Tetsu Katano: “I Had To Hold On To The Sonicness”

tetsu-katanoThe producer for Sonic and the Black Knight, Tetsu Katano, has written a blog post for the official SEGA website, detailing the development process of the game. Throughout the decision to run with ‘swords and magic’, Katano expressed how he had to keep the spirit of the Sonic franchise intact:

After much struggle that gave me both pain and joy, I finally decided to throw Sonic into a world of sword and magic. I confess that I’ve always wanted to see Sonic holding a sword. I also wanted to see Knuckles or Shadow, the usual suspects, back as strong foes, not just as side characters. This is how the plot of “Sonic and the Black Knight” came into a shape.

Perhaps most challenging was to make Sonic have a sword. I had to hold on to the Sonicness. If he loses that as a result of having sword, then it would be preposterous. I sought advice from many people about this. My favourite bit would be when everyone in Sonic Team started to see the great game that this was becoming. 

In this day and age though, it’s debatable just what the ‘spirit’ of the franchise is anymore. Is it chequered hills and Flickies; is it in character development; is it in the fun dialogue we’ve seen in Sonic Unleashed? Either way, it seems Sonic Team knows what it is, given their positive reaction to the title during development.

The music that will play during Blaze’s stages was also brought up, with Katano mentioning discussion with Jun Senoue about having a special ‘blaze mix’ for the Flame Master. For those that haven’t been able to get the game yet, you’ll be able to encounter a special item that changes the music during play.

It’s a good read, and Sonic Team are nothing if not good-natured. It’s nice to see developers truly care about the projects they invest so much time and energy in, for better or worse;

I am proud of this game and I will be most happy if users will enjoy this game too… I love Sonic as a series very much. I gave everything I had to make the cool Sonic that we love. And so did my team. I’m sure you will like this game too!

That’s OK Katano-san, our review will be coming soon. And even if we don’t enjoy it, we’ll still love you. I mean, making any sort of game involving swords with a name like Katano is pretty damn awesome. I wonder if the guitarist of Crush 40’s real name is Jun Soundoue. We could uncover something big here.

Sonic & The Black Knight – The Producer Speaks! – Sonic City Blognik

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.