Home » Reviews, Xbox 360

OutRun Online Arcade

11:2824/04/2009Posted by David Scammell17 Comments

In the late 90s and early 00s, the mere utterance of the phrase “arcade perfect” was enough to send a shiver down the spine of even the most apathetic gamer. It was a time when the pipedream of capturing the visual fidelity and thrill-a-minute gameplay of the arcade cabinet on your 14” portable was slowly becoming a reality. And it had all of us enthralled. Nowadays, of course, with the advances in home consoles removing the need for the once-superior arcade cabinet, those two words bear little meaning. But every once in a while something comes along that makes us pine for the days when the arcade was king; when the notion of five minute fun and sheer escapism was at the forefront of every developer’s mind.

outrun1OutRun Online Arcade is one such title. It’s a driving game that refuses to bow to the pressures of the modern day racer, instead choosing to play on its twenty-three year old heritage to great effect. It’s a game where the suggestion of racing lines and engine tuning is met with a raucous guffaw. A game where the idea of slowing down to take a corner is as well received as Fred Phelps at a Gay Pride parade. A game where the biggest decision you’ll have to make throughout is choosing which Ferrari you want to get behind the wheel of. OutRun is simple, but it’s oh so effective.

Of course, that’s always been the key to OutRun’s success. It’s a barebones arcade racer, stripped even of a starting grid filled with rival drivers. Instead, it builds a racing model based around the underlying principle of the arcade – that of keeping you captivated long enough to pinch every penny of your worth. The result is an inspired fusion of score chasing and against the clock racing, balanced perfectly by an in-game difficulty selector cunningly (and beautifully) disguised as a dynamically-changing route. Take a left at a road fork and you’ll be presented with an easier location, take the right and it’ll be slightly harder, filled with tighter bends and an increased level of traffic – aka more points. The idea of racing against the clock may not sound as riveting on paper as competing against other drivers, but when it’s implemented as well as it is here, it’s difficult to be critical.

outrun2Equally vital to OutRun’s success is the game’s sublime handling model, which despite being far from typical, is just as intuitive as it is exaggerated. Here, the brake pedal isn’t used to reduce your speed, but to swing your car at a 90 degree angle. Drifting has, of course, always been an OutRun staple, but in the twenty-three years since the original it’s been tweaked to within an inch of perfection. Its superb execution in Online Arcade makes driving an absolute pleasure; it’s the perfect videogame representation of a laid back Sunday drive, where you’re not just in it to beat your rivals to a finish line, you’re there to soak up the sun, take in the sights and feel the wind in your hair, all the while racking up a few extra points.

It’s disappointing, then, that we’re still recovering from the sun burn after having seen all the sights Online Arcade has to offer before. We were expecting to find a tired, worn-out concept simply put on the market to exploit naive HDTVers, and to an extent that’s what we found. Save for a slight graphical update and reinvigorated online community (we use the word reinvigorated lightly – during the course of writing this review we struggled to find an online lobby with more than two players present), there’s very little reason why any OutRun 2006 owner — a game which we must remind you is backwards compatible — would want to shell out the 800 MS Points required for Online Arcade.

outrun3It lacks any of the (few) extra features found in 2006, instead limiting itself to OutRun Mode, the game’s core race mode, a Time Attack option and Heart Attack Mode, which mixes up the racing by introducing challenges like driving through rings and overtaking vehicles. Heading online pits you up against five other drivers in a race to the finish, but there’s no reason to head back to it other than just for fun. Online Arcade is entertaining while it lasts, but unfortunately the game’s lack of content is undoubtedly its greatest downfall.

But perhaps we’re missing the point somewhat. Xbox LIVE Arcade is, after all, flooded with HD remakes of ‘fun for five minute’ classics, and it would be unjust of us to label OutRun as an exhausted concept – it is, after all, just as entertaining today as it always was. And should we really be complaining about a game’s longevity when it costs the equivalent of a couple of pints? Probably not. It’s a burst of sun-soaked, smile-inducing nostalgia, albeit a short-lived one.

So despite its promise of fast cars and buxom blondes suggesting otherwise, OutRun Online Arcade isn’t quite the game our dreams are made of, but it’s damn near close. While we hope that SEGA are holding back the much-needed content for a ‘proper’ next-gen revival, the world of OutRun has never looked quite so inviting and, more importantly, the race has never felt quite so good. The days of the arcade cabinet may very well be numbered, but its legacy certainly lives on.

Have you downloaded the latest issue from GamerZines yet? Check it out here!


  • clone a willy kit ebay said:

    Good replies in return of this question with solid arguments and explaining the whole thing about that.

  • pearson archery said:

    Hi there my pal! I’m going to say that this text is awesome, nice prepared and include almost all major infos pearson archery. I’d like to notice more articles like this .

  • jual geogrid biaxial said:

    If you want to increase your familiarity simply keep visiting this
    web page and be updated with the newest information posted here.

  • سی سی Ú©Ù… said:

    Very interesting,thank you

  • Raffaele Imperiale said:

    This means that, they are responsible for implementing the course of actions that needs to be taken for a process
    to succeed and eventually the success of the goals set by the
    corporate leaders. in short I stopped building and focused on developing Building Software.
    Because Open – Pro is built using open source technology, the initial purchase price and
    the ongoing maintenance expense is less than half that
    of Microsoft.

  • University,Beheshti,Tehran,Medical Science said:

    Heya i’m just for the key time the following.. University,Beheshti,Tehran,Medical Science I uncovered this kind of table and I in locating It genuinely valuable & that solved the problem out and about considerably. I’m hoping to supply the one thing back in addition to guide some others just like you assisted me.

  • create tshirt said:

    What a information of un-ambiguity and preserveness of
    precious knowledge concerning unpredicted emotions.

  • hally said:

    Adhere to what they go to your knowledge while in the work you’re. The whole world desires of extra ardent internet writers just like you who are not worried to mention the direction they imagine. Always focus on the cardiovascular system. Adhere to what they go to your knowledge while in the work you’re. The whole world desires of extra ardent internet writers just like you who are not worried to mention the direction they imagine. Always focus on the cardiovascular system.

  • best authors said:

    I am really loving the theme/design of your site. Do you ever run into any web browser compatibility problems?
    A number of my blog audience have complained about my blog not working correctly in Explorer but looks great in Opera.
    Do you have any ideas to help fix this problem?

  • popular books said:

    It’s enormous that you are getting ideas from this article as
    well as from our discussion made at this time.

  • " site personalizat" said:

    Internetul inseamna in primul rand diversitate
    – a ofertei, dar mai ales a cererii – si de aceea atunci cand cineva decide sa promoveze
    un produs, un set de servicii sau o opinie in mediul online, trebuie
    sa isi puna o intrebare in legatura cu cel mai potrivit mod de
    a o face. Oamenii au asteptari diferite de la mediul online si de aceea informatia trebuie sa ajunga la ei intr-un mod care
    le este pe plac cat mai multora (asta daca nu se decide
    informarea unei nise specializate pe un anumit domeniu).

    Astfel, oferirea unui site actual, cu informatii complete si
    complexe, cu un design atractiv si o interfata usor de inteles si
    de utilizat devine o necesitate pentru oricine care
    vrea sa se lanseze in mediul online. Cu alte cuvinte, este nevoie de o treaba
    foarte buna facuta in domeniul web development-ului.

    Pentru fiecare insa, acest termen poate desemna ceva diferit.
    Web development poate varia de la crearea unei singure
    pagini de text la cele mai complexe aplicatii online, modele de afaceri electronice sau retele sociale .

    Bineinteles, nu trebuie uitate nici designul web, oferirea
    de continut pentru site, configurarea serverelor si a retelei de securitate.
    Multe din aceste sarcini nu pot fi realizate decat in echipe (companiile mari cu
    site-uri foarte complexe au chiar sute de angajati numai in acest domeniu), dar pentru un proiect de o mai
    mica amploare sarcinile pot fi duse la capat de un singur dezvoltator web

  • car games said:

    This blog was… how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I have found something
    that helped me. Appreciate it!

  • kue ulang tahun bogor said:

    Nice respond in return of this query with solid arguments and explaining all concerning that.

  • see who viewed your facebook said:

    Insights is a tool for tracking the growth of your page as well as the number of interactions on your page.
    She is a successful entrepreneur, Internet Marketer,
    and regular contributor to a number of online and offline
    investment publications and blogs. For example, a nationwide study conducted by a team from Stanford University’s School
    of Medicine estimated that nearly one in eight Americans suffer from at least
    one sign of problematic Internet use.

  • Beli Voucher Gemscool said:

    Hi colleagues, how is the whole thing, and what you wish for to say about this article, in my view its really remarkable in favor of me.

  • rolling stones tshirt said:

    I think the admin of this site is genuinely working hard in support of his web page, since here every data is quality based information.

  • arcade coinz said:

    I simply love your blog…

Leave your response!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.