Turbo Outrun review - Sega Megadrive
You've just taken delivery of a Ferrari F40 - the ultimate in limited edition sports cars. So what are you going to do with it? Polish it daily and look after it with tender loving care? No, of course not. Since you're a cool dude (who prefers skid marks on the road rather than in your underwear), you're going to viciously hack off the roof and roast the engine by burning along the roads of America in the fabled Turbo Outrun competition.
This wheel spinnin', engine ruinin' contest involves driving your Ferrari along 16 sprite-based 3D stages and literally outrunning the competitioin! This comes in the form of normal traffic like Minis and Juggernaughts along with vehicles taking part in the contest, like Porsche 959s and other high-powered sports cars.
There are only two problems. First of all, you must complete each stage in an allotted time period or you are instantly disqualified from the Outrun-related proceedings. The second problem comes in the form of the US law enforcement officers, who see your high-speed shenanigans as being in some way harmful to the other law-abiding road users.
So put your foot to the floor and burn rubber!
What the Mean Machines staff thought
After the sad racing debacle that was called Outrun, I was looking forward to Turbo Outrun, hoping that Sega had learned from the many errors made in the original version and made this sequel a true representation of the classic arcade race game. I came away with my hopes horribly dashed. Apart from the fact it's harder than Outrun (not difficult to improve upon since even a complete doze could finish it on their first go), every aspect of Turbo Outrun is worse than its predecessor. Hopeless, mega-jerky 3D graphics, juddery scrolling, dreadful tunes, naff sound effects and badly drawn sprites make for a sad first impression, and hopeless car handling, poor playability and the fact that all five levels seem to be exactly the same make those first impressions last. And if that's not enough, the shope of the tracks, background graphics and other car sprites bear no resemblance whatsoever to their arcade counterparts - this is Turbo Outrun in name only. If you're after racing excitement, check out Super Hang-On, Super Monaco GP or Road Rash - or alternatively wait for Super Monaco GP II. Whatever you choose, it'll be miles superior to this clapped out Robin Reliant of a game.
The original Outrun was a real disappointment - I mean, it had the graphics and sounds of the real thing, but the gameplay was sadly lacking. With Turbo Outrun, the programmers had an opportunity to put things straight. Unfortunately, they've just flushed that chance straight down the toilet with this completely inept driving game. The visuals are just pathetic with jerky, unconvincing movement and malformed scenery. The car sprites look like misshapen, twisted renditions of the coin-op's. The sound is truly tragic, boasting discordant, jarring effects and cacophonous, grating music. All could be forgiven if Turbo Outrun played well but unfortunately, the game has many flaws. Perhaps the most glaring one is that the Ferrari handles nothing like the coin-op equivalent and you're often sent spinning off the wrong because of the cack-handed collision detection. The difficulty levels are so unbalanced with some levels being simple to complete others seemingly impossible. I always thought that the point of coin-op conversions was to bring the arcade game to the smaller screen - and in this respect Turbo Outrun is a complete failure. Go for Road Rash and Super Monaco GP and put all Turbo Outrun-related thoughts out of your mind.
Have your say about this review
Tris Wicks - 11 Nov 2008, 03:06 GMT
The overall score for this game is outrageous. It deserves at least 43%. The comedy value for trying to decipher the sprites should bump the score up alone. A true test for the imagination.
Richy Girth - 03 Dec 2008, 15:17 GMT
I swear that when sniffing this cartridge of this game you could actually make out the faint smell of excrement.
Seriously though, graphically, sonically and gameplaywise, it was the driving game conversion equivalent of MD Double Dragon 2.
A pint of bitter disappointment there, no mistake.