Game Side Chats: Out Run (SMS)
I have been holding off playing my Sega Master System ever since I changed out my CRTs for PVMs because I needed to get RGB cables to hook the console up to those fresh, sexy professional video monitors. Unfortunately, for a few months, my RGB cable/amphetamine dealer did not have those particular cables in stock. But finally, after what seemed like YEARS, I went to check and the Master System cables were in stock so I tossed those in my cart with some uppers to boot and was ready to get my party started. The cables arrived just yesterday and I needed a game to play and test the system out on so I could see just how sexily wonderful the PVMs made the Master System look.
SO YOU PLAYED OUT RUN?
I played Out Run!
IS IT OUT RUN or OUTRUN?
It doesn’t matter, shut up.
FINE. HOW DID IT LOOK?
It looked great! No blurry words, no runny colors, very vibrant and crisp as you would expect!
DID YOU REALLY BUY DRUGS FROM YOUR RGB CABLE DEALER?
Nooooooo. That was for flair. Simply explaining that I bought cables for a TV did not seem interesting until I considered sprinkling the narrative with nefarious activities.
UNDERSTOOD. SO, BACK TO OUT RUN. WHAT DID YOU THINK?
Let me tell you a story. This game has two significant points of history with me. Firstly, it was the first arcade driving game I ever played. There was one somewhere in my hometown, whether it was the grocery store, laundry mat, or movie theater I can’t remember. But I DO remember slipping quarters in it, slamming my fat child foot on the gas pedal, rapidly moving the shifter up and down ignorantly, and then getting a game over all within about a minute of touching the machine. I was a stupid kid and games were hard.
And the second one is a bit more strange. When I was a wee lad, growing up in the marshy lowlands of northern England…
YOU DID NOT.
Sorry. Whenever I say “wee lad” I tend to change my character over to an orphaned-Londoner named Georgie who’s covered in soot and begs for silver.
Yeah, anyway. When I was a kid we went to the beach for family vacation. I was 5 and my sister was 16. My sister met a boy there, or rather, a 27 year old man. My parents did not like this. This 27 year old man and his friend who was probably also 27.. (I’m making up the ages, they might have been like 18 but when I was 5 I thought they looked 27 because I couldn’t think of a higher number than that and they looked old as shit to me) invited my sister over. My parents were pretty adamant that this was not going to happen. A few hours later my sister says she wants to walk down to the boardwalk and by this time my parents are too tired (see: drunk) to accompany her but suggest she take me, ME, the 5 year old with her. They did this for two reasons: 1) it would keep her from going to see her newfound beach love if her annoying little brother were around to rat her out and 2) the chances of someone abducting both of us at the same time were pretty slim but my parents figured they may as well try. Can’t win the lottery if you don’t play, right?
SO YOU AND YOUR SISTER WALKED DOWN THE BOARDWALK AT NIGHT?
No. I would’ve rather. The boardwalk had games, rides, flashing lights, and arcades. Hell, if we had gone to one of those arcades, I could’ve played OUT RUN!
Instead… we went to this 27 year old dude’s apartment. And while he got fresh with my sister, probably, I was left with this other 27 year old dude who distracted me with his Sega Master System and OUT RUN! Jackpot!
WOW. YOU NEVER TOLD ON YOUR SISTER?
I didn’t because in the end, I got video games. I don’t care or ever want to know what she got. Whatever she got, she probably still has.
YOU BETTER HOPE NOT. STOP TALKING ABOUT IT.
Yeah, anyway. So, playing Out Run last night was fun because it was the first time I had played that version since that wild night in 1990 when my sister and I went on an adventure and we both left satisfied and full of secrets.
I WISH YOU WOULDN’T WORD THINGS.
Different times, man.
Anyway. I got fairly far into the game and by that I mean I cleared 3 checkpoints. You can select different routes in the game which change the track and the environs. Pretty cool. And you do this by simply deciding to turn right or left at a fork in the road. I didn’t even know that was a thing. It’s a simple construct, an arcade racer with a shifter, but the playthroughs are so short that the replayability and the urge to keep trying to see if you can get better is really high. Not even sure I can beat it but I’m up for continuing to try.
NICE. SO. WHAT ARE YOU OUT RUNNING?
Great question, actually. I would assume other cars but because it’s a game with checkpoints and not finish lines, I suppose you’re not really racing anyone. Now that I’m thinking more about it, maybe you’re trying to outrun a giant wave from the beach! Actually, wouldn’t it be awesome if there was no timer but instead a shadow of a giant tidal wave just gets bigger and bigger on the screen the worse you do??!
HOLY GUACAMOLE. THAT’S THE SMARTEST THING YOU’VE EVER SAID. WHAT ABOUT CRYPTIDS? OR DINOSAURS?
You mean, like, have their shadows coming up behind you too? Hey, not a bad idea. You’re not as lame as your stale, all-caps persona would have led me to believe. Say, it’s not a full-on game about outrunning the menacing silhouettes of cryptids without it featuring the Mississippi Mud Man! Oh, wow! Can you imagine a game where you have to get in a car and floor it because ol’ Muddy was fast on your trail? Like Ski-Free but with a car?
DID YOU MAKE THAT UP?
No way dumb-dumb. You don’t know about the Mississippi Mud Man? Only the most feared cryptid on either side of the Miss’sip!
THANK YOU…. SO WAS IT FUN? SHOULD I PLAY IT?
I think everyone should play it. It’s a classic and the red car with the hair blowing in the breeze is an iconic image. It’s a simple arcade racer worth your time. Check it out!