The Sonic 4 Episode 2 madness is beginning and we’ve not even had a proper announcement for it yet!
The day’s craziness began with an anonymous report to SEGA Bits detailing that the individual in question had “obtained access to a prototype build via the Xbox Live PARTNERNET program.” and remarking that they are concerned that the much decried physics of Sonic The Hedgehog 4 Episode I are “exactly the same” as those in episode two.
“Yes, letting go of the stick makes Sonic drop like a brick. The reason I am telling you this information is that if it is out in the open, the fans will have a chance to speak out and make SEGA delay the game. I am worried if it is left too late Sega will push out yet another disappointing software product.”
A second update on the SEGA Bits website from the tipster resulted in information that the first zone was to be called “Cryptic Clock Zone” and would be “set in a dark moonlit Stonehenge like area.
The lack of physics changes, if accurate in the final product shouldn’t be that much of a shock really; in fact I talked with SEGA Bits about the likelihood of such on their Swinging Report podcast less than a week ago – I’d check that out for more information on my stance and even then I didn’t go into how you’d then have to reset all the leaderboards of Sonic 4, etc. You wouldn’t have two parts of the same whole with completely different engines after all. The fact that a build of Sonic 4 Episode II might actually exist on PartnerNET (a service which where SEGA titles are concerned appears to have all the security of a blabbermouth sieve in a megaphone factory) prior to any official announcement on the title is really shocking. Doubly so when you bear in mind all the problems from Episode I.
Another point is that the timing of the email can also be thought of as somewhat suspicious, depending upon how long the build has been on there. If it does exist and has been on there for a while, then the current season would potentially play into the hands of any would-be leaker. After all with all company employees disappearing off for Christmas there will not be anyone to damage control/deal with any significant leak should it occur over this period. Of course the big worry is that the build goes public again a la episode one’s problems
Subsequent doubt was thrown on the rumours by TSSZ’s Twitter account and following investigations of the alleged source their Cryptic Clock related update disappeared from the site. This was later backed up by this article revealing that Ken Balough had responded to enquiries on the matter and had refuted that the first stage was called Cryptic Clock. TSSZ rightly pointed out however this didn’t necessarily mean that there wasn’t a stage called Cryptic Clock… which prompted a near immediate response citing that the level name in any position was “Grade-A Baloney.”
Balough in the meantime though did post news of the official sort, via his much mooted hint of a hint (of a hint) on SEGA’s official forums.
If you’re an Episode II fan
I would go back to where the Sonic 4 Campaign first began
In a month filled with presents and Christmas hams
think of the day, the HMS Warrior first swam
The HMS Warrior is a permanent fixture of Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard and was Britain’s first ironclad warship, which was launched on December 29th, 1860 (illustrated below). This would therefore be the day it first swam. Could December 29th be when we get our first information proper about Sonic The Hedgehog 4 Episode II? Perhaps even a teaser trailer?
Baring in mind that a lot of the industry shuts up shop for the Christmas to New Year period this could be either lunacy or a master stroke. Whatever this is, hopefully this won’t be a teaser trailer like the Sonic 4 Episode I which tells you nothing apart from the blatently obvious… and partly hidden things they leave in by mistake.
Whatever the case I guess we’re definitely in line for another wondrous time of having any new piece of Sonic 4 news being prefixed by the words TODAY ON THE SPOTTTTTTTTT.
More as it occurs….