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Sonic Lost World Producer Admits "There Was a Struggle in 3D Sonic Games"

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Takashi Iizuka tells us about moving forward on Wii U and 3DS

With its arrival in Europe this week, SEGA fans are no doubt gearing up to put Sonic Lost World through its paces, either on Wii U or 3DS. The blue blur still has a number of highly dedicated fans, and one guaranteed way to pick a fight online is to make a generic comment along the lines of "there hasn't been a good Sonic game in ages".

As a statement that can certainly be debated, but the argument is driven by a spell when Sonic made a difficult transition to 3D game engines, when 2D was no longer in. In recent times it can certainly be argued that Sonic Colours and Sonic Generations have delivered relatively strong experiences, however, so perhaps casual dismissals of Sonic's 3D exploits shouldn't be so readily used.

In an interview with Sonic Lost World Producer and Sonic Team boss Takashi Iizuka, to be published in full later today, we asked whether he agreed that Sonic's early 3D days were indeed troubled, and how he thought the franchise had improved.

Yes there was a struggle in 3D Sonic games. From the 1st 3D type Sonic game Sonic Adventure, we tried various levels and environment in 3D. This is because we felt there is more possibility for improvement in 3D type Sonic. So in Sonic Colors and Sonic Generations, we added new gameplay on top of the existing Sonic titles to make a high quality game.

After telling us about the tubular level design featured throughout, Iizuka-san made clear that Dimps, in collaboration with the Sonic Team, has worked hard to deliver 3D Sonic action on the portable to compare favourably with its home console brethren.

One feature in Sonic Lost World is 360 degrees action, so the challenge on 3DS was to apply this 3D action game in 360 degrees action like in Wii U. Of course we couldn’t make it exactly the same, but by using the same texture as Wii U, applying the twisted levels, how you see and feel should be very close to the experience you get from Wii U version.

Check back later today for the full interview, in which we discuss how the titles came to be Nintendo exclusives, as well as the various features that have been implemented.

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User Comments (33)



Marshi said:

After reading the interview snippets im impressed Iizuka-san would admit their struggles in the early days of 3d sonic games. And while sonic lost world looks great and I cant wait to get it day one,id love for there to be a sonic adventure 3. Just make things darker and more mature with open world environments andthe same control scheme that lost world has adopted and I think sonic has a chance of knocking mario from his throne



RaymanFan2 said:

That italicised 'ages' made me remember something.

*To be this good takes ages.
To be this good takes SEGA*



ThomasBW84 said:

@Marshi I think it's fine to admit that games over a decade old that tried to revolutionise a franchise had growing pains



Marshi said:

@ThomasBW84 True,its just not something you expect them to admit,especially how the game industry is nowadays. Never the less it just makes me more excited for lost world. 3 days! Any news on a review?



MegaWatts said:

The bit about 2D not being in at a certain point in history is very true. I recall once Super Mario 64 blew the world away, 2D seemingly became uncool over night, which was daft. Loads of great games like Mischief Makers and Mystical Ninja 2 Starring Goemon were overlooked. It's a shame because if Sonic had gone 2.5D during that era, it probably could have been superb. Saying that, Sonic Adventure was still a great game.

Even now, I know people who shun 2D games. Apparently, if it's not 3D then it's not good, which is just a really narrow-minded way of looking at things.



fchinaski said:

You gotta hand it to SEGA for never giving up on the blue blur though. Here's to hoping Lost Worlds will be great.

But I gotta say I kind of resent the fact that the 3DS somehow weak hardware will never allow for faithful ports of Wii U games. I reckon this will become more and more evident over the years, as the Wii U reaches its prime.



readyletsgo said:

Usually when the review is due to release one or two days before general release (in Europe) it means Sega know its not a great game. That's usually the way for movies sadly. The embargo review for Beyond: Two Souls was lifted on the tuesday before release, its Wednesday morning (10.50am in Ireland/UK) and as ThomasBW84 says 'The embargo will lift later this week, so no news beyond that I'm afraid.... that doesnt sounds good to me I'm afraid.

Heart is sinking now with no reviews (embargo) until prob tomorrow or god forbid, launch day. in two minds now on weather to get this Wii U game or not now .

Or I could be talking out my donkey and this could be the answer Ninty have been looking for
Watch the profanity please — TBD



Ridley126 said:

@readyletsgo Well both versions got pretty great scores from Famitsu, 36/40 for Wii U and 34/40 for the 3DS version I believe. That gives me hope! XD



Marshi said:

@readyletsgo I think reviews are good to give you a feel for how the game is but at the end of the day if you think it looks good give it a try. Always go with your own feelings, if you feel like sonic lost worlds looks to be huge fun based on what youve seen then it probably will be,and no poor scoring review will change that



NintyMan said:

There's always going to be a challenge for bringing a series to a new perspective, but Sega seemed to be struggling for a longer time than others like Nintendo. I enjoyed the first two Sonic Adventure games and even Sonic Heroes, but Shadow was lame and we all know how 2006 went. However, although I haven't played it yet, it seemed like Colors redeemed 3D Sonic and Generations seemed to work all right. I just hope Lost World is the one that makes Sonic shine again.

Even if it's not completely faithful, it's still pretty impressive how they made Sonic Lost World look on 3DS.



readyletsgo said:

@Marshi Oh yeah you're totally right! I just like to read a few reviews from loads of different places, like everyone and if the reviews are good overall then I'll get it, reviews are just one persons opinion at the end of the day but it does help as a guide some times.

Feck it, I'll prob be outside a store at 9am come friday morning either way lol

EDIT: Also I really want the Wii U version to do well, to help the Wii U get on its feet, the 3DS one looks awesome but the 3DS doesnt really need my support right now so will leave SLW on the 3DS until maybe next year anyway.



Marshi said:

@readyletsgo Yeah id love sonic lost world to shift wiius,and it will to some degree. But tired and cliche'd as it is I think the big growth spurt will be once mario comes jumping,karting and punching onto the scene!



Dambuster said:

Really looking forward to this, might have to break my own rule, never pay more than £20 for a game.



readyletsgo said:

@Marshi Yeah totally, cant wait for SM3DW in November! Loved 3D Land, never understood why some people hated it. Dont mind paying €60 upfront for Mario



MJKOP said:

I love 3D Land too, never understood the hate towards it! I bought a Dreamcast & Sonic Adventure at launch, I absolutely loved it, not sure how I'd find it to play today but back then, I thought it was great



Emblem said:

@Marshi I agree but I read reviews mainly for signs of technical issues, missing/additional features, multiplayer, etc.



Araknie said:

Almost the same as Wii U, well i'm glad i pre-ordered the Wii U one then...
Yes, i love how you can go around the levels all you want. And, when they're not tunnel based, i've seen some videos with the multiple path choice that i like.
This, the fact that we get the spindash back and the level desing in witch they higher you go the more difficult will be is, for me, the perfect evolution from the 2D games.
You put all that mechanics in 3D and you get Sonic Lost World.



Ristar42 said:

I always thought it’s the speed that caused the problem for Sonic in 3D.

Precision platforming in 3D becomes problem at high speed, so the games started to feel very scripted, with a stilted start / stop / 'fly off in a random direction in to a bottomless pit because you dashed the wrong way' quality.

The shifting of 'running fast' to a button press is a significant change to control, and hopefully will make the pace of the game and the platforming more stable and less scripted.

Shame I can’t get this for PS3 (I don’t have a Wii U), but I will be picking up the 3DS version (like I do pretty much every Sonic game I can when it launches, since 1991...). I found 'Generations' didn’t really fix the problems of Sonic in 3D, at least on the home consoles, I think I actually preferred the 3DS version despite its simplified graphics.

I also thought Sonic 4: Episode Two was one of the better recent Sonic games, hope we see Episode Three...



Banker-Style said:

Colours was near perfection for a Sonic game,and this seems like it could be even better just hope I won't be disappointed.



ljb88 said:

@Dambuster you don't think it's worth spending more than twenty pounds on entertainment that often takes hundreds of people years to create? Entertainment that has incredible longevity?



ULTRA-64 said:

I might have a bit of time for this now, with watch dogs delayed. I'm a bit put off by the characters though, sonic and tails etc are classics but the deadly six look a bit cringe worthy to me. I'm 29 and whilst I love bright colourful games that are fun based, it can be off putting having made for toddler characters too much, Dr robotnik was fine, the fluffy creatures you release were fine, the deadly six make me want to turn the tv off =(



FJOJR said:

Sonic Colors was absolutely excellent & Generations a better anniversary game than what Nintendo could muster up for Mario or Capcom for Mega Man. As for the handheld version Dimps was responsible for every 2D Sonic game on GBA, DS & now 3DS. They know what they're doing.



JimLad said:

I don't get why they stopped making Sonic Adventures. Sure they had camera issues but they were so much fun.
I have high hopes for this one though.



HyperSonicEXE said:

Honestly, they're always taking one step forward and two steps back compared to Sonic Adventure 1.

At least that game was a rough draft in converting 2D Sonic stage layouts to 3D, by segmenting the stages and then multi-layering the segments to either take you to the fastest path, or not. This being akin to Sonic 1 or Sonic CD, mind you.

Now, thanks to the slippery slope that Rails took the level design down starting with Sonic Adventure 2, it's Trial and Error, and that's while the camera and QTE's are wrecking the flow.



Gamer_Natalie said:

I feel as if them constantly making the same game for WiiU and 3Ds/2Ds ruins the WiiU's chances of getting any buyers, people already dont buy it because they dont want to spend a ton of money on something they can just play on the 3Ds, and think Wii U deserves a little more..

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