The tale of politics and turmoil that surrounded and engulfed this cancelled Sonic game has been well documented, not least by our own Dave Houghton. But as perhaps the biggest game to actually appear at E3 but never get any kind of release, it has to make this list. Ready for the E3 demo reel? Here we go:
When you consider that all games at the time had terrible pop-in, that was actually some pretty advanced stuff. Reflex lens? Sexy lens, more like. And the music that seems to get stuck onto every video of the game on the net has an ethereal quality to it. The tree sprites, the level names (Jade Gully? Hell yeah!) the waterfalls bending around the fish-eye camera... the snippets of footage around the net are fascinating.
But it's like watching a film where you know the lead actor has since died. Quite harrowing really. If the game you see in that clip had been released, Sega might still be in the hardware business. It's a pretty big butterfly to trample if you want to clear the way for your new console like, say... PS2. Yes, I'm suggesting Sony has access to a time machine. Problem?
Above: E3 2005 had a Sonic X-treme display next to the NiGHTS stand. Imagine walking around that lot
Likelihood of it showing up:
Despite everything the optimist in me has just said, some journos at the time nonetheless described it as 'awful', so the past 15 years are hardly going to have made it any better. You could say now would be the ideal time to release it, perhaps as a bonus with Sonic Generations, seeing as the 'hog turns 20 this year. A single fish-eye lens moment running through a section of Jade Gully in Sonic Generations would be amazing. But no. Sega would probably rather forget all about this one... and maybe so should we.
Milo was a boy, Kate was a dog. We never actually saw Kate, which is a pity really. With technology as impressive as this, we probably could have taught her to bite Milo, which would have brought us hours of fun. But there's no denying the concept was a little odd. Milo could see you through Kinect, allowing you to draw pictures of anything you like (sausages, turnips… anything you like, really) and show them to Milo, who would then comment on the colours you'd used. Like wow, y'know?
Above: Jump, Milo! Jump for it, boy! Aaaaaahahahaha! No seriously, you can't have it
Granted, it was hard to tell how much of the amazing tech demo was smoke and how much of it was mirrors, but the fact is, Peter Molyneux was behind it. And when Peter Molyneux is enthusing about something, it's hard not to get excited too.
But eventually, even he had to admit that the world isn't ready for child simulation. It's sad that society isn't innocent enough for Milo to exist in it, but the fact is it just isn't. Milo got cancelled, then resurrected, then cancelled again. We do feel a bit sorry for the (creepy) kid - even virtual children cry over broken promises.
Likelihood of Milo coming back:
The technology behind him almost certainly will return (and we'd demand a cameo if it did), but Milo himself was bopped on the head from behind, in a scene not dissimilar to that at the end of Of Mice & Men. He currently lies in state in Lionhead's offices while Peter Molyneux stands over him, tinkering with algorithms and variables, no doubt hoping one day his virtual child will live again... and claim back what was rightfully his. THE WORLD.
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