Sega VP: Sonic "Criticism is Warranted"
Sega of America’s Vice President of Marketing Sean Ratcliffe stated that criticism aimed at recent games from Sonic franchise is warranted. In a interview with GameDaily, Ratcliffe admits the problem in one breath but, then goes on to excuse it in the next.
Some of that criticism is probably warranted. We definitely recognize that a franchise that has been going as long as Sonic, you really have to put a huge amount of effort in to make sure that you maintain that quality, and arguably a disproportionate amount of effort.
I think the Sonic next-gen experience in terms of quality, that was relatively early in the next-gen cycle when lots of developers were just coming to grips with the technology. It’s not a huge surprise when you try to get something out for launch or thereabouts and the quality is not optimal.
Ratcliffe goes on to promise that Sega has got it’s act together and is sure the company can renew the faith of Sonic fans in with Sonic Unleashed.
This time around, with Sonic Unleashed, we got a great new engine, the Hedgehog engine, and that allows us to truly deliver the Sonic experience as it arguably should have been on the next-gen – you know, blending classic 2D gameplay with 3D, beautiful landscapes, rich environments. Then with a nice innovative twist, we’re taking Sonic in a different direction, slow him down and he transforms into a “Werehog.” And that changes the gameplay again. For fans of Sonic that have been looking for a next-gen experience, this is the game they’ve been waiting for.
I attended the Sega media presentation and demonstration for Sonic Unleashed at E3. Based on what I saw there, I’m not entirely convinced of Ratcliffe’s shining vision of the game. However, the gameplay I saw demonstrated was two early demo levels. As a Sonic fan, I hope the finished product is everything Ratcliffe claims it will be.
It’s interesting to note that Ratcliffe refers to Sonic Unleashed for next-gen consoles. The Wii and PS2 versions, although they bear the same title, are engineered by entirely different teams. There will be roughly the same story line, but a very different gaming experience. Keep that mind if you have a choice of which console to buy it for.