OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast PS2 Review

Without the drifting OutRun 2 would have been good, but with the drifting OutRun 2 was great. The game questioned why you should take a corner with caution when instead you could push your Ferrari to its ultimate limits and tackle said corner with enough panache to permanently mark your face with an ear-to-ear grin. This science and showmanship is what made OutRun 2 such a pleasure to play, and now another beautiful journey awaits you.

OutRun 2006 brings the original OutRun 2 as well as the SP arcade upgrade together for the first time. This means 30 beautiful stages as well as home exclusive extras, which give the game that extra mileage and worth for your cash. Like OutRun 2, Sumo have managed to make Coast 2 Coast more suitable for your console, which has resulted in a nice and complete package.

When you compare this to the commercially underappreciated original it’s easy to see that numbers have been bumped up. OutRun 2’s 15 stages were a tour of ever-changing visual beauty that seamlessly popped up into the horizon as if they were pages from a kids popup book, and the 15 new scenic stages from the SP upgrade continues this trend. Twinkling stars fill the night sky, clouds hang in the air, towering skyscrapers surround you, waterfalls gush, and picture perfect ocean blue skies and fiery sunsets all collectively assures that this beautiful journey is a highly memorable one. The graphics on this PS2 version, even come close to matching up to those of its Xbox equivalent, which makes things all the more delightful.

It could have simply been a straight arcade port, but there has been no such laziness here and there has even been some improvements to the single player format. The Coast 2 Coast of the title is Sumo’s second attempt at extending the life of the single player mode past the OutRun and Heart Attack modes. The structure has been shook up and you’ll be doing your best to please the flagman in race events or impressing your accompanying and demanding lady friends (there’s three of them in the game) by avoiding meteors and alien abductions, dribbling giant beach balls, coolly drifting around corners and other showy and weird stuff.

The driving itself has been tinkered with and hitting cars no longer has to lead to a big time consuming collision. Slipstreaming any vehicle in front of you is also achievable, and this makes speeding between checkpoints easier and renders racing events more prominent. The hardcore may argue these points, but OutRun 2 wasn’t exactly a mega hit on the Xbox, was it?

Whenever you drive your actions reward you with OutRun miles, which in turn are used to unlock the games bounty of extras, this includes sexy Ferraris, additional music, reversed stages and more. In this respect, at least you aren’t forced into having to master the game to see all that it has to offer, but if anything you’ll most likely want to master the drift, and we can’t blame you, such is the beauty of witnessing an Italian super car corner with a dancing-like grace.

One of the complaints we do have about the game is the removal of the multiplayer party mode. We lost many hours involving ourselves in this mode whilst playing the original OutRun 2, and what does this omission leave for the offline multiplayer crowd playing Coast 2 Coast? LAN play is the simple answer, and its one which just isn’t good enough, such is the hassle of the concept. Some sort of split-screen mode would have suited us fine if we couldn‘t have the return of the party mode. For those who like playing online they fair a lot better, with races catering for up to six players – it’s just a shame that the servers are pretty quiet at the moment.

SEGA’s arcade racer is a sublime and beautiful game that allows you to live a daydream of many a male, involving driving exotic cars through paradisiacal environments at stupid speeds, with a – hopefully – satisfied female at your side. Oh and those Ferrari’s certainly know how to please their drivers around corners too!