The announcement of Sonic the Hedgehog 4—Sega's episodic, downloadable return to 2D hedgehog platforming for Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network and WiiWare—was exciting, but lacking in both screen shots and video. That's why we have leaks.

1UP has received a handful of screens and one poorly filmed off-screen gameplay video of the next Sonic the Hedgehog game, showing what Sonic looks like in motion when played by your average gamer. Those screens also confirm four zones—Splash Hill Zone, Lost Labyrinth Zone, Casino Street Zone, Mad Gear Zone and a "Special Stage"—from the first episode of Sonic 4.

We've doubled checked with Sega to see what they have to say about the matter and will burst forth with gold rings when and if they get back to us.

Leaked Video and Screens Reveal Levels in Sonic the Hedgehog 4 [1UP]