Monday, September 22, 2008

Sega Dreamcast - Extreme Sports





Ah, interesting. I seem to remember this title, but it never received much attention at the time. Most games that tried to angle for the "extreme" thing failed miserably, much like Vanilla Ice teaming up with the Ninja Turtles. Ouch.

Was Extreme Sports ever released in the US? Yes, according to GameFaqs. It appeared on Infogrames' Atari label here, which is likely why I missed it. In Japan, Sega published the title, even though the developer is listed as Innerloop. Perhaps that's why I missed it. If I thought this was a Sega title, it would have been snapped up without a thought.

It's so much easier to find out about minor game titles in 2008 than in 2000. The internet was a much smaller place without YouTube and blogs. This game really just fell through the cracks, which is a shame. Dreamcast was home to inventive, left-of-field games such as this.

It's interesting to watch a racing game where the athletes change vehicles after each lap. The videos I've seen (posted below) show racers on ATV's, hang gliders, and snowboards. Now that's a crazed mix. I see elements of future racing games, like the Burnout series and PS3's standout hit Motorstorm. Again, I never played this one back in 2000, so I don't know how good everything comes together. But it does have a dedicated fan base, so that counts for something.




1 comment:

Fnordinary said...

Hey. That 2nd vid of Maui is mine, i got a rare comment on it so had a look where it was linked from now. This game even today stands up well against modern 'next-gen' ones for gameplay, fun and certainly it had one of the best licensed soundtracks ever.

The music was all from the Ninja Tune label and featured artists like Amon Tobin, Cabbage Boy, Cold Cut, Dynamic Syncopation, Irresistible Force, London Funk Allstars, Mr. Scruff and DJ Food. A lot of them with new songs on there that may be familiar now.

I can't remember all the track titles but some are listed here http://www.discogs.com/release/1437893

You could select which songs you wanted to be used for which type of event. Say, 'Dark Lady' by DJ Food for the glider events and the replays was my pick. You could even just sit in the menus and play through the songs in the soundtrack at your leisure. Effectively you'd gotten a free Nnja Tune sampler album.

Music aside, the gameplay was such that you had a constant guide to how far ahead/behind you were in seconds updated every second or two. This meant that it was alright that the course split a lot and you could choose whatever route you wanted.

Plus you could figure how much boost you needed to use/save. It kept things interesting and fun, as did the battling aspect if you got close you could smack people and if you made them crash you'd get a chunk of boost (so totally a pre-cursor to Burnout 3 Takedown I realised later, another game i totally adore)

The online nature of the Dreamcast was exploited well too, with a couple of extra bonus checkpoint tracks encouraging you to get online as it was the only way to unlock them. Once there you could compete with the online leaderboards and upload/share/download data and then play against other people's 'ghost' players or your own to try and be faster and see what routes they took.

This is all back around 2000 remember. Look at some games now, 'Pure' has just come out and is an ATV stunt racer. I tried the demo but it seemed a bit boring just having to do different stunts every single jump to be able to have enough boost to go fast enough. The stunts should be performed at your leisure, when you feel like it. And is that it? no bikes just ATVs?

I've been spoiled.