Nintendo Switch

SEGA Discusses All Things Sonic Mania

Sonic Mania released this week on consoles and received some extremely promising review scores. Japanese publication Gamer caught up with series producer Takashi Iizuka to talk all about the latest 2D Sonic game and their plans for the long-running franchise. Here’s all the details you need to know:

  • For Sonic’s 25th anniversary last year, Iizuka received a task to deliver some sort of product
    The target was “dormant fans” who used to play the SEGA Genesis, but haven’t really played any games since
  • Iizuka met Christian Whitehead, which lead to the creation of Sonic Mania
  • There was talk of another port, but Iizuka thought fans would desire something new from the old games
  • This is the first time Iizuka partnered with a team of devs spread across various countries
  • Iizuka said this team had a greater passion to create
  • This was in comparison to companies that set decisions on a pre-determined schedule (in meetings, etc)
  • The team had so many features they still wanted to add after the beta version was complete
  • Since there were only a few spots with text that needed to be localized, they could bring the game to more places quicker
  • The game has Japanese, English, French, Italian, German, and Spanish support
  • The Studiopolis stage is included due to receiving the most requests from the Sonic Mania development team
  • Iizuka actually considered reducing the amount of stages at one point in order to meet the development schedule
  • Sonic Mania doesn’t really have much in the way of cut content like scrapped stages
  • Since Sonic Mania was only distributed digitally, the team was able to continue working very close leading up to launch
  • This let them put in practically all ideas, and there are currently no plans for DLC
  • Iizuka recommended Flying Battery Zone for inclusion becaues he likes the music
  • He also likes when the player goes inside and outside the ship
  • Iizuka likes Mirage Saloon because the stage structure will be different depending on the player character chosen
  • Puyo Puyo gameplay was added because there was a Puyo Puyo game released in the west for the SEGA Genesis
  • This game was originally called “Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine”, and the team thought it would make a fun boss battle
  • Iizuka didn’t have plans to feature Blue Sphere in the special stages
  • The Blue Sphere special stages were brought over to Mania as a test, but ended up staying for the final game
  • The team felt the need to continuously connect stages from various eras, which is doe with the Phantom Ruby story
  • For Sonic Mania, it was decided that the technological limit would be set at SEGA CD,
  • This is higher than the Genesis but lower than Saturn
  • In creating a SEGA CD-grade special stage, they would intentionally make SEGA CD-grade polygons

Source / Source

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18 comments

  1. I like Sonic Mania a lot, but that Home Menu bug is starting to annoy me a bit, especially when I want to play something else, it takes forever just to get back to the Home Menu. Hopefully Christian Whitehead can fix that and the frame drops in the next update, he’s aware of the issues, so I’m sure they’ll be fixed.

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    1. What’s funny, is the team has verbally stated over and over publically, that Mania is meant to be more like it was made on the Saturn.. so the information above confuses me to no end.
      The SEGA CD could NOT boast as many colors as they’re using in Mania, and the SEGA CD was pretty terrible at polygons and even mode 7 scaling and rotation.. it was often choppy and problematic when playing.
      I’m inclined to lean more toards the notion that this is supposed to be like a SEGA SATURN era Sonic game that we never got.
      SEGA CD could not pull off ANYTHING the way MANIA does.. so that part confuses me.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. So when will the target audience be “dormant fans” who used to play the SEGA Dreamcast?

    Don’t get me wrong, Mania is a good game, but it’s not the definative of the Sonic franchise.

    And what was wrong with the Advance games?

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  3. Sega CD level polygons? I don’t remember any polygon games on Sega CD, and Sonic CD definitely didn’t have any polygons. I thought it felt more like a 32X level, if it wasn’t going to be something on the Saturn level.

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  4. “Since Sonic Mania was only distributed digitally, the team was able to continue working very close leading up to launch”

    I’m confused. I thought this was a physical release. I saw it at a store the other day in the big box that comes with the Sonic figure standing on the Genesis/Mega Drive (the Collector’s Edition). Please tell me this isn’t only a digital game. Because I would have been PISSED OFF if I paid that $70.00 and it didn’t even have a physical game with it. There’s no way I’d buy the Collector’s Edition if it doesn’t even come with the physical game.

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    1. No physical game bud. But for 70$ you get quite a lot. I would be more pleased if they cranked it up to 80$ and did give us a cover or something; had it been an expensive game to make…

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  5. My problems with Sonic Mania at launch:
    Buttons that don’t respond even in game play.
    Lag.
    Platforms that kills you for no obvious reasons.
    Knuckles stuck mid air.
    Knuckles stuck inside a ramp.

    This game is rushed, and it’s a “Sega CD”(probably Saturn) game in 2017 – which got delayed. I can’t wrap my mind around that this get such praise. The gameplay and nostalgia are there, yeah, but it needs more polish/refining. Braging about the game in its state is somewhat irritating. Probably why the Switch haven’t received physical cartridge – too much bugs.

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  6. Man, I bought this game… I loved sonic, wouldn’t have considered myself a sonic fan, but sonic has been in my life for a long time… then I played the game… and now I’m definetly a fan… goddamn the game is just so good! The gameplay, controls, music, stages, references, bonus stages, simple story, and the speed…. it’s amazing!

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