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Seite 2: Sonic Team - Entwickler im Gespräch


Autor: Iceman

Kategorie: interviews
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Game Boy Advance Artikel vom 02.08.2004

Deutsch | English/ japanische Fragen

PlanetGameboy: Could you please present your position and introduce your company to us?


Akinori Nishiyama: Creative manager of Game Design Section, Sonicteam Division, SEGA Corporation.

PlanetGameboy: What were your first projects? And why did you decide to develop for Nintendo’s Game Boy Advance?


Akinori Nishiyama: That is a fairly old story, but it was “Ghost Busters” on Mega Drive. Back then, I was involved in the Design Section, and we had to draw characters in pixels. It’s probably due to this that I have a fondness for pixel characters. I was involved in the development of Sonic Adventure for the DC. Whilst the shift to 3D was a great innovation, I felt concerned that this might endanger the future of 2D Sonic titles. So when the GameBoy Advance came out, I was pleased that both 3D Sonic and 2D Sonic games could continue if we were to develop for this new platform.

PlanetGameboy: How did Sonic become such a popular character? And how high do you estimate his popularity degree?


Akinori Nishiyama: It would be due to his cool design and that he’s not always a ‘nice boy.’ I guess that children may yearn for a more grown-up Sonic, but to us, he’s still a relative newcomer, so we’d like him to become a universal character like his predecessors.

PlanetGameboy: What general differences will Sonic Advance 3 have in comparison to its predecessors? Or what is special about the new game?


Akinori Nishiyama: * Tag Actions are now possible through the partner system The player character’s abilities will change according to its partner and it is possible to perform Tag (United) Actions. Also, the Zone (Exploration) Maps are now featured in addition to the Act (Action) Maps. Cooperative gameplay is now possible with another player via link communication. After all, I think the partner system is particularly enjoyable as the player can try out several variations of partnering characters.

PlanetGameboy: Which technological advantages will the Sonic Advance 3 engine have?


Akinori Nishiyama: We were able to create a complicated partner system, where the players can synchronise their cooperative actions via the link communication from start to finish without sacrificing the speed of Sonic and his friends. We found this function relatively easy to implement.

PlanetGameboy: Will there again be a connection feature with the Nintendo Game Cube?


Akinori Nishiyama: Unfortunately, because the game does not contain “Tiny Chao Garden” this time, you cannot connect these 2 platforms.

PlanetGameboy: Which characters will be playable?


Akinori Nishiyama: The 5 characters of Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Amy and Cream.

PlanetGameboy: How do you manage to keep the gameplay interesting for the players? And that the games don’t become boring? Don’t you run out of ideas?


Akinori Nishiyama: If we didn’t change the gameplay, the player would get bored and ideas too far-fetched will be completely ignored. The secret would be a middle ground, to offer new contents that go beyond players’ expectations. I must admit I sometimes run out of ideas, but also, I could come up with ones again if, for instance, I take a bath and think. What is important is your stance toward forward thinking at all times.

PlanetGameboy: If you could be a character out of the Sonic universe, which one would you like to be?


Akinori Nishiyama: That’s a difficult question. It could be Dr. Eggman as I want to remain powerful even though I grow old.

PlanetGameboy: How popular are other Sonic game titles like Pinball or Battle? And which Sonic spin-off is your personal favourite?


Akinori Nishiyama: Most of the other Sonic games are quite popular, but it appears that mainstream titles with the traditional action gameplay enjoy the most popularity. I like Sonic R, for example, as it has nice tunes!

PlanetGameboy: Will you continue producing for other handheld systems, like N-Gage, Playstation Portable or Nintendo DS?


Akinori Nishiyama: I am always interested in new hardware platforms, regardless of whether they’re home consoles or handheld gaming devices. If I’m given the chance, I’d definitely try them.

PlanetGameboy: What are your favourite Game Boy Advance games?


Akinori Nishiyama: “Puyo Pop” is fun, too!

PlanetGameboy: Is there anything you would like to tell our readers?


Akinori Nishiyama: We will release more and more game titles. I appreciate your support in the future for the Sonic family along with the animated cartoon series “Sonic X”!

The interview was held by Kevin Jensen for

Thanks to Akinori Nishiyama for the support
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