Computing And Retro Gaming

Outrun 2019 On Megadrive

Outrun was one of those Arcade games that everyone over 30 will remember playing somewhere, and for many of us the home console and computer versions were our way of bringing that arcade joy to our own house. That feeling of being in a fast car with a pretty girl beside you as you raced through those city streets, pure bliss.

Having wandered through nostalgia, it’s time to move forward in time, although not too far as Outrun 2019 isn’t really from the future but hails from the 16 bit era when the SNES and Megadrive (Genesis for the US market) were fighting it out as the warriors for Nintendo and Sega respectively. As a Sega guy through and through, we will obviously be looking at the superior Megadrive version of this futuristic take on Outrun.

Starting with the basics, we can see that the lovely red car styled after the Ferrari of a young mans dreams has gone, replaced by a futuristic mega speedy conveyance of the future. Also gone is our blonde seat cover from the original, and we seem to be alone in our driving experience. And it is a darker road to travel within sight of the city, and not a beachside road to be seen (at least in the early levels I managed to see). Other than those omissions things seem much the same.

The roads are just as winding, with tight turns to get around in this new souped up future mobile which has an indicated speed in the seven hundred miles an hour region. Those turns come up quickly, and the other cars are no less eager to get out of your way than the rivals of old. Factor in those time limits and you have a real challenge on your hands to make it to the next checkpoint for a time refill.

As you can probably tell from the screenshots the graphics are a little smoother, but the actual track still revolves around your car (which is in front of you still in that chase cam view we know and love) which changes angle as you take those turns. Wheelspins and drifting are still very much a part of the driving experience even as we approach the year 2020 apparently, smoking the tyres as they squeal under the stress of trying to find some grip while the mad driver keeps pushing them ever harder in the pursuit of the next level and a time extension.

Sounds and visuals all add together to make an exciting game, but personally I just felt that the 2019 version of Outrun had lost a little something as it travelled forwards in time. It has ended up a little more like Chase HQ without the baddies to catch than the freedom you felt in the original Outrun games with the red sports car and wind in your hair.