ONM’s Sonic 4 Interview With Takashi Iizuka

ONM’s Sonic 4 Interview With Takashi Iizuka

Official Nintendo Magazine UK have posted up their Sonic 4 interview which contains questions fans sent into ONM staff to be put forward to SEGA’s Takashi Iizuka.

Here’s the list of questions and answers below –

Why has Sonic 4 taken so long to come about? – BADGERGAMER

Takashi Iizuka: Ever since Sonic Adventure was released in 1998, Sonic has evolved into a game which is faster and features new actions for Sonic. On the other hand, the sense of speed from side scrolling means that the popularity of ‘classic’ series still remains high. Even now a lot of fans enjoy playing those classic games via the Wii’s Virtual Console. The aim for Sonic 4 is to provide a ‘new classic series’ using modern techniques that have only been around for the past few years for fans from all around the world who love the ‘classical’ series.

How long has Sonic The Hedgehog 4 been in development and how has the approach for designing a downloadable game differed from the way you design other Sonic games? – MK Skillz

TI: About a year including concept development. As this is a downloadable title, the data size and price is very different from a packaged title. We just focused on old school classic game content to minimise data size and price.

Why did you decide to make it episodic? – Aki-toriko

TI: The object of this project was to make a game with a lower price which can be played and downloaded easily from the beginning. We are exploring making each episode volume small and having an increased number of possible episodes.

Why did you decide to use the WiiWare service rather than releasing the game on one disc? – Deku Scrub

TI: As stated previously, this was always planned as downloadable exclusive title. We thought the users who purchased classic games like ‘Sonic 1’ and ‘Sonic 2’ through the Wii Virtual Console would be the most interested in the downloadable titles.

Were you inspired by the success of New Super Mario Bros on both Wii and DS? In terms of giving the retro fans what they wanted? – FlibyFlow

TI: At first we weren’t aware of it. At the beginning of the development we wanted to create a downloadable exclusive title but knowing that the Wii version of New Super Mario Bros. has become a major hit in Japan and also around the world, it encouraged us as even now 2D platform action is loved by a lot of people.

All The classic games since Sonic 2 have featured Miles “Tails” Prower. Will Tails be featured in any one of these episodic adventures? – SuperKnightAI

TI: Tails won’t appear in Episode I. I’ll leave it to your imagination whether he’ll appear for further episodes!

What made you decide to include the Homing Attack, and does it have any impact on the classic- gameplay? – MK Skillz

TI: As you know, Homing Attack was an action featured from ‘Sonic Adventure’ and it didn’t appear in the classic series. In Sonic 4 the Homing Attack is added, and this provides sense of speed that none of the classic series have.

Can we expect only levels or enemies inspired by the original games or will there be anything completely new? – bleedOrange

TI: Sonic 4 stages have motifs that remind us of previous series, but they have been designed to be completely new for this game. We prepared many gimmicks and devices that are classic and also some you have never seen before!

Now Sonic has returned to his old roots, will he remain this way from now on or will we still see him return in his 3D adventures such as Sonic Adventure and Sonic Unleashed? – Dooby

TI: I think Sonic 4 is positioned as a game which provides simple classic gameplay, so it is not considered the same as something which evolved as a 3D action series. I cannot answer how 3D action series will expand from now on unfortunately.

Will Super Sonic be available to players who collect all 7 Chaos Emeralds? – Sonic Boom

TI: It is one of the biggest characteristics of the classic series but whether it is in this game or not, I’ll leave to your imagination.

In your opinion does this game have most in common with the Sonic the Hedgehog trilogy, the Sonic Advance games, or the Sonic Rush games? – spambot404

TI: Of course Sonic the Hedgehog trilogy is the one this has most in common with. With the DS Sonic series, you have various actions like grind or boost. What I am creating with this title is a simple platform action game that you can enjoy with one button.

Any chance we could see a return of the Vs Mode from Sonic 2 and Sonic 3, where you have to race a mate to the end of the zone? – Random_guy_14

TI: We don’t provide Vs Mode in Episode I. Unfortunately, I cannot answer about further episodes at this point.

Will the Wii version offer something different to the PS3 version? – The Batman

TI: Basically we prepared identical game content so users could enjoy playing with their preferred hardware platform. However, some hardware specific capabilities are implemented. For Wii, you can enjoy a special stage by using the Wii Remote’s tilt control.

What is your favourite thing about the game so far? – Flash7

TI: What I like most is being able to provide new [games like the] classic series after 16 years. Developing a classic Sonic world that used to be pixel art and making it high-res by using CG rendering means a lot for me as I was one of the developers of the original classic title.

Source: ONM

Thanks to Velotix Lexovetikan at the SSMB for the heads up!


  1. I’m slightly nervous because this is the guy or fluffed up Shadow and the Nights sequel. However if Sega stick to the formula that worked back then then everything should be fine.

  2. leave to our imagination = confirmed
    seriously this is so obvious.
    I am excited right now, but I’ll base my opinion on real footage.

  3. hmmm, no Tails. I was almost sure he would be the second character.

    So here is my new prediction. If the player has “Sonic & Knuckles” downloaded on their virtual console, Knuckles will be unlocked as a playable character in “Sonic 4”.

  4. If I had it my way, I would make Sonic the only playable character for every episode. Tails & Knuckles are cool, no doubt… but I always liked Sonic going on adventures by himself more. Heck, for Sonic 2, Sonic 3, and S&K, I played as Sonic alone 90% of the time. 🙂

  5. @ BlastedPinata
    Definitely a nice plush….. Must find where they sell them!

    The interview was good, it gave me a few answers, but I got a bit frusterated when he kept saying, “leave it to our imagination”. You know, a simple yes or no would be simple enough, since when he says, “leave it to our imagination,” we are honestly gonna think that it means yes, and if it doesn’t happen in the game, most of us will be sincerly bummed out.

  6. Leave it to my imagination? Imaginaing what this game was going to be like since it was announced already made my head asplode XD

  7. Whoa…

    This man made Sonic Adventure the work of genius that it is – hats off, guys (T-Bird, that includes you)…

    My hopes for Sonic 4 just sky-rocketed…

  8. I don’t understand the complaints against homing attack in Sonic 4. No one ever complained about the gold shield in Sonic 3D Blast, but now it’s an issue in Sonic 4. Can someone please explain?

  9. I am kinda dissapointed to the fact that he states “the homing attack is there to give a sense of speed”, wich makes me think we are going to see something like “Megamix” (where you could spam the homing attack to go faster).

    Having said that, I am still excited about this game, and I am quite happy with what I have seen so far, but I don’t think this game is actually as “classic” like they claim it to be…

  10. And finally Takashi, what is that outside the window?

    *Grabs a table lamp and smacks his head, running off with the giant Sonic on the couch*

    Why isn’t the game out when someone has it already?
    How long will we have to wait in between episodes?

  11. “I cannot answer how 3D action series will expand from now on unfortunately.”


  12. @ McFurry

    Well there’s no need the start a flame war but the 3D games have been awful to pretty enjoyable while the 2D games have been good to fantastic.

    We’ll see what catagory Sonic 4 falls into soon.

  13. In my opinion, if they would have taken out the teams, and put in actual badniks instead of those easy-as-hell-to-kill “Eggman robots”, Sonic Heroes would have been the best 3D sonic game. It had the cool zones with 2 acts with each (basically), it was faster than Adventure, and it had special stages. I think they should make a 3D game like that, without TRYING to screw it up with werehogs and team efforts.

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