This week sees the western launch of 3D Gunstar Heroes, the latest in Sega's line of 3DS-based 3D Classics. It's one of the most beloved games of the 16-bit era, and also one of the most technically impressive Genesis/Mega Drive titles seen so far.
Yosuke Okunari, producer at Sega, and Naoki Horii, president at M2, have taken part in an interview where they talk about the process of remastering this beloved game. It seems M2 just charged ahead with the remastering process without even knowing if Sega could release the game:
– It seems like it took a lot of effort. And from more than a year ago? But you were already thinking of bringing it to market and that was all part of the plan, right?
YO: Nope. It wasn't.
– Wait, it wasn't!? Are you saying that there was a possibility that all this work would be for nothing?
YO: Yes, that would have been the case. I actually didn't know that M2 was working Gunstar Heroes in the first place. Remember, this project was supposed be done when we finished up the second batch of Japan-targeted titles with Thunder Blade.
When the second batch started, we didn't know if we'd be able to release the games overseas. However, right when everything was wrapping up, talks began about releasing this second batch internationally.
Back when we were getting this second batch off the ground, we selected titles that would resonate well specifically with the Japanese audience, and we concluded that Mega Drive games wouldn't be feasible when you considered our budgets and sales figures. We also knew at the time that unless the sales from After Burner II through to Thunder Blade were exceptional domestically, Thunder Blade would be the last title for the project. My one hope was that if the first batch, which was released a year after the fact overseas, really resonated in the markets, we might be able to work on a second batch of Mega Drive titles as well, and M2 was also of the same understanding.
There are lots of other interesting nuggets in the interview with Okunari and Horii, it's certainly worth a read.
We're currently beavering away on our review, but in the meantime you can read our thoughts on the Japanese release of 3D Gunstar Heroes. Will you be picking this bad boy up on Thursday?