Out Run ZX Spectrum
Ahhh now this is one the most iconic arcade games of all times. Who else can remember the thrill of sitting in the Out Run cabinet, the 3D graphics racing towards you and Magical Sound Shower pumping in your ears?
Out Run (by Sega) was a fantastic beat the clock arcade racing game, and a conversion to the ZX Spectrum was always on the cards. But could such a large and graphically intensive game be converted to the Speccy? Well, yes is pretty much the answer.
Out Run was released by US Gold in 1987 and was met with a mostly positive reception. I'll get this out of the way first; the Spectrum 128 (or +2 and +3) versions were superior to the standard 48K version, due to the excellent in game sound track. A fine example of great AY Music.
Having the same music as the arcade original really enhanced the gameplay. Aside from this the versions were essentially the same.
Out Run Music:
For anyone that has been living in another dimension since 1986, here is a little overview of the game...
Out Run placed you in the driving seat of a Ferrari Testarossa convertible with a stunning blonde in the passenger seat (female players had to pretend it was a right-hand-drive vehicle ;-)), to race around a series of tracks at breakneck speed.
As you neared the end of a track (assuming you did not run out of time) then you would take the left or right fork to move onto the next track - each one branching into a different area.
As soon as you loaded the game up it was obvious that the programmers, (Probe Software), had pulled out all the stops to to reproduce the original as fully as possible. Graphically it was pretty much all in there. To be fair the graphics were excellently drawn and true to the original, despite the monochromatic colours (understandable on the Speccy).
What was good about the game was that it 'felt' like Out Run - all of the trackside scenery was in place, the bends, the road undulations - it was all true to the original arcade version. The only downside was that the Speccy version could not match the speed or smoothness of the Sega machine, but let's be honest here, there was no way that it ever could.
Kudos goes to the developers for squeezing so much into so little. A bit like Space Harrier, they managed to give us the best version we could have hoped for.
Well when Out Run came out, some seemed to love it, some seemed disappointed. Some loved the detailled graphics and the fact that the tracks were recreated faithfully, some did not like the slow pace of the game which did not match the original. The game did well and fans of the arcade game snapped up the home version.
The Test Of Time:
In a strange way this game still plays quite well. Maybe it's because I'm a fan of the original game - but even after all these years there is something about it. Load it up, give it a go and let the magical sound shower wash your troubles away...
We recommend getting hold of the real Sinclair hardware - but if not then download a ZX Spectrum emulator and download Out Run for the ZX Spectrum. Alternatively you could try and play it online.
GENRE: Arcade Game (3D Racer)
RELEASE DATE: 1987
RELEASED BY: US Gold
DEVELOPER(S): Probe Software (Iain Morrison, Alan Laird, Nick Bruty, Jas Brooke)
PRICE: £8.99 - UK (£2.99 budget re-release)
Classic Arcade Action (Level One):
Classic Arcade Action (Level Two):
The Retro Brothers Favourite ZX Spectrum Games...
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