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|Publisher: Sony Imagesoft|
|Developer: Digital Pictures|
|System(s): Sega Mega-CD|
|Number of players: 1|
Sewer Shark is a Sega Mega-CD game. It relies heavily on full motion video.
The game was a launch title in North America, and later on in the console's lifespan Sewer Shark was distributed as a pack-in game with the Mega-CD console in certain regions.
Sewer Shark is a simple on-the-rails shoot-'em-up game where player, piloting a customised "sewer shark" vehicle named "Hole Hawg", is tasked with cleaning up a large sewer network by shooting various creatures. Despite being labeled as the "sewer jockey" (pilot) most of the game involves aiming a target reticule with the D-Pad, and firing a "gattling gun" with .
Only limited control is given to the Hole Hawg's movements - if travelling over an intersection, holding and using the D-Pad allows the sewer shark to turn 90 degrees in another direction, assuming there is a tunnel to travel down. There is no specific route in Sewer Shark, and the game rarely dictates that you travel in a certain direction, however failing to react to a turn can cause the Hole Hawg to crash and the game end.
The Hole Hawg cannot be damaged during normal play (save for the "scorpion" enemies which appear in the latter half), however "energy" depletes over time, requiring the player to visit charging stations. Instead, the game is played for points, with navigation robot "Catfish" sometimes recommending directions towards more infested routes (and who has to detonate hydrogen-filled areas). Your co-pilot, "Ghost" also shouts at advice at you, and is also a feature of full motion video cutscenes which break up the action.
A set of full motion clips is used to simulate travelling through the sewers, and remain constant throughout the game, however as time progresses, the player's calling sign is "upgraded" (Dogmeat, Ratbreath, Exterminator, Beachbum) and the music changes. Enemies are a mixture of creatures baked into the full motion video and sprites overlaid on the screen. All in-game music is generated by the Sega Mega Drive's audio chips, as opposed to higher quality audio streamed off the CD-ROM.
The game will finish after roughly 40 minutes of play, with the plot resolving itself regardless of the player's actions.
As with Night Trap, Sewer Shark was originally intended for release on Hasbro's cancelled Control-Vision (codenamed NEMO) console - a system that used VHS cassettes as opposed to ROM cartridges. Digital Pictures subsequently picked up the rights to bring the project to the Mega-CD.
On the Control-Vision, Sewer Shark, like Night Trap used four separate video streams which are read simultaneously, allowing for the game to react without the need noticeable loading of data. To achieve this on the Mega-CD, all of the footage was compressed using a bespoke video codec, meaning most of the game is viewed with a border. Night Trap uses similar technology, as does the later produced Prize Fighter.
In North America, 100,000 copies of the Mega-CD game were sold prior to being packed-in with the console.
Following its Mega-CD launch, Digital Pictures ported the game to the 3DO platform for release in 1994. While gameplay remains largely unchanged, the 3DO version renders at a higher resolution in more colours, bringing the footage closer to the intended VHS quality.
The events and characters depicted in this photoplay are fictitous. Any similarity to actual persons living or dead is purely coincidental.
Ownership of this interactive U-Direct™ motion picture is protected by copyright, patent, and other applicable laws. Any unauthorized duplication, distribution, or exhibition of this interactive U-Direct motion picture could result in criminal prosecution as well as civil liability.
Filmed in Hollywood, California and on location at Sunset Beach, North Shore, Oahu, Hawaii.
Sewer Shark, Ratigator, Zerk, and Crazy Looking Thing are trademarks of Hasbro, Inc.
U-Direct is a trademark of Digital Pictures, Inc.
Portions © 1992 Sega
© 1992 Digital Pictures, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
|Sega Retro Average|
| Based on|
| Mega-CD, BR|