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Yuji Naka and Takashi Iizuka interview by Sega Score (December 12, 2003)

From Sonic Retro

This is an interview conducted by Sega Score with Yuji Naka and Takashi Iizuka. It covers Sonic Heroes.

The Interview

Sega Score: Do the Sonic Heroes teams affect each other's storyline?

Takashi Iizuka: The story of one team does not affect the story of the other teams. This was done so that players of all skill levels could play through the game with the team of their choice and feel like they had a complete adventure. If you are totally new to a Sonic game, you may want to start off with Team Rose, but if you are looking for far more challenge, then Team Dark may be your choice.


Sega Score: Sonic Heroes is Sega's first non-sports multi-platform title. What challenges were there in developing the game across three different consoles?

Yuji Naka: The signature gameplay of the Sonic series is the light speed action blasting through vast stages. Creating a Sonic game with this concept on any platform is a very difficult task.

It was even more challenging since we had to develop for all three platforms simultaneously and we had very little experience with PlayStation 2 and Xbox.


Sega Score: Sonic Heroes is an action game, which marks a return to Sonic's roots. What challenges did you face when bringing Sonic from 2D to 3D?

Yuji Naka: I can't pinpoint any one specific challenge that we encountered since there were so many major hurdles we had to overcome. But I can certainly say it wasn't easy. One example was how to make Sonic lock on to an enemy during his homing attack without losing Sonic's speed and the player's resultant exhilaration.


Sega Score: Is there an advantage to having a portion of the development team based in the US?

Yuji Naka: Well, since Sonic has fans worldwide, it is very important for us to know the culture and the fans not only in Japan, but in other countries as well. Plus, I think Sonic enjoys the laidback lifestyle of California.


Sega Score: How do you incorporate fan requests/feedback into future titles?

Yuji Naka: Please send e-mails to [email protected] We constantly receive tons of emails from Sonic Team fans and we all read every single one of them. But I wish all the letters were in Japanese so I could actually understand them!


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