Brought to us in 1986 by the legendary Yu Suzuki and SEGA-AM2, Out Run still stands as one of SEGA’s most famous arcade titles. For years, many ports have been released, with the closest to being “arcade perfect” being the SEGA Saturn’s SEGA Ages version, complete with the Ferrari Testarossa and all.
Thankfully, our pals at M2 have been going buck wild and porting all of SEGA’s classic arcade titles to the Nintendo 3DS, each one arguably better than the last. That brings us to M2’s latest release – 3D Out Run, and it can be yours for a measly $6, roughly the price as a McDonald’s value meal.
Now, you might be asking yourself, “Is an arcade game from 1986 really worth the six bucks on 3DS?” The short answer is absolutely yes, but let me explain.
Down to the basics
Out Run, at its core, is your basic arcade checkpoint driving game, just like Hang-On before it. It’s just you, your car, a beautiful blonde at your side and the open road, complete with an awesome red Ferrari. What can be more ’80s than that?
What set Out Run apart from its counterparts is it wasn’t focused on overtaking your opponents to finish in first place but mastering your ability to drive and enjoying the trip to your destination. Add in the fact that you had multiple branching paths and an excellent selection of music, and it was a match made in heaven.
In a way, Out Run could be considered the video game equivalent of The Cannonball Run. The soundtrack could be considered one of the best ever as well. Hiroshi’s compositions of Passing Breeze, Magical Sound Shower, and Splash Wave will be remembered for years to come. So, as an arcade game, Out Run is untouchable.
Making it bite sized
For the 3D Classics release however, 3D Out Run has received a Special Mode, which brings with it some very impressive tweaks and improvements to the original formula. While gameplay-wise, 3D Out Run plays just like the arcade original, there’s an option to change the frame rate from the original’s 30 to a blazing fast 60 FPS. But to unlock that feature, you have to reach all five goals first.
Also added in Special Mode is the ability to tune your car, in the form of Cornering, Fender, Engine and Tire parts. Cornering enhances your turning, Fender increases the recovery time from crashes, Engine maxes out your top speed and Tire lets you go off-road with no slowdown whatsoever.
Tire could be considered an automatic “gear-gacha” for you professional Out Run players. I like to think of the parts tuning as a callback to Turbo Out Run in which after certain checkpoints, you would get upgrades to your car.
To round things out, there are also two new songs added to the soundtrack as well, by the names of Cruising Line and Camino a Mi Amor. The two new tracks fit great with Out Run’s original soundtrack and provide the same vibe of Hiro’s tracks. It’s an amazing feat that they were made on the Out Run sound hardware instead of being arranged tracks.
If you want to change the audio settings, there is multiple different options at hand. With an equalizer, engine volume, and arcade cabinet sounds, there is a lot to work with here. I am particularly fond of the cabinet sounds. M2 did a very good capturing the sounds of the Out Run cabinet perfectly, even down to the gas and brake pedals! Now THAT is amazing.
Those beautiful controls
Control-wise, there are a couple of different ways to configure the mappings, with three different gear change types and improved touch control that covers acceleration, brakes and steering, all at once. The usual Out Run settings are here too, with the Overseas and Japan courses, and the choice of your speedometer displaying Km/H or MPH.
True Out Run fans will be slightly disappointed with the fact the famous Ferrari Testarossa we all know and love does not make an appearance in this version. As a replacement, we have an edited version of the car used in Yu Suzuki Game Works Vol. 1 and Shenmue II.
To be honest, this new edited version looks a lot better and looks more like the Testarossa than the other car that was used, just with Ferrari F50 tail-lights. Using the tuning parts also changes the color and look of the car as well with multiple different colors and combinations of different parts. I really like the attention to detail M2 added to this aspect of the game.
A new coat of wax
Graphically, 3D OutRun looks amazing. It’s certainly one of the best-looking 3D Classics I’ve played yet. Just like the other 3D Classics, the option to play through a virtual arcade cabinet is here, with three different cabinet types – the Deluxe, Standard and Upright.
The Deluxe and Standard move and turn just like the originals back in the day would and look great even in 3D. There is even a little steering wheel on the bottom of the screen that follows your steering, which is certainly a nice touch. The framerate stays fast and fluid, just as Out Run should. Never have I seen these sprites look as good as the way that they look here. In 3D, they are beautiful.
Fans and SEGA Nerds alike will be happy to know that the soundtrack is in one of it’s purest forms here. Magical Sound Shower, Passing Breeze, and Splash Wave sound just as good as they did in the 80’s. The new tracks are good too, being made on the original OutRun hardware. To think that music was still composed in Hiroshi’s style on the same soundboard as the original game is just amazing. Cruising Line and Camino a Mi Amor have definitely earned their place in the OutRun music hall of fame. Both tracks send the classic cruising vibe that they should.
In closing, 3D Out Run is a perfect example of how to remaster an arcade game the right way.
The extra features that M2 added make it almost the perfect Out Run conversion. Parts to change how the car handles, new music and the different arcade cabinet views are just enough changes to make Out Run feel like a brand new game every play.
- An almost arcade perfect version of Out Run, on the go!
- A varied amount of settings to change up gameplay
- Arcade mode is a great added bonus
- The Ferrari Testarossa is gone again
- It would have been nice to have Turbo Out Run included in some way, or at least the Master System’s OutRun 3D, like Japanese 3D Out Run version
- Having arranged versions of the soundtrack (the remixes from either the PS2 or Saturn ports) would have been an amazing addition