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Kikizo Interview with Tetsu Katano


YoshiUnity

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http://games.kikizo.com/news/200905/sonic-...nic-veteran.asp

From the interview Mr.Katano, and lot of popular topics were brought up. Like the claim about Sonic Team being sick of making Sonic games and that it's run like a sweat shop.

He sounds pretty positive about their future, claiming that they are accepting new and fresh talent yearly.(Fresh happy faces! :) ) And that the interviewer would love to have Hirokazu Yasuhara come back as level designer. Also, he loves making Sonic games and prefers working on the Storybook series.

So opinions? Claims? Yays? Nays? Snarky one-line comments that are older than the Flintstones?

I'm always look forward to see what fresh talent can do in any company. From my take on how things are now with the titles, I can't wait to see what's around the corner... next year. :P So Yeah, I agree. While Sonic Team was grown weary with the "Sonic game every year routine.", with this 2-year schedule, I've been enjoying the titles more with each release. More time couldn't hurt, but I'm not whining about it.

Edited by YoshiUnity
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The credibility of the source seemed undeniable, given that he mentioned the "transforming Evil 'Night' Sonic who looks like a werewolf" long before this feature of last year's Sonic Unleashed game was even revealed.

Hold on, actually, I could deny that quite a bit. For all we knew that guy could have been the guy who cleans the toilets of SEGA HQ and he got a brief glimpse at some documents, so I have no idea how "proof" as trivial as this means he was some important higher-upper with "credibility"

That aside though; he came across very well, and I think this does a good job of clearing up some of the speculation on the matter. Even he admits that it's natural to get tired of things and lose your motivation, but if there really is that much new talent popping up; I can't imagine it lasting too long or being too common. It's also very interesting to find he prefers working on the storybook series, and I can see where he's coming from in just wanting to be creative with Sonic. (Honestly, even if these concepts are a bit ill-fitting at first, they still give me so much more enjoyment compared to the generic stuff you may find in other games.)

Speaking of "older than the Flintstones", by the way: I can't be the only one who's getting a little bit tired of all these "Mega Drive Sonic in HD" stuff that's always tacked on to these articles. I wouldn't give a hoot if that's what the article was about, but that last line kind of half-contradicts a point they were making earlier in the article just for the sake of it. They spend time mentioning how the "different" Sonic games for the Wii have "trounced" the next-gen games...so how do we make 'em better? Make a complete HD rip-off of the first game, that's how! That'll really solve all of SEGA's problems! ^_^

Edited by Tombi
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"I would love to try something different other than making Sonic games myself, it's just a matter of identifying the right person with the motivation and desire to make Sonic games. If that happens, maybe I could sort of retire from Sonic games and do something different."

This somehow doesn't seem like a good way to end an interview about how he's still excited about Sonic.

I'm happy with the post '06 Sonic though. It can only get better.

I dunno what to think about his preference for the Storybook Series. I like those games, but Sega really should know that people don't see them as the main titles. There is a reason it got that name, Storybook Series. So, I call bullshit on the console neutral comment. But then he does work on those games, so whatever. It does give you a lot of freedom with the game.

Edited by Badnikz
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This guy was a great programmer. Apparently, he was the lead & player character programmer for SA2. But it looks like he has retired from coding.... oh well.

Apparently he was also the lead & player character programmer for sonic heroes as well..... ehh... Don't know what happened to his coding skillz in that game.

I guess he's better off taking a more manageral & direction position.

And I really don't know why they say Hirokazu should come back. He lives in the US. I doubt he'd want to move to japan, let alone move there just to work on sonic. In fact, he was eager on planning on moving to the US even before the making of Sonic 1.

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Speaking of "older than the Flintstones", by the way: I can't be the only one who's getting a little bit tired of all these "Mega Drive Sonic in HD" stuff that's always tacked on to these articles. I wouldn't give a hoot if that's what the article was about, but that last line kind of half-contradicts a point they were making earlier in the article just for the sake of it. They spend time mentioning how the "different" Sonic games for the Wii have "trounced" the next-gen games...so how do we make 'em better? Make a complete HD rip-off of the first game, that's how! That'll really solve all of SEGA's problems! ^_^

And not just the first one! Oh no. Do the entire trilogy in HD and base future installments on it! Sure it'll the same thing you've been blowing past for nearly 2 decades with little to no innovation, but ya can't beat perfection, can ya? After all, it worked for Mega Man![/sarcasm]

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Because NES graphics automatically made Megaman good? :/ Doubt it. Nostalgia is the only thing making MegaMan 9 good. How do I know? Because I didn't grow up playing MegaMan on the NES, and MegaMan 9 just seems "meh" to me.

Also, I still get the feeling Sonic's not going to star in something great for a LONG time, if ever again. I really don't have any faith in Sonic Team.

They made Unleashed, which was good and I loved it, but when Sonic is meant to rival Mario, Unleashed is simply poor in comparison. Know what I mean?

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Nostalgia is the only thing making MegaMan 9 good. How do I know? Because I didn't grow up playing MegaMan on the NES, and MegaMan 9 just seems "meh" to me.
Maybe Megaman just isn't your kind of game? I'm no Megaman fanboy, but I've played a fair number of Megaman games and I think 9 is a great game, a very solid addition to the original series.

Tho', it is very much an NES game, and because of that I don't think it's enough to save a series. It's great if they want to stick with $10 downloadable games, but if they were to make a full price classic Megaman game...well, this just wouldn't work. And it's more than just the graphics (which personally I love; pixels are beautiful, people!), they'd have to rework the formula itself a fair bit to make something that's really worth ~$50.

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I liked the idea too, but people just lapped it up and pretended like it was Megaman's "golden age" again, but it's really just more of the same, with worse graphics.

Betcha if they made MegaMan 9 exactly the same game but with 16-bit or even HD graphics, it wouldn't have gotten nearly as much praise as it has now.

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Well, classic Megaman is pretty reliant on being able to be pixel-perfect or close to it; a necessary tradeoff of having "better" graphics is losing touch with the individual pixels. Megamans 7 and 8 just don't have the sort of accuracy of the first 6. Plus, it's arguable if 16 bit or HD graphics would really be better anyway; the 8 bit sprites fit the game and are a valid style, so I could see the game as is being rated a few fractions of a point better than a HD version just on graphics.

Also whiny fans don't get the final say on anything, anyway.

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Though I'm a fan of the NES Mega Man games, MM9 doesn't interest me terribly. Yes, I want things like HD graphics, HD music, the charge, the slide, and difficulty options. Honestly, I loved MM8's graphics and music, and I want to see Capcom's team take them a step further with a MM10. They even brought back Shusaku Uchiyama to remix Tornado Man's theme.

Sonic Unleashed was a genuinely entertaining Sonic game, so just as long as Sonic Team keeps moving forward with the game's general direction, I'd be happy.

Edited by Jake
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See what you mean.

Although, building the game in 8-Bit and updating the visuals into HD wouldn't be much of a problem (other than taking a while ;P) I mean they update games into HD all the time nowadays.

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They made Unleashed, which was good and I loved it, but when Sonic is meant to rival Mario, Unleashed is simply poor in comparison. Know what I mean?

Why do people still hold onto this rivalry? They were never alike in the first place and it doesn't exist anymore. Sonic is it's own game now, and started being even less like Mario once Sonic Adventure came out.

And, in my opinion, I think that Sonic Unleashed is pretty close to Mario Galaxy in terms of polish and art style.

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If you ask me, saying Sonic Unleashed is nearly as good a game as Mario Galaxy is delusion =_=

Who cares if they're not similar in style? Sonic used to be one of the most respected faces in gaming. Mario still is, Sonic isn't. That's the importance of the comparison.

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I love it, and it's a good game, especially as a speedy platformer, but lots of people would disagree with you on the beat 'em up. It's generic and boring.

Mario Galaxy was a very special experience from beginning to end. Until Sonic gets that again, he's far from Mario's level.

Edited by SuperLink
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Yeah, the Werehog parts were pretty generic, but they were still fun. No where near Super Mario Galaxy level though, of course.

And I really couldn't care less if Sonic is as popular or as loved as Mario or whatever, I love both franchises and I couldn't care less what others perceive as good or not. What bothers me, though, is Unleashed getting fucking horrible reviews when it's actually a pretty well made game with great replay value.

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I guess the Werehog really killed it for some people. That and the arguably trial and error style of the daytime stages.

As a big fan of both series', I can say Sonic still has a long way to go to be a "gaming icon" again. Unleashed is a speedy step in the right direction, but it needs less bottomless pits and more proper platforming. Recent Sonic games seem to suffer from the idea that it's ABOUT speed, and not a harmonious mix of speed and platforming.

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Sonic is still definitely a gaming icon, everyone knows who he is and if you mention his name people will definitely know who you're talking about. It's just that the recent games, bar Unleashed, Rush, etc, are shitty and no one likes them.

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I know what you mean, but I'm gonna feel like a part of me is missing until Sonic is part of something incredible again.

Sonic fans just look on at Mario fans, who used to be their equals, and crave superior gameplay.

In any case, if Sonic's not getting any better than he is now I don't know why I'm sticking around. I like Sonic games and I support Sonic, but part of that is because I believe he'll one day be on par with Mario and Zelda again.

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Mario & Zelda are highly overrated these days. Believe me, I fucking LOVED Mario Galaxy, but every other Mario game I played this and last gen has been either okay or bad, 'sides Paper Mario 2 which was fantastic. Zelda has been rehash after rehash ever since OoT, besides MM and WW, the former being absolutely wonderful, and the latter being great for it's time.

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