Some good news and possibly some bad news for Sonic fans this week. Sega have revealed that while Sonic 4 Episode 2 will discard the new physics that were so disliked by fans in Episode 1, reverting to those used in the Mega Drive/Genesis era Sonic games, it is also the last one in the series planned at this time. In an interview with Eurogamer, Sonic Team boss Takashi Iizuka explained:
“With Episode 1 we built the physics from the ground up. This time, rather than adding to it, we went back to the original Mega Drive Sonic games and we looked at the physics from them. We tried to make sure we replicated the things people were keen about for Episode 2. That’s the way we addressed it. I wanted to make sure people could play the game and it not feel unnatural. It should feel right. Rather than thinking of it as us trying to say, ‘okay, this is the way it should be,’ we looked at feedback where people were saying, ‘this feels unnatural.’ Those were the things we decided to eliminate, so it should feel natural when they play the game.”
It’s not all back to the 16 bit era for Sonic though, the game is set to include a much improved co-op system with Tails being less of a side kick and more of a full playable character. However when asked how many Sonic 4 Episodes they planned to release, Takashi Iizuka responded:
“Obviously, we named Sonic 4 [or] Episode 4 with the name Episode 1. So we already planned Episode 2 at the time we created it. But we only actually planned for Episode 2 when we created Episode 1. We planned up to Episode 2. Now we’ve created up to Episode 2, we’re interested to see what the market thinks of it. We want to hear people’s feedback. We want to see how well it performs. And then maybe we can look at what to do next.”
Sonic 4 Episode 2 is set to spin onto XBLA this spring but check out our review of Sonic 4 Episode 1 while you wait.