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The head of Sonic Team has suggested that more Sonic the Hedgehog series remasters could follow in the wake of 2021’s Sonic Colors: Ultimate, which brought the previously Wii-exclusive title from 2010 up to date with revamped visuals, an improved frame rate, new music and more.
“We haven’t done many remakes or remasters for Sonic titles. That’s because we always want to use our limited development resources to develop games with new concepts. But this time, for Sonic Colors: Ultimate, we were able to produce a remaster through cooperation with an external studio (Blind Squirrel Games). We don’t have any specific plans, but if we get the chance, I’d like to bring back another old title that can’t be played anymore.”
Check out the trailer for 2021's Sonic Colors: Ultimate, below
Cue: Sonic fans everywhere wondering what that “old title that can’t be played anymore” might be, as there’s a few, huh. The first that springs to the GAMINGbible team’s mind is Sonic Heroes, released a whopping 18 years ago now, in 2003, for the PlayStation 2, PC, GameCube and original Xbox.
Heroes was where the more open, explorative stages of Sonic Adventure and its sequel on the Dreamcast were stripped back, gameplay switched to something more akin to the older 2D platformers on the Mega Drive. A team-based affair, it managed to feel fresh despite its stepping away from Adventure’s scale. And it was something of a rough gem, an unpolished Chaos Emerald if you will, amongst 3D Sonic games - we could certainly see it scrubbing up nicely for a remaster or remake.
But we’re obviously getting ahead of ourselves with such talk. Iizuka-san would like to bring another old Sonic game back for modern systems - but that doesn’t mean it’ll happen. There’s also the small matter of a brand-new Sonic title being in development, possibly titled Sonic Rangers, which Iizuka-san wasn’t willing to discuss any further. One thing we couldn’t not ask the producer about, though, is NiGHTS Into Dreams, a Saturn classic made by Sonic Team and released in 1996, that he was the designer of.
“NiGHTS is one of my favourite characters and I still think it would be great if I could make a new game at some point,” he told us. “But right now I’m focused on helping Sonic grow. We weren’t able to deliver enough Sonic games for the Saturn, partly because we were developing NiGHTS, but that regret led us to focus all of our energy into developing Sonic Adventure for the Dreamcast.”
Our full interview with Takashi Iizuka will be published on GAMINGbible very soon. In the meantime you can catch up with our last conversation with the head of Sonic Team, when we talked about Team Sonic Racing and the then-unreleased Sonic the Hedgehog movie.
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