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Sonic the Hedgehog 4It would seem that Sega has a preliminary version of Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 circulating in that online testing netherworld, as someone out there is leaking its assets.  Last week the game's entire soundtrack escaped into the wild, and this week we have a video of Splash Hill Zone, Act 1 in its entirety.  Sega has been removing YouTube clips of the footage, so you'll have to head over to TSSZ|News to check it out.  Go watch and then come back here.  I'll wait.

The video is a mostly clear (but not direct) and complete view of Splash Hill Zone, Act 1, and we can only assume it’s another PartnerNET leak.

I really like what I see here.  Brown checkerboard ground?  Check.  Classic badniks from the early Sega Genesis days?  Double-check.  Springs?  You know it.  The only thing that caught my eye in a less than positive way is that when hit, Sonic's collected rings do not fly outward from him.  Instead they just seem to drop to the ground and bounce a few times.  That makes them easier to recollect, yes, but I always liked how stray rings rocketed away violently whenever Sonic took damage.  This is not a Sonic 4 dealbreaker nor do I intend to start a petition, but it is something that I noticed.  If you're still hungry for new Sonic media, there are also a few alleged screenshots of the Lost Labyrinth Zone floating around.