Tetsu Katano and Yuji Naka on recent Sonic

Tetsu Katano and Yuji Naka on recent Sonic


At a recent event in London where Sonic Team’s upcoming Sonic and the Black Knight title for Wii was being showcased, Eurogamer managed to grasp a video interview with Tetsu Katano, who is well known for his work on past achievements such as Sonic Adventure 1 & 2.

In the interview, Tetsu responds to feedback about recent Sonic game gimmicks, his awareness of the criticism and how they implemented into the game. When asked about returning to Sonic’s 2D gameplay, Tetsu let’s us know they do like to target the core Sonic users but it’s under discussion at the moment and he can’t say alot about it. A new game for the hardcore Sonic fans in development, perhaps?

Yuji Naka also had a look at the new game while he was at the event, and explains his feelings on the recent Sonic since he left Sonic Team. Naka-san explains how he is happy to be free to work on new projects now he doesn’t have to work so hard on Sonic. He sees today’s Sonic as one that is breaking out of the mould he made and taking a new direction, and hopes this will be one the fans can enjoy.

You can check out the video interviews here. Yuji Naka on let’s Tap: 0:00-06:09, Tetsu Katano: 6:10 and shortly afterwards Yuji Naka’s thoughts on recent Sonic.

What are your oppinion’s on these statements? Do you like Sonic’s recent direction? Is the TSS front page getting too clogged up with Yuji Naka love? Let us know in the comments.

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  1. I agree with Naka’s comment. No matter how hard game developers try, they can’t stick with the same format forever.

  2. Sonic rocks more since 2005 than ever before! Here are my personal ratings for all Sonic games that I have played:

    Awesome Sonic Games:
    01. Sonic Rush Adventure: 9.5
    02. Sonic Rush: 9.5
    03. Sonic the Hedgehog 16-Bit: 9.5
    04. Sonic and the Secret Rings: 9.3
    05. Sonic Unleashed Full: 9.3
    06. Sonic the Hedgehog CD: 9.3
    07. Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles: 9

    Great Sonic Games:
    08. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 8-Bit: 8.7
    09. Sonic Adventure 2: 8.7
    10. Shadow the Hedgehog: 8.7
    11. SegaSonic the Hedgehog: 8.7
    12. Sonic Heroes: 8.5
    13. Sonic the Hedgehog 8-Bit: 8.5
    14. Sonic Adventure: 8.3
    15. Sonic Advance 2: 8.3
    16. Sonic & Tails 2: 8.3
    17. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 16-Bit: 8.3
    18. Sonic 3D Flickies’ Island: 8.3
    19. Knuckle’s Chaotix: 8.3
    20. Sonic the Hedgehog Spinball 16-Bit: 8

    Good Sonic Games:
    21. Sonic Advance 3: 7.7
    22. Sonic R: 7.7
    23. Sonic Battle: 7.7
    24. Sonic Advance: 7.3
    25. Sonic & Tails: 7.3
    26. Sonic Riders: 7
    27. Sonic Riders 2 Zero Gravity: 7
    28. Sonic Chronicles The Dark Brotherhood: 7

    Mediocre Sonic Games:
    29. Sonic the Hedgehog 15th Anniversary: 6

    Poor Sonic Games:
    30. Sonic Blast: 4

  3. There’s one fundamental thing about the old and new Sonic that I think really does work. And that’s the principle of speed and control. The duality of speed and control that Sonic can achieve. Going fast but still being able to control where Sonic goes and what he does in a stage. It was something that worked for the old Genesis Sonic, for Sonic Adventure, and it works in Sonic Unleashed for the PS2. There was too much speed and not enough control in the 360 and PS3 version of Sonic Unleashed, and the Wii motion controls meant a loss of control in the Wii version, unless you switched it out for a Gamecube controller or something. But the duality speed and control is the most important thing Sonic can aim for in any Sonic game, hands down. It works and makes it fun.

  4. “Naka-san explains how he is happy to be free to work on new projects now he doesn’t have to work so hard on Sonic. He sees today’s Sonic as one that is breaking out of the mould he made and taking a new direction, and hopes this will be one the fans can enjoy.”

    A typically neutral response from someone who is probably so happy about leaving the blue-blur behind it isn’t funny. SEGA funds his studio so I wouldn’t expect a negative response from a question like that anyway.

  5. It bothers me that “gimmick” has such a negative connotation nowadays, especially with the Sonic series. I certainly can understand that a gimmick can be received poorly because it’s contrasting to the gameplay or just overall bad. While I definitely preferred daytime gameplay in Unleashed, I didn’t think the Werehog was as bad as most people received it, but I can’t speak for the community as a whole. But even if several of his past gimmicks have flunked, I don’t think that Sonic should stop trying to find his niche. Several different teams, among which are several different Sonic Teams, have worked on the series over the past decade so the notion that “new gameplay = bad gameplay” is really a bad assumption to make without any actual evidence of how it will work. People complain that the series has strayed too far from its basis, and I respect that and to a degree agree with it, but if every Sonic game followed the format set by the original games, people would complain that we’re just getting the same old stuff. All I’m saying is that I think the developers of the Sonic franchise should have the right to experiment with the series to see what works and what doesn’t, but the overall quality of the games should be a priority.

  6. well, to be honest, I love the new direction of the sonic games. starting from sonic and the secret rings, I believe they are breathing new life into the series, and making it significantly less dull. now, all they have to do is give them selves more time to iron out some bugs here and there, fix some glitches, then I’ll have no complaints what so ever. no body likes glitchy video games.

  7. OK, Brad Flick, I already thought that my intension for adding that list was unclear. Let me explain it then.

    I devide the history od Sonic games into three generations:
    1991-1997: The classics
    1998-2004: The step into 3D
    2005-Present: Extra fast! Extra cheerful! Extra Fun!

    Now, have a look at this list:

    1991 – 1997

    01. Sonic the Hedgehog 16-Bit: 9.5 – 8.5 . 7.5 (9 – Fair)
    02. Sonic the Hedgehog 8-Bit: 8.5 – 7 – 6 (-)
    03. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 8-Bit: 8.7 – 7 – 6 (-)
    04. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 16-Bit: 8.3 – 7 – 6 (8.2 – Fair)
    05. SegaSonic the Hedgehog: 8.7 – 7 – 6 (-)
    06. Sonic the Hedgehog CD: 9.3 – 8 – 7 (-)
    07. Sonic & Tails: 7.3 – 6 – 5 (-)
    08. Sonic the Hedgehog Spinball 16-Bit: 8 – 7 – 6 (-)
    09. Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine: – (-)
    10. SegaSonic Cosmo Fighters: – (-)
    11. Sonic Drift: – (-)
    12. Sonic the Hedgehog Spinball 8-Bit: – (-)
    13. Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles: 9 – 8 – 7 (-)
    14. Sonic & Tails 2: 8.3 – 7 – 6 (-)
    15. Sonic Drift 2: – (-)
    16. Knuckle’s Chaotix: 8.3 – 7 – 6 (-)
    17. Tails’ SkyPatrol: – (-)
    18. Tails Adventures: – (-)
    19. Sonic Labyrinth: – (-)
    20. Sonic The Fighters: – (-)
    21. Sonic 3D Flickies’ Island: 8.3 – 7 – 6 (-)
    22. Sonic Blast: 4 – 2 – 1 (-)
    23. Sonic R: 7.7 – 6.5 – 5.5 (6.9 – Fair)

    Average: 8.1 – 6.8 – 5.8 (8 – Fair)


    1998 – 2004

    01. Sonic Adventure: 8.3 – 7 – 6 (8.7 – Fair)
    02. Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure: – (-)
    03. Sonic Shuffle: – (5.6)
    04. Sonic Adventure 2: 8.7 – 7 – 6 (8.4 – Fair)
    05. Sonic Advance: 7.3 – 6 – 5 (8.3 – Fair)
    06. Sonic Advance 2: 8.3 – 7 – 6 (8.6 – Fair)
    07. Sonic Pinball Party: – (7.9)
    08. Sonic Battle: 7.7 – 7 – 6 (6.9 – Underrated)
    09. Sonic Heroes: 8.5 – 7 – 6 (7.5 – Fair)
    10. Sonic Advance 3: 7.7 – 6 – 5 (8 – Fair)

    Average: 8.1 – 6.7 – 5.7 (7.8 – Fair)


    2005 – ???

    01. Sonic Rush: 9.5 – 8.5 – 7.5 (8.3 – Underrated)
    02. Shadow the Hedgehog: 8.7 – 7 – 6 (5.3 – CRIMINALLY UNDERRATED)
    03. Sonic Riders: 7 – 6 – 5 (6.3 – Fair)
    04. Sonic Rivals: – (6.6)
    05. Sonic the Hedgehog 15th Anniversary: 6 – 5 – 4 (4.7 – Underrated)
    06. Sonic and the Secret Rings: 9.3 – 7.5 – 6.5 (7 – Underrated)
    07. Sonic Rush Adventure: 9.5 – 8.5 – 7.5 (8 – Underrated)
    08. Sonic Rivals 2: – (6.3)
    09. Sonic Riders 2 Zero Gravity: 7 – 6 – 5 (5.9 – Underrated)
    10. Sonic Chronicles The Dark Brotherhood: 7 – 6 – 5 (7.4 – Fair)
    11. Sonic Unleashed Lite: – (6.7)
    12. Sonic Unleashed Full: 9.3 – 7.5 – 6.5 (6.2 – CRIMINALLY UNDERRATED)

    Average so far: 8.1 – 6.9 – 5.9 (6.6 – Underrated)

    You can see, I have given 3 different ratings to the games that I have played. The first one is my personal rating. The second one is the lowest score that I would still consider as fair. The third one is the lowest score that I would consider as unfair, but I could still understand if someone could come to the conclusion of giving the game such a score. I consider any score lower than the third one as absolutely n00bish, and if any “professional” reviewer has rated the game that low, he deserves to get fired! You can also see that most games have a score in parentheses. That is their average score of the best rated version with at least 5 ratings on gamerankings.com. This list is to compare the quality of sonic games in the different generations and to the shit that people and especially the critics say about Sonic.

    This list proves that the quality of Sonic games has remained consistent throughout his whole history! There had always beedn awesome Sonic games, and there had aslo always been not-so-good Sonic games, and the relation of these types of games hasn’t changed much throughout all these years! Now, you could say, these ratings are YOURS! Why in hell should anyone agree with you? Well, weather someone agrees with me or not is his own thing, but I think that my ratings are very fair, and if any Sonic fan – who actually really knows the series and does not blindly repeat what those n00by critics say – would create his own list and compare his ratings with each other, I believe that he would come to a similar conclusion to mine.

    The thing is not that Sonic games have lost quality, but that they have gone to a new direction, which is essential for staying fresh! But this change means also that someone who loved Sonic in the 90s, does not necessarily like the Sonic games of today. In that case, he should just consider the series that he had loved as gone, and just leave the series alone, instead of insulting it in every ocasion and every possible way!

    As for me, I have always loved Sonic and it’s my favourite game series of all time! But I particularly love the direction that Sonic Rush, Sonic and the Secret Rings, and Sonic Unleashed have taken the series and I am glad that Sonic hase left the Sonic Adventure area behind! Not that I didn’t like the adventure games, but I always felt that there are several things that I don’t like about them. That is a different discussion entirely. Anyway, I would personally rank the three different generations of Sonic games like this:

    1. 2005-Present
    2. 1991-1997
    3. 1998-2004

    1. Stardust: Brad understood your intention… it’s just not really useful posting a huge (HUGE!) list as a comment on a website. You only really need to write your thoughts on the topic in the article, not the whole Sonic series in general. We have a forum, the SSMB, where you can discuss your feelings on the Sonic series as a whole. Please direct this kind of discussion there – the comments pages are to be for the article itself. 🙂

  8. Hi Dreadnux! I am sorry, you are right! Well, I haven’t really talked completely off-topic, since there was the question: “How do you feel about Sonic’s new direction?” And my post was related to that. 😛 But I understand what you say. You know, I don’t go to forums very often, because I am a very buisy man! 😛 And to be honest, I think forums just totally skrew you up, because they are so time consuming. But considering that I have made the effort of creating this list and would like to hear what others think about it, I my as well post this in the forums. 😛 Though I know I will regret it later, but what the hell! :-j

  9. Stardusts opinions about the past games are his opinions (despite being out of order , yeah I went there)
    They do not reflect the opinions of SonicStadium staff (nor many other people)

  10. Staying on topic thou, I think we all know what Naka-san really thinks of the recent Sonic games… 😛

  11. What Dreadknux said. We have a forum for that kind of stuff.

    It “wasn’t necessary,” because that’s not what this story is about. Plus, tl;dr.

  12. To Jix Hedgehog: People should know their opinions themselves. You really didn’t need to write that comment.

  13. To Jix: Uhh… The most important person in Sonic’s history is defending the newer games, and you don’t believe him? That’s the reason why the community’s been going downhill as of late; because no one has any faith in the character they CLAIM they support, and when someone actually speaks in his defence, even if its someone who’s considered the father of Sonic, they think it’s a load of bs.

  14. Yuji naka sucks. He hates sonic yet takes credit for making him. HE DID NOT MAKE SONIC! HE JUST PROGRAMED THE GAME! HE NEVER MADE THE GAME!

    1. @ Edge: You are a complete idiot, sorry. Yuji Naka programmed the game, which means he made it. He also came up with the entire concept of a rolling ball engine. Without that specification, Sonic would not have been designed by Oshima and Yasuhara would not have designed the levels to take advantage of that idea. That’s not to say that Yuji Naka was the most important part to Sonic’s creation, but to say he never had anything to do with it is stupidity in its purest form.

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