Turbo Outrun, Commodore 64

Well. Come. Back.

Can you hear it? Can you already hear that SID tune..?

“One,” chick-chook-ka-chuck bu-dubbah-chack!

“Two,” chick-chook-ka-chuck bu-dubbah-chack!

“Three,” chick-chook-ka-chuck bu-dubbah-chack!

“Hit it! Ou- ou- OUTRUN!” -screeeeeech!-

Maniacs of Noise / Jeroen Tel take a bloody bow. The first thing that strikes you when you boot up the astonishingly well-produced US Gold / Probe Software conversion of SEGA’s Turbo Outrun is just how good it all feels. Everything. The loading screen itself is a beautiful piece of pixel art with a glowing HIT FIRE! zorbing In and out, whilst, quite frankly, one of the greatest SID tunes ever created blasts off in the background.

I vividly remember there were a handful of games that I would come home after school and load up just to hear the loading music. Turbo Outrun was one; Thrust was another and I used to pause-load Sanxion, so I could hear the entirety of Hubbard’s Genius, before un-pausing and the game still loading perfectly and getting past maybe 2-3 levels EVERY TIME I played that horrifically difficult game. Still – they are both brilliant.

Turbo Outrun though, was a real jewel – and so very different than both of the previous Outrun iterations on the C64 [Outlined in a Previous Blog Post Here] – the UK/EU version and the US version. This felt like it had had it’s ports polished and it's bonnet buffed. Hit fire and spend a few minutes loading (Cassette Boy UK FTW!) and you are presented with another well-produced Title Screen and another, potentially even better, some might say, glorious Maniacs of Noise SID tune – it is literally unlike anything else of the time, or previous. Even Hubbard and Galway and the pedigree that comes with them… I don’t know – this was something different.

However, music doth not a great game make and luckily, the actual gameplay was pretty damn good too, with great rolling graphics, immersion of speed and even weather effects, albeit, that had no effect on gameplay. The mid-stage garage upgrades harked back to spinning steering wheels in the local arcade at ninety-to-the-dozen collecting spanners and made a marked difference on how the Ferrari handled, it really was a cracking game. Even down to the gloriously detailed map of the USA that showed you just how far you came before you failed. Multi-load is a PITA, we all know that and a disk version was preferrable – I think they’ve even hived a copy onto cartridge now.

If all you’ve ever played is the original Outrun, despite knowing that I know you know the musical mastery – the game itself really is a great blast and that map screen at the end another great touch, on an overall supremely produced, developed and delivered Coin-Op Conversion.

Hit the gas!

Zzap Issue 56: 97%
YouTube: LogrusUK
Download: .D64 .CRT

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