|Developer: Frontier Developments|
|System(s): Sega 32X|
|Number of players: 1|
Darxide is a Sega 32X shoot-'em-up game developed by Frontier Developments and published by Sega in early 1996. It is notable for being one of two 32X games only to be released in Europe, and the only one which is region locked.
Darxide was developed with the canceled Sega Neptune Sega Mega Drive/Sega 32X hybrid console in mind (with the aim of becoming a launch title), but delays in production and the subsequent halting of the Neptune project meant it premiered as the very last 32X game in Europe (with North America seeing theirs, Spider-Man: Web of Fire in early 1996). Darxide was once set for release in North America but the plans fell through for unknown reasons.
The game is a 3D shooter, similar to Asteroids but with an extra dimension. The player's task is to eliminate all asteroids and alien ships within a certain time limit, and is said to be extremely difficult as a result. It is one of the few 32X games to make use of textured polygons and basic lighting, setting it aside from most other 32X games which stuck with two dimensions. The entire game is in fact rendered by the 32X hardware, unlike most other 32X titles which share responsibilities with the Mega Drive components.
During gameplay, Darxide usually runs between 10FPS and 20FPS, depending on how active the screen is at any one time. However, the game can drop to single digit frame rates when presented with polygons being rendered close to the camera. All textured polygons are handled in software, and as no perspective correction is used, textures "warp" when viewed from oblique angles (something more commonly seen on the original PlayStation).
Despite receiving mixed reviews from the press at the time, in recent years Darxide has become one of the rarest (or at least, most sought-after) 32X games, with copies being known to sell for $700-$1000 USD second-hand. Frontier released a sequel (or partial remake), Darxide EMP for Pocket PCs and the Nokia Series 60 in 2003/2004.
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