At long last, the big reveal is here. Sega has been teasing their next Sonic game for ages, even pulling a fast one on us with their cast list game (don’t worry, it’s just Sonic in this one — no pink fluffy eyed Chao babies or what-have-you). Now, we know what the fuss is all about: Sonic the Hedgehog 4. Wait, there’s more: Episode 1. As in, the first of several episodes. As in your inner child will be experiencing euphoria for quite some time. Too much? To heck with it, it’s Sonic 4, man.
From what very little has been teased with the reveal, it certainly seems this will live up in every way to the original titles. Graphically, it looks identical, save for high-defintion goodness — it’s noted it’ll have 3D visuals, though we can’t see how at this stage. In any case it looks great, and is exactly what original Sonic fans have wanted for ages. Sega said they’d be going back to the roots; we were definitely skeptical, but it really appears they’ve got their heads screwed on straight this time.
As for details, it’ll be coming to Xbox LIVE Arcade, WiiWare, PlayStation Network, and one mystery platform — the video and official website show us a blank rectangular space with a lock and a question mark around it near the other platform logos. Looks like a perfect fit for the Steam logo to us, so PC gamers should hold out hope. Differences between versions are worth noting, too: the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions will run at 1080p; the Wii version will be limited to 480p. No special controls for Xbox gamers, but Wii and PS3 owners will be able to take advantage of motion control courtesy of the WiiMote and Sixaxis, respectively.
Though subtitled Episode 1, Sonic 4 will be a full-length title. Sega associate brand manager Ken Balough notes, “When Sega released Sonic 3, ultimately it was the part 1 of a story that saw its conclusion in Sonic & Knuckles. In that same spirit, Sonic the Hedgehog 4 is a bigger story, and this is that first chapter.”
We also know it will take place after Sonic & Knuckles (aka the last true Sonic title), and all the classic moves are there (spin dash, power sneakers, etc.), in addition to a new one: homing attack. Leaderboards will be in store, too.