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nz17 Thursday, 04 February 2010 01:52:41 +0000
Subject: Sonic The Hedgehog 4 Revealed
After years and years, we get a new "2D" Sonic console game. Is it 2D HD? 8/16-bit graphics revival ala Mega Man 9? No, this is a "2.5D" 3D side-scrolling game. Carefully examining the graphics, I notice that the 3D Sonic model looks like the one from DIMPS's Nintendo DS Sonic games. Close inspection reveals that besides Sonic, the graphics all seem to be 2D pre-rendered computer graphics in multiple layers with parallax scrolling and extra effects like bloom and such. Since this is how the Nintendo DS games were crafted, this pretty much confirms that DIMPS is the developer. This would seem all the more likely since DIMPS hasn't made a new Sonic game in this style since 2007 and the company was responsible for the traditional daytime levels in Sonic Unleashed for the Wii. Now if we could only get Hideki Naganuma to do the music for this game too, I'd be in 'Hog Heaven.

Furthermore, the game will see release only as a downloadable title on XBLA, PSN, and WiiWare. The first two will run in 1080p with Wii running at 480p. Both PS3 and Wii will use limited motion control - judging by the phrasing in the article linked below, I imagine this to be used only in the Special Stages.

Strangely the game will be episodic with the first episode due during Summer 2010. Mention is made of a story too big to contain in one game but it is compared to Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles, which were basically two halves of the same game released a year apart. This thereby makes it difficult to speculate whether they mean the story is big by modern standards or are just exaggerating to make it seem more epic, since Sonic 3 & Knuckles had a relatively thin plot. Sonic has been confirmed as the only playable character, but the appearance of supporting characters in non-playable roles is also confirmed. This could mean they help ala an AI controlling Tails in the old Genesis games or that the characters just play a role in the plot line.

Sources:
http://www.gamespot.com/xbox360/action/sonicthehedgehog4episode1/news.html?sid=6249457
http://www.gamespot.com/xbox360/action/sonicthehedgehog4episode1/news.html?sid=6249445