I still remember the first time I saw it. My mom had dragged my siblings and I to the local ice rink. I wasn't that big into skating, so I decided to go hang out in the adjoining arcade. I started things off with a little BurgerTime. That was good for about 10 or so minutes of fun. After tiring of that, I decided to look around and see what other usual suspects they had on offer. Suddenly, something over by the far wall caught my eye. Something colorful and new! Something quite unlike anything I had seen before. Out Run! My first encounter with a Sega title turned out to be the game that instantly and forever converted me into a loyal fanatic.
It wasn't just the mind-blowing visuals, though. Everything about this game just oozed glorious, arcady entertainment. The digitized speech, the perfect sound effects, the superb driving mechanics... Seeing your car flip through the air and tumble sideways if you accidentally hit a road sign (my brother liked to call that "Burton air" but I have no idea why). I think what stood out more than anything else though was that excellent soundtrack. I still can't help but smile anytime I hear Splash Wave or Magical Sound Shower. Sega was actually good enough to release a bunch of Out Run music on iTunes last year. To say that I was excited when I found out would be an understatement.
Obviously, one of the first games we went out and bought for our new Sega console was Out Run. It should go without saying that the Master System version didn't look nearly as good as the original (no arcade ports did at the time). But we didn't care. We were only too happy to be able to bring that same joy home. The copy we purchased even included a special arcade-inspired joystick called the Sega Control Stick. That thing in itself was pretty rad! We spent hours fighting over it, trying to see who could get the farthest in the game. Soon, it became about seeing who could beat the game. Then, who could beat it on the most routes. To this day, I still love that game.