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The Razz: games reviews: Tyred and motional; OUTRUN 2 ##### XBOX A blonde, a Ferrari and driving passion.

Byline: with bob low

THIS damned game cost me a fortune in 50p pieces on every arcade machine I could find back when I was . . . erm,younger.

Go bowling with my mates and I would end up hunched over this, with the blonde in the passenger seat of my red sports car, belting suicidally through California's palm-fringed highways.

It was simple and elegant and such a basic idea - go very fast and try to impress the babe.

You didn't have to be a car bore to appreciate it - you could have been racing wheelie bins for all that mattered. But this isn't the geeky Project Gotham Racing or, despite the need to hit checkpoints, Colin McRae Rally.

So any attempt to bring this to the Xbox was fraught with peril.You either made it an arcade-type race, appealing to the original retro audience, or beefed it up to suit the bells-and-whistles reality driving mob in console land. In the end the designers opted for the quick-fix arcade style. Rumour has it that Sega Japan didn't want this at all, so the actual creation went to Sumo rather than Sega's in-house design crew at AM2.

Bet the Japanese are sorry now. The first thing that hits you is the intense colour - - someone went mad with a palette and 'vivid' is too weak a word for this.

Second is the variety of racing modes - and, yes, it does include the original OutRun mode, which has you and your blonde girlfriend speeding through environments as varied as a Big Sur-style coastline with dazzling blue water to the endless desert, while trying to beat the competition to the finish line.

The object here is to impress your girl by performing certain tasks, thus gaining little hearts.

A crazy drift around a corner, passing cars at speed - they're all designed to make the girl love ya more and more.

You can also get your race on in Time Attack mode,good fun with your mates racing directly against each other.There's also a career mode of sorts - well, more of a headlong career mode, actually.

You can race your way through some 100 missions, which is a gift for all those players who love to tick off their achievements - it's just like bagging computer Munros.

Finally, for those who want that head-to-head, bumper to boot experience, there's always the Xbox Live multiplay, with all the usual suspects.

Find seven suckas online and kick the stuffing out of them at speed.

You can even arrange for 'ghosts' to race against if you can't manage to set up a specific time to race against your friends online.

So what exactly have we got here? Zappy graphics, slick art, a variety of race modes, insane speed and the chance to power-slide through corners. Oh, and did I mention the blonde?

Outrun 2 is proof that you don't need to be a total car freak and get every nut, bolt and badge spot-on to make a great racing game.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Oct 1, 2004
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