Arcade conversions. Not much can say about them really. As a rule, they generally involve very fast, kicking someone's head in, or shooting lots of people and/or spaceships. They're usually very simple too, 'cos the instructions have got to fit on that little space on the cabinet between the fire button and the 'reject coin' slot.
Turbo Outrun falls into the 'driving very fast' category, and the main objective is to... er... drive very fast in a Ferrari across America, taking in some of the more scenic states and, it seems, just about every weather condition from blistering desert to freezing mountains. And that's it, scenariowise. Usual joystick commands, usual scrolling scenery, other cars and scenic routes. Oh, and turbo boost and stage bonuses as well.
Using turbo is a temporary means of making your car fo faster than Fergie into a cake shop, but use it carefully 'cos if you use it too often (like more than twice in any one stage) it'll result in your car overheating pretty darn quickly.
Using turbo also means that some bends will be just about impossible to get round 'cos you're moving like a bullet, so it's best to use it on sections of road with which you are familiar. Should five sections be completed, then a bonus screen appears giving you a choice of more add ons than Ken and Barbie's Barbecue Set. These fall into such categories as a high tuned engine, super grippy tyres or leather upholstery (One of these isn't true).
Has US Gold improved on its previous You Know What outings, or is it yet another old banger? Let's take a test drive.
Sean: I must admit that burning rubber, driving Ferrari Testacullas and snogging girlies is my idea of an evening well spent. So it's not surprising then that quite a few shiny coins found their way from my pockets into various Outrun arcade machines up and down the country. When U.S. Gold released Outrun however, nothing changed cos it was pretty, er... naff. Fortunately, Turbo Outrun is 10 billion times better and absoflippin'lutely fab.
First of all, let's do the graphics: nice, big, chunky and colourful. There's tons of variety in the sections, from daytime blizzards to nightime sunsets and starry nights over Minneapolis, and that's just the first handful. The scrolling is smooth and fast, and excellent for the Amiga, although it gets a little jerky when there's a lot on the side of the tracks.
The music, it has to be said, is horrid. An awful tune, played with what sounds like a sample of a cat being converted into a tennis racket. Still the in-game sounds are good, the usual old vroomy sounds with car horns and police sirens thrown in for good measure.
On the ol' addictiveness and playability front, Turbo Outrun is absolutely brilliant. The little extras, like the turbo, make the game different from the usual racey ones and hitting turbo just as a police car reaches you, is fab.
Okay, it's yet another drivey game. But it's addictive and it's got an extremely good learning curve. It's great fun to play and without doubt a vast improvement on the previous Outrun incarnation. If racey games are your particular bag of spanners, then there's absolutely no reason not to buy Turbo Outrun for your Amiga. Well, there is if you have an ST, but then you could always buy the ST version, couldn't you?
Jackie: I must admit that I was expecting Outrun Turbo to be lousy. I saw an early version a while ago and wasn't very impressed. Fortunately US Gold has worked wonders in the meantime, and Turbo Outrun on the ST is, considering the limitations imposed on it by 16-bits et all, really really brill.
The sound though, it has to be said, is not brilliant. It was an awful set of tunes in the first place, and they haven't been improved at all by squeezing them through the ST's sound chip. Fortunately for all its sound inadequacies, the ST was born to scroll, and it certainly does it fabbily in Turbo Outrun. Mind you I must admit that I was sligt=htly alarmed at the jerkiness of the scrolling at first. I reckon it would've been much better to have lost some of the incredibly detailed trackside graphics and use the saved memory to get smoother scrolling. Still after a while you become oblivious to the jerky scrolling, as the addictiveness factor takes over.
A big point in the favour of Turbo is the decent colouring and graphics, which are about as accurate as you're gonna get this side of an arcade entrance. All the elements squodged together (we won't mention the music) actually make a pretty darn addictive whole. Everyone in the office had a quick look and sneaked a quick go when they thought no one was looking, and if that isn't a recommendation of quality, I don't know what is.
Unfortunately, the scrolling lets it down a little but it's still a brill game. Not excellent but brill, and no one should be disappointed if one Mister Santa Claus leaves a copy under the tree on Christmas Day.