Sonic Wii Interview with Yojiro Ogawa

As Sonic and the Secret Rings ships in North America today, we bring you this chat with Sonic Team producer Yojiro Ogawa to discuss what fans can look forward to.

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Kikizo: What was behind the name change from Wild Fire to Secret Rings?

Ogawa: Originally we did want to proceed with Sonic Wild Fire, but we had a lot of discussions globally with each territory and I felt that we should choose a title that could have people think about the Arabian Nights theme and tone, and that is how we ended up with this title. Some of us were probably inspired by Aladdin in making the fix to the title.

Kikizo: With the story based on 'Arabian Nights', many of Sonic Team's fans are going to immediately think of NiGHTS, and the rumour of a new NiGHTS for Wii has just recently come up again I think in the Japanese press. Are you maybe trying to drop a hint?

Ogawa: Haha. It is very interesting to hear this from the audience. But we currently do not have any plans for NiGHTS. [For the record, Kikizo believes that this is categorically not the case. But what were we going to do, start a fight with Mr Ogawa about it?].

Kikizo: I am not sure about the extent of your personal involvement in the new Sonic on Xbox 360 and PS3, but you must be aware of the issues the game has in terms of glitches, control problems and loading time. One thing a lot of customers have been asking is, how these issues can be in the final product, is there anything you can comment on in relation to this, for example the QA [testing] process of development?

Ogawa: The reason why we probably ended up with what we see today, involves a lot of reasons. One is that we did want to launch the title around Christmas, and we had the PS3 launch coming up, but we had to develop for Microsoft's 360 at the same time and the team had an awful lot of pressure on them. It was very hard for the team to try and see how we were going to come out with both versions together with just the one team. It was a big challenge.

Kikizo: In one of our previous Sonic Team interviews, [Sonic Rush producer] Akinori Nishiyama told us how he is a big fan of the 2D style of Sonic gameplay and was keen to work on a sequel to Sonic Rush if it sold well, can you give us an update on any new 2D Sonic?

Ogawa: Sonic is supported by fans, and this is why he is still here fifteen years on! And if there is a lot of demand for a sequel to Sonic Rush then it might happen, but we will have to see! So, probably we will be creating a 2D-style Sonic game again, but we don't know when and we don't have any details yet, but we might.

Kikizo: Thanks for your time Ogawa-san and good luck with Sonic Wii.

Ogawa: Thank you!

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Sonic and the Secret Rings is out today in North America, and is released on 2nd March in Europe. See our previous interview with Mr Ogawa here.

Click here for Kikizo's interview archive.

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