TSS: Simon Jeffery, thank you for taking some time to speak with us. First, could we get an idea of your role in SEGA, and what kind of involvement you have in the games that are released, including in particular the Sonic series?
SJ: I run SEGA of America. We, like SEGA of Europe, are a subsidiary of SEGA of Japan. I have involvement with games that are built in the West, but not with games built in Japan. Therefore, sorry to say, I am unable to answer questions about Sonic Team Ã¢â‚¬â€œ as they reside in Japan and do not come under my jurisdiction at all! Likewise, I know this will make you all mad; SEGA of America has no say in the voice casting. Absolutely none, so all of the online petitions and personal emails and letters that we get at SOA cannot be acted on, sorry to say.
TSS: You caught a bit of unexpected controversy over your implication that Sonic the Hedgehog becomes un-cool to kids once they hit 12 years old. But it can be argued that this is because the story, atmosphere and approach of recent Sonic games have made it unapproachable by adults. Would you agree with this statement?
SJ: Absolutely. The reason that Sonic is still around after 16 years, is that the character design was so endearing, had such longevity, that he has outlived all those other woodland critters like Bubsy the Bobcat and Awesome Possom! But there is more than that Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Sonic has an attitude that can be related to by people of all ages, and can do things that no other videogame character can compete with. However, some of the Sonic games over the last few years have not lived up to expectation, and it is these games, not Sonic himself, which do not appeal to older gamers. Sonic is timeless!
Crazy Penguin wrote:Simon Jeffery is absolutely right, it's not the character of Sonic that is at fault but rather the presentation. To pull out an old cliche I really think that it's a case of "less is more". Sonic was just plain cooler and more relatable when presented without dialogue and various hanger-on characters.
It's also worrying that the general art direction of the series as a whole hasn't had any spark or consistency since the excellent Sonic Adventure. I think Music Plant Zone and Toy Kingdom Zone killed whatever verisimilitude was left.
Dasher wrote:Sonic is one of those old 90's anime character. with awesome 80's pop, jazz and electronic type music and way of movement and actions. Also we need good character Voices, Im sorry 4kids fans but those voices are crap, no matter how much they improve, they remain crap.
Dasher wrote:It is so simple, Sonic is one of those old 90's anime character. with awesome 80's pop, jazz and electronic type music and way of movement and actions.
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