News Article

SEGA: Sonic Titles Perform "Really, Really Well on Nintendo Platforms"

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

The design philosophy behind parkour controls is explained

Amidst a sizeable contingent of first party software this Holiday season, the arrival of Sonic Lost World on the Wii U and 3DS is certainly a cause for some third-party optimism. Our own first impressions were full of praise, and we're hopeful that the final product will deliver on the promise shown so far.

It's also, based on time with the game and footage that's appeared in various trailers, a title that pushes into some fresh territory; there are circular 3D stages that have typically brought Super Mario Galaxy to mind, and a series of parkour moves will be added to Sonic's capabilities. Familiar elements will return with memorable enemies and Wisp powers — which were introduced in the Wii and DS-exclusive Sonic Colours — but it's the new touches that are perhaps the most intriguing. Speaking to Polygon, producer Sam Mullen explained the motivation between introducing new athletic moves to the company mascot.

The whole parkour system, conceptually, comes from the simple fact that in past Sonic games, Sonic would move really fast and he was kind of uncontrollable, and then you'd run into objects and just stop. So we went back to basic controls and said, 'Okay, how to we get past this? People don't like running around fast, fast, fast and then stop.' It started out with really simple things, like when Sonic hit a corner he would just glance past it. So we thought, what if he runs up walls or grabs ledges? And it sort of evolved from there into the state it is now.

It all boils down to the fact that we want the player to maintain a flow, even if they're not having a sort of perfect playthrough. This way, the flow of a high-level Sonic player can be enjoyed even by a novice player.

Referring to the 3DS version, it was explained that what the overall style is common across both versions, it should feel "brand new" as Dimps has approached the core ideas "from a different perspective and a different angle". The assurance is that both versions will be distinctive and play to the strengths of their respective formats.

Sonic brand manager Aaron Webber also explained the thought-process behind the title being exclusive to Nintendo platforms; the blue blue and the big N's audience seem to be a natural fit.

If we trace Sonic's third-party roots all the way back to just after the Dreamcast, we released Sonic Adventure 2: Battle on the GameCube and it did phenomenally well. We think that's because there was a lot of overlap between the Sonic/Sega and Nintendo crowd at that time, and we just found historically that Sonic performs really, really well on Nintendo platforms. Sonic Colors did great, Sonic and the Black Knight did well and Sonic and Secret Rings did well — all Nintendo. When we look at the numbers, we thought — this is clearly where our audience is.

What do you think about some of the new ideas expected to feature prominently in Sonic Lost World, and do you feel that Nintendo systems are the natural home for SEGA's mascot in the current day?

Thanks to Ryan Millar for the tip.


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User Comments (64)



HyperSonicEXE said:

"This way, the flow of a high-level Sonic player can be enjoyed even by a novice player."

You mean people who memorized or even muscle-memorized the level and learn when to boost and to work around the stupid stops?
That's not skill. The only skill is in the execution of Gimmicks or timing jumps and the like.

Sonic CD's Time Attack is a great place to cut one's teeth studying stage layouts and designing fastest routes for skilled players. Of course it takes a few tries to learn the true fastest route, but sometimes that's part of the fun, even if it really should be skill-based.



Salnax said:

No surprise from the headline. Remember, five of the ten best-selling Sonic games of all time have been Olympic crossovers with the Mario crew. The best selling 2D Sonic since the Genesis was Rush for the DS. Secret Rings sold more than Sonic 06 for the 360 and PS3 combined, Colors on the Wii sold more than Generations on either system, Adventure 2 Battle for the GameCube sold more than either Dreamcast Sonic Adventure, and even the widely hated Black Knight sold nearly a million copies worldwide.



AyeHaley said:

I am really looking forward to this game, more so than Mario 3D World or Donkey Kong. And this is coming from someone who normally doesn't buy/play Sonic games. Less than a month away peeps!



DarkCoolEdge said:

I'm slightly interested in this Sonic. I might, eventually give it a shot. Hopefully they'll release a demo.

Nevertheless, Donkey and Mario go first. Specially the fantastic mr. Kong.



AdanVC said:

I'm so looking forward to play this! I see a lot of people is more excited on this game than Super Mario 3D World... strange that we haven't received any news of that title since E3.



ricklongo said:

Since it's gonna be practically November when this comes to the Americas, I'll have a pretty tough choice to make. I (generally) limit myself to one retail title per console each month - the 3DS is set with A Link Between Worlds, but I'll have to actually choose between Sonic and Mario for the Wii U. I gotta say, I'm leaning more and more towards Sonic. I'm not a huge fan of 3D Land, and while 3D World looks pretty fun, I just have to concede that Lost World looks INCREDIBLE.

So it's gonna be 3D World vs. Tropical Freeze for December, it seems. And a quick glance to the left should make it clear who wins that battle for my wallet.

Sorry Mario, maybe January.



artofmana said:

I think Sonic should be on Nintendo. After being orphaned in the hardware world Nintendo is a perfect new guardian.

Also, I believe you have a couple typos in your article. What instead of while and blue instead of blur.



EarthboundBenjy said:

I don't want a rubbishified 3DS version! I usually dislike multiple versions of the same game that are actually different. Just make them into two different games! Like, Super Mario Land isn't considered "the Game Boy version of Super Mario Bros", it's considered its own separate thing!

Sonic Unleahsed Wii was a completely different game, and was not as strong as the 360 original (even though it got better review scores, it was clear to anyone who had played both of them which one the "proper" one was supposed to be).

Sonic Generations on the other hand was a complete waste of time on the 3DS. There was no reason to want to play that game when the much much much better 360 version exists. I'm worried that the same might happen to Lost World.



rjejr said:

Sonic and Nintendo do seem a natural fit.

If only Toho and Daiei/Kadokawa could get together and give the world the movie we've been waiting 48 years for.



AVahne said:

Now if only their other games would do well on Nintendo platforms. It'd be nice to play more Phantasy Star games and other games on Nintendo platforms without having to buy a Sony console. Going to get a Vita, but it would be nice if I didn't have to spread too many of my game purchases over many different platforms at the moment.



NintyMan said:

It's ironic that one-time rivals have become best buddies. I love it. Sonic Adventure 2: Battle was my first Sonic game and it was great on Gamecube.



Yorumi said:

It is funny that it performs so well and that sega has found a good home with nintendo. Those two wanted to kill each other in the 80's and 90's.



Ichiban said:

Damn this looks awesome. Sega have finally out Nintendo'd Nintendo! (which admittedly shouldn't be hard considering that Nintendo seem to be on auto-pilot with their Wii U releases)



Pokefanmum82 said:

Already got my 3DS version pre-ordered. Can't wait for this game. It's going to be so much fun to play.



unrandomsam said:

Is the 3DS version 60fps ? (No chance in hell I will want it if it is 30fps like 3D Land it will be unplayable.)



Dr_Corndog said:

@DestinyMan I still get a weird feeling every time I read someone say that SA2:Battle was their first Sonic game. Maybe I'm just old. But the idea that someone would have first played Sonic on anything other than the Genesis is just...weird to me.



EarthboundBenjy said:

I'm a Mega Drive kid. Sonic was my life, and S3&K was my most favourite game ever... and I don't find it weird at all that someone could have played SA2B first. It's an awesome game, so why not?
It even makes a lot of sense, considering that It was the first Sonic game on a Nintendo machine - it means they were reaching out to new audiences, so I would definitely expect to have a rise in new Sonic fans due to this game's release.



bizcuthammer said:

Definitely picking it up. I've loved Sonic my whole life, and love both Ninty and Sega dearly. My 2 year old son also loves Sonic, and i can't wait to play Lost World and Mario 3D World with him this holiday season. Lost World looks fantastic, like the best 3D Sonic game i've seen since the Dreamcast days, maybe even better.



Meaty-cheeky said:

If you like games like Mario and Donkey Kong, then you would most likely like Sonic. Also SEGA & Nintendo have a great history together.



cookiex said:

If Sonic would be to return in Smash Bros 4 not implementing his Wisp powers would be a missed opportunity.



JaxonH said:

Really? You think a game that's 30fps is "unplayable"? I can barely, and I do mean barely, tell the difference unless I'm looking for it. I even think a game that was choppy pic animation at 5fps would still be playable- might not be ideal, but playable nonetheless.

Slap me in the face if I EVER pass up on a great game simply because it was 30fps.



HyperSonicEXE said:

Ideally, though, there should be a very few skilled players (if we're following a Bell curve assumption) that could complete an Act in the quickest clear time possible (give or take execution time) on the first runthrough.

Memorization is a skill in and of itself, but if a platformer and other certain types of game rely on it for the challenge, then that challenge is artificial since trial-and-error is allowed. Multiple routes in Sonic games, for example, are fine ---as long as--- there is a clear cut skill (increasingly difficult timing and Gimmicks) or spatial (stay along the top of the stage, Sonic 1 & Sonic CD) relationship to the achievement or fastest path. I've not seen these same defined paths in Modern Sonic, and the games' mechanics certainly are not geared that way, and have actually been noted as misleading from the above design philosophy's standpoint.



MJKOP said:

I remember buying Sonic 2 for Sega MasterSystem! I got my Mum to take me to buy a Dreamcast & Sonic Adventure, was supposed to keep it for Christmas but I fired it up a couple of times and played till the first boss, remember thinking it was absolutely amazing, especially the Killer Whale sequence. Good times!



StarDust4Ever said:

People buy Nintendo for the Mario games, and anyone who remembers the past Sonic/Mario mascot wars knows that while Sonic has much more of an edgy bad boy reputation, the games are both whimsical platformers with bright colors and great mechanics. It goes to reason that Mario fans may also like Sonic and visa-versa, so no surprise that Sonic sells better on Nintendo platforms than "core" games like the usual bloody FPSs with their sickly muted browns and swearing prebubescent teenage boys in the background. No thanks, I'll take Mario or Sonic anyday. This will definitely be a day-one purchase for me!



MeloMan said:

SEGA: Sonic Titles Perform "Really, Really Well on Nintendo Platforms"

There's... surprise?



banacheck said:

I think the problem was it went downhill, but i would of liked to of seen another "original" "original" being "key word here", Sonic sticking to it's "roots". After all the "originals" "there is that word again" are the best.



Obito_Sigma said:

Nintendo and Sega used to be archnemesisie back in the day. But since the Play Station rocketed in, Sega wasn't doing so well. Today, Sega prefers to put games on Nintendo devices instead of the others. It's a beautiful story, especially since Nintendo has to face against Sony, Microsoft, and Apple. (iPods) I now want to know about Capcom's and Konami's story since they used to be the top two video game companies that made games for Nintendo. Mega Man feels like a Nintendo franchise, and there are many other classics that help made Nintendo shine.



RedRocBoy said:

@Koto Hopefully they surprise us with PSO on Wii U, but itsvone of the reasons I got a Vita. Really hope Sega gives us more then Sonic games.



unrandomsam said:

@JaxonH Kills it for me. (3D Land / Giana Sisters recent particularly bad examples). Trine 2 on PC I hated until I forced it to 60. (Played it without for a bit until I realised).

I can tell straight away. (Don't enjoy playing anything slowly).



unrandomsam said:

@Obito_Tennyson Konami and Capcom both seem to care about Mobile than anything else. (See the fact the latest Ghost's and Goblins / Contra are only on mobile devices).



JaxonH said:

@HyperSonicEXE Gimmick is the most overused word in gaming now. Everything's a gimmick now, even down to stage layout. I agree with you that they shouldn't rely on memorization, but you can use memorization to your benefit in any game, especially platforms. Gimmick is not an appropriate word and doesn't belong in the discussion. Throwing in a free colored helmet as DLC is a gimmick. Pre order and receive double XP for 24 hrs is a gimmick. Stage layouts, good or bad, do not qualify as "gimmicks". The word has become so over used and its definition so mangled it's reached the point of abuse



HyperSonicEXE said:

I agree on the term's overuse, I just use the word "Gimmick" capitalized, because that's what the Sonic Rush instruction booklet referred to the series' pulleys, springs, and other contraptions as.



Bryon15 said:

I didn't think the 3DS version of sonic generations was a waste of time. I liked it. It had completely different levels from the PS3 version.



2steve said:

SEGA, now that you know that the Wii U is the home for Sonic, I think it's pretty obvious what the next move should be... EXPAND on the world of Sonic! In the comics/tv, they would always emphasis on how he could run around the world in seconds.. "In his latest entry, sonic is running at lightspeed!" Sonic Universe only for the Wii U! Imagine, running at lightspeeds, jumping over exotic planets, jumping astronomical feats, across stars, nebulas, galaxies? Heck, hearing it now, it could be their spiritual successor to Sonic Adventures 2 but on a mic. grander scale (a scale that has been proven not only shin'en comments but also the scope seen by X) :')

Edit: this is probably going too far-fetched, but it would even be pretty badass that since sonic runs faster than Mario, he would clearly be covering more distance than Mario would; it would be really cool that hypothetically, if this game were made, imagine at the end like end-credits, he's going at his fastest speeds (really being UNLEASHED), & he eventually stumbles upon a red-blue plumber, Mario! Major cliffhanger for what would be a colossal crossover :'DDD



Slayer said:

@ednice Wow. You really do hate on games now, don't you?
I can't wait for this. As an ongoing Sonic fan from the heart, I savor every second I play Sonic games. This will have me stop playing Sonic Colors on Wii.
Some say just making games for other systems from Nintendo didn't work out. But LOOK at the number of people waiting for this.



OdnetninAges said:

Good thing I love Sega just as much as I love Nintendo. They both have excellent games, and I'm really excited for the upcoming Wii U exclusive Sonic games.



Zodiak13 said:

As a non Sonic fan, I must say I am actually interested in this game, at least the WiiU version. However I will read reviews for it very carefully before I commit. I have wasted $ too many times in the past on other Sonic games, highly acclaimed and average, so it is just possible that Sonic games just are not my thing.




Well NO DUH. Nintendo fans eat platformers up for breakfast. Black Knight wasn't even GOOD and it did well. Secret Rings? Average (nice soundtrack though). Fans will eat your stuff up. Just keep making fast platformers to compliment our Mario games. You got this, SEGA!



Genesaur said:

Another example is Sonic Riders, which was on all three, but sold better on the GameCube than the PS2 and XBox versions combined.

I think have that Nintendo Power issue...



FJOJR said:

Old school pre 3rd party Sega was very much like Nintendo in regards to their unique stable of franchises and high quality games. It made Sega gamers like me make the jump easily from Dreamcast to GameCube.



Senate_Guard said:

If Sega knew Sonic obviously sells better on Nintendo consoles, why didn't they release Generations on Wii? I remember an NP interview where the current head of Sonic Team said they only wanted to release it on HD consoles... right...

Still very stoaked for Lost World! Its my most anticipated game of the year!



Samurai_Goroh said:

@Dr_Corndog My first Sonic game was Sonic the Hedgehog 2... on the Master System. How weird is 8-bit Sonic to you?
On another note, I do hope we get more of SEGA's amazing franchises than just Sonic. A NiGHTS game properly done( unlike the Wii version, apparently), could sell really well on Nintendo consoles, you know that SEGA? SEGA Rally on Wii U would fill an empty spot as of now... Virtua Tennis, Jet Set Radio, Skies of Arcadia, Chu Chu Rocket as a downloadable title to play on the GamePad, Crazy Taxi, Super Monkey Ball for Christ's sake.



Araknie said:

"When we look at the numbers, we thought — this is clearly where our audience is."

Finally they got it.
Look at what Yoshida said about delaying the PS4 in Japan and what all Sony and Xbox One thinks of japanese gaming industry.

It's clear that japanese games, like SEGA ones, if they are going exclusives they better do it on Nintendo consoles.

Ni No Kuni didn't sell well in the West and even a multiplatform like Killer Is Dead (announced like the spiritual sequel of NMH2 that everybody wanted) didn't do anything.

Sony and Microsoft are turning to be western developer based console, Nintendo needs now to reach out to japanese and say "in the future we may have the most powerful console or not, but we care about you." That's gotta be it.

I don't belive that if Sonic Lost World was a multiplatform we would have seen this innovation in gameplay.



brucelebnd said:

sonic 4 episode 2??? sonic cd???? sonic generations missed the wii but where's a wii u port??

Sega supports Nintendo handhelds but not the home console so much. I hope this game does really well and encourages sega to bring more titles to the Wii U



ShortSleevedNook said:

Very true! If you have a bad flow while playing any of the Genesis games, or even the newer ones, the game isn't very fun.

Once you do get into the flow though...that's a whole other experience

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