There's been this thing I've noticed about you specifically frequently (for a year's time approx.) and a few others here. At any opportunity, if the negativity is getting so astounding (as you say), you will take the chances you get to defend the developer and try to induce some sappy "they're trying really hard" vibe and get us sympathetic with them. You seem to forget that they're a company and that they're selling a product. I don't know what the hell it is about Sonic's loyalest fans, but they act as if every game is a gift and that we should be a hell of a lot more humbled and thankful that the franchise is still going. And this is disregarding even if said defender knows that Sonic had over a decade of abysmal to average at best games (and really, that especial kind of attitude irks me).
Try to look at it from this perspective that they have teams that are usually the same size (this is speaking on the fangames that have relative staffs of an average 10-12 members) or larger than the regular fangame staff here on Retro. Hell, two guys that were being payed nothing whatsoever for their effort made an excellent four level set of remixes that is still far better than what Dimps is doing on Sonic 4, gameplay-wise. The problem is that the company is not devoted to fixing these problems if their game is still profitable. And honestly, with the design of Sonic 4: Episode 1, who didn't want them to completely overhaul the game? It's not our fault if the gaming journalism's finest critics seem to have lulled Sega into the belief that just because it's a 2D Sonic game that it's good.
It especially doesn't make too much sense for you to try defend a game that's going to have levels that are even more linear than the first episode's. Absolutely everything that you can see that we've gotten from the convention indicates levels that push you in mostly one general direction. But, hey! This negativity's just too much for the poor guys being payed tens of thousands of dollars to put out an inferior product when their own fanbase can (and does) develop far better titles (however rarely, even if marred in the horizon with all the others)! For all we know, Dimps's development teams are probably sick of developing Sonic games and it's apparent that they're only going to give half a damn over it instead of having Sega take the project off to a different team with more enthusiasm and interest and passion to back the project.
Your logic is invalid. Thanks for playing.