Yuji Naka interview by Sega Europe (January 30, 2004)

From Sonic Retro

This is an interview conducted by Sega Europe with Yuji Naka. Sonic Heroes is the subject at hand.

The Interview

Sega Europe: What is your favorite part of Sonic Heroes.

Yuji Naka: My favourite is of course, the Team Action. This is the new element in Sonic series.

Sega Europe: How long has Mr. Naka been in the games industry?

Yuji Naka: 19 years and 8 month, isn't it amazing?! But I started working when I was 18, so I'm not that old yet.

Sega Europe: What is the best thing about working in the games industry?

Yuji Naka: I feel really happy when I hear fan's voice. I am thankful that I am working as a game creator to share my games with so many people.

Sega Europe: What do you feel the team play element of Sonic Heroes brings to the experience?

Yuji Naka: You'll see if you play the game, but it is completely different from action games that the only one character is acting as player character, I think this owes a lot the high spec of current hardware. Also the characters talk and act more than you expected and that makes the story more interesting. And you can change the gameplay according to the characteristic of the team members, that is the newest and most interesting element.

Sega Europe: Who are the new characters in Sonic Heroes? What are their backgrounds?

Yuji Naka: There are Cream and Cheese, from Sonic Advance 2 and Sonic X (TV cartoon). Actually I created them originally for Sonic Heroes, but they did debut in the Sonic Advance 2 and Sonic X. Cream is a cute girl, please play with her in the game.

Also, Team CHAOTIX has three members, Espio, Vector, Charmy. Vector was created at the time of Sonic the Hedgehog 1 and he did not appear inside the game, so it is really impressive for me to see him now in 3D.

Sega Europe: For people who have yet to play the game, are there any special things that they should look out for?

Yuji Naka: Please feel the exhilaration that you can feel running through the vast field in extremely high speed in Team Action. Sonic is introduced to PlayStation 2 and Xbox for the first time, and I hope everyone enjoy the gameplay.

Sega Europe: How does this story begin?

Yuji Naka: Hm… I don't want to lose your excitement, so I won't speak too much. Anyway we have new stories for Sonic Heroes, and each team starts looking for Eggman for each sake. I would like you to enjoy all the story.

Sega Europe: What games do you like to play when you're not busy making them?

Yuji Naka: Recently I play games with cell-phone most of time. Sonic Team produce "Sonic Café" that is an cell-phone website that delivers simple table game contents. Well, yes, I'm doing the debbuging. I want some more time so that I can play console game…

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