Hyo Software brings the Outrun formula to a new generation with the release of Ocean Drive Challenge Remastered. A mere glance at the Steam page shows some striking similarities to SEGA’s classic arcade racer – does it manage to carry on the cruising torch?
Ocean Drive Challenge Remastered Review
One would think this title would feature ocean driving, but that vista only makes up a fraction of the areas present in Ocean Drive Challenge Remastered. A race is at hand, and it’s up to JJ. Barrom, Cynthia, and Mr. Gatlin to make it through cityscapes, countrysides, canyons, and neon-drenched cities. These three characters all have their own objectives, and will constantly quip about them to the player and make Whitesnake references for the player to enjoy.
While the constant change in venue is nice, there’s nowhere near as much variety as titles like Outrun or Slipstream. There is a distinct lack of branching paths, meaning that all players will have the same playthrough each time. Rivals are out of the question as well, and the paltry three tracks on the radio are simply not enough to occupy the entire drive. As a result, this title feels like a half-measure. These elements could have just as easily have been put in, but their omission does not add to any sort of uniqueness.
What players will find a lot of in Ocean Drive Challenge Remastered is driving. The road forward is constant, with bends in the road being the most extreme element players will have to contend with. While each of the three characters have rides that vary based on acceleration, handling, and speed, the experience lacks enough depth to really make that matter. There is the ability to put in manual control or brake, but it takes pride in its arcade roots.
It’s just a shame that drifting does not play a large part of this title. Most bends can be taken at close to full speed, and the worst penalty one gets from bumping into a rock or another car is some slowdown. It just feels like players are going through the motions in this one, rather than actively navigating the road.
Rather, the greatest threat in this title comes from the other vehicles. The streets of Ocean Drive Challenge Remastered are absolutely flooded, and it can be incredibly difficult to navigate its traffic jams. Cars are erratic, and one particularly egregious section has a two lane road that requires absolute mastery. The fact that there is an achievement for not bumping into any cars is an absolute pipe dream.
Outside of a handful of achievements, leaderboards are also present. While far from a game changer, their inclusion is most certainly welcome nonetheless.
Ocean Drive Challenge Remastered takes away a number of features that made SEGA’s Outrun so great, leaving behind a bland title that does nothing to stand out.