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Sonic XTreme Version 7
(Qbasic Central)


"The standards of the QB Sonic Clone... on overdrive!"

2001 QB Gaming Gold Award Winner for Best Platform Game

Do you want to play a little more Sonic the Hedgehog but just seem sick and tired of the same old Green hills and Marble Zones from your Sega Genesis? Well, Sonic Xtreme solves the problem by making a customizable Sonic game on QBasic!

In Sonic Xtreme you can make the action as big as you like because you can download as many game levels as you like from their website. Or for real kicks, try using their level editor (no QB experience necessary) to make your own Sonic levels! Sonic Xtreme gives you the power to import graphics and manipulate physics for a whole new Sonic experience!

Graphics (n.)
The use of animation and visual effects to stimulate the senses
Good. First, looking from a purely technical standpoint QBasic Central did a great job. They didn't just take Sonic's movement frames from the Genesis, slap it onto their QB game, and then do a lackluster job with Sonic's mechanics. Whether Sonic's jumping, spinning, or starting a sprint, QBasic Central captured the physics of the Genesis games as accurately as you could on QBasic.

Now, judging graphics based on the look of the game levels is a slightly different story. Depending on the level you've downloaded, the graphics could look great, look pretty low-quality, or land somewhere in between. That's because Sonic Xtreme was first produced using a sixteen-color mode, before it graduated to a 256-color mode powered by DirectQB.

Improvements since the last version of Sonic Xtreme include the arrival of a new game level called "Change". I'll rant on about the improved gameplay that's demonstrated in the Gameplay section a little later. In the meantime, let me comment that this starting level is a lot better than the Metro level that originally came with the Sonic Xtreme package. It shows what the game engine can do, and the graphics look a lot more colorful and detailed.

Sound/Music (n.)
The smooth blend of atmospheric sounds and original harmonies
Sonic Xtreme's soundtrack stretches from some of pop culture's latest hard rock songs and techno beats. There's even quite a few tracks that come from the Sonic games for the Sega Genesis. Though not original, having these tracks accompanied by a good Sound Blaster compatible card can really give Sonic Xtreme that extra ounce of feel that sometimes compensates when level design and graphics for a few levels in the game seem a little lackluster when compared to the better-looking Sonic Xtreme levels.

However Sonic Xtreme comes with no sound effects, and even if it did come with some classic Sega sounds, there would have to be a blend of classic Sonic sound effects and original sound effects from QBasic Central before this Sonic clone can be worthy of more than three Sound/Music points.

Gameplay (n.)The precision of control and involvement of character within its universe vvvv
(Very Good)
What a difference an update makes. The old version of Sonic Xtreme received only one point in the gameplay department because of clunky controls and a lack of all the insane physics, twists, and turns that Sonic fans love. There was a sort of glitchy quality in the old version of Sonic XTreme. I remembered going so fast that I went through a wall and straight into a pit.

Sonic Xtreme Version 7 solves all of these problems. First of all, the outdated looking Metro level that comes with the Sonic Xtreme package has been replaced with an entirely new "Change" level. This level includes all of the new gameplay features that come with the latest version of Sonic Xtreme, the first of which seems to be a much improved control mechanism. I no longer felt like I was controlling Sonic the erratic hedgehog. Instead I felt like I was playing a Sega Genesis game using a keyboard instead of a controller.

But then came the part that really exceeded all my expectations. When I first reviewed Sonic Xtreme I talked about how the game lacked loops, enemies, or bosses. While the latest version of Sonic Xtreme still has no bosses or moving enemies, they added all the loop-like physics that I thought were impossible to pull in QuickBasic. Before I knew it, I was doing inverse loop-de-loops just like the Sega Genesis version of the game. QBasic Central even added a feature that allows Sonic to rotate upside down when he's pulled by a wind draft. I noticed throughout the demo level that the wind can be manipulated by the level designer to pull in any direction. The only thing still missing is some enemies, but all these extra touches and the improved control made me feel like I was living in the 16-bit revolution all over again. To a QB gamer searching for a Sonic clone, Sonic Xtreme is heaven.

Story (n.)
The creativity and presentation of the game's critical plot
This story point probably is more of a collaborative effort than a compliment to Sonic Xtreme's storyline. If you visit QBasic Central's website, you'll get a description of every level you get to download in Sonic Xtreme. Contributors who designed levels for the game added their subtle twists to the Sonic formula too. One level that particularly stands out in my mind is the "Tribute to John Lennon" level, with which Sonic must manuvuer himself around a dreamworld based on the Beatle's imagination. There are even levels that put Sonic in Mario World, one way or the other. All in all, that's how Sonic Xtreme received it's one story point.
Replay Value (n.)
The timelessness of the gamer's delight, such that the experience can be repeated again and again
Excellent, but just because the replay value in Sonic Xtreme is perfect, it doesn't mean that you should try this game straight out of the download. If you've only downloaded this game from V Planet and you didn't visit QBasic Central's website to get some more game levels first, then you're missing the point of downloading this platformer entirely.

What I'm saying is that Sonic Xtreme has got to be the most customizable Sonic, let alone QB platform game, ever assembled. By going to QBasic Central's website you can download a dozen or so levels for Sonic Xtreme, which makes the game a lot larger than the one-level package of the game you can download here. And after you solve all those game levels, you can use the construction kit that comes with the game so you can make your own game levels. Because gamers can learn to make their own game levels, this particular Sonic Xtreme introduces a new feature in it's 2D platformer that's quite ahead from the Genesis days. And since the only limit to the end of the game levels is your imagination, a crazy Sonic fan can in effect make this Sonic game last forever.

Challenge (v.)
To strike the mental nerve in such a way as to stimulate human thought and reflexes
Depending on the level you've downloaded, the difficulty of the game can range from very easy to pretty hard. Challenges will come in one of two forms. In one sense, you could have downloaded a game level where you have to do plenty of leaping over spikes and pits. Other levels will challenge you by forcing you around a maze-like level where you may have to blast through walls or find some secret pillars. However, because of the level size limit there isn't any level you can download that will give you a major challenge. 
Fun Factor (n.)
The overall entertainment value as maintained throughout the adventure
(Very Good)
For those of you who have played both of the QB Sonic the Hedgehog clones featured in V Planet so far (namely Sonic XTreme and Eric Carr Game's now classic QB game Spinball), comparing the two titles are inevitable. Some of you will say that Sonic Xtreme is the better game because it combines many of the Sonic mechanics with the look of the original Sonic game. Purists among you will comment that Spinball is the better game because of it's blend of original gameplay and stylistic level layout.

But in the end, we put Sonic Xtreme one notch higher than Spinball. The tie-breaker here is the Entertainment value rating (the combined score of Gameplay, Replay Value, and Fun Factor). Spinball is a lot more balanced; in other words, the gameplay, replay value, and fun factor were all good. Where Spinball aimed for originality, Sonic Xtreme aimed for accuracy. I've never seen any game clone in QB, whether it be Mario, Sonic, Final Fantasy, Zelda, or whatever, so faithfully capture the game mechanics of their inspiration the way Sonic Xtreme Version 7 made it possible.

What ultimately gave Sonic Xtreme it's edge in fun factor is it's replayability. With so many game levels to download, fans of Sonic will be able to sit down and enjoy the ride for a quite a while. Then, with the construction kit (which is a little difficult to learn at first), players can make their own Sonic levels in a fashion similar to the way the PC game Roller Coaster Tycoon allows to you to build a killer ride. Plus, if you download all the game levels from QBasic Central (you can download their game levels by clicking here) you'll have a very big Sonic game in your hard drive. The end result? Though Sonic Xtreme does have it's shortcomings, just the sheer customizability of the game makes it the better Sonic clone hands-down.

Sonic Xtreme Reviewed by QBShire

Players 1 player Genre: Platform Game
Rating To solve: 1 hour Final Rating: 22/35

To download this game, click here.
Installation Tips
wIf you're unzipping this program in DOS, use the -d option.
wModifications must be made on "SONICWS.BAT" if you wish to get music or sound effects on an Ensoniq Card.
wTo play Sonic Xtreme, run "SONICWS.BAT".

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