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.