Mon. Sep 26th, 2022

The announcement video for Jon Burt’s Sonic 3D Blast: Director’s Cut

Right now, retro game enthusiasts are well accustomed to fan-made “hacks” of classic titles that can do everything from adding modern players to Tecmo Bowl until adding an egg-throwing Yoshi to Sonic the hedgehog 2. What we can’t remember, however, is that the original developer of a decades-old console game returns to fix it via a downloadable, emulator-friendly patch.

That’s exactly what Traveler’s Tales founder Jon Burton is planning Sonic 3D Blast. Burton announced via video that he will be making a “Director’s Cut” that will fix gameplay issues and add new features to the original Genesis title (which was also ported to the Saturn). Burton’s roadmap includes solving the game’s infamously slippery momentum (which often makes Sonic feel like he’s running around on ice), enabling a pre-existing hidden-level editor, adding Super Sonic, adding an in-game save system, and more. A follow-up video shows more specifically how Burton removes many of the control and gameplay frustrations that led to mediocre reviews for the 1996 release (and subsequent ports to more modern platforms).

Burt explicitly notes that this is “something I do on my own time, for fun, and not affiliated with Sega or anyone else,” so it’s hard to call this an “official” remastering of the original game. That said, Burton’s history with the title and his pedigree with Traveller’s Tales set this effort apart from other unofficial retro game mods. And Sega’s large-scale embrace of 16-bit game modding via Steam is practically a stamp of support for this kind of modern rejiggering of classic titles. Anyone with even the slightest interest in how classic game development works should take some time and also search the rest of Burton’s GameHut channel on YouTube. In addition to revealing the secret behind gaming’s weirdest Easter Egg, the channel features fascinating deep dives on early FMV compression, a trick to generate more colors on stock Genesis hardware, and a collection of demo scene-style graphics tricks that make the Genesis pushing to the limits . Well worth it even if you don’t have a deep understanding of the underlying programming tricks covered.

List image by Sega

By akfire1

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