Yuji Naka has always been a big name to SEGA fans, not only did he program Sonic the Hedgehog on the SEGA Genesis/Mega Drive, he also has a long history of being a company man. Yuji Naka’s first game for SEGA started way back in the SG-1000 days with Girl’s Garden (in 1984!). After that he helped launch SEGA classics such as NiGHTs Into Dreams…, Samba De Amigo, ChuChu Rocket!, Burning Rangers, Phantasy Star Online, and the list goes on.
NIS America just posted an interview with Rodea the Sky Soldier creator Yuji Naka (Sonic the Hedgehog, Chu Chu Rocket and NiGHTS) and director Zin Hasegawa (Fatal Frame series) on their Youtube channel. It’s a pretty interesting interview with Yuji Naka starting off by saying that it has been a long time and it really has, so it’s good to see him do these types of interviews for games again.
Yuji Naka even talks about how he has created games that have to do with speed like Sonic the Hedgehog and flying games like NiGHTS and whether that factored into creating Rodea the Sky Soldier since it has similarities. Listen in and I hope Prope and SEGA work on a project again in the near future.
Recently some Japanese game programming decided to take a look at Rodea Sky Solider, since I don’t really understand Japanese and I assume you don’t either, I skipped the video above to the gameplay (and if I did it wrong it starts at the 8 minute mark). A few thing that I noticed was the long loading at the start and the low resolution textures (mostly because the game started as a Wii game).
It was recently announced that NIS America would bring the game to America and Europe this fall; so you’ll be able to play it in English soon enough. The game will be coming to Wii U and 3DS, the video mostly shows off the Wii U version but at the end they show off very little of the 3DS version too (off screen gameplay).
So who is picking up this title?
Rodea: The Sky Soldier was originally set to be a Wii game and now is going to get new life next year on both the Wii U and 3DS. Just last week the publisher, Kadokawa Games released a new trailer for the game and not much else. But now they have released the story overview, character profiles, gameplay details, and even a ton of new screens.
The story has empires, battle with technology and other themes present in past Sonic Team games. They even added a hint of Panzer Dragoon in there for good measure with its little map and on-rails looking gameplay. Not only that, the Wii U version of the game also got a filter that gives it a sketched out feel, similar to what Valkyria Chronicles did compared to the Wii original. Oddly enough no 3DS screenshots have been shown yet.
Hit the jump to see Gematsu’s translation of the story,characters and a screenshot gallery.
Yuji Naka’s Rodea: The Sky Soldier is a weird story, seeing as it was supposed to be released on the Wii in 2011, even Yuji Naka said the title was completely done and just needed to be released by publisher Kadokawa games. No information was released and even Yuji Naka said he wasn’t sure if the game was going to be released last year. Well, thankfully the publisher Kadokawa games came to its senses since they announced the game coming for both Wii U and 3DS.
Seems that they are sticking with the Spring 2015 release window for Japan. Now we have a trailer showing off footage of the game and as you can see it looks like very low quality Wii graphics. But you know what? The game looks so fun, that it can be running on the Sega Saturn and I’d buy it. Let’s hope this is a good one, for Prope’s sake.
Here at SEGAbits we like to keep things focused on SEGA both past and present, but when a SEGA legend leaves the company to do their own thing, we like to keep you guys informed as to what they’re up to – especially when it’s a big project with some SEGA influences. While we love former Sonic Team head Yuji Naka, who left SEGA in 2006 to found his own studio Prope, his studio’s games really haven’t had the same impact that his works at SEGA had. Outside of Let’s Tap and Ivy the Kiwi? (the question mark is in the game’s title), Naka and his team haven’t done much aside from releasing several bland iOS titles. However, there was one upcoming Prope game that looked to be on par with Naka’s work at SEGA: Rodea the Sky Soldier for Wii and 3DS.
Have you been wondering what Yuji Naka has been up to since leaving Sonic Team besides making a bunch of small and kinda neat games? Well, a new action adventure game called Rodea the Sky Soldier was announced for Wii and 3DS, publisher Kadowaka Games released a trailer which can be seen above. So why is it being released for Wii? Well, this trailer was released a little more than two years ago, after which the publisher never spoke of it again. Yuji Naka gave an update a few months later saying that the game was finished, but that they were waiting for Kadowaka Games to publish it. After a while everyone who did know about the game either forgot about it or assumed that it was scrapped.
Now we finally have an update on the title. Yoshimi Yasuda, the president of Kadowaka Games had said that they were having trouble adapting the control scheme to the 3DS version, which is being handled by the publisher. Yasuda said that the version is about 70% finished and that there will be more information in the near future. Maybe it’ll get a re-reveal at TGS 2013? We’ll see.
Prope also released a Digimon RPG called Digimon Adventure for PSP earlier this year in Japan, a western release doesn’t seem likely for this game though.
I know most of you will give me crap for posting this on the blog, since it doesn’t have anything to do with SEGA as a publisher. But let’s be honest, I think we are all interested in what big high profile ex-SEGA developers are up to in the world. This time we look at Yuji Naka’s Prope, who will be working on the upcoming Digimon Adventure.
The game promises to cover the story of the original Digimon anime series and will be a RPG game. Yep, this will be the first RPG from Prope and oddly enough is coming out on the original PSP. So that means no one will probably play it. Find it on shelves in 2013.
Above is the latest title from Legendary SEGA developer Yuji Naka and his team at Prope. The game is already out and available on the iOS App Store. Good news? Its only a buck.
The game will even offer you 100 different stages to unlock, Game Centre support and achievements. Not bad.
[Yuji Naka shows his troll face to Nintendo]
Nintendo had one of their ‘Iwata Asks developer round table’ things, where Iwata asks all the hard hitting questions to developers. This week they had other developers from companies that worked on Wii Play: Motion. This included Yuji Naka who represented Prope. Oh yeah, Naoto Ohshima from Arzest is also there in the picture.
Naka revealed that when Nintendo first showed MotionPlus two years ago, he pitched a game to them called Haunted Tower. The point of the game was defeating monsters, only that they would not just be on your TV screen, but also “outside the screen”.
The project was cancelled and Prope instead helped work on Wii Play: Motion. They did the mini-game called “Trigger Twist“. How far along the game was in production is unknown, though most likely it was just in planning stages.
[First scan/concept art of the upcoming game]
Yuji Naka’s upcoming game has been teased in Famitsu and it won’t be published by SEGA. The game will be published by Kadokawa Games. Never heard of them? I don’t blame you, all they have done was a port of RPG Maker for DS and some other girl anime game. But it seems the company wants to become bigger, first step is with the Yuji Naka HD game (along with a game by Grasshopper).
“The game itself is an action title that takes place in the sky. The action gameplay is what I’m focusing on the most with this project — interactivity is the most important attraction with any sort of game, and if that doesn’t evolve, then games won’t be everything they can be. Sonic was all about completely taking over the land, and Nights brought that same concept into the skies. I had always thought that action games that take place in the sky are too hard for players to cope with, but then I thought up a new method for dealing with it. That’s how this project got started. If I had stuck around at Sega, then I might have used this concept to make a sequel to Nights!” – Yuji Naka (Prope)
It is most likely that SEGA passed on publishing Yuji Naka’s title. Most likely due to how poor a bigger known IP like NiGHTS did on Wii and how he compares the concept to that or it could be due to how poor Let’s Tap did. We will never know. We wish Naka luck with his new title and if its good, of course we will all be playing it, regardless of publisher.
Yuji Naka started his own company, Prope, which started its relationship with SEGA by making Let’s Tap and Let’s Catch. Even though the games where not huge budget releases or sold a billion copies, most fans liked them.
Now after releasing some mobile games and the Wii/DS port of one of those mobile games, Ivy the Kiwi? Yuji Naka is getting ready to announce his upcoming HD game.
“I’d love to talk more about it but my publisher is telling me not to (laughs). All I can say is it’s going to be a very original action game based in the sky and I will provide more information within this month.” – Yuji Naka
Should be interesting, I have been waiting for him to announce this ‘action title’ he has been teasing since Let’s Tap.
The video is very self explanatory, the game is simply about drawing a line that splits the screen directly in half… but there are obstacles in the way!
Still don’t know if Sega is involved with this one but I think they were quite silly to give up Ivy the Kiwi… I think this is a pretty neat idea. Nothing mind blowing but a good distraction.
“Draw a line with your finger to split the area in half. It is a very simple game. If you play this, you will find out just how amazing your powers of concentration and sense of balance are.”
The game is for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.
The guys from Destructoid have recently posted a interview with Yuji Naka, asking him what he thinks of Sonic’s current games and if he got to play them..
“Yes, I’ve played them a bit. I’m happy to see that Sonic is still growing after my departure. All the people that worked under me are still continuing the legacy of Sonic, and I’m glad to see that as well.
Realize that next year Sonic will be 20 years old. I look at it this way: 20 years of age is old enough to go out on your own, not relying on your father anymore. In that way, it’s good to take a step back and see what Sonic does from now.”
It is sad to see Yuji Naka not having any interest in doing a 20th anniversary game and ‘moving on’ from the franchise. What do you guys think?
“We’re currently developing an action game that has yet another new and unique control scheme, and another project that lets you experience a fun real-world activity within a game.” – Yuji Naka
With Playstation Move and Project Natal around the corner, it should be interesting to see what platform either of the projects is for.