Blast from the Past: 3D Out Run (Arcade/3DS)

Racing Retro



Many years ago Out Run was the pinnacle of all racing games. It was the game that had gamers wasting many, many 20c coin pieces in arcades. Today you can buy that classic game on the 3DS and it’s, as the name implies, in 3D. Question is, does it ‘out run’ the other SEGA classics on the 3DS?

Out Run will forever be remembered as the racing game that brought some sense of realism to the forefront in the genre. For the first time you had a sense of realistic inclines and declines, along with a low and high gear ratio to manage upcoming (and sudden) corners. Next to the super cool driver in the blue shirt was a blond lady, whose hair would flutter in the wind. It screamed 80’s like no other game. It’s been brought back to the 3DS and it’s still as enjoyable as it was all those years ago.


This SEGA Classic 3D port gets straight to business once loading it up. You’re asked if you’d like to play the new or old version (the original Japanese version is referred to ‘old , while the West received the ‘new’ version), what difficulty you’d like to play it at, your time limit, volume settings and button setup. Once done you press the X button and select your music track and you’re off to the starting line.

First things first, the 3D effect in 3D Out Run feels exceptionally immersive. Seeing as you can adjust the slider to your preference you’ll find the perfect depth that works for you, but it really does help in terms of judging an upcoming corner. It’s also a great help in assisting the distance from other vehicles on the road. As with the original you’ll have trees, clouds, rows of vegetation and other forms of objects shooting by you at a rapid pace to help indicate the speed you’re travelling at and the 3D effect just brings everything to life. I’d go as far as to say it’s one of the best 3D implementations I’ve yet witnessed on the 3DS. What’s more is that it plays at 60 frames per second. Yes, it’s an old game, but it’s good to see the port was handled with care.


You can use either the analogue stick, D-Pad or gyroscope to steer your car (though I advise to steer clear of motion controls) and as always the A and B buttons are used to accelerate and brake the vehicle. Unlike most arcade racers you’ll often find yourself braking into corners, or moving to the lower gear, to slow down. Move into an upcoming corner at a speed that’s to fast and your driver and beautiful blond lady will go flying out the car. The animations, to this day, is actually quite brutal. Thankfully the car resets with both driver and passenger unharmed. As with all oldschool racers your biggest enemy is time.

Your task is to reach the checkpoint for that extra time boost. Run out of time and it’s Game Over. What makes Out Run a unique experience is that you get to decide on your own driving adventure. At the end of each theme (beach, mountains, snowy, etc) you get to decide the next route by taking the left or right route. All-in-all you’ll reach the finish line after racing on 5 different stages, but overall there are 15 different tracks to race on. How and when you decide to race on it is up to you.


3D Out Run is perfect for on-the-go gaming where you play 5-10 minutes of gaming. Don’t expect it to last you as long as racers would these days. If you’re after a bit of nostalgic racing then this’ll be perfect, but newcomers might want to rather out run this classic.


  • 3D effect works really well | Great for short bursts of play time


  • Not for newbies | Won't last you all that long


Out Run or outgunned?


Gameplay - 7
Visuals - 7
Audio - 5
Gratification - 5
Value for money - 6

Married to a gamer and she kicks my ass at most shooters. If the game is enjoyable I’ll play it, no matter the format.

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