How To Cater To Two Generations Of Sonic Fans, According To Sonic Team Lead

By Spencer . June 23, 2011 . 2:05pm

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Sonic the Hedgehog changed over the years splitting into what Sega now calls classic Sonic and modern Sonic. "I realize there are two big groups of Sonic fans," Takashi Iizuka, Sonic Team lead said to Siliconera. "Last year, I tried satisfy both groups with Sonic Colors for modern Sonic fans and side-scrolling fans with Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1. This year, I’m going to do that with one title. That’s the reason behind having classic and modern gameplay in a single title."

 

Sonic Generations, as you probably know, has two Sonics. You’ll play through classic levels with side-scrolling Sonic and zip through stages in 3D with modern Sonic. Levels like City Escape from Sonic Adventure 2 have been retooled into 2D and Green Hill Zone Act 1 was transformed into 3D.

 

"Classic Sonic and modern sonic are almost like a different genre of the game," Iizuka explained. "Think of games with cars, there are driving games and racing games, each has a different type gameplay. With Sonic Generations, I’m trying to get two different games into one title."

 

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"I appreciate how both game styles have their own fanbase. Even if there was a new style of Sonic in the next ten years that wouldn’t be bad either, it would broaden the audience of Sonic the Hedgehog."

 

Today is Sonic’s 20th birthday and there’s a demo of Sonic Generations to download if you haven’t already grabbed it. We’re curious to see what (if any) other Sonic style picks up by the time he turns 30.


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  • maxchain

    Man, has anyone shown Iizuka the Internet?!  A third style would just lead to the obnoxious fans of the first two finally coming to an agreement, for the sole purpose of hating on it.

  • http://www.jb2x.com/wordpress/ JB2X

    Tried the demo out for Generations earlier today.  Honestly, I love it, even though it’s just classic Sonic that I got to play through.  They got the feeling spot-on.  Not this wtf feeling I got from Sonic 4.

    • http://madebyluke.com madebyluke

      Did you not notice how Sonic is locked horizontally after jumping from a spring? It takes a few seconds before you can move.

      There are quite a few issues with the physics. I’m let down that Sega can’t get it right yet a 15 year old bedroom coder can do it better for a fan game.

      Still, the game looks great but the classic feel isn’t there, not at all.

  • http://twitter.com/Paradox_me Paradox me

    I never minded modern Sonic’s gameplay to be honest, Sonic Adventure is one of my favorite games in the series, but it’s the things that they stuff into modern Sonic that’s always turned me away.

    I just like my Sonic running fast and beating up Eggman and henchmen (with some sidekicks). Swords, werehogs and human/hedgehog relationships are wholly unnecessary.

    • http://chronotwist.deviantart.com/ JustThisOne

      Yeah, the human/hedgehog thing really got me. It was awkward seeing this girl rendered realistically hugging a really cartoon hedgehog that was huge. I guess it was more of a style-clash that anything else, but it also made me really confused about bestiality.

  • Aara_Malik_Davoodi

    I played through the demo this morning and I loved it. I thought it was much better than Sonic 4; I played S&K right before Sonic Gen and the physics were the same, which was the main (legitimate) complaint people had about Sonic 4. I am greatly looking forward to this game

    • Exkaiser

      That’s really good to hear. The physics were my biggest concern.

      I really wasn’t a fan of Sonic 4′s physics, glitches aside.

      • Code

        See I hated Sonic 4′s physics too opo;; You’ll be pleased to hear this game feels NOTHING like Sonic 4, although it’s not 100% on with classic Sonic it’s pretty close considering how much Sega’s struggled to hit that nail on the head opo;

    • Bakuryukun

      thank god. Sonic 4′s physics were friggin awful. I am cautiously optimistic.

  • malek86

    I’m not sure whether the demo really is similar to old Sonic (doesn’t exactly give me the same feeling), but it was fun.

    But why does it look like a Wii game? Seriously. It supports 1080p, but it still looks terribly low res. Maybe it’s just the demo.

    Now we need to try some modern Sonic gameplay.

  • Oni123

    I like both styles =3 why choose? 

  • http://twitter.com/Triplicitrine Triplicity/3LeafIvy

    And that’s when Sonic Team learned an important life lesson: You can’t please everybody.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/jodecideion?feature=mhum TheWon and Only

    What’s funny is Sonic games have gotten worse since Sonic Adventure on Dreamcast. Part 2 added too many side characters with worthless gameplay elements. Sonic Heroes in theory had potential just wasn’t done correctly. Then all the other Sonics had lame gimmicks. Sonic Color being the only one to use their gimmick in the correct way. So this trying to appeal too two crowds is a lie. You were making bad Sonic games back in the day for the original fans. Just make a Sonic game where he runs and jumps throw stages. With maybe Tails and Knuckles as sidekicks. Ending the game with a clash against Metal Sonic, and Dr Robotnick. Anything else will ruin the game.

  • http://tristsantithesis.tumblr.com/ Tsunayoshi Sawada

    Pretty interesting direction to take. I think I really enjoy the newer generation of Sonic games though still find the older style compelling. It will be interesting to know what the third style will be, if one comes to be realized.

  • http://bmgf.bulbagarden.net/members/55321.html FinalArcadia

    To me, there are really THREE different styles: Classic Sonic, Dreamcast Sonic, and then Modern Sonic. The Dreamcast gameplay is always counted as modern, yet it’s totally different than Colors and Unleashed. Unleashed and forward are what I consider “modern.”

    I kept hoping that there would be a separate Dreamcast Sonic for Generations, but that’s obviously not happening. Oh well, I’m sure I’ll love the game anyway.

    • Apache_Chief

      I was totally about to post the same thing. The mostly on-rails feel of the newest games are way different than the full 3d exploration of the Sonic Adventures. I feel like it’s a logical progression though, with the Adventures being a mix of the old and new.

    • Chow

      I personally would say Classic Sonic, Modern 3D Sonic, and Modern 2D Sonic for the three styles.

      Unleashed (the day levels) were much like the Rush series.  And that’s where I would consider the start of Modern 2D Sonic, which is really the only good Modern Sonic. The thing is, Modern 3D Sonic is just way too clumsy to play.

      While a lot of people don’t realize it, Modern 3D Sonic follows the same formula as Classic Sonic, which requires a lot of memorization of the layout of levels to show off his speed.

  • http://chronotwist.deviantart.com/ JustThisOne

    I just realized that I misread everything up until this point. Gawddamnit.

    Anyway, I’m glad their even trying to satisfy both generations. Most devs probably would try to reach out to the next-gens and grow up with them, ignoring the last-gen in the process.

  • Zero_Destiny

    Okay I played the demo and . . . I’m really kind of disappointed. I don’t usually try to complain too much but the demo really didn’t impress me. It’s kind of too fast to really know what your doing but I can look past that since this is Sonic we’re talking about. But what I can’t forgive is the jumping. The weight doesn’t feel right. It’s like Sonic slows down too much when he jumps. I think what really throws me off though is how unnecessarily big the sky is. Sonic jumps up but doesn’t go that high. It’s like he barely jumped. They have all this useless space up top as some sky line it just makes the jumping feel wrong to me, I guess.

    I’m really bummed since I was super excited for this demo. Not a bad level at all but I was expecting so much more. As someone who loves his 2D platfomrers I’m just not really satisfied with this end product. I hope some tweaking will make it better. That said it really did look nice, the music sounded pretty good to me, and in later play throughs I got used to this jumping. It’s just that it doesn’t feel right to me still. I don’t know. Anyways I was really gung-ho about this game but now I’m kind of feel cautious about it. I hope the end product will be better.

  • Chow

    Played the Sonic Generations demo just now, and Classic Sonic controls quite nicely.  Spin Dash seems a little too fast and too easy to pull off while running, but it fits Sonic.  I don’t quite like the new damage mechanic, though.

  • Code

    rar, tried the demo and it felt pretty good to me owo; Much better shot then Sonic 4 in my opinion; I kind of felt though that the camera could have been a little further back opo; But still it makes me wonder why it’s taken this long to really get this close. Also I’d like to just tack on some extra points because I felt that stage was absolutely beautiful, excellent use of lighting owo; 

  • http://twitter.com/AaqibRawat Aaqib Rawat

    i just want 2d stages !

    No 3d ones :[

    tried the demo it was strange,the jumping was kind of bad.

    it looked nice ;]

    why did sonic not have his flash attack ?

  • Caligula

    Granted, I’ve never really played much of Sonic, but it’s a bit surprising to hear them talk about two distinct Sonic camps…  whenever I hear anyone talking about Sonic, it’s always complaining about how much they hate the new games.  I’ve never met anyone who claims they prefer Modern Sonic.

    The game looks fun, though, so I don’t really mind either way.

  • xAKUM3TSUx

    To be honest I REALLY liked the demo. Though I will say the jump as someone stated is a little…no really off. BUT if they just tweak that I’m sure it’ll be fine.

    I love both Generations of Sonic. But the Modern Sonic has only dissapointed me a little more because of how lazy the game felt like it was made because of how some of the games played (like if they had more ideas at the table and spent more time). See the modern Sonic games DON’T have to be bad. “Sonic Adventure 2″ is a great example of a good one. And they brought the spice back with Sonic Unleashed 50% (day stages) and Sonic Colors. IDK where they got the idea to limit Sonics speed in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) and the “furry” action but whatever.

    If Sega wants to appeal to both sides then at least they’re going in right direction. And I know this is JUST a demo so I dont really mind the flaws (even though they’re small). At least I know now they’re trying.

    PS. Almost EVERY Sonic games soundtrack is great lol. just thought I’d throw that out there.

  • http://www.mengsbizarreadventure.com Mengplex

    The physics or movement seemed odd in the Sonic Generations Demo, anyone else with me?

  • xAKUM3TSUx

    To be honest I REALLY liked the demo. Though I will say the jump as someone stated is a little…no really off. BUT if they just tweak that I’m sure it’ll be fine.I love both Generations of Sonic. But the Modern Sonic has only dissapointed me a little more because of how lazy the game felt like it was made because of how some of the games played (like if they had more ideas at the table and spent more time). See the modern Sonic games DON’T have to be bad. “Sonic Adventure 2″ is a great example of a good one. And they brought the spice back with Sonic Unleashed 50% (day stages) and Sonic Colors. IDK where they got the idea to limit Sonics speed in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) and the “furry” action but whatever.If Sega wants to appeal to both sides then at least they’re going in right direction. And I know this is JUST a demo so I dont really mind the flaws (even though they’re small). At least I know now they’re trying.PS. Almost EVERY Sonic games soundtrack is great lol. just thought I’d throw that out there.

  • HistorysGreatestMonster

    Played the demo and liked it a lot, but it did leave me with some questions…
    1) Will we be forced to play both styles or could we choose to completely ignore the 3D portion of the game?
    2) What levels are they using?

    I’m an old-school Sonic fan who hated everything after Sonic Adventure. My only complaint about the demo is that, at times, it feels like there’s too much going on and it makes it hard to see where you are. Plus, I didn’t like the camera going back so far.

    • darkfox1

      I know this you and stuff and you could do what ever you want. But your not actually considering ignoring parts of the gameplay if you could are you?  

      • HistorysGreatestMonster

        Yes, I am. I absolutely HATE 3D Sonic. The only reason I’d even consider playing any of those parts would be for trophies. Otherwise, 2D 100%.

    • Masengan

      Yes on the 2D side I also think the camera is too far out from what I’ve seen in the trailers, I have yet to try the demo but I have it ready at home to try it.

  • capristrider

    I played Sonic Generations yesterday and this morning, and to be honest to my suprise I LOVED IT, nothing perfect, but I felt the physics were better than Sonic 4. I am really looking forward this :)

  • http://profiles.google.com/morphinapg Andy Gilleand

    He forgets us fans of the dreamcast style gameplay as well, which differs from the modern gameplay quite a bit. I’d say there’s 3 type of fans out there.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matty-Perron/100000679657439 Matty Perron

    So awesome! I played the demo today, and WHAT A TEASE! But is was AWESOME! Definitely thought the physics were better than Sonic 4. I’m so psyched. I’m especially excited to play a 2d city escape. I love the original genesis games, and I (somewhat less) love the Adventure games. After that I can pretty much take it or leave it (in many cases leave it) And I’ve yet to play colors, but anyway, I’m really excited for this.

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