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Sonic Fan Remix Creators Interviewed in Latest GameInformer Issue

Pelikan and Mercury are no strangers to the gaming media spotlight, but now they’ve landed in print, an area where only a select group of fangamers have managed to show up.

In the same issue of GameInformer that features SEGA VP of Sales and Marketing Alan Pritchard being silly, you can find Dan Ryckert talking Sonic with two of Retro’s most technically gifted members.  Dan hit the ground running with his setup and first question, immediately drawing the comparisons between Sonic Fan Remix and Sonic 4: Episode 1.  He noted that SFR is “visually superior” to Sonic 4 and asked them how they managed to outdo a major games studio.

Pelikan: “Sonic 4 and SFR have very different art styles and many people have complained about SFR’s “busy” look, so comparing them is not simple.”
Mercury: “I think that SFR succeeds where Sonic 4 fails because it’s more surprising.  There are so many details you’re not expecting to see, and that’s what makes it more exciting.”

Looks like somebody has massive nuts.  Hit the jump for more tidbits and a scan of the interview.

Dan asked about the duo’s gaming aspirations, their personal favorites, but there are some more noteworthy questions.  I can tell you first hand from my time fan-gaming and speaking to others that their desire to create took a dive when Sonic 4/Project Needlemouse was announced, as most of us were doing it to fill the classic Sonic void.  Pelikan, too, had that feeling, saying, “When I heard that they were working on a 2D Sonic, I felt both excited as a Sonic fan and a bit disappointed.  I did consider stopping work on SFR at that point as I felt there might be no place for it.”  Pelikan was working on SFR ten days prior to the Needlemouse announcement.

The beginning of Sonic’s decline was also brought up by Dan, to which Mercury replied, “Sonic Adventure.  It took everything I loved about the series and threw it out.” Pelikan concurred and stated, “I really enjoyed the game at the time.  Sega made some choices for Sonic from gameplay to visuals to voice acting that never clicked with me and seem to have stayed with Sonic ever since.”  I won’t argue here.

Since this is Sonic Retro, we have to say the word “physics” in every blog post.  Mercury, the game’s programmer, fielded the question on Sonic’s new physics by saying that “some changes made sense” in regards to altering jump height for the small screen of the Game Boy Advance for the Sonic Advance series.  He pinpoints Sonic Rush as the game where physics become less important, where rolling is gimped to “emphasize the boost move.”  Mercury also finds Sonic’s uncanny ability to walk through breakable objects “outrageous” and that the game is full of “mistakes or lazy design than intentional modifications.”

When asked about any legal threats or praise from SEGA, Pelikan said that he nor Mercury have recieived any and that the game will remain freeware.

The full interview can be found in the scan here and the latest issue of GameInformer is available this month.  Pick it up to grab a piece of Sonic community history!

Congratulations on the feature, guys!

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19 Comments

  • Reply

    If this interview cause a C&D I will NEVER read Gameinformer ever again.
    I love this game and would hate for progress to be destroyed.

  • Reply

    It’s great that they are being recognized for their amazing game.

    And is this the January 2011 Issue? I haven’t gotten it nor is it on the Gameinformer website.

  • Reply

    No blog post on Sonic Retro would be complete without a comment with the world “physics” in it, right? So here: I like Sonic Fan Remix’s phsyics.

    Good to know this is still in the works.

  • Reply

    Ah man every sort of news about SFR excites me so much more than anything. Away with the rage and concerns. I cannot wait for this to come out.

    Great interview. I don’t know if they would like to, but i’d be happy for them if they got hired by SEGA. Away with that Iizuka trash

  • Reply

    It sure does offer something you’ve never seen. When it’s not blurring into the background.

    Haaa. I kid. I kid.

  • Reply

    Ballsy? Sure. But, arguably, when you’ve made a game that’s somewhat more entertaining in only three “acts” than 12 or so acts in a professional product, it’s really time for the professionals to rethink their approach to titles.

    Not that I’m saying fire the whole staff, but at least put a little more heart and care in your product.

    • Reply

      Heart? Care? I don’t even think Sega even knows what that is anymore. They’re only encouragement these days seems to be $$$. That is why they are so satisfied with Sonic Colors. Just read their interviews and articles. “[Colours] is our pure Sonic gaming experience. That’s had some high scores. It’s also the highest pre-selling pure Sonic title we’ve had ever. That’s a good indication. With the quality of the game, we’re confident of that. That’s our pure platforming Sonic.”

      • Reply

        Fuck off, Colors is brilliant.

        • Reply

          It’s funny how we’ve come to the point of writing off “less than perfect” as “meh”.

          EVERY game has flaws, even the best of the best. I’m not saying one should excuse mediocrity for being a “step in the right direction”, nor should we ignore or overlook a game’s flaws… but it’s just funny to me that we’ve become so stingy with the word “great” simply because of a few minor issues and personal design preferences.

          It’s like we’re expecting the Holy Grail of all Video Gaming before we’re willing to give Sonic two thumbs up again.

        • Reply

          Thing is, Sonic Colours isn’t a step in the right direction at all. The 3D gameplay is boring and sluggish (As per unleashed) and the 2D sections are dull and uninspired with many cheap deaths.

  • Reply

    Was a pretty good interview.  Pretty surprising too.

  • Reply

    I think Sonic Team has forgot that their mascot is a hedgehog that can roll around.
    It’s great that programmers like Mercury and Pelikan really know how Sonic is supposed to play.
    Keep up the good work guys!

  • Reply

    dloaded the game but cant get past the first level my sonic the moment he is available to move after the level name falls through the level and dies. I tried to move him forward but avoiding this is impossible. Any suggestions?

  • Reply

    If Mercury ever did a remake of Phantasy Star I I would be all over that shit.

    • Reply

      Agreed.

  • Reply

    Again, I would bother with SFR if it wasn’t so god damn visually ‘busy’. Take a lot of it out and I’d definitely be interested.

    • Reply

      Take a look at the screenshots for Chemical Plant. It’s significantly toned down from Emerald Hill, as I expect many subsequent levels will be.

  • Reply

    Hey, congratulations. I actually hadn’t heard of SFR until I read about it in Game Informer. I just downloaded the demo, and it IS better than either Sonic 4 OR Sonic Colors, IMO. I’m curious to know when there will be more up than just the demo, but I suppose I can wait.

  • Reply

    Where can I find the demo?

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