The Sonic Frontiers development team has admitted that early prototypes of the first open-world Sonic game featured combat that felt a little too much like Bayonetta and Devil May Cry.
In an interview on the official Sonic the Hedgehog YouTube account, game director Morio Kishimoto, lead designer Jyunpei Ootsu, producer Sachiko Kawamura, and lead programmer Hiroki Tokunaga talked about Sonic Frontiers’ development. The interview was discussed in Japanese, but ResetEra has posted general translations provided by several Twitter users.
One of the interesting tidbits in the interview concerned Sonic’s combat systems, which nearly followed in Devil May Cry or Bayonetta’s footsteps. Presumably, this would mean twin pistols, various weapons, and a combo system that scores Sonic’s moves after every arena-style fight. However, this combat style was dropped for not working “well as a Sonic game.”
Sonic gains an entirely new arsenal of attacks in Sonic Frontiers. He still starts off with his spin attack, drop dash, and homing attacks, but he also knows how to throw kicks and punches. After leveling up on his skill tree, Sonic can unlock the Sonic Boom ranged attack, the Phantom Rush combo attack, the powerful Loop Kick, or the devastating Cross Slash. There might be an element or two of Devil May Cry and Bayonetta in these moves, but they’re all still distinctly Sonic attacks.
In addition to modeling combat after existing franchises, the Sonic team also prototyped Sonic Frontiers’ many boss fights. The Giganto boss fight, for example, took almost the entire length of Sonic’s development time to get right, with the original Giganto fight bringing in Amy to toss Sonic rings. That was eventually discarded due to pacing issues, leaving the current Giganto fight that some Sonic fans say is still pretty bad.
You can read more about the interview and several other changed boss fights over on ResetEra. And In case you missed it, Sega has confirmed Sonic Frontiers updates are on the way with new playable characters, a photo mode, and new challenge modes.
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