Leaked Off-Screen Footage of Sonic 4 Revels in Nostalgia

Man, people holding preview events behind closed doors need to implement tighter security, because the guy with the camera built into his hat keeps getting through. In the grand tradition of alpha gameplay getting leaked, I now present some off-screen footage of the upcoming Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1.

So, despite the shakiness, I think it gives us a good indication of where Sonic 4 is headed and that is the series’ salad days of 1994, specifically. I’m still not a fan of his running animation, but if things keep moving in this direction, I’ll pick it up for sure. How about you guys?

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mitch@gamersushi.com Twitter: @mi7ch Gamertag: Lubeius PSN ID: Lubeius SteamID: Lube182 Origin/EA:Lube182 Currently Playing: Stardew Valley, Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords, Battlefield 4, Tom Clancy Double Feature: Rainbow Six Siege and The Division

11 thoughts on “Leaked Off-Screen Footage of Sonic 4 Revels in Nostalgia”

  1. is this on the real? I totally geeked out while watching this. I was a massive Sega/Sonic fanboy back in the day. I still have my Genesis/Sega CD and all the Sonic games (1,2,3,S&K,CD). This kinda makes me want to hook it up and play a little bit haha.

    Pumped for Sonic 4!

  2. Yeah, not as big of a fan of the animation. I like the more 3D look, but Sonic does not look as speedy as he used to.

  3. I think the animation is fine, actually. There are only a couple of spots in the video where he actually gets running fast enough for his legs to do the “wheel blur” but it does happen. I’m more excited about the fact that they seem to have the momentum physics down, which was always a key aspect of Sonic games; once you stopped, it was such a chore to get up to speed again. Level design seemed a bit closed off, but all the old games had sections like that which were connected by areas where you could run full speed.

    Muaddib’s question makes me think that Sonic has become the ultimate retro game. You really just had to be a Genesis owner back in the early 90s to fully understand what was so great about it. Not that this will stop me from trying to explain: From a game standpoint, it was all about great level design, fantastic music, and the rush of flying through the level as fast as possible. It was also so colorful and well animated at the time that it just stood out. And considering that the majority of early SNES titles were plagued with slowdown, a lot of us Genesis kids really believed in the whole “blast processing” nonsense.

    Oh, and hats off to anyone who ever got more than 2 or 3 chaos emeralds because those bonus stages got freaking HARD.

  4. I’m with Muaddib. The answer is nostalgia, and not much else.

    Looks like the devs realized the direction changes didn’t work in the recent games, so they made something that looks exactly like the oldest games. *fartnoise* – I hope it works for the sonicseekers.

  5. But it isn’t JUST about nostalgia. Great game design is great game design, pure and simple. Is Sonic a deep gaming experience compared to modern console games? Of course not. But few 16 bit games were. I think that’s why Sega has gone the DLC route for this game; even a hard core Sonic fan like myself would be hard pressed to justify paying $60 for a traditional Sonic game unless it adds a ton of bells & whistles (like New Super Mario wii).

  6. [quote comment=”10272″]I’m with Muaddib. The answer is nostalgia, and not much else.

    Looks like the devs realized the direction changes didn’t work in the recent games, so they made something that looks exactly like the oldest games. *fartnoise* – I hope it works for the sonicseekers.[/quote]

    Nostalgia only works with playing the OLD game.

  7. apparently all those new bells and whistles did not work out for the newer sonic games.

    When I played games when I was younger I was a mario and pokemon junkie.

  8. I agree Anthony, it’s the same reason that the new Mario Brothers was fun, sure, but it was nothing compared to Super Mario World on SNES. Kind of turned it into an easy fratboy game with the whole bubble system and everything.

  9. But the post-Genesis Sonic games weren’t just about “bells and whistles” additions, they were completely different experiences. It’s like comparing Super Mario World to Super Mario 64; they’re fundamentally different games. A game like New SM Bros wii takes the concept of the old 2d games and does a good job of modernizing it.

    If Sega wants to make a modern looking Sonic game based around 1992 design principles, that’s fine but that sort of game belongs as DLC. If they want to build on those principles to create a deeper or more rewarding game experience, then they would be justified releasing it as a stand alone game.

    Sega has been trying to mimic the success of Mario’s 3d transition since the Sonic Adventure days. Those games were flawed, but still fun. Since then, we haven’t been so lucky. Sonic fans wouldn’t be complaining about non-2d Sonic games if Sega made some that were actually good.

    The problem with Sonic now is that he’s become an iconic cash cow for Sega. Sonic Unleashed? Sonic and the Black Knight? These games actually sell pretty well even though they just bank on the brand recognition of Sonic. While I’ve heard that the portions of Unleashed where you actually run are quite good, why do you have to spend most of the game in a crappy brawler as a werehedgehog? That’s just a foolish design decision unless you’re marketing to people who aren’t necessarily looking for a “Sonic experience.”

    I kind of wish they would have made another Sonic and the Secret Rings, to be honest. That game was actually quite fun, but it was dragged down in spots by mediocre level design and occasionally awkward control. I think that game could have served as the blueprint for a REALLY good Sonic series, but they just haven’t gone back to it.

    Pity.

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