30 Years of Video Games – Outrun 2006: Coast to Coast (2006)

I’m waving goodbye to my 20′s and to celebrate I’m counting down 30 games from the last 30 years.  Join me while I countdown 30 great years of game memories.

Outrun 2006: Coast to Coast

SEGA are one of the most interesting video game companies out there.  Their journey from hardware manufacturer to the SEGA we know today is a long and storied one.  It’s successes in the Mega Drive era (masterfully documented by Greg Sewart in his Generation 16 series) have of late been overshadowed by its more recent failures, both in the demise of the Dreamcast and its failures to really capitalise on its position as a third party developer.  But perhaps the more tragic oversight is that SEGA always had racing pedigree both in arcades and at home.  While its perhaps best known for its more recent failures to capture the magic of Sonic the Hedgehog,  it’s exploits in the arcades are legendary: from Monaco GP to Daytona, SEGA consistently outplayed and outclassed its competitors, leading to some of the most loved arcade racing games of all time.  The house that Sonic built wasn’t just fast on foot, it had some serious racing chops.

And then of course there is the iconic Outrun series.

Outrun 2 is perhaps the perfect video game.  Bite-sized chunks of fast, simple driving around winding courses, all against the clock.  It was excellent in the arcade, it was excellent on the Xbox a few years later, but it was perhaps its best in its portable form on the Playstation Portable.  From a technical standpoint it was mindblowing that the Sony’s portable could be home to the game, and while it obviously wasn’t as accomplished as other versions of the game, it moved at a cracking pace and looked bloody fantastic in the process.  Part of Outrun’s appeal is its simplicity and for that reason it was a perfect fit for the portable platform.  Add to that that nothing was lost in the transition and the result was an excellent portable version of what I consider to be perhaps the best arcade racer ever made.  

There’s not much I can say about Outrun 2 that hasn’t already been said ad nauseum elsewhere.  But if you haven’t played any iteration of Outrun 2 you are certainly missing out on one of gaming’s simple pleasures.

And Magical Sound Shower is pretty great….

OutrunPSP

Have a favourite game from 2006?  Tell us in the comments below.  Don’t forget to come back soon for the next game in our countdown.  Miss a year?  Catch up below.

20052004 – 20032002 – 2001 – 2000 – 1999 – 1998 – 1997 – 1996 – 1995 – 1994 – 1993 – 1992 – 1991 – 1990 –1989 – 1988 – 1987 – 1986 – 1985 – 1984 – 1983

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