Earlier in the week, we had a few snippets from a Famitsu interview with Sonic series producer Takashi Iizuka. That post covered discussion of where SEGA goes with the Mania series after Sonic Mania Plus, as well as the age group that was attracted to Sonic Mania. Now in the full interview, we get some discussion about how well the game sold, how new features were decided upon for Sonic Mania Plus, and the abilities of both Ray and Mighty. You can check out those tidbits below.
Famitsu: Before we get into the meat of it, please tell us about the reaction after the release of Sonic Mania. I heard fans from North America and Europe shared some exuberant support where it was favorably received.
Takashi Iizuka, series producer: After its release in August 2017, its reception has been better than we could imagine. We’ve even had some people say “It’s the best game!” and we are most grateful about that. Moreover, physical games tend to sell a lot on its release day but then we often see it take a big drop afterwards, I’m not sure if it’s because Sonic Mania was a digital title, but its sales didn’t drop even after its release day. Again, up until the end of last year people had trouble acquiring Nintendo Switches around the world, so there seems to be some cases where folks finally got a hold of the hardware and are downloading the game.
Famitsu: How did you decide on Sonic Mania Plus' added content?
Iizuka: We thought about elements that would make fans happy. Since Sonic Mania is all about things that stimulate expectations and curiosity from fans, as a result of thinking about what could we add to make things more exciting, we decided to add Mighty and Ray as new characters.
Famitsu: How were the unique actions of the two decided? Starting with Mighty.
IIzuka: Mighty the Armadillo was originally set to be a powerhouse, and he also has a hard shell on his back. So we decided to put that to use with the “Hammer Drop” that allows him to stomp the ground with a thud. Again, he can take shots from the enemy with his shell or avoid taking damage from spikes by curling up. The action of diving into the ground is a pretty rare action in the classic series.
Famitsu: What about Ray?
Iizuka: Since he’s a flying squirrel, his “Air Glide” action was decided on right away. That action was pretty easy to make. Knuckles can also glide but he gradually drops. On that point, Ray can use the momentum going down and rise. With the right technique, he can fly for a very long time.