Interviews

Sonic Colours

Iizuka-San on reclaiming Sonic's former glory

It's a bit dangerous, being excited about a Sonic game in the 21st century. You're sucked in by the promise of blue skies and speedy, loop-filled courses... and then at the last minute the roster of friends/warehogs/guns turn up to ruin the fun for everyone.

Sonic Colours - and we're being cautious here - doesn't look bad. In fact - and we're risking heartbreak yet again - it looks a bit like the proper Sonic game we've been crying out for on Xbox and PS3 for the last five years. Except it's on Wii.

To discuss the ideas behind the Nintendo-only adventure and the future of the Blue 'hog, we met up with Sonic Team's Takashi Iizuka. Here's what he had to say...

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How would you say Colours compares to previous 3D Sonic titles that perhaps weren't so well received?

If you look at previous 3D Sonic games, it began with Sonic Adventure and moved on to others. Those titles always had Sonic as the main characters but also had different rival characters. Those characters were like different action characters - Sonic was the speed character. This time around in Sonic Colours the team really wanted to focus on high-speed Sonic, which is what made the Sonic games special to begin with. The focus was always on the Sonic character itself, they wanted to make Sonic as the only playable character because fans only want to play as Sonic.

At the same time they also want a different twist to the gameplay and that is why we introduced the Colour powers. The focus is on high-speed Sonic and those colour powers are in more of a complimentary role. We wanted high-speed to be the main focus and didn't really want to break up the tempo. It's more like we tried to blend in those actions in a more efficient way, not really distracting the player from the core gameplay.

What do you say to fans who have been disappointed by previous 3D Sonic games? Why should they play this?

If you look at titles like Unleashed, for example, the game itself wasn't highly reviewed but at the same time there were plus points, such as how the fans and critics like the daytime levels. We obviously took the good parts of Sonic Unleashed and tried to implement them here.

We also recognise that the previous 3D Sonic games were received poorly partly due to the fact that there were so many completely different actions between characters. As previously mentioned, a lot of our fans want to play as Sonic - just Sonic - and concentrate on the high-speed parts.

For this title in particular you only play as Sonic and the main focus is on high-speed. Yes, there is action but it's more complimentary. Maybe there were several fans who were disappointed with previous 3D Sonic titles but this is more like the answer to the critics on how 3D Sonic games should be.

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Do you think Sonic fits with the Xbox 360 and PlayStation audiences?

It's not that Sonic is for the Nintendo platform, it's more like when we looked at the target audience for this particular title we wanted to expand the franchise more to newcomers. That is why we chose the Nintendo platforms.

This doesn't mean that the PS3 and 360 don't have an audience for Sonic any more, it's just this title in particular is more tailor made for the Nintendo platform fans - more like fun, enjoyable and vibrant, which Nintendo platforms excel at. It's more that this type of game is more tailored to those platforms.

Which parts of this game in particular do you think wouldn't appeal to the Xbox and PS3 audiences then?

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