Sonic Colours producer Takashi Iizuka has told SPOnG of the difficulties in appealing to the fragmented Sonic the Hedgehog fanbase.
In an interview due to be published later today, the Sonic Team boss spoke of his experience on the Mega Drive titles Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles, and how the franchise had been heading in multiple directions during the 1990s. The result, as he tries to give the series a unified focus, is a fanbase that has splintered in expectations, depending on their entry to the series.
"There are so many fans, each with their own unique first experience of the Sonic franchise, so I do understand that there are different Sonic fans in the world," Iizuka explained. "It's very hard – near-impossible, actually – to please everybody, but I believe that there are some constants in the franchise that we should always try to maintain."
Those consistent themes happen to be Sonic's speed and his devil-may-care attitude - two things that have always been present throughout all of the games, comics and cartoons (well, maybe not speed in Sonic Labyrinth on the Game Gear, actually).
"As long as these things are maintained, and that focus is still there, the team can think of ways to evolve Sonic, while keeping the fundamentals of attitude and speed," Iizuka said. "That's one way I believe we can go some way to pleasing as many Sonic fans as possible."
Some of the ways that Sonic Team has attempted to evolve Sonic can be seen in Colours, where Iizuka revealed that the studio studied previous release Sonic Unleashed for design notes. Either way, it's difficult to second-guess the legion of Sonic fans out there - Sonic Colours hasn't been criticised by the fragmented fanbase nearly as much as the 'back-to-the-90s' sequel, Sonic the Hedgehog 4. What a crazy world we live in, eh?
Check back in with SPOnG for the full Iizuka interview, along with a Wii preview of Sonic Colours.