Sega reveals first 2D Sonic the Hedgehog game in 15 years

Fifteen years. Fifteen long, painful years. That’s how long it’s been since the last great pure 2D game in the Sonic the Hedgehog series.

Since then, the world’s most renowned hedgehog has been shoehorned into a bunch of awkward 3D adventure games that have ranged from just above average to utterly risible. Even the “best” 3D Sonic game, Sonic Adventure, is over-rated, with its wonky characters and often inconsistent level design. That’s why, for a decade and a half, Sonic fans have pleaded with Sega to bring the ‘hog back to his 2D roots, where he was always most at home.

Earlier today, Sega caved.

Sonic the Hedgehog 4 will be a downloadable release for PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade, WiiWare, and the iPhone. It will be released in episodic chunks, with Episode I up first this July. It will feature 3D characters, but the worlds and gameplay will be 100% 2D. Also, HOLY CRAP AWESOME.

Here’s the debut trailer. It contains about three seconds of gameplay, but THAT IS ENOUGH.

[Via press release]