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OutRun2 - Violent Femme

March 2, 2005 By Glenn Turner

There are a variety of forces that keep us playing a game. Pride. Curiosity. Stubbornness. Pre-rendered cut-scenes. And then there's the image of your girlfriend strangling you.

Sega's OutRun2 emasculates and generally embarrasses both sexes while feeling more like a hostage situation than a breezy drive through a variety of suddenly fluctuating environments. While you're drifting left and right across the road, your girlfriend alternates between shuddering and lazily feeling the wind through her fingers. At least, until you slip up and make a mistake - then her fists are all over you like white on rice.

Is this what am I playing for? Am I playing to solely impress my gal, or to avoid a beating? Am I playing for my self-preservation or pride? Apparently, what was once meant to be a pleasant, meandering drive through the hills has now turned into a domestic dispute. We've all seen it before, but we hardly ever suspected it'd happen to us, right? Chocolates won't be smoothing this over. Are you happy now? Happy with dragging your significant other into the fray? Are you content with her feeling like the man in her life is nothing but a simpering wimp behind the wheel?

If we ignore for a moment the woman tightly clenching my neck, OutRun2 is a gorgeous, vibrant and exhilarating ride across a continent. The purples and pinks of flowerbeds glow as if viewed through a vaseline-lathered lens, the sun comes out from behind a cloud and almost threatens to wash out everything with its blinding fury. Blades of grass fly up from my tires as I accidently drive slightly off the road, my eyes flit to an AMD billboard and suddenly my car is flying through the air, and I can't continue to ignore the woman in the side passenger seat any longer. The camera zooms in to capture the antagonistic disapproval in her face. "What's wrong with you??" she shrilly shouts.

And we're to assume that we should just take this? Our goal in this game is to make this woman happy? To fill the heart meter via drifts and reckless driving and earn her adoration? I just wanted to speed my Ferrari across this fictitious land, and maybe watch the portly flag-bearer dance a bit. And that, that I can do just fine without having my woman berating me, beating and bruising my body whenever I may slip up and barely miss a checkpoint.

Despite her poor passenger-side disposition, it is worth it - it is all worth it. To drift effortlessly around a corner, arm languidly resting on the car door while the wind rushes across my face, driving through these tracks for the 40th time make me realize that the goal isn't the goal at all. It's not the remaining countdown time left as I complete a track or the distance between the car behind me - it's simply the experience spanning the starting and finish lines. It's deciding whether I want to drive through Cloudy Highway to get to Tulip Garden or turn towards Industrial Complex. I don't need her hearts or foul words to continue on. All I need are a pair of earplugs, a neck brace and her damn car so I can experience the wonder of OutRun2's courses.

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#1 hobbie Mar 5, 2005 03:03am

I like flag girls