Sega has announced that the Sonic the Hedgehog 4 delay time has been spent very well indeed, listing a number of improvements that have been made to the game since last we saw it. The biggest news is that the controversial minecart level has been totally overhauled, and now is only a small part of a single act.
Act II of Lost Labyrinth is no longer a motion controlled minecart level but a torch-based exploration one. Most of the Act is in pitch black and Sonic has to keep a torch lit to see where he’s going. Encouragingly, Sega has said that “Sonic is more than about speed” and has designed this level to showcase that. The cart will only be at the end of the Act, and won’t require fiddly motion control.
In other changes, Sonic’s animations have been tweaked so that his legs now become blurry a lot faster. This is a small fix, but it was weird to see Sonic take so long to hit top speed, so this should make the game feel a lot better. Finally, Sega has balanced the gameplay a little, working on making a game that is challenging but not frustrating.
Seems like Sega really took some criticism on board and is working to meet expectations, which is fabulous news. I love that Sega admitted that speed wasn’t the only part of a Sonic game that mattered. I’ve been saying that for years. All in all, it’s great to see Sega care, and I hope that continues.
Sonic 4 Update Blog – Part I [Sega]