Hello and welcome! My name is Katosepe and I’ll be your host for today’s Video Game of the Day.
Imagine the early 1990’s. CD technology had just started entering the gaming stage and suddenly, games that used to require 10’s of floppy disks could fit onto a single CD ROM. Not only that, but developers suddenly had room to spare. And for the most glorious of moments, game developers realized that they could put footage of actual actors into their games now. FMV gaming was born and it produced some of the most absurdly cheesy games in history. Today’s game comes from Sega’s add-on for the Genesis. Today’s game is Sewer Shark, developed by Digital Pictures and released on the Sega CD in 1992.
Sewer Shark takes place in a post-apocalyptic future where humanity has been forced to live underground. In Solar City, people take on the job of sewer jockeys, making sure that the sewers stay cleared of mutated animals and creatures that may attack the city. You play as an unnamed sewer jockey on your way back to Solar City along with your co-pilot Ghost and your robot, Catfish.
Sewer Shark plays as an on-rails shooter where you must shoot down the ratigators, giant scorpions and other mutant creatures while following Catfish’s orders to make it back to Solar City. Like most Sega CD games, while Sewer Shark does use footage of real actors and moving video backgrounds throughout the game, the video had to be compressed significantly to fit on the CD. Thus, most of the screen is taken up with a static image of your vehicle’s cockpit. The actual gameplay takes place on only a small section of the screen.
Also, while the Sega CD did have a light gun peripheral called the Sega Menacer, the light gun was not compatible with Sewer Shark so this on-rails shooter can only be played with a normal controller.
Despite the flaws of the Sega CD system and the lack of proper light gun support, Sewer Shark was received well at the time and actually became one of the best selling games on the Sega CD platform. It was even eventually bundled with the Sega CD itself. Many critics and fans marveled at the technology itself, rather than the gameplay, with many saying that this was the future of gaming. In hindsight, we know that this was not the case and that FMV games would mostly fall into obscurity. As a serious game, Sewer Shark isn’t likely to make anyone’s top 10 lists but if you’re a fan of cheesy action movies like Sharknado and are looking for a ridiculous way to spend a couple of hours, Sewer Shark is worth checking out even today.
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