Those of you anxiously waiting for the upcoming release of Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 may want to skip to the end of this article and hit “Play” on that little video there, because it may not be around for long.

You may remember we reported similar leaked footage back in February, but for those of you who were lucky enough to watch that video, rest assured that this one is entirely new.

The new leaked gameplay video shows Sonic running (or rather, power-walking) through the game’s very first act, Splash Hill Zone, Act 1. Unfortunately, the player in the video doesn’t appear to be the greatest gamer in the world. Still, it does manage to help us see what Sonic 4 will be like. “And what will it be like?” I hear you ask. Well, that’s simple. It’s like Sonic. That’s all there is really to say.

Putting aside the seemingly jerky walking/running animations, Sonic 4 looks incredibly like Sonic 1/2/3. The sense of speed, along with the level design and enemy placements, all seem to be reminiscent of Sonic’s earlier 2D fares. Unlike its predecessors however, Sonic 4 does not seem to care about the laws of physics and momentum – freely allowing Sonic to walk up a wall with no hassle. Sure, it was excusable in the earlier games when you saw Sonic run up a 20ft wall, but to see him calmly walk up? Color me skeptical.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6Bu4H9dtRA&feature=player_embedded

[Update: Here are the other videos superblizhedgehog mentions in the comments below. Please note that they do not include any sound. Catch ’em while you can. And thanks, superblizhedgehog.]

This next video is the coolest of the bunch, since it gives us our very first glimpse of what we can expect from boss battles in this game. We also get our first look at what Sonic underwater will be like. After getting through the level things get really exciting as Sonic gives us our first glimpse at a Robotnik battle. Finally, the video ends with the Sonic trademark soft fuzzy animals being released from their metallic prison.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DOEVotpYTGo

Act 3 of Splash Hill Zone shows a bit more of what you saw in the earlier video. What is interesting to note is that Act 3 doesn’t end with a boss battle, which leaves me to believe that levels might actually have more than 3 acts — perhaps 3 acts and a boss stage? What it does feature is Sonic jumping into a giant ring, which can only mean one thing: bonus stage! If these videos don’t have you excited, you obviously get out way too much.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxcLzOUtjdg

Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 will be racing onto the PlayStation Network, WiiWare, and Xbox Live Arcade sometime this Summer.

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