Sonic the Hedgehog Director - "You will see the Werehog again"

Apr 11, 2008
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Video Gamer has an interview with Sonic and the Black Knight director Tetsu Katano.

VideoGamer.com: Why did you want to make Sonic and the Black Knight on the Wii? This game is aimed at quite a young audience - is that Sonic's home now?

Tetsu Katano: The reason we made it on the Wii was because it's a direct descendant of Sonic and the Secret Rings and we wanted to make the most of internal resources in the dev team. In terms of the audience, you're pretty much correct to say that children will be the core Sonic gamers. You have the animated Sonic series that is intended for younger kids, and I personally like to look at those kids as our most important audience. That said, we're trying to make games which appeal to all generations.

VG: Sonic has been around for a long time now. Do you think he as a character has changed since, and if so how?

TK: Well, fundamentally Sonic hasn't changed as a character, in my opinion. There's always the speed, and in terms of his character he's a man of silence. He doesn't talk loud and he doesn't express much. These core elements haven't changed.
Sorry, just going to step in there. In my recent play of Sonic games, I wouldn't describe the titular character as a 'man of silence'. I'd alter that description, just slightly, to "annoying little shit who should never ever speak". I digress....

VG: What is the hardest thing about designing a Sonic game in 3D?

TK:That's kind of hard to say, because there isn't just one 3D game. If you look at Sonic Adventure and Sonic and the Secret Rings, they are quite different. Secret Rings was more of a racing game, whereas Adventure was more of an action adventure game. So it's really hard to talk about 3D Sonic as a single game. With this one there's a lot of sword action, so the challenge is bringing that to Sonic.

VG: As you said earlier, Sonic is all about speed. A lot of people didn't like the Werehog in Unleashed, partly due to the fact that he was so slow. Do you think that character was a mistake, or should people be more open-minded?

TK:In principle, I think that the users are always right. They're the ones paying the money and playing the games. If they don't enjoy it, they're not going to buy it. I don't think that producing the Werehog was a mistake per se, but there were a lot of things we could have done better if we had more time and resources.

VG: What kind of things would you have done differently? Will we see the Werehog again?

TK:For the improvements, I can't think of anything right now off the top of my head. If I think of any ideas then Sonic Unleashed 2 will be the time for that, so I don't really have an answer for that. But you will see the Werehog again. I like Secret Rings very much, but when it came to making this title [Sonic and the Black Knight] we chose to do something different. All the good things about Secret Rings belong to that specific game. So in the same way, unless we're going to make Sonic Unleashed 2 you might not see him again. But if we are going to make it, you might see him again. It's a possibility.

VG: A lot of people think that the Wii has changed gaming in the West by opening it up to a wider audience. Do you agree?

TK:I definitely agree that the Wii has changed the gaming industry. As a game creator myself, I'm not really in a position to make a comfortable critique of the whole situation. But in my personal opinion Nintendo has a really good attitude to always try to do something new. That attitude was what went into making the Wii such a phenomenon throughout the world. I think very highly of them.
So, we are apparently going to see our old friend, the Werehog, again.

Then again, he does go back on that slightly a bit later when he talks about Sonic Unleashed 2, so maybe there is hope. Did Unleashed sell enough to warrant a sequel?

In case anyone from Sonic Team is reading (ha!), then a reminder:

Appalingly Bad



Awesomely Good

 
Oct 10, 2006
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Mama Robotnik said:
Then again, he does go back on that slightly a bit later when he talks about Sonic Unleashed 2, so maybe there is hope. Did Unleashed sell enough to warrant a sequel?
2 million across all consoles...

What they should do is replace Werehog with Knuckles in the second game.
 
Dec 6, 2008
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franchise needs to die. I think what amazes me the most is that old "sonics gonna have a bit of a rest" after Sonic 2k6, and its fucking wall to wall Sonic shit from Chronicles to Unleashed to Black Knights, Special Olympics and theyre even probably bringing back Sonic fucking Shuffle.

JUST STOP, PLEASE.
 
Sep 3, 2005
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#20
All I've gotta say to another Sonic game having Werehog segments...



Seriously. I wanted to love Unleashed, and then it made me play two sequential 30+ minute werehog segments. It lost me... In fact I pretty much just stopped playing it and eventually sold it.
 
Nov 1, 2006
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it's like he stuck his fingers in his eye sockets so he couldn't see what EVERYBODY said about the last Sonic game. every single review that i read described in plain english why it was the absolute worse part of the game. some even went so far as to say that without those sections the game might have been pretty damn good. and his response? "You will see the Werehog again".

fuck off dumbass.
 
#23
SecretBonusPoint said:
franchise needs to die. I think what amazes me the most is that old "sonics gonna have a bit of a rest" after Sonic 2k6, and its fucking wall to wall Sonic shit from Chronicles to Unleashed to Black Knights, Special Olympics and theyre even probably bringing back Sonic fucking Shuffle.

JUST STOP, PLEASE.
Wasn't that actually regarding his appearances on the HD platforms? Maybe not, but that was a nearly two year absence.
 
#24
Cerrius said:
Sonic is nothing without Hirokazu Yasuhara and Naoto Oshima.
Fixed.
Sonic sucked after they left and while Naka was still with Sega. Yasuhara was the man in charge of level design. Oshima was the guy in charge of character design. Naka was the guy in charge of programming.

After Yasuhara left we got shitty level design.
After Oshima left we got shitty friends.
 

John Harker

Definitely doesn't make things up as he goes along.
Feb 26, 2005
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#30
Secret Rings killed Unleashed in sales (you'd have to add every SKU, including PS2) of Unleashed to get to Secret Rings.

Though I guess it's still early for Unleashed, comparatively.

So it's funny that they would talk more about bringing Unleashed 2 mechanics back, heh
 

Kujo

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Feb 8, 2007
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So in the same way, unless we're going to make Sonic Unleashed 2 you might not see him again. But if we are going to make it, you might see him again. It's a possibility.
Doesn't seem definite. I at least hope they don't make him a playable character again.
 
Jun 12, 2008
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#32
Firestorm said:
Fixed.
Sonic sucked after they left and while Naka was still with Sega. Yasuhara was the man in charge of level design. Oshima was the guy in charge of character design. Naka was the guy in charge of programming.

After Yasuhara left we got shitty level design.
After Oshima left we got shitty friends.
Firestorm bringing the truth as always. Meanwhile, I commend Mama Robotnik for posting that Lava Reef gif. Jesus, I have to play S3&K bad now. :lol
 
Oct 3, 2007
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Huh, that's...interesting, considering how Unleashed ended.

Could be fun, though the gameplay mechanics need to be worked on and tightened a lot more before it ever appears again.
 
May 15, 2006
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Firestorm said:
Fixed.
Sonic sucked after they left and while Naka was still with Sega. Yasuhara was the man in charge of level design. Oshima was the guy in charge of character design. Naka was the guy in charge of programming.

After Yasuhara left we got shitty level design.
After Oshima left we got shitty friends.
THIS THIS THIS.

Sonic was only as good as he was, because it was the sum of all of his fore-fathers working together, and that included Naka too.

But by the time Naka started forcing good people out of the team with his diva-like ways, Sonic was never the same. The very fact that we couldn't get a quality Sonic release during the Saturn era (unless the arcade-only Sonic the Fighters from AM2 counts?) should be telling enough, that the future was going to be different for Sonic, even at that point in time.
 

RobbieNick

Junior Member
Jun 8, 2007
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#44
VG: What is the hardest thing about designing a Sonic game in 3D?

TK:That's kind of hard to say, because there isn't just one 3D game. If you look at Sonic Adventure and Sonic and the Secret Rings, they are quite different. Secret Rings was more of a racing game, whereas Adventure was more of an action adventure game. So it's really hard to talk about 3D Sonic as a single game. With this one there's a lot of sword action, so the challenge is bringing that to Sonic.

VG: As you said earlier, Sonic is all about speed. A lot of people didn't like the Werehog in Unleashed, partly due to the fact that he was so slow. Do you think that character was a mistake, or should people be more open-minded?

TK:In principle, I think that the users are always right. They're the ones paying the money and playing the games. If they don't enjoy it, they're not going to buy it. I don't think that producing the Werehog was a mistake per se, but there were a lot of things we could have done better if we had more time and resources.

VG: What kind of things would you have done differently? Will we see the Werehog again?

TK:For the improvements, I can't think of anything right now off the top of my head. If I think of any ideas then Sonic Unleashed 2 will be the time for that, so I don't really have an answer for that. But you will see the Werehog again. I like Secret Rings very much, but when it came to making this title [Sonic and the Black Knight] we chose to do something different. All the good things about Secret Rings belong to that specific game. So in the same way, unless we're going to make Sonic Unleashed 2 you might not see him again. But if we are going to make it, you might see him again. It's a possibility.

VG: A lot of people think that the Wii has changed gaming in the West by opening it up to a wider audience. Do you agree?

TK:I definitely agree that the Wii has changed the gaming industry. As a game creator myself, I'm not really in a position to make a comfortable critique of the whole situation. But in my personal opinion Nintendo has a really good attitude to always try to do something new. That attitude was what went into making the Wii such a phenomenon throughout the world. I think very highly of them.
Fixed.

It's a maybe. No reason to panic yet. I hope to god though, they do the right thing and NOT bring him back. Storywise, I don't see how they can.
 
Sep 11, 2007
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#46
I don't see why everybody is freaking out. They basically said the same thing when Sonic Heroes came out. "If Sonic Heroes is popular enough, we'll do a Sonic Heroes 2."

And they didn't.

He's basically saying that if people like Sonic Unleashed and it sells well enough, they'll bring the Werehog back. But judging by the numbers that have been rumored, it's not. Sonic's history of being in bad games is catching up with him and Sonic Unleashed isn't doing so hot despite a pretty okay game (at least, in my opinion).

Everybody just needs to chillax.
 

sykoex

Lost all credibility.
Sep 18, 2004
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#48
It really sucks too cause with Sonic 3 & Knuckles, they were seriously hitting their stride in terms of core gameplay. Then they had to go fuck it up with the GBA/DS games basically throwing out any interesting platforming elements.

I swear, I just played through Sonic & Knuckles and it was bliss, even the soundtrack was amazing.