Sonic Lost World Producer Promises “New Sonic Is Different From Everything Before”

By Sato . August 14, 2013 . 2:00pm

This year, Sega celebrates their 30th anniversary since they first entered the videogame hardware business. While they no longer make their own consoles, Sonic the Hedgehog series producer Takashi Iizuka shares some memories with Famitsu.com of having worked with the company for the better part of the past 30 years, along with some thoughts on what lies ahead.

 

While Sonic the Hedgehog started his adventures on the Sega Genesis over 20 years ago, Iizuka, who had been involved in the franchise since Sonic the Hedgehog 3, states that the series will stay true to its essence regardless of its change in hardware.

 

Famitsu asks the producer about his thoughts on having worked on the series since the Sega Genesis era.

 

“Yes, the Sega Genesis had scaling functions that were made possible through programming that weren’t available on other hardware, and it made impossible ideas possible,” Iizuka says. “It was a very interesting hardware. Back in Sonic the Hedgehog 3, we realized the novel idea of connecting two cartridges together, which I still think is impressive till this day.”

 

As we all know, the Sega Saturn was the start of a turning point for its company, being a console that didn’t do very well and began Sega’s journey down the path of a software-only developer. Famitsu asks why there weren’t any new Sonic titles on the console.

 

Iizuka shares, “During the early days of the Sega Saturn, I was working on the development of NiGHTS. Afterwards, there was word that there wouldn’t be a Sonic title on the Sega Saturn; however, we had produced Sonic Jam. At the time, we were working on having Sonic move through a 3D space, parts of which were made available through Sonic Jam’s museum.”

 

By the time Sega released Sonic Adventure for the Dreamcast in 1998, they had finally realized their dream of having a proper Sonic game that is in full 3D.

 

“Everything changed. But what’s satisfying about Sonic is being able to run forward,” expresses Iizuka. “By holding forward on the directional keys, you’re able to go where you want, while the camera is already pointing towards the destination. I thought that as long as we stayed true to those regards, the 3D version won’t lose that sense of satisfaction.”

 

He continued, “However, when Sonic Adventure 2 was being developed in America, I heard that it was going to withdraw from the hardware (exclusivity). It was my favorite console as a developer and player, so it was a huge shock to me. When I first held the controller [for Nintendo GameCube], I asked them to keep the analog stick located above the thumb. It was a hardware that was designed using suggestions from the developers, so the making part of it was very fun.”

 

Fast-forward over ten years, and now Iizuka looks forward to creating a new Sonic title that goes beyond everything they’ve learned up until now with Sonic Lost World.

 

“In 2011, we delivered a compilation of Sonic games from the past 20 years, called Sonic Generations. Next is Sonic Lost World, which will feature graphics that fit the game’s content, nice controllability, and a new 360 degree ‘Tube Stage’ that has yet to be seen,” Iizuka says. “We are thinking of showing off a new Sonic that is different from everything before.”

 

As Iizuka looks forward to challenging the development of a new Sonic, he concludes, “Yes, I believe some people may ask ‘Will you be able to show how fun Sonic can be using a 360 degree stage?’ just like how some asked ‘Will it really be possible to have it in 3D?’ which was the kind of question that helped in the creation of Sonic Adventure.”

 

“I believe Sonic Lost World will deliver a new experience for everyone. It will also have data transfer between the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, so please look forward to it.”

 

Sonic Lost World is slated for release on October 22nd in North America for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS.

 

Photograph courtesy Famitsu. Screenshots courtesy Nintendo.

 


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  • TheDarkEmpress

    That’s not the answer we’re looking for. IF we even wanted another Sonic game, it would be something more along the lines of: “Guys, it will be good this time, I promise…Guys…? GUYS!?”

    • TheGioG

      Implying the Sonic cycle still exists… I mean sure, we won’t know if this game is any good until it comes out (looks awesome to me), but you seriously can’t say that Sonic Colors wasn’t all kinds of awesome.

      • FritoDorito

        I’ll be honest, I think Sonic is at one of it’s highest points in a long time right now thanks to its string of good games, but Colors was one of the more disappointing games in my opinion. This is from someone who found something to love in every 3D Sonic game aside from next-gen (Yes, that even includes Black Knight).

        The thing I hated was that it was barely even a 3D game. The game was roughly 80% 2D, 15% Quick Step segments, and only like 5% actual 3D sections, most of which were extremely dull, and had no real obstacles. The 2D gameplay just felt slow. The worst part was that the 2D sections weren’t even GOOD 2D sections like Unleashed and Generations had, I found them to be mostly repetitive and dull, and the level design just felt very uninspired most of the time. I also hated how Act 1 of every world was basically the entire level, and the rest of the Acts were just repeated segments from the level, sometimes with a slight twist or challenge added to it. The rest of the Acts barely felt like levels half the time, more like bonus missions or something.

        Wasn’t a fan of the wisps either. I found them to be forced quite a bit of the time, and I rarely found them to add an actual depth to the gameplay. More often than not, the game just gives you a wisp to do something real quick, then you do it, and then you have to wait for the wisp to wear off so you can keep progressing. I’m kind of shocked people didn’t actually hate the wisps, yet the Werehog was public enemy #1 in Unleashed. There was depth to the Werehog, and his gameplay was actually quite well done. The only problem was that there was too much of him, and he took away from the superior daytime stages. I’m nervous to see the Wisps again, but so far it seems like there’s very little focus on them this time, and they aren’t as forced, which is how I like it.

        Also, the storyline was just too bare bones. The storyline may not be the main reason to buy a Sonic game, but it’s always something I really look forward to. The Sonic Adventure games had notoriously fantastic stories. Sonic Colors was WAY too shallow (Generations was even worse in this regard). A good storyline is great incentive to keep playing (see: Brawl, who’s Subspace Emissary Mode gameplay was HORRIFYING, yet had tons of people play it for almost no other reason than for the cutscenes).

        And the boss battles…ugh…the boss battles. Some of the most bland and boring boss battles in any Sonic game.

        TL;DR: Colors was mostly popular because people saw it as a full game of Unleashed daytime stages. It was not like that. It was quite dull. Generations, on the other hand, was fantastic.

    • Wait what

      You ever play Sonic Colors? Sonic Generations? Sonic 4? Didn’t think so, because Sonic has returned to being good awhile ago. Generations is probably one of the best Sonic games ever.

      • TheFoolArcana

        Sonic 4 was awful. Why would you list that as an example?

        • chibidw

          You needed to have Java installed just to play the PC port of Sonic 4 episode 1.

          JAVA.

        • Wait what

          Sonic 4 was far from awful. It was definitely nowhere as good as the Genesis games, but if you could honestly call Sonic 4 awful then you are extremely sheltered from what a truly awful game is.

        • RichyGaming

          It’s called an opinion…

    • Fidelis

      Man this comment would work if today was like 3 to 4 years ago

    • Kaitsu

      Because everything after 06 was hated on. Only except it wasn’t.

    • KrazyBean

      Look at you using outdated jokes…good job.

  • https://twitter.com/BinksFrost Binks5

    looks an awful lot like sonic colors for something so different then ever before, regardless im looking forward to this game it looks like a blast

  • Will Jay

    But that’s not what I want. I want more like Modern Generations and Daytime Unleashed.

    • Kaitsu

      Honestly, I got tired of that formula. Especially when majority of the stages were actually just 2D stages but with boost. I liked Unleashed a bit more when it came to stages other than Generations.

      But the formula does get old after awhile. I actually like what I’m seeing for Lost World. A mix of the SA style.

    • AnimeRemix

      Sorry to say, but Iizuka has already said that the team was done with the gameplay. Besides, it’s time to move onto more new and exciting things.

  • Adrián Alucard

    I love Sonic games (1991-1996. Good Platform games)
    I hate Sonic Games (1997-Present. Casual games, where you only need press right,(or up), jump twice and nothing more, the game do the rest automatically)
    What should I expect from Lost world?

    • British_Otaku

      Surely you have missed out on Sonic Advance 1 and 3 (the real Sonic 4, Episode 2 aside). Along with the likes of Sonic and the Secret Rings (autorun doesn’t change how much the game punishes you for not knowing how to play)…

      The games are far from pre ’96 being platforming goodness and everything after being hold right/up even if a few titles I believe fit into that or even worse things.

      • Adrián Alucard

        I own Sonic Advance 1 2 3, rush, rush adventure and colours (DS)
        I’ve played Colours (Wii), 4, Adventure, Heroes, Generations and Unleashed

        The GBA ones aren’t half bad, but the rest…

  • French

    Im always going to love Sonic, I cant wait for the day where I can introduce the franchise to my future children, and enjoy it with them

  • KrazyBean

    Sonic 4 life! I always have and will love Sonic…nothing will change that. I can’t wait for this game!

  • DCBlackbird

    I don’t hate sonic but the franchise has left a sour taste in my mouth since I did not like their 03-09 games I really did not enjoy any game after Sonic Adventure(I only like 2 for the sonic stages and call me crazy I saw something in the beat em up sections in unleashed)and before Sonic Colors(and that rpg). Lately it’s been getting my interest especially since Sonic Generations was a nostalgia roller coaster. I’m totally on board for this.

    • British_Otaku

      If you enjoyed the Sonic/Shadow stages of SA2, what was your issue with Sonic Heroes? *more curious about your take than ignorant*

      Aside from that, most people tend to ignore the portable titles which is a shame given how good Sonic Advance 1 and 3 (SAdva2 has issues from unlocks to level structure) are. I hear a lot of praise for Rush as well even if it debuted the boost to win sort of thing… >_>

      Secret Rings and Black Knight have their issues and aren’t really comparable to anything including each other, but they have their charm for multiple characters (or countless builds of Sonic in Secret Rings) in Sonic 2 or Sonic Advance fashion and keeping the player engaged instead of tapping the dodge to the side button or boosting.

      • DCBlackbird

        Ah how couId I forget sonic heroes? I think sonic heroes had some of the most beautiful stages and fun bosses it felt a lot closer to an homage. The problem arose with the plot since there was only so much time to put something for these characters. The problem arose with some of the plot Team Shadow’s story it really felt like a hook for Shadow the Hedgehog which I felt SA2 did a good enough job for(frankly I was much more interested in Omega). Team Chaotix was probably closer to the main story than any of the others. I could do without all the SA2 and StH plot referencing and just have a friendly fun sonic game. Then came Metal Sonic…. who didn’t really pan out in this game……

  • marcel ojeda

    i played the demo at E3 and i must say that if the actual game is like the demo then this game is great. totally enjoyed it. i would no doubt purchase this game. if i owned a wiiU……….

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