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Showing posts with label Innerloop Studios. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Innerloop Studios. Show all posts

Retrospective: Sega Extreme Sports

Sega Extreme Sports, released in 2000 and published by Sega in Europe and Japan as part of their “Sega Sports” series, was one of a multitude of titles in an ever-increasingly popular genre on the Dreamcast. The game’s title clearly wasn’t edgy enough for the US-audience however, and was instead published by Infogrames and simply called “Xtreme Sports” - with an X just to sound gnarly!

As part of this retrospective, I was fortunate enough to have Henning Rokling, then-CEO of Innerloop Studios who created Sega Extreme Sports, provide some fantastic insight into the production of the game. Henning kicked off by saying how impressed they were with the Dreamcast hardware in general, the first console they’d worked with: “As we learned more and more from Sega, we were very impressed with the specs of their platform. We received dev kits prior to the console’s release, and worked closely with Sega Europe and Sega of Japan.”

There are six different disciplines included in Sega Extreme Sports: ATV, Snowboarding, Mountain Biking, Bungee Jumping, Sky Surfing and Speed Gliding. What’s interesting in this game over other similar titles is that each course sees players transition from one discipline to the other. This basically means that after driving your ATV down a muddy or snowy track, you have to smash the A button as frantically as you can as your character runs from the ATV to their snowboard or hand glider to start the next section.

I really liked how this worked and it meant you had a good amount of variety in each course that you played, as each course uses a mix of disciplines coupled together with the transition phase each time. Things can get pretty frantic as you see your 5 second advantage slip away as you fumble your transition onto your mountain bike!

It is fair to say that some disciplines are a little more enjoyable to play than others. Driving the ATV is great fun and I honestly think they could’ve made a game just from this mode with some longer tracks. But I think it’s snowboarding that gets my ultimate seal of approval. It looks gorgeous and is great fun to rack up the tricks along the way down the slope as you race to the finish, which in turn give you a replenishment on your turbo meter. None of these different disciplines are perfect by any means and some, like bungee jumping do feel a little tacked on, but it’s nice to have quite a bit of differentiation between them.

Graphically, Sega Extreme Sports is a smart looking title. Both the terrain and character models are all very detailed and it is certainly one of the better looking, more realistic games on the Dreamcast. Despite this, I have to comment on the strange texture-warping that goes on as you make your way through the stages. It’s not something I’ve seen in many other Dreamcast games but it can be pretty distracting when you’re in a cave and it looks like all of the walls are moving!