Friday 3 June 2022

OutRun (Sega Master System review)

Developer: Sega R&D 2
Publisher: Sega
Released: 1987

OutRun is a driving game that was later released on the Sega Game Gear in 1991.

+ The spirit of the series is alive-and-well here despite this being an 8-bit port and the fast-paced action is intact.

+ The 15 stages offer unique scenic and spatial challenges and being able to choose your route adds replayability.

+ The stage transitions look fantastic as they seamlessly merge into one another, and the ending cut-scenes are intact.

+ Great renditions of the original music tracks and the graphics feature more sprite detail compared to the portable version.

- However, some stage backgrounds are sparse and look incredibly out-of-place compared to the more vibrant courses.

- The frame-rate is low which results in choppy gameplay and a lack of precise control over your vehicle.

- Rolling hill effect is overused leading to frustration at the abundance of crashes due to not seeing what's ahead of you.


  1. As a fan of the arcade version and some of it's better ports, the problem this port has is that even compared to 8 bit equivalents such as rad racer on nes, ms outrun's graphics update performs like shit. An issue accentuated by the erratic hills and chicanes of it's og design, which were once reasonable to navigate at the 30fps of the arcade game, but in this version often require trial and error to discover a sequence of inputs that will keep you on the road, with the update being too jerky to communicate velocities/orientation along a continuum, sufficient for the player to respond to. Navigating around other cars often comes down to guesswork as to whether you'll be clear of them when they inevitably teleport right next to you in the next 'frame'

    1. Hi there, thanks for the comment! What do you think to OutRun 3-D on the Sega Master System? I much prefer it to this non-stereoscopic version.

    2. Excuse me I was in a foul mood after numerous failed attempts at route A. Having now beaten every route I'll say the other routes play fine and I like the port. The 3d update only becomes problematic in twisting sections such as chicanes, especially in combination with hills. For these reasons section 3 of route A is disproportionately hard in this version, by far the hardest route to beat, which skewed my first impressions. To be fair the port manages large trackside objects, which makes the low-ish framerate a bit more understandable. Trackside detail is important for outrun as it's what gives a unique flavor to each route. I'll have to try the 3d one too thanks for the heads up


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