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SEGA has released a brand new video of gameplay from the Lost Labyrinth level from the forthcoming WiiWare game, Sonic The Hedgehog 4, Episode 1. It really is looking so good! SEGA’s official Sonic City Blognik has also posted some detailed new information about the various improvements that have been added to the new episodic series. The first of these is the fact that you can now advance to the next Act/Zone like in the Genesis/Mega Drive games. In the original game, after completing each act you’d be taken to a level-select screen where you got to choose which act you wanted to play next. However, SEGA has decided that for this new version, it would be cool to give the hardcore fans something to remind them of the old-school Sonic experience, so they’ve added a new “Genesis-style advancement system”, which enables the player to advanced progressively through the game without ever seeing a level select screen, simply by pushing a button at the end of each stage.
The new blog post also gives a detailed explanation of the new World Map, that gives those that still want the choice of where to go next the freedom to do exactly that. Players can select any of the zones on the map to play or replay them whenever they like.
The third improvement that the blog mentions is what SEGA is calling “that little extra bit of nostalgia”, which is the implementation of classic-style endings to each stage, whereby Sonic zooms past the sign post at the end of the stage, just as he used to in the old Genesis/Mega Drive games. Apparently in the build of the game shown at E3, when you completed a stage, Sonic would hit an invisible wall and come to a complete stop. The development team decided it would be much more fun to replace that with the old method, just to preserve the tremendous sense of speed as Sonic whooshes past at the end.