Blog:Battle Out Run (Master System)

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CRV (talk) 05:20, 21 February 2018 (UTC) [permalink]

It's not really an Out Run game; it's a Chase HQ knockoff. The only things connecting this to Out Run are your red sportscar (a Larborarri Teratuga) and your ability to pick radio stations. There aren't even branching paths — even Chase HQ had those!

Mr. T lookalike

In Battle Out Run, you're a bounty hunter criss-crossing America, trying to catch mobsters that look like Mr. T (see right). You can play the stages out of order, but the stages get increasingly more difficult, so you're better off just starting from the beginning.

You could buy parts in the NES and SMS versions of Chase H.Q, but it's a much more integral part of Battle Out Run. During each stage, you'll board a truck ala Spy Hunter to upgrade various parts. Unlike Chase H.Q., these upgrades are permanent; they're also necessary to survive the game.

On paper, combining Out Run with Chase H.Q. should have been a slam dunk, but it falls flat in execution. The cars in this game are among the most annoying you'll find anywhere, and they only get more annoying with each stage. They usually either fly right into you or mindlessly weave back and forth. The backgrounds are fine, but apparently America is one big desert. Even Chicago is sandy! They added oil slicks and ramps to spice things up, but...they don't.

It's not listed in their 25th Anniversary Official Character Collection book, but code comparisons and a check of the credits suggest this was programmed (not wholly developed) by Arc System Works. They're a well-known company now, but they spent their early years anonymously providing programming services for Sega. (Incidentally, founder and president Minoru Kidooka used to work for Sega.) Arc must have had a good codebase or game engine (does that term apply to old Master System games?) because they went on to touch almost every internal Sega 8-bit racing game from here on in, including the Super Monaco GP and Sonic Drift series.