Sonic Superstars, the brand new 2D Sonic platformer from Sega popping out later this yr, seems loads like a contemporary tackle the well-known blue blur. It ditches pixel artwork for a cartoony new visible model that appears fairly good. However when you have been hoping for a future Sonic recreation to return to its basic pixel-art roots, that may not be occurring anytime quickly, going by latest feedback from Sonic Group.
Final yr noticed the discharge of Sonic Frontiers, the most recent entry within the franchise to go full 3D with an open-world-like design. The sport was cool, if a bit messy and lonely at instances. However Sonic is a versatile franchise. (I imply, they pretended to kill him in a visible novel earlier this yr!) So whereas Frontiers is on the market giving followers the prospect to play as Sonic in a giant, open 3D world, one other recreation out later this yr—Sonic Superstars--is set to play much more like basic Sonic video games.
Takashi Iizuka, the lead producer on Sonic Superstars and the top of Sonic Group, the developer behind the franchise, not too long ago spoke to GamesRadar in regards to the upcoming platformer and why the collection hops between 2D and 3D. Iizuka defined that Sonic Group believes the Sonic franchise all the time wants a contemporary 3D recreation and a basic 2D entry, too.
“These are our basic pillars that we have to have,” stated Iizuka. “We’re increasing into motion pictures and TV, however we nonetheless must have each the 3D and the 2D lineup for our gaming viewers.”
In keeping with Iizuka, Sonic Frontiers is all in regards to the “open zone” idea and cementing that as what 3D Sonic video games will doubtless be for the following decade or extra, calling it the “evolution” of the 3D Sonic entries and including that he and the crew have been “very proud” of the sport. On the flip facet, the upcoming Sonic Superstars goes to be what the crew will construct on for future 2D entries transferring ahead. And a part of that evolution contains transferring away from pixel artwork.
“We take a look at the pixel artwork—it’s nice—however once we take into consideration 10-20 years sooner or later, we don’t assume it’s going to be a viable artwork model or presentation for our gamers,” stated Iizuka. “And with the intention to advance and actually step issues up, we did wish to make it possible for we’re presenting one thing that 10-20 years down the highway we’re nonetheless evolving and creating new content material for.”
Whereas some would possibly recoil on the thought of pixel artwork being talked about this manner, I can see Iizuka’s level.
I’ve talked to and performed video games with youthful members of the family and buddies and each time they see me taking part in pixel artwork video games, like Shovel Knight or Sonic Mania, they typically dismiss them as “outdated wanting” or “ugly.” And contemplating Sega and Sonic Group need the Sonic franchise to proceed to develop, pixel artwork won’t attraction to youthful players in 2023. However don’t fear, you’ll be able to nonetheless take pleasure in Sonic Mania whereas they play Sonic Superstars or Roblox or no matter.