missions that hate me and my life the most. This is way tougher than anything in Burnout 3.

Included in Out Run 2 are a few tracks from 2 Sega arcade games that nobody knows about, Daytona 2 and Super GT (aka SCUD the Disposable Assassin). The tracks must be unlocked in the Mission Mode or via a password. It is definitely cool that these tracks are in the game, but they are certainly not meant to exist in Out Run 2's world. Since Out Run 2 controls like Sega Rally, which controls differently than Daytona or that other game, these end up not being very good tracks to race on. The graphics of the bonus tracks are about 59% of the quality of the regular Out Run 2 tracks. They almost look cartoonish and lack much detail. Unfortunately they did not include the music from the original game's tracks. Racing these tracks it's easy to see why Daytona 2 and that other game (whatever it's called) barely even made arcade appearances (I think only like 10 arcades in all the world got both games... combined) and also easy to see why they never showed up on a home console. Here's a hint: the tracks are rather... well... mundane. Neat to see additional tracks in the game though.


You can unlock the arcade version of the original Out Run
by beating all 5 tracks in the Arcade Mode. Controlling this game with the
Xbox controller really sucks big time. Stick with the Saturn version.


Online:
Yes, this game is Live compatible, if anyone cares (I really don't). Up to 8 racers can race each other, and the rooms have been full each time I've tried. It works pretty well, but the framerate takes a hit quite often (and quite noticably) in the online mode.

Wrap Up:
Out Run 2 for your Xbox is a must have, especially at 40 bucks. I would have liked to see an arranged version of the musical track that was exclusive to the Genesis version included, but no such luck. Regardless, it is a phenomenal game. I hope that the 15 new tracks of the Out Run SP arcade game is offered as a download. This game does support downloadable content, so I am getting my hopes up!

Last edited by Joe Redifer; 11-24-2004 at 04:43 PM.
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