SEGA's Takashi Iizuka has said that Sonic the Hedgehog 4's physics were deliberately altered from those of the Mega Drive/Genesis originals for gameplay reasons.
Sonic 4: Episode I launched in October and Ellie loved it to bits, but some gamers complained about ropey physics, which saw the hedgehog losing momentum at a moment's notice.
"In this title, we have not done a straight port of the gameplay, but rather updated it with actions which could not be done in the previous titles, like ceiling-running," Iizuka explained to Nintendo Power magazine (thanks Aeropause), which had noted that the physics were not the same as those in the original 16-bit releases.
"These changes probably made for a different feel to the long-time Sonic fans," Iizuka conceded. "We're happy for feedback like this, and we'll make sure we can improve the quality even further in upcoming titles."
Iizuka may well be sick of hearing about the physics, mind you, seeing as people were even moaning about them prior to the game's release – prompting SEGA's Ken Balough and Aaron Webber to tell GameSpot's On The Spot in May, "We're gonna try and make it a bit less 'floaty' and a bit more like the pinball mechanics style that the classic Sonic games are," when announcing the delay that eventually saw the game released last month.
SEGA has yet to say when we may see an Episode II, but Iizuka's comments suggest it's on the way sooner or later.
Earlier this week, SEGA upset Sonic fans somewhat by wiping the Sonic the Hedgehog 4 leaderboards in order to remove scores obtained by cheating.