New Sonic Xtreme prototype concepts surface

Sonic 32X

Ah, Sonic Xtreme, arguably one of the most infamous games that never came to be. Despite this, both fans and even the original staff that worked on the game have for years been documenting it’s development history from it’s gameplay concepts to it’s plot, and everything in between.

Today, new Sonic Xtreme concept material has surfaced via a YouTube channel called RDPH Games, with several videos showing never before seen prototype material. Notably this highlights some aspects of Sonic Xtreme before it was a SEGA Saturn title, back when it was still being conceptualized as a game for the failed 32X add-on. These videos include a running animation clip that according to the description was made hours before a meeting with SEGA of Japan, an animation test with a possible title screen for “Sonic 32X”, and a mock up of a hypothetical bonus stage.

While at first glance these clips may not seem significant, every bit of information helps shed some more light of what happened behind the scenes when it came to Sonic Xtreme. In this case, seeing more of Sonic Xtreme before it’s jump on the SEGA Saturn, along with general never-before-seen clips.

Traveller’s Tales Founder Uncovers Sonic R, Mickey Mania 2 Prototypes

Game developers are rarely able to showcase their efforts in video game preservation. Publisher and developer regulations may prohibit this material be preserved for future generations to learn and understand from to avoid competition and protect resources. In a rare opportunity developers may uncover unreleased materials they held in their personal collection. Some recent examples include prototypes of games such as the Super Nintendo version of Rayman discovered by series creator Michel Ancel or Twelve Tales Conker 64 dug up from Rare’s archives. Recently Traveller’s Tales founder, Jon Burton, has pulled out pitch videos and prototypes of his company’s earlier efforts on his YouTube channel GameHut. The most recent videos at the time of this writing the first known prototype of Sonic R for SEGA Saturn shown off to SEGA as well as prototype footage of Mickey Mania 2 running on Mega Drive hardware.

SEGA Genesis Aladdin’s Chicago C.E.S demo rom released

AladdinCESdemoBack in 1993 SEGA showed off the SEGA Genesis version of Aladdin during the C.E.S show in Chicago, this was a early prototype showing off what players can expect when Aladdin hit store shelves during the 1993 holiday season.According to Hidden Palace wiki, differences between Aladdin’s Chicago C.E.S demo compared to the retail versions are:

  • A lot of levels have enemies either missing from the final or incomplete pencil tests.
  • The level music for Level 2 “The Desert” is a completely different tune that was cut from the final. It’s based on a track from Jungle Book.
  • Aladdin’s lives icon looks different.
  • The “Inside the Lamp” level is completely different from the final. Instead of going all the way to the right of the level, the player instead has to reach the very top by riding on Genie bowling balls and jumping on springs. A lot of graphics appear that are not in the final iteration of the level.
  • The final level uses a different background.

The Aladdin’s Chicago C.E.S demo was dumped thanks to the user Billscat-socks, who has also dumped a ton of different prototypes. Its thanks to users like him that the retro scene gets all these interesting prototypes and we get to see changes made in prior versions. You can download Aladdin’s Chago C.E.S demo below.

Download Aladdin’s C.E.S Demo Here

Sonic the Hedgehog and Friends concept art revealed

SonicConcept1During the Sonic the Hedgehog 25th Anniversary event over in Japan, Sonic Team presented early concepts for Sonic the Hedgehog and Friends. Some of the weirdest early prototypes included rabbit Sonic the Hedgehog, headband wearing Silver the Hedgehog and scarred up Shadow the Hedgehog. If you are a hedgehog, you started out with some weird designs.

Check out the concept art for Sonic the Hedgehog and Friends below. Tell us what you think of these early concept art prototypes and if they did right with the final designs. Of course, these are just more of the popular Sonic the Hedgehog and Friends designs as they didn’t show a lot of the more niche characters (Fang, please Sonic Team).

[Via NeoGAF]

Alpha build of Ecco II: Sentinels of the Universe leaked

Ecco the Dolphin is a familiar face for SEGA fans, appearing in 4 different games and gaining a bit of a cult following due to it’s bizarre and surprisingly dark premise of a dolphin traveling through time to save his comrades from evil aliens. What many people didn’t know is that there was a fifth game in the series that was in development, acting as a sequel to the Dreamcast game Ecco the Dolphin: Defenders of the Universe. The game titled Ecco II: Sentinels of the Universe started in development sometime in 2001-2000, around the time the Dreamcast was on it’s last legs, with the build leaked in particular being made on February 19th, 2001. The game did not reach far into development, not receiving press coverage of any type and being silently cancelled when SEGA started to move away from the console business, though Ecco the Dolphin: Defenders of the Universe receiving mixed reception may of also contributed to the cancellation.

Cancelled Akira Genesis game brought to the limelight

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It’s not every day new info about old games comes out. It’s even rarer for new info about old, cancelled games to come out of the woodwork. In the dust of archived footage of CES, Space World, and E3s of twenty years ago, major undocumented secrets sometimes spring out. And now there’s been a very, very interesting find: a preview of a cancelled Genesis adaptation of the 1988 anime film, Akira. Hit the jump for details and analysis, as well as the video showing the prototype.

UPDATED: SegaSonic the Hedgehog arcade prototype supposedly uncovered – presenting SegaSonic Bros.

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Remember when the SegaSonic Popcorn Shop ROM was dumped and playable on MAME? Well that same person who did that is now teasing something else Sonic arcade related! Originally shared on Tumblr is what appears to be a working prototype of SegaSonic The Hedgehog the arcade game. The user tagged the Tumblr post with “#unreleased” and added the caption “…it’s the megaton…”. The megaton indeed. For those not in the know, SegaSonic the Hedgehog was a trackball controlled arcade game released exclusively to Japan and North America in 1993. Given the control scheme, the game has not released outside of arcades as Sonic Team has claimed it is too tricky to make the game playable with standard control pads. The game featured the debut of Mighty the Armadillo and Ray the Squirrel, but as this supposed prototype dated 1992 reveals the game was initially known as SegaSonic Bros. and featured blue hedgehog Sonic and a yellow and orange version of our hero (or perhaps two new hedgehogs?). Let’s just hope this hedgehog trio don’t form a band and look for their long lost mother.

We hope to hear more details on this soon, so in the meantime consider this a rumor. Fingers crossed this game gets dumped as well.

Discuss multi-colored Sonics and more in the SEGAbits forums, and after the break check out a small update on this story!

SEGA almost licensed the technology that created the Virtual Boy

SEGAVirtuaBoyFormer SEGA of America President Tom Kalinske has revealed on a Reddit community podcast that not only was SEGA in talks with Trip Hawkins about releasing the 3DO console (also talks with other manufactures including Sony), Tom reveals they also dodged another bullet by not entering an agreement with Reflection Technologies – the company that went on to make Virtual Boy with Nintendo. Seems that SEGA America was really interested in Virtual Reality headsets (they even showed their own prototypes at public events, but nothing was released).

“It was pretty cool. You could put it on and literally you were in a virtual world, and it moved as you moved your head.

One of the problems was almost everybody got sick. It caused severe motion sickness. Other people got severe headaches. I think we were right in turning it down.” – Tom Kalinske, former SEGA of America President on Virtual Boy tech

What are your thoughts? Did SEGA do the right move by passing on the ‘Virtua Boy‘?

[Via: Nintendo Life]

Alien Isolation on Oculus Rift is just a prototype

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If you guys read all our E3 2014 hands-on impressions, you guys probably saw that we got a chance to try a prototype of Alien Isolation on the Oculus Rift. According to Creative Assembly, the prototype is just that, a prototype. There is no active developement on a full version supporting the Oculus Rift.

“At present, it’s just a prototype and does not represent a game currently in development at this point in time. It’s a truly amazing experience though and brings the game to life in ways we could not have imagined when we started the project. It’s one of the most terrifying demos you’ll ever play.”  – SEGA’s statement to Eurogamer

I have a feeling that Oculus Rift support will come to the title on PC, just not at launch. But you never know, I find it sort of strange that they would show a demo for the Oculus Rift and say its not the game they will be selling the consumer… its not like the last Aliens game was false representation of what they showed at E3 or anything.

Sega Reveals Bayonetta Prototype

Sega have posted some neat gameplay videos of Bayonetta in its Prototype stages on their youtube channel. The Prototype almost looks as good as the final product and in a few instances I think it looks better.

Hit the jump to see the second video and what I think should have made it into the final product!