Iizuka: Mario & Sonic Helped Define Sonic Colours

Iizuka: Mario & Sonic Helped Define Sonic Colours

‘The Takashi Iizuka Chronicles’ continue with another statement from the Sonic Team boss, who recently spoke to gaming website SPOnG in an interview that will be posted in full at a later date, but for now SPOnG has shared a portion to whet your appetite.

Some Sonic fans have felt that since the Sonic Adventure titles, the series has relied too heavily on story and character development, which is very different to the earlier games simple plots. Iizuka feels the same way and thinks Sonic should be headed in more of a fun and ‘pick up and play’ direction for Sonic Colours, similar to the Mario & Sonic Olympics games.

“What I felt was that the franchise had become too serious and the story had become very deep, whereas I see Sonic as more of a laid-back, enjoyable and fun experience. I kind of rediscovered that through Mario & Sonic in a way, because that game was very much a ‘pick up and play’ affair that everyone can jump in and enjoy.

I think that’s a better direction for the Sonic brand, and that’s why Sonic Colours has a much more fun, enjoyable kind of setting.”

We’ll look out for the full interview and report back. Do you agree with Iizuka’s statement regarding Sonic Colours direction? Speak out in the comments.

Source: SPOnG

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  1. Yes and no.

    My hang up with the serious nature of the Adventure series and The-game-that-shall-not-be-named is that in a lot of respects (Sonic Adventure 1/DX, Sonic Adventure 2/2:Battle and to some degree, Sonic Unleashed) the serious nature of the stories can work… But ONLY if executed correctly. Potentially a serious storyline conveyed terribly, and in some cases even paired with bad gameplay can potentially kill a game. The serious nature of games is fine, but it’s in finding the right balance between that and playability. Something which has been a bit questionable in nature as of late.

    The pick up and play thing works for obvious reasons, especially with the gaming market being as casual as it is today, and especially when aimed towards the demographic that I believe Iizuka is aiming for. Again, all of this is just the experimentation that the Sonic franchise has been subject to as it tries to find that right balance. Sonic Colours may well prove to be what the Sonic franchise needs, but it’s the same as his comments a few weeks back about the 2D and 3D camp. He’s being far too black-and-white (excuse the pun) about the subject at hand. There is always middle ground which I believe he has yet to find.

  2. eh…. I only think that the Adventure games should carry a ‘deep’ story. A story like in Heroes was okay, not too deep, but 06 was waaay too deep for a Sonic game XD

  3. I think sonic games need stories that are epic, mabey it’s just because i like epic stories but sonic has the potential to have a highly epic storyline, though they would have to do it right.

  4. Since when did Sonic games have deep storylines? Bioshock is deep, Mass Effect is deep but Sonic is not deep. After Sonic Adventure 2 the writers just decided to see what the hell they could get away with and started writing some crazy shit.

    Stick with the simple, easy to pick up story with no uneccessay complications please Mr Iizuka.

  5. Yay! No more pretentious storylines! I thought Sonic Adventure was ok, but the sequel and many other titles after it took things to far. Hopefully, Eggman will be the main boss again, too, and not get shafted by some giant monster for whatever reason.

  6. Sonic 06 was too deep. I liked the stories in the Storybook games. They didn’t take themselves too seriously yet weren’t too simple.

    Colours sounds about right. The cutscenes in Unleashed with Orbot are the kind of scenes I want to see. No need for giant monsters threatening to destroy the world. Let Eggman be the ultimate threat which I don’t think he has ever been in any 3D Sonic.

    Think back to Sonic and Knuckles when Knuckles helps Sonic reach Eggman before collapsing with fatigue. That was quite a serious moment so there’s room for bits like that too.

  7. I think deep story lines can work in Sonic games if if executed correctly, like Syaming Li said. However, sometimes simple can mean kiddy, and that is NOT the direction I want to see Sonic go in 😐

  8. I would rather play a Sonic game that feels a lot less patronising, and more comfortable in its own element than one that focuses on nothing but letting us know about some side character’s “shadowy past” or whatever. Shadow the Hedgehog did it wrong. Sonic 2006 did it incredibly wrong. Sonic Unleashed did it wrong (despite giving us back a bit of colour). Sonic Colours looks like it’s doing it right.

    On this one, I agree with the guy.

  9. I dont know if I should agree with the recent statments or not. But out of all of this, Im still looking forward to Sonic 4 more than Colors

  10. The way I see it, a good “serious” storyline in a Sonic game should be like the stories of Sonic 3&K or CD. The story was simple, but you knew some serious stuff was going down. In 3&K, Robotnik was on his way to total global domination, Knuckles had been deceived into believing Sonic was after the emeralds and tried on several occasions to either kill him or block his path, and Sonic was pissed and really meant business. It had a great sense of urgency and action. There wasn’t any useless whining or angst, it was just Sonic knowing that something had to be done and taking care of it by all means necessary.

  11. @Thomas Daly says:
    THIS GUY ANNOYS ME STFU he needs to lose his jobs all he says is crap”

    No, hes the head boss of Sonic Team. If you don’t like what hes saying then dont read his stuff.
    I think Iizuka has a good point.

  12. You know what I think Sonic Team should experiment with? Cutscenes with no dialogue, like Night of the Werehog. The stories can be told through gestures and small sounds, like in the old genesis games, and still get the message across. And then nobody can whine about voice acting.

  13. The day Sonic Team announces “Iizuka is no longer leading the Sonic the Hedgehog Franchise” is the day in which I celebrate.

  14. I do not like the long confusing stories, but I do like awesome CG cutscenes like those in Sonic Unleashed. I guess I don’t mind the stories when you are able to skip the cheeply animated cutscenes that are overpacked with dialogue.

  15. I agree with what Waaurufu said about dialogue absent cutscenes. But that might just be because I’m a fanboy for silent films. Sometimes pantomime speaks louder than words.

  16. Oh no! Don’t make the plots TOO simple! I don’t want to be a braindead idiot who sits on my lazy arse playing videogames all the time with no life! D: Sonic needs a LITTLE seriousness, enough to take Eggman/Robotnik as a threat worth fighting as a hero at least! Stories are interesting.

    If it gets really simple I’ll feel like it’s insulting my intelligence and I would have grown out of the franchise after puberty for sure! XD I’m not just a cat that gets entertained by a simple ball of yarn, unfortunately.

    However Sonic Colors does look good. Hopefully we can get that Sonic Adventure 3 going on. XD

  17. @Waaurufu

    But there wouldn’t be any fighting over voice acting if people didn’t have a preferred voice for Sonic. Sonic doesn’t seem like the type you can just shut up. He’s hyper and cocky. XD

    Besides, it’d make him feel like he’s lost intelligence if he no longer speaks. How would he have a name otherwise? XD I believe the old games only lacked voice acting because it was unable to use voice acting.

    Though maybe as a test in a game, or to have some scenes with no talking could work. But otherwise, is it that Sonic’s the only one who has to get death threats to it’s voice acting? It’s not fair? XD lol

    BESIDES, if there’s voice acting then their must be a voice ACTOR. And people need the jobs. lol Or at least occupy a VA from getting a normal job that any other ordinary person could have. LOL

  18. Please Naka,Back!!!
    Sonic 4 – Yes,the new adventure with win graphics,music etc
    Iizuka say: Mmmm, now, put dashpads
    And now THIS
    Please Iizuka,stop drink or smoke in work D:

  19. As long as the stories don’t dwelve into Unleashed-grade retardness, I’m perfectly fine with the new light-hearted direction.

    God knows I need some light-hearted adventure to cheer me up at the moment.

  20. @Lucas:
    What are you talking about? o.O
    Didn’t you read the article at all? He came up with a good point.
    I agree with him. I used to like my Sonic games to be deep and serious….until I’ve played Sonic 06 nd it turned me off of these serious plots in Sonic games forever. I like Sonic games to be light-hearted, colorful and cartoony. I think thats how Sonic should be and the stories isn’t taken so seriously./

  21. @sonfan1984:
    I agree on certain points.
    The problem is that Iizuka just mixing it for all styles and not just setting a base for each.
    Sonic 4 is beautiful in its entirety, but we have some problems that do not define the game’s proposal, which would be for the hardcore audience.
    Just one example.

    Sorry my english btw.

  22. For me yes and no also

    The first 2 games had simple storylines.

    I actually consider
    Sonic 3 and knuckles to have a deep storyline.
    And thats my favorite sonic game.

    I LOVED the deepness of the storylines in the sonic adventure titles

    But sonic games can still work without one

    I would HATE to see the deepness of sonic gone.
    But i agree the games can work without a deep storyline.

  23. I don’t want Sonic story to be so simple like Mario because I think Sonic has many great characters that can be used in a good story, not deep just good one (like SATBK, SA2, SA, SATSR, and even unleashed wasn’t that deep). With all these super-forms I expect an epic story.

  24. I agree with the fact that a Sonic game deserves to have a EPIC storyline. It should allow Sonic to really go above and beyond. At the same time, it doesn’t have to be “deep” in order to be epic. It just has to feel “grand”. I agree with a lot of other people Sonic 3 & Knuckles felt grand because it was so expansive. That’s all I really care about. Eggman should be the main villain building some even crazier machine threat that’s not always Metal Sonic and have Sonic obliterate it. haha

  25. Sonic&Tails

    I’d have to agree with you. One of the reasons I love this franchise is some of the characters. We all know how they can be used for a great story (SA1 and 2). I think if sonic team can nail the gameplay in sonic colors and take that to their next sonic a game they could focus more on an epic story (SA3 anyone?). I know a gameplay is what makes a game but I just don’t want to see sonic team stray from the story in their games. We all know what they are capable of if they do work at it.

  26. I miss Yuji Naka, he could incorporate every important element in a game and make it work (i.e Sonic Adventure)

  27. Are some people forgetting that Naka, did Shadow? I don’t have a problem, but from what i see, people had a problem with it…? Now, one game that had an epic story, that was done right, was Sonic Battle. Man, that game is underrated…

  28. Shadow wouldn’t be the second most popular character in the franchise if it wasn’t for the good story in SA2. What I’m trying to say is that story is important to make the characters more popular and so the franchise.

  29. And that’s why they should’ve kept Shadow dead cause Shadow gotten too popular and now they pretty much ruined him since they brought him back.

  30. Why do people still go on about 06? Yes, we know it was a blow to the franchise, but Sega have learned their lesson and they are obviously not going to do the same thing again.

    I like the storyline in Unleashed because it was light hearted, yet serious and not too complicated. A Sonic game should have some degree of seriousness, but at the same time, not go over the top.

  31. @Ax

    …People LOVED Sonic long before he had a voice. A voice is not neccessary for an interesting and deep character if done right. And if all the characters don’t talk, then it doesn’t seem out of place. (Unless it’s a Zelda game, but I digress.) And there would still be a need for voice actors, since it’s not like they have to be completely silent/mute. They weren’t in Night of the Werehog.
    And even if they were, the voice actors would simply get other voice acting jobs. La dee da. XD

  32. NO! Plots must be deep! Like Adventure 1 and 2, Shadow the hedgehog and Sonic ’06! Games without a proper story drive me nuts.

  33. Sonic Team is totally inept when it comes to making a deep storyline or continuous plot. It’s good that everything will be simple. Hell, I don’t care if it’s incredibly simple, just as long as they don’t do anything like SA, SA2, ShtH, and 06.

  34. The Sonic Adventure storylines wasn’t ‘deep’. The games is light hearted but at the same time they can be serious but not too serious when they need to be. IMO, Sonic Adventure 2 is the last game I’d thought they did it right, but after that every attempt Sonic Team made to make the stories more deep sucked.

    Shadow the Hedgehog story is boring and Sonic ’06 is way too overboard trying to be ‘deep’ with the complex story, character deaths, human/hedgehog relationships, etc I couldn’t follow what’s happening cause the story is too ridiculous.

  35. Thought I’d peek in on this one, as a lot of what Iizuka says is of great interest to me, as are the responses. Though as expected, a multitude of said responses have been a little… Headdesk-y.

    I agree with Dreadknux in the vein that in many senses, the storylines do seem a little too patronising, but that would again be down to demographic; the major problem with anything running for as long as Sonic and Mario have been, is there there is an extremely fine line when catering for both the older fans and the newer ones. Most companies who approach this sort of thing are usually under the impression that they are are always going to aim for their original intended target: children. They expect the older, previously younger target to grow up, move on and play with cars and helicopters. If anything recent evidence has proved, it is easier to cater for the newer demographic than it is for the older ones, and by making the dialogue more simplified they make the older fans feel a little alienated. It’s still amusing to read line after cheesy line, but I will readily admit that it does get a little jarring after a while. I know, people. It’s easy to hold Sonic Adventure 1 and 2 in EXTREMELY high regard in terms of story-telling because- let’s face it- we haven’t had much else to go by before or since. Play them, REALLY replay them, and look deep inside yourself and ask yourself how much you’re tolerating for the sake of preserving a good memory, and how much of it was a little rough-edged. BlueChaos was about right with Unleashed. I found that balance quite nice, but I’m not particularly sure if they’re going to be able to apparoach that in the same manner again.

    I wouldn’t call any of the stories paired with any Sonic game “deep”. I play RPGs. Sonic plots have and always will be-regardless of however many characters you want to throw into the fray- about as deep as a children’s paddling pool. It’s been that way since Sonic 1 if anything else, which leaves two options: redress the story issue again which involves alienating a portion of the fanbase, or devoid it of story at all and cater for the pick-up-and-play market, alienating yet another portion of the fanbase, but leaning more to how he started in the first place. (I’m pretty sure hardly anyone even READ the manual for the first 3 games. I know our household didn’t, and you didn’t need to). In the current climate, however, the latter would do better than the former, and I’m pretty sure Sonic Team are well aware of this.

    …Also never really understood the “keeping Shadow dead” lark. It states in the manual he’s immortal. The only problem with Shadow is that Shadow the Hedgehog was outright awful and seemed to venture out of it’s way to explain… Well, nothing at all, really. In addition, SonicSilverSS I’m pretty sure Shadow conception was Iizuka’s, as he was director of Sonic Adventure 2, just sayin’.

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