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Unlike the original game, you’re not limited to a single Ferrari – this time around you have a whole host of prancing ponies at your disposal. Of course the original Testarossa is there, but any Ferrari fan will tell you that this wasn’t one of the best vehicles to roll out of Modena. Worry not though, there are some absolute classics on offer, including a couple of my own favourites – the Daytona Spyder and the 288 GTO. If you want to drive something a bit more expensive, you can always go for the current cream of the Ferrari crop, the Enzo; but if you really want to push the boat out, why not get behind the wheel of a 250 GTO – one of these sold for over £6m a few years back!
Of course if you play the single player career mode, you’ve only got a couple of cars at your disposal to start with, if you want the others you’re going to have to earn them. This is pretty standard procedure for racing games, but Sega has put its own spin on things. Most games expect you to either overcome challenges or win races to earn points that can then be used to buy new cars, but OutRun lets you buy new cars and features with “OutRun Miles”. The beauty of OutRun Miles is that you don’t have to win a race or overcome a challenge to get them. Lost the race? Don’t worry, you still get your miles. Quit halfway through the race? You’ll still get the miles you covered thus far. There’s none of the frustration that accompanies most driving games because you know that every single mile you cover, no matter what the overall outcome, goes towards your next piece of Italian exotica.
Handling can be a bit tricky at first, but once you get the hang of the ludicrous power slides, you’ll have no trouble getting around the track with your foot to the floor. Although the analogue stick on the PSP is somewhat lacking in sensitivity, Sega, or to be correct Sumo (the developer) has given you the option to tweak the sensitivity in the options menu. Unfortunately no amount of tweaking will help the analogue stick on my PSP which just snapped right off while playing OutRun – not really what I’d expect from such an expensive handheld console. A quick look around the web showed that this is a common problem though, so I’ll be buying a new analogue stick and performing surgery on my PSP as soon as I get the chance.
The single player mode has your average driving challenges thrown in, but it’s the girlfriend challenges that are far more fun. Here your girlfriend gives you instructions while you’re driving, stuff like “hit the cars”, “overtake cars”, “avoid the meteors” and even “dribble the beach ball” - I kid you not. All the time you’re heeding your lovely companion’s instructions, you’ve also got to remember that the clock is ticking and you have to make the next checkpoint before the time runs out.