Classic games are disappearing, whether it be from old age or being thrown out by people who don’t understand their value. That’s why Traveller’s Tales founder Jon Burton decided to release a director’s cut version of the 25 year old Sega Genesis title Sonic 3D Blast.
Traveller’s Tales is a team of developers known for making successful licensed games like the Lego games series, as well as Sonic 3D Blast and Sonic R. In an interview with Eurogamer published today, Burton said he began his project to update 3D Blast because he “wanted to document all my old games, since all this physical media is going to be lost to time. I wanted to look back on the programming choices I made, and maybe exhibit some prototypes.”
Sonic 3D Blast, released in 1996, was a flagship title for the Sega Genesis, with similar gameplay to the original Sonic games, but made with a unique isometric view as opposed to the usual 2-Dimensional view. It was made to take advantage of the Genesis’ power by taking pre-rendered 3D models and converted them to sprites.
Games like Sonic 3D Blast need to be remastered the way Burton has due to decaying physical media, as around this time cartridges of classic games start to decay, and as such destroy the game. Physical media like the cartrdiges used for the Sega Genesis or the NES have internal batteries, which over time, decay. When these batteries start failing, the cartridges lose the ability to hold static charge, and as such, data. This means more than just save data being lost, this means the complete deletion of a cartridges memory. Unless these classic games are ported to digital mediums now, they’ll simply cease to exist.