Sonic hasn't exactly had a crisis-free adulthood. Of all the popular characters who've been forced to cough out a new franchise entry every 9-18 months, Sonic's journey has perhaps been the most tortured of any since the era of pizza mascot games. We loved to think that maybe with the announcement of a brand new, reboot-level take of the core gameplay--Sonic 4 was going to be a spindash in the right direction.
Regardless of what you thought of Sonic 4: Episode 1 when it released in 2010, it was difficult not to drop it like a bad lover in reverence to a fan trailer of Mushroom Hill Zone as well as a playable demo of Emerald Hill Zone. These represented a bright new world where gorgeous graphics were the norm, but where nothing could stand in the way of the pixel-perfect physics of the the old games. Fans and faithful followers all rejoiced at the mere thought of a 2D Sonic with these priorities, which didn't seem to be keeping much momentum in Sonic 4.
This year's Sonic Generations may have been a testing bed for whether such hardcore physics and split-second gameplay can appease the market to which Sega's otherwise been oblivious. The positive reviews and attention it garnered must have had some effect on their plans for the next great Sonic title, because the above video comes with an announcement on Sega's dev blog:
Fans have been eagerly anticipating the next episode in Sonic's new side-scrolling adventure, and SEGA has been listening closely to their feedback. Armed with all-new character animations and a completely reworked physics engine, Episode II will expand the Sonic 4 storyline with new areas to speed through and new challenges to face.
So if you're among the many Sonic fans who wanted a more oldschool feel to what should be an instant classic, then Sega hopes to lure you back into the cycle of hope with these words. Will you take the plunge? Keep in mind that the slippery slope of too-many-characters has begun to tilt and keen, though the addition of Tails in Episode 2 may just introduce a co-op element that's been missing for years.
Another blind hope: if these new physics turn out to be as deliciously retro as they should be, will Sega release an updated version of Sonic 4: Episode 1 for free as an apology? Tune in next time, chili dogs!