Wednesday, April 15, 2009

An OutRun Disappointment

I have been looking forward to today's online release of OutRun Online Arcade for the X-Box 360 for a couple of reasons:

1) It is still a pure and classic arcade racer that still hasn't been beaten, molested, raped, and left for dead by Sega like what they did to Sonic the Hedgehog.

2) It's always great to see games with actual arcade roots showing up on X-Box Live Arcade. It gives me that false hope that perhaps one day, more Japanese shooters will pop up on Live.

I was disheartened to find out that this version of OutRun 2 is much inferior compared to OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast for the X-Box/PlayStation 2 that was released three years ago. The most obvious difference is the number of courses found between the two. Online Arcade contains only the race tracks from OutRun 2 SP, that's only 15 compared to twice that number in Coast 2 Coast. I can smell a hint of greed here... Maybe they are planning to sell the rest as an add-on later? Online play has been reduced down to 6-players versus 8-players: shocking! The mission-based "Coast 2 Coast" mode is also missing from this new release and what makes things worse is that there is nothing new added to the game. Unless you count the graphical update - I must admit, the game's sparkling high-definition look completely blows me away, especially after I replayed the ultra-jaggy previous releases today to make the comparison. So the only question left for me is whether or not it's worth $10 to obtain a prettier - but not more substantial - version of a game I absolutely love. I've done it before with Rez HD and Ikaruga. Well actually, those two games didn't lose any features found in their previous versions and they are definitely the best versions of each game thus far. I'm going to take the time to really think about this one.

"Shiny World" + HD graphics = unending bliss? Only time will tell.

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