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OutRun2

Developer: Sumo Digital | Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
Players: 1 to 4 Player Game | Release Date: 10/25/04 | Genre: Driving

Nearly twenty years have passed since Sega first released the original OutRun. To this day, it remains one of the most beloved driving titles Sega ever released. Up until now, we haven't seen a full sequel to the title though. All that has changed with OutRun2-- available exclusively on the Xbox.

Because the famous red convertible Ferrari became symbolic of the OutRun name, Sega has brought back the car in the sequel. All the cars in the game look and sound very realistic. The cars on screen have a ton of small animations like smoke coming off tires and grass or dirt being thrown up if you fall off the track. No matter how much action is on the screen at any given time, the mighty Xbox never drops the frame rate and it will play very well.

Gameplay perfection is the goal in any driving title. OutRun2 is no exception to this. Players can accelerate, brake, and steer with the basic controls. For those who want a slightly harder challenge, can switch from automatic to manual and can concentrate on all elements above plus downshifting and upshifting as needed. The most comfortable you get with each course, the better you will get at advanced maneuvers like the power slide. If you happen to wipe out or crash your Ferrari during a race, don't worry, it won't take any visible damage and always ends up rolling back. Cause we all know that in real life Ferraris never take any damage. That is why they cost so much, right?

Players will find that there are three different gameplay modes in OutRun2: Xbox Live, Challenge, and Arcade. Under Arcade mode, there are also a few different modes to choose from. One of them has you play the same style of the original OutRun. Players will find over a hundred challenges in the Challenge mode that take place in over fifteen stages. Not all the challenges involve defeating other opponents in the race too. One of them is a math mode and has you add or subtract the numbers you see while driving and then you have to drive through the correct gate at the finish. It is also in these challenge modes where the player can unlock cars. When all is said and done, you will have access to 12 different Ferraris and even content like the original OutRun game.

For the multiplayer options, players will not find a split screen mode. If you want to do some real head to head racing, you will need to use the System Link or jump onto Xbox Live. On Xbox Live up to 8 players can race at the same time. There is some latency involved with OutRun2 on Xbox Live so cars can seem to instantly appear places from time to time. After spending some time on Xbox Live, players can check out the leaderboards to see where they rank against players all across the globe. If you aren't near the top, you can even download the ghost from the leaders on the board and race against them to hone your driving skills.

OutRun2 is a good arcade racer that driving fans should love. However, the lack of a split screen feature is a bit disturbing to me. This is a feature that I feel should have been included. If you can look past that, you should get quite a bit of enjoyment out of OutRun2.

By Kaleb Rutherford - 11/21/04
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Screenshots for OutRun2

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