In 2010, Sonic the Hedgehog 4 sounded like exactly what we wanted from stalled franchise, as Sonic was going back to basics and returning to his 2D roots. While it had its fans, many took issue with the physics, the graphics, and the amount of content you got for the $15 price. After more than a year passed since the first “episode,” fans will finally get a chance to see how the story continues, though it sounds like things won’t be entirely the same thanks to fan feedback.
The above teaser trailer is cute even if it’s missing little things like characters and gameplay, but Sega makes it sound like you’ll be surprised when you finally do see the actual game. In one interview Sega’s Ken Balough listed a brand new graphics and physics engine as features for the title, which is good as many found that Sonic 4’s original polygonal look and unnatural controls betrayed the title’s retro spirit. It’s great to hear they’re trying to make the series better, though we would have liked to actually see those physics and updated Sonic character model instead of just hearing about them.
Another change is Episode 2 will feature Tails, everyone’s favorite Sonic pal, though the inclusion of the mutant fox goes against the “no crappy friends allowed” theme of Episode 1. Also, the appearance of Metal Sonic as the villain goes along with earlier reports that Episode II’s story is connected to Sonic CD. After Sonic Generations’ unabashed tribute to Sonic history, Sonic 4 as a concept feels a little redundant, and we’d even speculated the series had been cancelled. It’s interesting to see it still exists, but will those planned changes be enough to keep it relevant? And just when will it launch in 2012? There’s a whole lot of the year left.