Even More Familiar Looking Unreleased Sega 32X Games

This is the third in my series on unreleased Sega 32X (Mega 32X) games. You can view the previous posts by clicking on one of the following;

Here are four more games that were at some point planned to be on the Sega 32X but fell off the drawing board during the add-on’s short and disastrous lifespan. They did however appear on other Sega consoles, usually the Sega Saturn, in some form or another.

I have made the following fake box covers to show how they may have looked on the shelf and have included both US and EU styles.

Firestorm Thunderhawk II

Firestorm Thunderhawk II Sega 32XA three-dimensional helicopter sim, and sequel to Thunderhawk which came out on the Sega Mega CD in 1993. The player pilots a fictional AH-73M Thunderhawk helicopter gunship through a variety of missions spread across the world. The game takes a first person perspective of the action but unlike the original the environment is presented in full real-time 3D.

The impending death of the 32X saw the port cancelled  but the game itself did survive being ported on to the Sega Saturn and the Sony Playstation.  I owned the Playstation port and being a an aviation-geek I remember being blown away by it. Sadly it hasn’t aged well and like many early 32-bit 3D games its polygons look hideous today. Still fairly playable though.

Street Fighter The Movie

Street Fighter The Movie The Game Sega 32xRemember the movie about the Street Fighter games that had nothing to do with Street Fighter…Or even street fighting? It’s no secret that movies based on video games are generally quite poor since only a few games can translate well but something like the premise of Street Fighter should have been fairly easy to put on to the big screen. How did a beat’em up turn in to a story about global conquest? Honestly the film had more to do with Command and Conquer than it did Street Fighter.

And then they made a game based on the film that was supposedly based on the game? Confused? Even then the new game seemed a little…off…compared to the rest of the franchise having ditched the cartoon style graphics that made the franchise so distinctive going instead for digitised versions of the actors in the movie making it look like some distant cousin of Pit Fighter. It was released on the Saturn but like Thunderhawk II the impending demise of the 32X meant that its port was cancelled.

Return Fire 

Return Fire Sega 32X]This is an odd one in that not only did its Sega 32X port get cancelled but so did its planned Sega Saturn port. The game itself was actually released on Panasonic’s 3DO games console and was a “2.5D” action-strategy game where the player controlled an assortment of military vehicles including tanks and helicopters to complete missions. The game received high praise on the 3DO and Sony Playstation so why did it fail to make it on to any Sega console?

Well, the Sega 32X port was always going to be a pipedream but as for the Sega Saturn variant there were apparently technical problems surrounding getting the game to play on it (the Saturn was known for being a particularly difficult console to port games on to). After several delays the game was cancelled despite the fact that it was as good as ready to be released.

Ecco the Dolphin

Ecco the Dolphin 32XThe original Ecco the Dolphin was the game that launched me on to the Mega Drive back in the day. Having spent four years with the Master System this game catapulted me in to the beauty of the 16-bit world and boy was it a treat to look at. I still maintain that it is a beautiful game even by today’s standards being very atmospheric and full of character.

There was just one tiny snag however…It was tougher than trying to disarm a nuclear bomb in the middle of an earthquake! Even if you mastered the controls, which were fairly solid, a momentary lapse in concentration would see Ecco take a hit. I don’t think there is anyone who has played this and not been traumatised by the screams of poor Ecco as you accidentally send him hurtling in to those weird spindly spikes or attacked by a jellyfish. Apparently, Novotrade who made the game wanted it to be tough so that it wouldn’t be completed quickly. Their sadistic reasoning was that if the game was rented but not completed then people would be encouraged to go out and buy it. Not sure how well that worked for them but you have to admire their boldness.

The game got a Sega Mega CD port which added a stunning CD quality soundtrack (which I have in my car!) and a few extra 3D bonus levels but otherwise was generally the same as the original. A Sega 32X port was announced when the add-on itself was unveiled in 1994 but became bogged down in development to the point where it was cancelled. Few details are available online as to how different the version would have been compared to the Mega Drive and CD versions but an image of the title screen shows vastly improved graphics.

I am thinking that Sega wanted to show just how much of an improvement the Sega 32X was over the Mega Drive with this title since the public would have the original to compare it to. That’s more or less what they did with the Mega CD version but that’s hardly considered a classic (although I think it should be).

Thanks for reading.



Author: Tony Wilkins

When Man entered the atomic age, he opened a door into a new world. What we’ll eventually find in that new world, nobody can predict.

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