We sat down with the boss of Sonic Team USA, Takashi Iizuka, at the Wii Flat in London yesterday to quiz him on his new game, NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams on Wii - and he revealed an interesting fact about the game's development. Turns out that of all the four control methods available, the development team all play the game using Gamecube controllers.
Iizuka told us: "Personally I prefer using the Wii-remote on its own - you just fly. You feel like you're flying, moving more smoothly just with the sensation and freedom of it. But the team use the Gamecube controller because it's so similar to the feel of the original 3D controller. The analogue stick is shorter and more like the Saturn pad." So much for advanced technology, eh?
Iizuka also commented on the decision to give NiGHTS a voice. When asked whether the boyish female voice meant NiGHTS was a girl, he said: "He is a mirror of the child's personality, so when the children dream, they become him. So from a boy's point of view, NiGHTS will be a boy, from a girl's point of view, NiGHTS will be a girl. We expanded the storyline in the sequel, so we needed to have NiGHTS speak in this game to get more reaction."
Of course we asked Iizuka about a PS3 or Xbox 360 NiGHTS game, but he says they are not planned. And when we asked whether we'd have to wait another 11 years for NiGHTS 3, he laughed and said "maybe". But he added that if he had the opportunity, he would like to make NiGHTS 3.
He also confirmed Sonic definitely won't be making a cameo appearance this time (he appeared in Christmas NiGHTS as a minigame called Sonic The Hedgehog into Dreams). But when asked whether the children from the first game, Claris and Elliot, would feature, he answered: "We'll see - I can't say", with a grin. We'll take that as a yes then, shall we?
Finally, when asked about a possible sequel to Sonic Team's other forgotten Saturn title Burning Rangers, Iizuka said: "It's not my title, so I can't comment. But I hear there is a lot of demand for a sequel, to bring out Burning Rangers on Wii so... we'll see." Here's hoping.
Check back later today for our new hands-on preview.
Above: Iizuka would like to say thanks to the fans and promises you will enjoy the sequel very much. The team hopes NiGHTS will 'make people happy again'