Tuesday, 21 March 2017


Now before I talk on what I really wanted to talk about so bad. Apologies if this blog has been really inactive for a while since I was very busy with college and other personal stuff. Now then, does anyone remember this Sonic game called Sonic X-treme?

Well if not, let me tell you. It was going to be first 3D Sonic game that was going to be released for the Sega Saturn and even on the PC. It was also first started as a 3D Sonic game for SEGA's ill-fated 32X addon. In the game, Sonic had to traverse through the 3D levels like in Bug! which used the similar gameplay concept were 2D sprites move within the 3D levels, even though the levels are in 3D, Sonic and the rest were 2D sprites. But however, there were screenshots that Sonic had a 3D model. The game was going to be developed by SEGA's North American studio called SEGA Technical Institute (the same studio behind Sonic Spinball, Comix Zone and The Ooze) and later on by Point of View. SEGA Technical Institute wanted to try a different way with Sonic by using the fish-eye lens view. However, STI was split into two development teams. Chris Senn and Ofer Alon was in charge of the PC port while Robert Morgan and Chris Coffin were in charge with the fixed free-roaming boss engine as well as porting it to the Saturn.

But this is where things start to get really ugly. SEGA of Japan's Hayao Nakayama hated the progress and wanted the team to use the boss engine. Even though Wallis dashed in suggested the team to use the NiGHTS engine which came out like this:

Things got even UGLIER. STI lost 2 weeks of development time and even the NiGHTS engine. One of the Sonic designers Yuki Naka even threatened to leave Sonic Team if the engine is used. And Chris Senn at the time was seriously ill at the time and only had 6 months to live. With both teams struggling. The game was unfortunately cancelled. Leaving SEGA with no true 3D Sonic game for the Saturn. 

To make it up on having a no Sonic game on the SEGA Saturn. SEGA decided to request a British studio Traveller Tales on developing a Saturn port of Sonic 3D: Flickies Island/Blast. But the damage was already done. Crash Bandicoot and Super Mario 64 were already out and they were played beautifully with good graphics and gameplay. Sonic 3D on the other hand was just an isometric view where you run around and help the birds escape rather than play through the stage which to me I find it boring and I don't think Sonic 3D would help SEGA very much due the game already made for the Genesis/Mega Drive a year ago and so would the other two Sonic games. These two Sonic games are Sonic Jam which is just a compilation developed by Sonic Team. And Sonic R which is just a foot racing game also made by Traveller's Tales which was too short and can be beaten within around an hour.

Let's fast forward to the 2010 as we find out that many many gameplay videos of Sonic X-treme were published online (including the 32X build), even from Chris Senn himself. Then few years later. A user goes by the name of jollyroger managed to leak few builds online, including the fish-eye build and the Point of View build in which can be played on a real SEGA Saturn which is shown here:

I happen to saw a video from speedylink showing the POV build running on real hardware. The POV build did look complete, Sonic was able to collect rings, destroy enemies and even take damage from them. It even has built in debug mode and you can even rotate the screen with the shoulder buttons. Is it true that Point Of View got their build rejected too? Did they help out STI? There are quite a few interesting videos of the game worth checking out. You can also download those builds at the Sonic Retro page:

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