Out Run

It's another golden great, is "Out Run". A large contigent of game fans would think of it as one of the best arcade games ever created, and many would have stories of good times had in an arcade cabinet or in front of their home computer playing an approximation of it. Unfortunately, most of those home computer stories would be of intense disappointment once the game finally loaded, but that's another story.

"Out Run" is a racing game, pure and simple. Take your Ferrari from stage to stage, choose one of two directions in the middle of each stage (affecting the difficulty level) and try not to run out of time before making the finish line. Try not to annoy your girlfriend in the passenger seat too much by crashing, too.

Going back and playing it today, in the days of "Gran Turismo" and "Forza" and "Midnight Club" and even Sega's own "Out Run 2", there's not much remaining to recommend Out Run. The tunes are still great, although obviously not quite as good as the arcade originals, or the updated versions on "Out Run 2". To be brutally honest, the only way you'd enjoy playing the original "Out Run" game is as a conduit to nostalgia.

I put in the cartridge, and remember playing it in the arcade.. amazement at the graphics, how cool the music was, wishing I could afford to get better at it. I'm also reminded of playing the Commodore 64 conversion back in the day and contrasting its inferiority to the MD conversion. After those thoughts pass, reality sets in and I realize that I have MAME at my command to play the original arcade game. Further realization of my choice of any number of latest generation racers, all of which far surpass the original game in terms of graphics, sound, handling, the works makes me take the cartridge right the hell back out again.

Having said all that, I still enjoy revisiting those happier memories on a regular basis, as do we all. Well, except the guy that invented parking tickets, I'm sure he had a lousy childhood.

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