Weather you loved or hated Sonic Unleashed you have to agree that the game isn’t as good as Mario’s recent outings. Mario Galaxy received almost unanimous praise from the press while Unleashed was met with disappointment and apathy. The game has even managed to split the fan base. Once upon a time Sonic was right up there dueling it out with the plumber but has definitely been on a downward spiral since the dawn of 3D.
Sega have been listening though and while talking to Industry Games, Sega America’s VP of marketing Sean Ratcliffe acknowledged that recent Sonic games haven’t been as good as fans have hoped for.
“The quality is something that will be fixed over time. It’s not something where you wake up one morning and say, ‘You know what, we’re going to improve our quality on this franchise,’ and it magically happens. A lot of hard work goes into striving for quality. Interestingly, I think Sonic Unleashed was very well received by the kids. There was some talk about the werehog aspect, the slower pacing and more combat-oriented gameplay, but when we go out and test this stuff and sit down with the consumers, kids actually like that. I think older, die-hard Sega fans who grew up with the franchise and the first Sonic the Hedgehog associate Sonic more with 2-D side-scrolling super fast, and they liked the daytime gameplay, but when it came to the slower paced gameplay they were fairly critical of that, and that’s fine – they have their opinions,”
Whatever your opinion on Sonic’s recent games the huge gimmicks present in them have been justified by padding out the length of the games. The problem lies in Sonic’s speed. He can run so fast that if it was just classic sonic action the game would be over fairly quickly. However with the PSN and Xbox Live Arcade proving a popular place for companies to re-release relics to a new audience surely a short action orientated new Sonic game could be made?
Sean Ratcliffe says such methods of releasing new Sonic games or any other Sega IP are already being explored.
“…We can look at XBLA and so on, and it means we can give those core fans experiences in different ways now. So that’s a big part of our strategy, in terms of taking classic IP and making it available digitally, rather than spend a huge amount of money trying to re-imagine that IP on 360 and PS3; there’s a lot more financial risk attached to that.”
Would you buy a brand new download only Sonic game lasing only three hours or would you rather gimmicks be added and play a longer lasting game? Let us know in the comments below.
Post originally written by the author for TSSZ News.