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ONM preview hints Sonic 4 changes, seems pleased

June 2, 2010

Last month, Sega spokespeople confirmed Sonic 4: Episode 1 was being pushed back to late 2010 in order to address fan complaints of the game as well as the iPhone version containing two exclusive levels that utilize the system’s touch and tilt functions.

We may have confirmation on one of those levels by way of a preview from Official Nintendo Monthly.

According to Chris Scullian, who penned the preview, the Wii version of the title only had one motion control area: the Special Stage.

A Special Surprise

The Special Stage is a fantastic update of the spinny, psychedelic one from the first Sonic game. In the original, you had to guide Sonic through a maze of coloured stones to reach a Chaos Emerald. It’s exactly the same here, with the same lovely sound effect going off every time Sonic bumps into one of the colour-changing gems, and the same familiar chime when he picks up the Emerald at the end of the stage.

There are a couple of additions this time though. There are also ring gates that you can’t get past unless you’ve collected enough rings, so if you haven’t managed it you need to go back and get more. What’s more, the Special Stages also have motion control, so you’ll be tilting Sonic left and right with the Remote.

I Second That Motion

This is the only time you’ll be tilting the Remote in the game, and it works. The Special Stages look superb and the addition of tilting controls doesn’t seem to detract from the experience whatsoever. And yes, the rest of the main game is very much the traditional D-pad and buttons setup from previous Sonic games.

That would mean the infamous mine cart stage, which required players to tilt the controller or use the triggers on the Xbox Live Arcade version to tilt the entire stage in order to control Sonic, has been removed from the console versions and has become one of the iPhone/iPod Touch exclusive levels.

Overall, the preview is positive, with Scullian complimenting the game’s Genesis era-like feel in controls and play style and the use of momentum to build speed. Click here to check out the full preview.

[Via Sonic Stadium]

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