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Old 07-19-2007, 06:54 AM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 487
Default Sonic Xtreme

I'm sorry to do this to you all, but my closet-fanboyism for the early Sonic games keeps me from holding back. Yesterday someone released a rip of the infamous canceled Sonic game for the Sega Saturn, Sonic Xtreme.

There's a huge story behind the whole development of Sonic Xtreme, and I won't try to tackle it all right now. However, it's important to note that this game changed platforms several times, starting on the 32X, going to an N64 clone that never saw the light of day, and ending up on the Saturn. Somewhere in there, they actually started building the game on PC as a sort of concept version, and the truth is that that one was the furthest along. Most of the videos of Xtreme on youtube came from the PC version. Somewhat unfortunately, this isn't the one we've got now.

While the main programmer was working on the PC version, another programmer was building boss levels on the Saturn itself. At one point, they presented a poorly converted level from the PC version running on the Saturn to some Japanese execs, and followed it with the custom boss levels. At that point, the execs insisted that they build the game off of the boss engine, and they fired the PC guy and put the boss programmer in charge. Months later, due to the outrageous workload they dumped on him, this programmer came down with symptoms of pneumonia, and the project was canceled.

The prototype that's making the rounds now is a demo of the boss engine hacked into a primitive level. It's very short, and it doesn't offer any real gameplay to speak of. All the same, though, I think it's quite remarkable. Sonic himself never looked better in 3D, the control is totally decent, and the physics/proportioning of the game combined with their idea of using pseudo-2D level mapping looks like it would have actually worked really well. Not to mention, the framerate (60) and the rendering are great considering the era, the circumstances, and the system.

The guys making Sonic Xtreme were almost all newbie American designers, but it looks like their heads were in the right place. Too bad nothing else was.

If you've got a modded Saturn or a computer beefy enough to hand SSF in its more resource intensive modes, you should check it out. They have a torrent file at http://www.assemblergames.com/forums...ad.php?t=14540
and a direct download at http://www.glowingbridge.org/. Lay off their bandwidth if you can, though.
<P ID="signature"></P><P ID="edit"><FONT class="small">Edited by SamIAm on 07/19/07 07:43 AM.</FONT></P>
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