It is an end of an era for Sonic the Hedgehog at the English theme park Alton Towers. The rollercoaster ride Sonic Spinball, which has been in operation under the Sonic branding since February 2010, has been re-themed as Spinball Whizzer. The ride originally opened in 2004 under the Spinball Whizzer name, but was given a Sonic re-theming with a lot of fanfare back in 2010. Not only was there a Sonic themed ride, but there was also a Sonic-themed hotel room as well as Sonic merchandise throughout the park. I’ve heard from fellow fans that the Sonic merch has been slowly drying up, signaling that the Sonic license may be coming to an end, and this recent news all but confirms it. It is unknown if the Sonic-themed hotel room has also been removed or will be removed. The room is best known to fans for being one of the earliest instances of Roger Craig Smith voicing Sonic the Hedgehog, as audio of Sonic would greet guests as they entered the room. Hilariously, due to an audio snafu the voice sounded much lower leading to the infamous “check out the consoles” line and many fans freaking out that the new Sonic sounds a lot older and slower. The audio was soon fixed, but it was funny while it lasted.
Roger spoke about recording for Alton Towers, as well as the audio mistake, in a Swingin’ Report Show podcast interview which can be heard right here. You should also check out the article Overlord did about his trip to the attractions back in 2010.
Note: “Closed” in the above graphic refers to how long the wait times are, not the permanent closure of rides. As the park was closed at the time of this screenshot, all rides are closed as well.
[Via Sonic Stadium]
Sonic the Hedgehog has always been about the games. Say what you will about the comics, or the TV shows, or novels that feature tractors, but at the end of the day, Sonic the Hedgehog is a gaming franchise. While everything else can keep the icon in the public’s mind, SEGA has always been more concerned about how many units they can move than the plot of Sonic Underground. After all, that’s where they make their money. That’s where the state of the franchise is derived. That is what so many blogs and news sites focus on when they think “Sonic the Hedgehog.”
With Sonic’s 20th anniversary, there is going to be plenty of reflection on the franchise. I predict no less than fifty blog sites will put up “the top ten best Sonic games ever” that will feature the genesis games, Sonic CD, and Sonic Adventure in the top spots, with maybe the random “Sonic Advance” or “Sonic Triple Trouble” to break up the monotony. I know that, at least for me, I’m not going to sully the front page of this fine establishment with such a list. That is why I turn my attention for the moment on something that I am far too familiar with…the Archie Sonic the Hedgehog series.
It’s been a while since Sega released a batch of Mega Drive/Genesis games on Steam. For those looking to play some Genesis titles on their computers with a little bit more legality on their side, Sega’s preparing a batch of 11 games for launch… sometime.
While no specific date was given for their release, these 11 games will soon be available through Steam at a $2.99 nibble to the wallet.
- Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle
- Bonanza Bros.
- Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine
- Ecco Jr.
- Eternal Champions
- Galaxy Force II
- Kid Chameleon
- Sonic Spinball
- Super Thunder Blade
I give some applause to Sega for not immediately shipping out the usual suspects, as far as Sonic is concerned, though what is being released isn’t terribly fascinating either as they’re the more popular titles when Sega’s 16-bit days come to mind. Looking to pick any up?