Xtreme Sports (video game)
North American Game Boy Color cover art
|Developer(s)||WayForward Technologies (GBC/Virtual Console)
Innerloop Studios (DC/PC)
Sega (as Sega Extreme Sports)
Empire Interactive (as Pepsi Max Extreme Sports)
WayForward Technologies/Nintendo (Virtual Console)
|Release||Game Boy Color
Xtreme Sports, also known as Sega Extreme Sports in Europe and Japan (Dreamcast version) and as Pepsi Max Extreme Sports (PC version), is a sports game developed by Norwegian video game development company Innerloop Studios and published by French holding company Infogrames for the Dreamcast and Microsoft Windows, and Sega for the European Dreamcast version, but was developed by WayForward Technologies for the Game Boy Color. It was first released in North America on June 28, 2000 for the Game Boy Color, then later on Dreamcast in North America, Japan and Europe.
Game Boy Color version
In the Game Boy Color version of Xtreme Sports, players compete against more than 200 computer-controlled opponents on 25 different tracks in sports such as street luge, skateboarding, inline skating, surfing and skyboarding. At the start of the game, players choose between characters Guppi and Fin and set off on a trip sponsored by the Xtreme Cola Company, which has invited all extreme sports athletes to Xtreme Sports Island to compete in a tournament. Among the people players encounter are the members of the Bone-Heads gang, who are the antagonists. The player's objective is to unravel the mystery behind them and win the tournament at the same time.
There are two modes available: Practice and Xtreme Island Adventure. In the former, players can participate in 15 different challenges with 3 difficulty settings. In the latter, players move around the island participating in events and exploring the surroundings. Some of the people players meet will give the player clues to solving the mystery of the Bone-Heads while others will issue challenges to compete in various sports. Players collect medals as the player win events. Players must win a certain number of easier challenges before the referees will allow the player into the tougher ones. Along the way players can also find Twitchy Shakes, which are special drinks that will increase the player's abilities depending on the next event the player enters. Players may be able to attain higher speeds or even become invincible.
In the Dreamcast version, there are six extreme sports including bungee jumping and skysurfing. Players will have the opportunity to skirt down the side of mountain vistas and surf through the air on a snowboard, barrel over rocky trails on an all-terrain vehicle (ATV), hurtle off bridges on a bungee cord, hang glide through canyons and crevices, and race on a mountain bike.
Unlike other multi-sport games, which often has each event as a separate component, Xtreme Sports utilizes multi-event tracks, where players might snowboard down the side of a mountain and then get on an ATV that will take them to a cliff which they will sail off of on a hang-glider. There are 12 different tracks, each having a different order in which the various events take place, some incorporating each of the different sports. These tracks are situated in environments that seek to emulate real life locations, such as Mount Kilimanjaro, Maui, Scotland, Stryn and the Himalayas.
Game Boy Color version
Laddie Ervin, director of marketing for sports and racing titles at Infogrames North America, Inc., stated, "Xtreme Sports will get the adrenaline pumping for Game Boy gamers this summer [...] From skysurfing to skateboarding to street luge, Xtreme Sports will challenge even the most devoted sports addict." The game was known to not support Link Cable play and was set for a June 2000 release.
The game was going to be a launch title for the European release of the game for Dreamcast, but was delayed. It also was going to be released on Nintendo 64 as well, but was canceled. The original publisher of the game was to be Eidos Interactive, but didn't work out, and Innerloop Studios were still looking for a publisher for the game. Infogrames chose to publish the game along with other games for Dreamcast. Laddie Ervin commented "Xtreme Sports is a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants virtual thrill-ride [...] Whether a player is hang gliding, snowboarding or bungee jumping, they will feel totally alive -- and totally out of control!" The game had official licenses for the gear worn by the main characters and for the soundtrack of the game. It was to have a list of online options for players to upload and download high scores through a global server. It was also to have ghost riders and bonus tracks and was set for an October 2000 release.
The European version was edited by Sega instead of Infogrames. The game is renamed as Sega Extreme Sports and features prominent "Sega Sports" branding.
For the Game Boy Color version, AllGame stated, "Xtreme Sports is a game aimed at a teen audience that doesn't go for normal sports titles, but the variety of events should appeal to almost anyone. The characters and theme are definite weak points, but all in all Xtreme Sports is a solid game. Besides, how many Game Boy Color games let you surf, skateboard, sky board, luge, and rollerblade in one package?" AllGame also stated, "The cartoon-style graphics seem to be Disney's interpretation of what teenagers look like. The game's visuals may not appeal to some, but the action is still enjoyable." GameSpot noted, "Xtreme Sports is definitely going to be an unsung hit. Rare is a portable sports title this rich. Its premise is unique and its execution is artful. There is definitely some fun to be had with this." IGN complained that "the biggest problem in Xtreme Sports is its maniacal pace -- the levels and game are well thought out, but all of them require a fast speed and a LOT of quick reaction on the buttons. Your characters are rather large on screen, and there's not much head's up [sic] when obstacles approach or when the platforms go in different directions [...] Lots of practice is necessary in Xtreme Sports. Maybe that's why they included a Practice mode right up front." Despite this, IGN praised the game's graphics, commenting, "This is one of if not the most beautifully-styled games I've seen on the Game Boy Color."
For the Dreamcast version, AllGame commented, "Xtreme Sports looks good but doesn't play well, a classic example of effort being put into visuals but not enough into the game's heart. When it comes to video games, style is important, but substance that is paramount when it comes to rating a title. And while Xtreme Sports offers a distinct experience in the way it combines a number of different events into a single track, it doesn't focus enough on the gameplay of the individual sports to make the whole package compelling." GameSpot noted, "If you're expecting six perfect games wrapped up in one title, you'll only find disappointment. However, if you're in the mood for a game where each event is reasonably well designed and integrated into a greater, meatier whole, then Infogrames' Xtreme Sports should prove satisfying." IGN stated, "Certainly not the greatest game to ever slide down the pipe, Xtreme Sports is still not without some charm. Yes, it could have been better had a couple of the events been tightened up in the gameplay department, and yeah, it would have made a lot more sense had the characters been more diverse from one another (Is it me, or is EVERYONE five foot nine?), but I guess that's what sequels are for. A party game best set for rental, Innerloop and Infogrames gives it the old university try!"
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