Out Run logo

US Gold

It may be last year's thing for some, but Out Run still has to be one of the most eagerly awaited 16 bit releases yet. The arcade game is a classic, and really remains in a class of its own despite the advent of 3D grand prix games like Continental Circus, two player link-ups (Final Lap) and 'chase' games.

First impressions are promising. Conversion house Probe (you'll know it's them, the Ferrari has owner Fergus McGovern's initials on the numberplate) have lavished some icing on the cake in the form of some impressive sampled sound on the introduction, taken directly from the screeching wheels of a Ferrari augmented by some very over-the-top orchestral music.

The playing screen looks like the ST, but there are changes and distinct improvements to the background graphics. The sea for example of the first level is represented much better (though there are still no windsurfers) and the speed is definitely quicker.

There are twenty possible routes and five different destinations for you and your gal to cruise through, taking you past desert, through farmland, intercity highways and winding canyons. Unlike the coin-op the road doesn't fork. Instead you chose one side of the road when you reach a line of flower pots! This takes you onto one of the two possible routes for the next stage.

The graphics vary from the impressive to the barely adequate, whilst sound is pretty good throughout (much of it having been sampled from the coin-op). The real acid test is the gameplay. Probe have certainly got to grips with the speed. It goes fast enough to hurt my eyes, but I have to say I have my reservations about its smoothness and implementation.

Somehow Out Run still disappoints, but part of that is that expectations are so high. The Amiga version is undoubtedly the best and that will be enough for some.

Out Run logo

US Gold, Amiga £24.95

Well, maaaan. Y' know there's no substitute for cruisin' down the highway in your Ferrari, is there, Y' know? I mean you girl by your side and all y' know?

And this is the kind of person that drives very fast in an expensive car like a Ferrari. Makes you sick doesn't it? Well you, too, can realise this sort of dream (the driving a Ferrari part) in US Gold's Amiga conversion of Sega's classic driving game Out Run.

Your vehicle is a brand spanking new, bright red Ferrari Testerossa convertible, complete with personalised number plate. OF course this isn't the kind of car that you just tootle around town in, it's the sort that has to be driven really fast, the kind that has to have a blonde beauty on the passenger seat to enhance the image. Images have to be kept up, so you enter a road race to prove yourself a cool dude.

Revving up, the light turns green and you're waved off. The race takes place over five stages, each of which must be completed within the time limit to allow you to progress.

Racing would be easy if you were on your own, but as it's all being held on the highways, you must avoid crashing into other cars or obstacles on the track edges and losing precious seconds. If you manage to complete all five section, then your girlfriend will think you are the coolest, froodiest dude on the roads and will give you your just reward (hat, hat knowwhatimean?).

Maff Evans I'm sick of this. Everyone knows that the Amiga is a more powerful computer than the ST, so why do software houses release Amiga games that are just the ST versions virtually ported across to the Commodore machine? Out Run is almost exactly the same as the ST version apart from a few sound changes and the addition of an intro sequence (which, incidentally, is extremely cringeworthy). The graphics are fairly well defined, but they move like cardboard cutouts, wibbling about all over the place. Another thing is that on the arcade version when the time ran out you sort of coasted to a stop, but this version just stops dead, even when you're inches from the checkpoint. Oh, and its multiload is slow, causing frequent delays. A disappointing conversion.
Gordon Houghton I reckon that if a company converts a game such as Out Run to the home market, then they should try and make up for the loss of the control system and hydraulic movement by making the 3D movement effective and atmospheric. Instead of doing this, US Gold have merely created a pretty unthrilling racing game which captures little of the feel of the original. The graphics are jerky and ineffective, with some of the most horrendous mistakes imaginable. For example, when turning from side to side, the driver and passenger swap sides! The only notable presentation piece is the loading sequence - and even that is very self indulgent. Considering the power of the machine, Out Run should have been a lot better.