SEGA Europe has treated those fans dedicated enough to have signed up to “SEGA City” with an interview with the producer of Sonic Rush, Akinori Nishiyama.
Nishiyama has been involved with SEGA for some time, starting off working on Phantasy Star IV and PSO and Puyo Pop for SONICTEAM, before directing all three Sonic Advance titles. It shows in Sonic Rush – a game that is very much in style to the GBA games, yet appears to break away from the troublesome level design formula that has dogged previous games.
The major change is the fact that the characters in the game are made of ploygons instead of sprites, and the graphics are 3D on a 2D plane. Nishiyama explains this idea: “With the addition of perspective, as well as a sense of panorama via the use of two screens, I believe you enjoy a dazzling impression of space. The 3D boss battles are a particularly great example [of] how 3D works to good effect in the game.”
Most interestingly is the point that Sonic Rush will come with as little unlockable extras as possible, in order for the team to concentrate on making the game itself as fulfilling as possible. “We haven’t included so many unlockable elements this time, concentrating instead on pumping the main gameplay full of fun you won’t need to unlock any more.”
When asked about the story of the game, Nishiyama states that he feels it best the player finds out how the game unravels for themselves, but felt it necessary at that point to go all philisophical and state that we should “Think of Sonic Rush as a liberation of the mind!”. Quite. He was vocal about the fact that Blaze and Sonic will affect each other’s stories.
Also discussed was the topic of the soundtrack, the use of the touch panel being for Special Stages and Zone Maps, and the now obligatory SONICTEAM standard – a Wi-Fi enabled 2-Player mode with a friend.
Head to SEGA Europe‘s website and sign up to the members-only SEGA City to read the rest of the interview in full.