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'Sonic the Hedgehog 4,' a Genesis-style throwback

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Attention, old-skool Sonic fans: Sega has revealed that its long-discussed Project Needlemouse will be Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1. The game will be available as a download this summer for Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii. Exciting!

The game is a throw-back to a Genesis-era Sonic, according to Sega’s interview with Gamespot, and will pick up after Sonic and Knuckles.

On the one hand, I am a huge sucker for Genesis-era anything: I was talking about Ecco the Dolphin just yesterday. (Really!) On the other hand, the Sonic franchise has produced some real stinkers in recent years. The trailer on the official site (warning: makes noise) is encouraging, but I’m still a little wary.

And you, PopWatchers? Have you been eagerly awaiting Sonic’s return to greatness?