This morning, Sega announced that Sonic The Hedgehog 4: Episode 1, a sequel to the 2D, side-scrolling action-puzzlers gamers know and love, will be released on Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network and WiiWare this summer.
According to Sega associate brand manager Ken Balough, the game is a new adventure, but will pick up after Sonic & Knuckles, but marks the beginning of a new story arc. Hence the "Episode 1" subtitle.
"One of our goals was to make a gorgeous-looking 2D Sonic game," Balough told GameSpot. "This approach allows fans new and old to see what a 2D Genesis-style game would look like today with modern graphics"
According to Balough, Sonic favorites like spin-dash, and power sneakers are back, with the added appeal of a homing attack. The music will remind you of the 16-bit days but will be updated as well. Other than leaderboards, it doesn't look like there is any multi-player, and the game is designed to play identically on each system.
So, what do you think of the return of Sonic? Do you care? Do you think Sonic going download-only is an insult, given the full-disc, multiplayer treatement Mario got in Super Mario Bros. Wii?