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OutRun Sega Genesis Review!

Outrun Sega Genesis Cover

Outrun is timeless and infinitely replayable. So many games later tried to capture it’s spirit like Cruis'n USA  or San Francisco Rush 2049 or even California Speed but weren’t quite able to. Outrun on the Sega Genesis is a port of the arcade version and at the time was incredibly close to bringing the arcade experience to the couch.

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If you're wondering how to play Outrun it's quite simple, left or right is to steer the car. Up or down controls the car gear. You'll need to remain in the high gear in order to retain your speed and meet the checkpoints. One button accelerates and the other brakes.

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Outrun works a bit differently than most racing games. Instead of going around on a track or beating the other racers to reach first place, you have to simply get to one of the five branching paths to make it through the finish line. Outrun is more of a driving experience than a racing game. Each time the paths branch off, you’ll make it to a checkpoint where the timer will extend. Run out of time and well, give it another shot. It’s not like you get a giant warning sign or anything when the timer is about to run out. It just all of a sudden tells you and you’re like huh?

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You have to switch gears from low to high during some of the areas. You want to make sure to be in the correct gear at the right time. Staying in a lower gear for too long might cause you to run out of time. On a turn if you’re in the higher gear you might crash into something causing the car to flip over. I mean wow, look at the amount of times the car rolls over. Without a scratch! Could you actually imagine how many bones you would break if you were ejected out of the Ferrari Testarossa like that? I just see the ticker at the bottom of the sports channel, “RetroKingPin, Out for the season, Outrun crash”

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On the graphics side, Outrun might not look as good as the original Arcade game but that’s totally fine considering it’s a port on the Genesis. The graphics look good for a Sega racing game, each of the areas look completely different as you transition. The colors are nice and bright.

Although going through a turn could be tough on the eyes. I felt like I was going to have a seizure throughout some of these turns.

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The music in Outrun is just fantastic. Before playing the game, you get to select the song choice using the radio dial. My absolute favorite is Splash Wave, something about it really sets the mood of driving around with what appears to be your bella regazza around in a Ferrari.

Outrun is like having a coffee on the porch on a Sunday morning while watching the BluJays flying around. Something about it is so relaxing for when you’ve had a long day at the office and just need something to unwind.

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More often than not, I find sometimes retro gamers get stressed out from playing insanely hard platformers, fighting games that have a 30 input combo to memorize and practice or grind heavy RPGs that take like a million hours to complete a single playthrough. Outrun takes that and throws it out the window by the ease of controls, light mechanics and great soundtrack.

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Outrun is a great racing game and should be considered to be one of the best on the Sega Genesis for the genre. There are numerous arcade ports now and even future releases like Outrun 2 for PS2 or XBOX or Outrun 2019 for the Sega Genesis. Even though there are better ways to play Outrun today, the version on the Sega Genesis is still a great one that’s worth a look.



Passionate gamer and nostalgia enthusiast. Journeying through the pixelated realms of retro video games, unearthing forgotten gems and sharing the joy. Join me on a nostalgic adventure! 🎮✨