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Old 07-19-2007, 07:54 AM   #1
SamIAm
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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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Old 07-19-2007, 12:14 PM   #2
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Default Re: Sonic Xtreme

what ripped yesterday??!? what?
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Old 07-19-2007, 01:03 PM   #3
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> what ripped yesterday??!? what?
>

Sonic Xtreme was going to be the next big Sonic game after Sonic 3 & Knuckles. They were making it for Sega's console of the 32-bit era, the Saturn, and it was going to be Sonic's first true 3D game. Unfortunately, the project hit one brick wall after another, and it collapsed. Sonic Xtreme has been the holy grail of unreleased games ever since.

Last year, this same prototype surfaced and sold through a private auction for $5000. There was a lot of stupid Sonic-fan drama, and it didn't look like it would ever get ripped. Apparently, it did, however. Now you can download it as a CD image in bin-cue format. It's about 20 megs.

I probably should have put this in the first post instead of all that other crap, but oh well.
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Old 07-19-2007, 05:23 PM   #4
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> Last year, this same prototype surfaced and sold through a
> private auction for $5000.

$5000 for a heightmap strip! I wanted the fish eye and that was never made for the saturn <img src=smilies/cry.gif> and they fired him over heightmap dude!<img src=smilies/banghead.gif>

Oh well I still wana see saturn shenmue.
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Old 07-20-2007, 03:16 AM   #5
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Default Re: Sonic Xtreme

That's pretty awesome. Have you seen the http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...arch&plindex=8Sonic 2: Special Edition</A> beta?
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Old 07-20-2007, 04:10 AM   #6
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> That's pretty awesome. Have you seen the Sonic 2: Special
> Edition beta?

Sweet. I want that remixed soundtrack.

Wait. What the fuck is going on in the background at 2:50?
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Old 07-20-2007, 04:31 AM   #7
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Default Re: Sonic Xtreme

> Wait. What the fuck is going on in the background at 2:50?

Yeah, saw that too. Made me think about the Fight Club.

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Old 07-20-2007, 04:56 AM   #8
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Okay, the first level was pretty plausible and caught me by surprise. But ---- as it turns out, the game (and series of videos) is an elaborate hoax that devolves into unmitigated insanity.

Here's a video of one of the later levels, http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...arch&plindex=0Casino Night Zone</A>.

> Yeah, saw that too. Made me think about the Fight Club.
>

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Old 07-20-2007, 07:30 AM   #9
SamIAm
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Default Re: Sonic Xtreme

> Okay, the first level was pretty plausible and caught me by
> surprise. But ---- as it turns out, the game (and series of
> videos) is an elaborate hoax that devolves into unmitigated
> insanity.

Yeah, people love to do that with Sonic games given all the fuss that's gone on about their prototypes. Actually, there was a single tiny advertisement in one magazine for a "Sonic CD 2", although who knows what that was really all about. Also, however, I remember that at one point some of the Sonic super-nerds were saying that they had just about disassembled Sonic 2 enough that they could get a recompiled version running on the Sega CD.
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Old 07-20-2007, 07:37 AM   #10
SamIAm
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> $5000 for a heightmap strip! I wanted the fish eye and that
> was never made for the saturn and they fired him over
> heightmap dude!

> Oh well I still wana see saturn shenmue.
>

Saturn Shenmue would be amazing, although I'm willing to bet that they chose the best looking bits of it for their video in Shenmue 2. The bulk of the game probably doesn't look that good, and I even bet that a few of those environments in the video were pre-rendered.

Virtua Fighter 3 for the Saturn would be equally cool, I think. Both games used some crazy 3D processing scheme that incorporated the Saturn's sound CPU, making a whopping 3 CPU's running the main game engine.

And for what it's worth, I really feel that the fish-eye technique in the PC version of Sonic Xtreme wouldn't have been that wonderful. The new approach to the Saturn levels with the boss engine seems more playable. Not to mention, it really seems to me that the Saturn would have had a really hard time choking down that engine the PC guy was making.
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