Sonic's 30th anniversary is coming up next year, so how could Sega potentially keep this long-running series feeling fresh? What if it was to hand it over to Yakuza series producer, Daisuke Sato...
In an official Sega interview recently, Sato was asked what Sega IP he would like to work on that he's never touched before. His response - Sonic the Hedgehog. If he was given the chance, the industry veteran says he would likely come up with a "completely different" kind of Sonic game. Here's his full response:
"It’s an IP that I haven’t come to before. In the sense that I want to try it, … well, Sonic. After all, when you hear Sega you think Sonic. I’d like to get involved once at least. But for me, the so-called Sonic is, well, if I were to do it, I wouldn’t do Sonic as it was. I would like to make a completely different Sonic."
Sato most recently worked on Yakuza: Like a Dragon and has been credited in the past on various other Yakuza games, projects like the Super Monkey Ball series and even F-Zero GX and AX as a stage design director.
So, the question is - would you be interested in a Sonic game by Daisuke Sato? Let us know below.
[source youtu.be, via crunchyroll.com]
Absolutely! Sato worked on some great games. F-Zero is a great example.
What’s the subtext here, the next sonic game looks bad? Again?
Let him. It couldn’t be any worse than some other entries
I just wish somebody would once and for all figure out the secret to making a Good 3D sonic game.
I felt SEGA was like a dude that really trying too hard to impress someone by being too edgy but it oftenly failed miserably.
We hear this all the time, yet they've made a zillion different and equally disastrous sonic games, just leave it alone or accept it that they all suck, and people make them, cause they sell off nostalgia alone,
Yes yes, I know Sonic mania was good, but that was a very careful reinterpretation of the original games, and that's just one out of the bunch
Sega was trying to sucker teens into thinking they were cooler than Nintendo and also pulling in the teens younger siblings cause you know monkey see monkey do. If the big brother likes it odds are little timmy will want to play too and be cool like his big brother. That was the whole strategy.
Too bad they let sonic sink so low that he's now shovelware status. Only the 2D nostalgia trips sell now.
Sonic is been so mistreated, that I guess he deserves a shot!! Judgment was stellar! So let the man have a go
We've heard this before though?
@Zeldafan79 Suckering is a strong word. Sure Sonic had a cooler aesthetic, but the games were quality, so consumers weren't really "suckered" into playing the games. I also only played the 2d sonic games in the past 3 years, so I'm saying this with no nostalgia when I say sonic mania is legitimately one of the best platformers I've played.
I think it's just really difficult to make a 3D game all about going fast without turning it into a racing game or heavily on rails. I dunno how they'd pull it off. Has there ever been a really good 3D game about going fast that's not racing or in rails? I can't think of any. (Not Sonic levels of fast anyway.) But if there are any then Sega should take a page out of that book.
I could never get into Sonic. I find those games boring with bad controls and they rely too much on knowing the level. Maybe I'd give it another try if they change the formula.
Don't please, sell the sonic IP to Nintendo
Sonic Generations was great fun for me so if they make another 3D Sonic I'd like it similar to Generations. We still want 2D Sonic games though, Mania was awesome.
@Zeldafan79 @Yosher Of course there is. The "Sonic Adventure" duology nailed Sonic's 3D gameplay from the very beginning (along with "Heroes" and "Shadow")! It's just that those early 3D titles have other issues, and then Sega stupidly went away from the core gameplay that actually worked into some more mediocre styles, save for a brief respite with "Lost World" that unfortunately has its own issues with its 2D gameplay and boss battles.
Yakuza is an excellent franchise, so anything a member of that team could contribute elsewhere would most likely be a plus.
I'd rather see WayForward (The guys behind Shantae) take a crack at a 2D Sonic game with their unique art style. I say this as a huge Sega fanboy from the early 90s, Please no flaming.
You lot... really don't like Sonic here, do you? The whole "Sonic had a rocky transition into 3D thing" isn't entirely untrue, but it overlooks the occasions when there were actually pretty fun games from the Blue Blur.
Yes Sonic Forces and Sonic 06 exist, but so do Sonic Colours and Generations. Sonic Mania might be an outlier right now, but its still a result of the franchise's consistent existence. I hope they stick around and make another one.
I'm not excusing the fact that this series has just as many downs as ups, but I'm of the mind that dismissing the entire franchise altogether is rash and doesn't take the full picture into account. It's an easy punching bag what with it's reputation, but Sonic has stuck around this long for good reason.
I just hope Nintendo won’t let Microsoft to peak up Sega, it will be huge blow....
They never learn...
@Doktor-Mandrake lol what? Have you seen the bugs in sonic games lately, the cringey storyline, the random crazy redesigns of characters. Ever read reviews of sonic games? The fact that the series sold low does also not suprise me.
Last good sonic game was mania. And that was made by a fan who loves the series.
@BrintaPap lol at the notion of nintendo buying sonic
So they can resell sonic 1 multiple times and make it nintendo hardware exclusive?
@TripleJump Theyd never mention All Stars Racing either, given even nintendo borrowed mechanics from that game for Mario Kart
Thats probably a coincidence. Either way, both games ripped off Diddy Kong Racing if you think about it.
Reinventing Sonic.... 😳
Sonic unleashed 2.0 with heat action
@Yosher @BulbasaurusRex The problem with Sonic is that to make a game that's fast, then the game has to be either really short or really large (basic physics says speed = distance/time, so to keep the speed high you either need high distance or low time). So the game would either need a long development time to make it huge, it would be so short you beat it in an hour, or it would need to be padded out with slower sections. And 3D only exacerbates the issue because it takes even more development time to make 3D models and environments. SEGA's usually chose the third option to compensate and either padded the game out with slower gameplay styles (such as fishing, mech shooting, treasure hunting, the Werehog) or designed the levels to grind to a halt and make you do slow, blocky platforming (as in Colors and Forces). What I would do to solve it is make Sonic more of a sandbox platformer, have 7 large, open levels like what we see in the fangame Sonic Utopia and have you run through them multiple times and collect Red Star Rings to move onto the next level (which wouldn't be much of an issue because levels designed like Utopia are so insanely large that you can have a different experience each time you run through them anyway).
I'd make a completely different Sonic game if given the opportunity too.
No offense to Sato and yakuza, but to be honest I'm still annoyed he wont help make another monkey ball... when he was in charge they were contenders for some of the best games ever and now they are definitely not that... I get it he was sick of producing games with a childish coating but these games are special and have a loyal fanbase... just one more Sato and see how much we will love it.
Personally, I wouldn't mind them taking another crack at the RPG genre. Dark Brotherhood was an interesting concept that just got mediocre execution. I still had fun playing it, but all it's systems just felt shallow. Let a team that makes real RPGs take another crack at it.
Give Mr. Sato whatever he want, Sega... at this point, can't possibly be worse than Forces.
Amazing to see the difference in quality and fortunes between how Nintendo managed Mario and Sega with sonic over the years.
Poor old sonic has been dragged through the mud enough as it is!
No no no... Trying to reinvent the whole formula every game is part of the problem! Just give us a game with Sonic Generations controls and polish with new levels and shiny graphics!
I agree with you about one of their downfalls being experimentation after experimentation. However I wouldn't agree with you on them making another "boost to win" game.
I think they should make something akin to that fan-game "Sonic Robo Blast 2", which had a universally positive reception.
I would be interested in any kind of change for the sonic franchise because as it is sonic is a festering corpse on an Arizona highway
@LEGEND_MARIOID that's a statement, not a question.
I’m just gonna go ahead and say it. I liked Sonic Forces. I’ve been playing Sonic since it released on the Genesis and I’m a fan. Forces leads right into the comic series by IDW as well (which I have every issue of so far). I wasn’t such a fan of Lost World though and Generations was spectacular.
@Zeldafan79 Speed manipulation (using speed to do different things other than running (think Flash), interacting with the environment, and most of all, don't focus on extreme speed that just makes you go in a straight line!
I’m all for it. Give him the opportunity.
@Gamerdudesteel Yes and no
I loved Secret Rings. Dunno why, but there was something about it.
Anyway, for me a Sonic game should be an on-rails 3D runner with different routes like Out Run and a more robust lock-on system than the recent games have had. It's really annoying for an enemy not to be locked and then to fall into a pit or something.
@Yosher That fan Sonic game comes pretty close to nailing it. Forgot the title, Digital Foundry has a video on it.
I would hope be would do a new Sonic Riders for Nintendo Switch.
@BishopShiozawa Hoping for a different Sonic game to feature a current Sonic design since Sonic Adventure.
I hope by different Sonic he don't mean this.
It's sad that modern Sonic is in such need of new blood to the point where one developed by a Yakuza developer may be a much better game.
@Bolt_Strike Yeah, but the early 3D games also had slower, platforming section that were much better than the ones in Colors and Forces while also being more reminiscent of the 2D games where everything isn't a race unlike the "Unleashed" style 3D gameplay they usually use now.
As for padding it with alternate gameplay styles, at least the mech levels, kart racing levels, and Tails's levels in SA1 played well. They just need to avoid the mediocre to lousy ones like fishing, treasure hunting, and the Werehog. I'm also fine with mixing in 2D levels and/or sections if they actually do it right and not mess up the physics like they did in "Sonic 4," "Unleashed," "Colors," and "Lost World," etc. There are also other tricks they've used to pad out the games like reuse level sections for additional challenges like in "Unleashed" or have you replay levels with different goals like in "Sonic Adventure 2" and "Shadow."
@BulbasaurusRex Totally disagreed on which ones are good and which ones were bad, I was more fine with Colors/Forces' 2D platforming (although I still found it quite jarring to be hurled right into them after zooming through the speedier 3D sections) and the only alternate gameplay styles I felt were good by their own merits were the SA1 Tails, the Werehog and Silver in 06. Whereas the mech shooting, treasure hunting. fishing were boring and frustrating slogs that I don't want anything to do with. Regardless though, aside from SA1 Tails, Gamma's mech shooting (not SA2 Tails' mech shooting), and maybe Amy, none of them really belong in a Sonic game and they need to pad the games out a different way. Challenges are good, but they should probably be optional since casual players will have trouble with them. Better ideas would be to take different paths for Red Star Rings or allow you to complete levels backwards (if you're really paying attention to 06's level design, you'll notice that actually some of the other characters complete certain sections of the levels backwards from others and it makes it feel like an entirely different level) or similar tricks like that.
Sonic needs a new direction, so at least give them a chance, to save sega.
Let him do it, I’m sure it would be hilarious, and there is no sense of consistency with Sonic as is, so nothing to lose.
OMG this needs to happen! Get the WHOLE Yakuza team including the people from 0 on it. Cream would be selling her panties in a side quest, Sally would be a bad ass and respectable sex worker who's not anyone "property", Sonic and Tails would be "blood brothers" and spend 90% of the game in a deep bromance that would make most YA authors cringe. Amy would be a soft spoken dominatrix who joins your party and fights with whips and spiked heels. It's the game sonic fans have always wanted!
Forget about Sonic, that thing is dead.
An open world game, set in mobius. Where the freedom fighter story is picked back up.
They did try a different Sonic with Boom and I remember the initial reactions to the Boom redesigns were pretty negative.
"Sonic's 30th anniversary is coming up next year, so how could Sega potentially keep this long-running series feeling fresh?"
I find this an odd statement. Mario is pushing 40 and is doing almost the same thing he's always done. 2D Mario is the same thing through all his games. Mario Odyssey is essentially a prettier Mario64 with updates. Nintendo adds things here and there, but the essentials that makes it Mario is always underlying.
Sega just needs to stop messing with what makes Sonic, Sonic. The best Sonic game to come along in many years was Sonic Mania - which had many of the common essentials of Sonics golden years. Start with what works and then add new stuff from there.
Can we just get Yakuza on Switch so I don't have to go buy a "I got Played"station? And can you also get your coworkers at Atlus to stop making excuses for Persona? Thanks.
@LinkSword Too bad they refuse to contribute Yakuza elsewhere. 🤦♂️
When a website called "Nintendo Life" arguably has more articles and references to Sonic than many of Nintendo's own first party IPs simply by virtue of quoting what comes out of Sega, you know that Sega has a terminal case of myopia.
To make a game franchise...even a flagship IP...actually mean something, you need to A) make amazing games for it and B) make them far enough apart that there is a sense of them being special as opposed to "this year's iteration/spin-off/reboot/etc.". Nintendo gets panned for so many Mario games, but at least they still make games that aren't Mario-focused (and they tend to be of the utmost quality, for the most part), and therein lies the difference, as well as why I've come to despise Sonic where I used to love the character and his games. There are so many incredible and beloved game franchises we'll likely never get to experience again simply because of who runs Sega and their one-track mindset.
this isn't really much to go on, tbh. no idea what direction he's talking about. it's like if Steven Spielberg said he'd take Pretty Woman in a different direction. like, yeah, but are we talking ET, garbo post-911 War of the Worlds, Indiana Jones...? same here. Sato is a single producer who has worked on a variety of games in different genres and for different audiences, and cannot alone make a game good or cohesive. is he talking about doing something mature like that horrific Bomberman for the 360, or something lighthearted in the mold of Super Monkey Ball? or is he talking about a new genre direction?
in all honesty, there are lots of developers who could do Sonic justice. Headcannon, WayForward (someone mentioned them before), Galaxy Trail, DotEmu, Turtle Blaze... SEGA these days is practically an IP mill. it took DotEmu to finally make Wonder Boy and Streets of Rage 4 each a thing, and now you have Merge Games taking up Alex Kidd.
the main problem with modern Sonic, I think, is this idea that the games were about being fast. they weren't, initially. you have the ability for big momentum, and the pacing was a huge part of the fun as compared to contemporaries at the time, but they were action/platformers through and through. the fastest moments were a reward. 3D isn't necessary; of the big platformers last decade, the best ones were often 2D or 2.5D (Ori, Shovel Knight, Owlboy, Celeste, Hollow Knight, Reventure, etc.). 3D is not necessarily better than the others, and I wish the industry at large would recognize this (just about every AAA game outside of Nintendo, nostalgia trips, and Fortnite wannabes is hyperrealistic toss--unique art styles like papercraft, low-poly, sprites in 3D environments, etc. are all relegated to the indie scene). this imaginary "need" to be 3D has hobbled a bunch of Sonic games that could've been more cleanly designed (and enjoyable) as side-scrollers. I think experimentation and refinement are equally valid ways of doing follow-ups, but Sonic's experimentation has always come out of confusion and trend-chasing, rather than a defined artistic direction.
I love how the best defense for recent Sonic games is "not all are bad" and you can only count the good ones on one hand. Meanwhile, the mainline Mario games are constant GotY contenders in most folks' eyes.
But yeah, while I never played a Yakuza game, maybe this is exactly what the next Sonic game needs.
@BrintaPap no thank you! we've had enough companies buying each other and buying major properties from each other for the rest of this decade. SEGA is barely a thing if they lose Sonic from their library, and I would rather not have Sonic become a console exclusive series again. Nintendo doesn't need to own everything.
@TheRealMW If Nintendo buys Sega the own far from everything. As if Sega is as big.
All they would need to do for me is make one that plays like Colors and Generations and has Chao. This is all I need.
@Jojarett87 Sony usually has companies sign exclusivitiy deals. By law, they aren't allowed to put them on any other systems.
@Goat_FromBOTW Advance 2 is good, what are you on?
@Bermanator Your opinion. I didn't like it at all, the level design is mostly walking straight forward with tons of bottomless pits. Advance 1 and 3 are better in that regard. Try replaying it.
I don't think he is a good fit for Sonic, if what he is saying here is his vision. I'd rather someone that put the best things of Adventure 1, Adventure 2 a few other games to make a good 3D Sonic game (2D has its limits and sooner or later won't be enough to sustain the Sonic franchise. Not every franchise has the fortune that has Mario or other 2D games).
I think they should try a more platforming approach for Sonic, while improving on the good things about past games (and please, polish the games). And let us use more characters, as Sonic don't need to be the only playable character.
@Jojarett87 Cry harder, beggar.
@Goat_FromBOTW what to mean that's it, you named almost 10games, that's a disaster for any franchise, and you leaving out another ton, like on the Gameboy, DS, sonic R, and so on..
Sure. Why the Hell not. I don't even care about 3D Sonic anymore and Sonic Team will continue lazily making crappy Sonic games.
Personally, I welcome a Sonic game where the Blue Blur beats Eggman to death with a bicycle.
@Jojarett87 some of the Yakuza games went to PC and xbox one/series x if you have those to play.
They need to make another Sonic Adventure 1 from Dreamcast. That setup worked great and I liked it that you were able to play with other characters as well while they had their own story. Sonic Adventure 2 was a letdown to me.. never understood why people liked it
@Goat_FromBOTW I didn't say it was great, just good.
@Sissyrobyn996 Umm... Sonic 3.
Yes please! Given the excellence of his work, and the fact that Sonic Team has no idea what the heck they're doing even slightly, I'd absolutely love to see someone competent take a crack at Sonic. Sonic's too good an IP to die so slowly and painfully, and even a very different Sonic that's good has to be better than the samey Sonics that aren't!
It's always been my opinion that Sonic the character is great, but there are few good games featuring him. His primary feature of being fast clashes with most of the games. Precise platforming doesn't mesh with being fast and loose, but letting him run and just holding forward while he zooms through loops is boring. Some of the games are okay, but none of them are true classics to me...best feature has always been the music.
While Sonic is fast, it would be nice to have a game that looks more into his fast reflexes than just running as fast as possible straight forward. With a competent combat system and some harder to beat enemies it could be really fun to run around them, dodge attacks and destroy them. Those enemies could be scattered in explorable areas and you could try to run through them, but maybe you'll also need to protect other animals and get bonuses for destroying the bots? That way you are able to choose between finishing a level fast, but ignoring everything or trying to help everyone and get bonuses. And as long as Sonic is easy and fast to maneuver into any direction, it can still be fast (also don't forget about visual effects that make it seem even faster then it already is, like slowing down time while dodging or a little blur on screen while running at top speed).
My favourite new genre approach for a Sonic game would be a Boss Rush-like game, where Eggman is able to reassemble any of his previous enemies and factories, due to some time manipulation and the phantom ruby, so that Sonic and friends need to go through a huge facility, facing many of his machines and creatures, to finally get to him and stop him. Thanks to being combat-based there would be no need for any huge level design and thus it'd be easier to also make other characters and their fighting styles available. Also, I imagine the facility to be Eggman's Intergalactic Amusement Park, but with not just planets but also his Space Death constructions to be connected to it aswell. It'd be gigantic :3
Never gonna happen, I'm starting to think Sega enjoy making garbage Sonic games. They would never let someone have a go at the franchise that might actually make a good game. I still dont know how we got Mania, that game was great. I dont even know how Sonic Team hasnt been shut down yet. If any studio put how crap after crap title they would get shut down.
@LinkSword @LinkSword LAUGH MY FN 🐴 OFF!!!! Your stand-up comedy is amazing! What's your youtube?
@Ryu_Niiyama Thanks friend. I'm aware. was mostly making fun of Sony.
@Bermanator Appreciate the feedback. I know all about licensing rights. I've written some topics about how Sony has used such to muscle 3rd party devs into some pretty precarious situations if interested. 😁
@Jojarett87 Ah, gotcha. Sorry. Carry on.
People have, go look up and then if you have a pc since its free; play Sonic Robo Blast 2 (SRB2). Its easily the best 3D sonic game ever made, no contest.
There are some really fantastic fan games you can download and play for free, I would HIGHLY reccomend Sonic Robo Blast 2, easily the best Sonic has ever been in 3D its amazing. There are also Some really good Sonic inspired games like Freedom Planet and Spark the Electric Jester.
For official games Sonic 3 (&Knuckles) and Sonic Mania are fantastic. Ive heard good things about the Sonic Rush games but havnt played them myself.
For 3D I would say that Generations is actually a good game, same for Colors but I liked Gen more. The Adventure games arent great but they have a charm to them, more so with nostalgia for them.
Sega's right on the ropes nowadays! With Sammy selling off a large chunk of their gaming division. Never have I wanted Nintendo to make an offer on them and their IPs more than I do right now! If they don't, I bet Microsoft or Sony will.
@Skylerpilot I have to disagree on Sonic Robo Blast being the best 3D game. It has great level themes, music, and the art style looks amazing... but after 2 Acts I couldn't get in to it. The controls ruin it for me as I find it to be extremely slippery while moving. I just couldn't see what other people see in it
@Bolt_Strike I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on the mech levels in SA2. I personally find them to be a well-polished and fun change of pace, and they fit in just as well as the slower platforming areas in Sonic's and Shadow's levels.
As for the 2D gameplay in "Colors," it has lousy physics without enough momentum and a very sloppy double jump mechanic that's difficult and awkward to control and too often gets confused with the Homing Attack. Meanwhile, the 2D levels have horrible level design with tons of bottomless pits and often being based on using the Wisp powers in very gimmicky ways. It's the main reason (although not the only one) that I find "Colors" to be highly overrated.
@Jojarett87 Thanks for crying harder as instructed, console fanboys with six years of mental age are more obedient than I figured.
@LinkSword You just lost the crowd...
Six years of mental age you say? Yet you are incapable of comprehending sarcasm, clearly cannot differentiate between laughter and crying, possibly illiterate but I don't judge, and call me a fanboy for simply stating the obvious??? You should go back to your previous line. It was actually funny. But this? The insults and labels? Nah, that ain't it buddy
I disagree, I feel it controls and feels great. it is in my opinion the perfect evolution of Sonic gameplay. For a bit more info I played it on controller using R1 L1 for jump and spin.
Even if its not personally to your taste all other 3D sonic games control at varying degrees of ok to terrible with awkward turn radii, bad auto lock ons, camera messing with controls jank, inconsistent and badly implemented momentum and more. No other 3D Sonic comes close to giving you the same experience of responsiveness and controllable speed in such large open maps with tons of alt paths to explore and secrets to find; As all other 3D Sonic games raiload on extremely linear hallway paths and still cant handle themselves to remain controllable. (I like Generations but its basically a "runner" at times.)
SRB2 captures Sonic 2&3s essence and perfectly morphs it into a 3D package.
@Skylerpilot Well if you enjoy it that's fine indeed. I just couldn't find it more enjoyable then some of the 3D games in the lineup and I haven't had a problem with the controls at all in a good amount of the 3D games such as the Adventure series.
Take inspiration from Sonic Unleashed and youve got a hit title
@Zeldafan79 I think the secret to that lies in the past. Specifically, the Adventure games. SA1 got 3d Sonic right on its first try, and the amount of control and freedom all the characters in the game had hasn't been replicated since. A great formula and and foundation that was never expanded upon, you see.
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