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 Thunder Force VI complete... next, Space Harrier 4D? Fantasy Zone 3?
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Thunder Force VI complete... next, Space Harrier 4D? Fantasy Zone 3? - Nov 05, 2008 20:55

Get ready, Space Harrier fans.
Tez Okana, the Japanese director of games including Astro Boy Omega Force, Gunstar Super Heroes and Thunder Force VI for PS2, wants to get his hands on Sega's revered Space Harrier franchise.

Asked by Edge magazine which games he'd like to work on after Thunder Force VI, he replied, "Well, there are two dormant Sega licenses which I would love to work on, Space Harrier 4D and Fantasy Zone 3."

Okana is currently working on "Project STG," an effort within Sega to revive the shooter genre with new versions of fan favorite shooters.

Thunder Force VI is only the first step for Project STG.

"Should our first step be a success, I really would like to get some big studios and resources on those," Okana said. "But Thunder Force VI is a very decisive step so others can come after.

"I need to demonstrate our approach is viable. But for my next step, I’d really like to work on Space Harrier. This is a unique game in Sega’s history that projected us into some incredible worlds and experiences. But the success of Thunder Force VI is the key to any future projects."

First of all, I wonder how successful Thunder Force VI can be as a PS2 title well into that console's twilight years.  But I'm sure they factored that timing into their criteria for success.

It would be interesting to see what direction these projects could take.  My initial speculation is that a new Space Harrier project would have to be aimed at a smaller audience, since the on-rails shooter is viewed by most gamers as being an outdated concept.  Then again, who's to say that a new Space Harrier would necessarily have to be on rails?  

Either Space Harrier or Fantasy Zone would be appealing projects to work on just because the established aesthetic is so completely crazy.

Overall, I'm all for a revival of the classic shooter genre in general... (although as an aside, I think the new R-Type has been handled all wrong.  The original R-Type was stunning for its incredibly detailed graphics and gigantic bosses.  The new one, in HD, seems lacking in detail and far too cartoony.)


Oh, one other thing that caught my eye from the interview:

Now, I said that the people in charge of managing this company are very anxious to be profitable. But at the same time, these people know about games too. When I put my idea on the table I realized they also loved shooting games. So during the meeting we spoke about money but also about all those past glorious arcade shooters: they particularly loved Tatsujin! So adding all these elements together, I got the green light for my project.

<message edited by Zoy on Nov 05, 2008 21:01>

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