We’re right smack in the middle of summer and the weather — even here in Wisconsin — is bright and sunny. The hot sun, blue skies, puffy clouds, and sparkling water always remind me of Sega’s road racing classic, OutRun, and its opening level driving along an idyllic summer beach.

It sure is a shame that I suck at OutRun. I crash a lot and never reach the checkpoints in time.

I really like the game, but I’ve never taken the time to really get the hang of the controls. It’s been many years since I’ve played it in the arcade with steering wheel and pedal controls as the Lord (i.e., Yu Suzuki) intended, so I’m not sure if that would help me or not. But as it is, with the options available to me now, I suppose I better learn to play it with a control pad one of these days.

OutRun is accessible to me and my laughable skills on a few different platforms: I’ve got the Genesis version, I can emulate it on my PC or Raspberry Pi, or I can find it at Sega Hi-Tech Land when I play Yakuza 0. I stink at all of them.

Yeah probably

I’ve never played the follow-ups Turbo OutRun or OutRunners. However, I did get really into OutRun 2 on the original Xbox — so much so that I wanted to make sure it was compatible with the Xbox 360 before selling off my OG Xbox. (It is.) I used to be pretty good at it, but dusting it off again to play for this blog entry showed me how rusty I am. Still, it’s a little easier for me to play than the original.

OutRun always felt a little like a natural evolution of Sega’s 1981 classic Turbo to me, with its theme of road racing through changing environments. While Turbo was a cool game (I played it a lot as a kid and even owned the arcade cabinet for a while), OutRun certainly brought a lot more charm and personality to the concept.

OutRunnins for the home

Wherever that seaside town is that OutRun opens in, I wanna be there, cruising with my girl riding shotgun and “Passing Breeze” playing on the stereo. Now that sounds like a great summer day.

What are your favorite summer games and why?

Oh yeah, I have this too. Data Disc’s OutRun soundtrack LP. I got one of the 50 copies hand-signed by composer Hiro