Celebrating Sonic the Hedgehog’s 25th anniversary with 25 great underrated moments

sonic 25 headerSEGA’s Sonic the Hedgehog franchise turns 25 today, and while we’ve celebrated franchise milestone years in the past, there is something really special about this one. A quarter of a century is a long time, and it is a testament to SEGA’s perseverance and the devotion of the Sonic fanbase that the franchise is still going strong. Sonic Lost World and the Sonic Boom franchise – particularly the games – are often pinpointed as the franchise’s recent weak points and signs that the franchise as a whole needs to be put down or at the very least take a long break. While I am not here to debate the merits of Sonic Lost World and Sonic Boom, I will say that to end a series or take a long break because of either is both incredibly shortsighted and far too extreme a reaction. I would also argue that Sonic is about much more than just the main series games, as fans like to label the major titles, and that there has always been great Sonic things happening even during the franchise’s darkest years.

In celebration of 25 years of Sonic the Hedgehog, join me in looking back year-by-year as I shine the light on great moments in Sonic history that more people need to be talking about.

Corey Marshall the English voice for Ryo Hazuki reprises role for Shenmue 3

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It has now been confirmed that the voice actor for the English version of Ryo Hazuki, Corey Marshall, will reprise his role in Shenmue III. Corey Marshall has been a huge Shenmue supporter, especially when when it came to advocating for a new entry into the franchise. Many people had a love and hate relationship with the delivery and how he played Ryo’s character, but for those that have nostalgic memories playing the Western releases of Shenmue 1 & 2x will be thrilled to know the old Ryo has returned.

Corey Marshall has decided to help the cause of funding Shenmue III by adding a a new reward tier, as a $1,000 reward where you get a personalized Ryo voice message. If you pick up this tier, you will also get everything included in the $500 dollar package.

What do you guys think of Corey Marshall reprising his role of Ryo Hazuki? Did you guys want to see someone new? Do you think they even needed English voices? Let us know in the comments. 

Swingin’ Report Show #75: Interview with Lisle Wilkerson – Shenmue II, Virtua Fighter and Crazy Taxi voice actress

We celebrate 75 episodes in style on this week’s Swingin’ Report Show podcast! Joining us for an interview is Lisle Wilkerson, best known to SEGA fans for her voice work on Shenmue II, Virtua Fighter and Crazy Taxi. Learn what it’s like growing up in Japan and recording for some of SEGA’s greatest Dreamcast and arcade titles. Lisle also tells us about her correspondence work and her acting work on Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation with Bill Murray.

Then, George and Barry discuss the recent news of SEGA of America’s restructuring, dissecting SEGA Sammy’s official document to figure out what exactly we can expect in the future from SEGA. So what are you doing still reading this? We have a special guest and big SEGA news! Click play and enjoy our 75th show!

Don’t forget to follow Lisle Wilkerson on Twitter and Facebook!

[Download] [RSS] [iTunes] [Archive]

Chikao Ōtsuka, Japanese voice actor of Doctor Eggman, has passed away

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Sad news today, as we have learned that Chikao Ōtsuka has passed away at age 85. Chikao Ōtsuka was the Japanese language voice actor of Doctor Eggman, and the longest running Eggman voice actor to date, voicing the character since 1998’s Sonic Adventure. Chikao Ōtsuka’s passing was confirmed on the talent agency website for Aoni Productions, the cause of death was given as ischemic heart failure.

Our thoughts are with Chikao Ōtsuka’s family, friends, and fans at this sad time.

Christine Cavanaugh, voice actress of Bunnie Rabbot in ABC’s Sonic the Hedgehog, has passed away

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Sad news as 2014 winds to a close, we have learned that voice actress Christine Cavanaugh had passed away on December 22nd. Her obituary, which was posted by the LA Times today, does not give any cause of death but the focus really should be on celebrating Christine’s life and her incredible work.

If you don’t know Christine Cavanaugh’s name, you’d undoubtably recognize her voice as she not only performed Bunnie Rabbot in ABC’s Sonic the Hedgehog, but she is also well known as the original voice of Dexter from Dexter’s Laboratory, Chuckie from Rugrats, Marty Sherman from The Critic, and Oblina in Ahhhhh Real Monsters. Film and TV audiences will best recognize her as the voice of Babe in 1995’s Babe as well as playing a major supporting role in the classic The X-Files episode “Small Potatoes”. You can see Christine’s many roles at her IMBD listing.

Our thoughts are with Christine’s family, she will be missed.

The REAL “Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog” Tails voice actor speaks up!

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Back in December of 2013, fans of the early 90’s cartoon Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog were saddened to learn that actor Christopher Evan Welch, the man credited as voicing Miles “Tails” Prower, had passed away. However, soon after the news hit, several fans noted a discrepancy with the actor’s age and the obvious child-like voice of Tails. Christopher Evan Welch was 28 in 1993, there’s no way he could have pulled off such a voice. I decided to find out if Evan Welch was indeed the voice actor of Tails, and after a few e-mails with friends of the actor and a call to Evan Welch’s agent in New York, I came to the conclusion that Christopher Evan Welch did NOT voice Tails. But if he didn’t, then that meant another actor did, and it was possible that the REAL Christopher Welch was still out there.

The guy behind the “shrill” NPC voice in Shenmue II explains how it came to be

The Shenmue series may be known as a pioneer in a lot of ways…none of those ways includes the quality of its English dub. Shenmue Dojo yesterday posted a story from a voice actor who did some NPC voices from Shenmue II. Not a whole lot about the process we hadn’t heard from Jeremy Blaustein’s revealing interview a while back, but I still got a few chuckles out of this.

The actor, who asked to be anonymous (though Shenmue Dojo attests to his legitimacy), explained to his agent that he was not capable of altering his voice convincingly, but he was then asked to do just that when he showed up for the Shenmue II recording session.

For the next role, I was asked to do the voice of an old man.
My agent, who was in the control room, did not say anything at all. In fact, I saw the agent ducking out of my line of sight. Nothing from the agent about the fact that I had accepted the job on the condition that I not have to alter my voice. Because my voice characterizations are not good and game players will notice the poor quality. And no clearheaded game producer wants to put bad voices on their project. Right?

Once again, I was on the spot. Well, it’s their game, I figured. One standard elderly-man voice coming up.

My favorite part of this story would have to be when this actor reveals that he was also the one responsible for that quirky NPC with the high-pitched voice, and I actually have a feeling that I know which voice it was.

One of the characters was described to me as an especially weird fellow and they needed an appropriately weird voice. They played some scenes on the monitor. They gave me a moment to think of a voice style.

They didn’t like my first attempt and neither did I.

The next attempt was a shrill, scratchy concoction that actually hurt to do. “No way will they want this voice,” I thought.

They loved it.

I had a created a voice that sounds like a cross between Clint Eastwood and Richard Simmons.

As I was recording, I remember thinking to myself “This character voice is terrible. If I were playing this game and heard this voice, I’d turn off the sound.”

He also discusses how he and a couple other actors improvised the background chatter of the Heavens gang, the small studio in which the recording was done, and his declaration that he will never accept video game voicework again. Pretty entertaining.

[Source: Shenmuedojo]

Actor Chris Evans to voice Captain America in game

Not surprising that Chris Evans, who got picked to play Captain America in the upcoming movie Captain America: The First Avenger, will be voicing the Captain in the video game based on the movie. Why isn’t it a surprise? Chris played Johnny Storm in the Fantastic 4 movies and voiced the video game character. Man is not scared of talking into a microphone for money.

So whether or not you are looking forward to the game, we posted a press release. Check it out after the jump.

Sonic fan film to get original Sonic voice actor

If you guys didn’t know, there is some fans working on a Sonic the Hedgehog film, Eddie Lebron is already in the finishing stages of the fan movie. Now, if you are asking yourself if the guy in the middle is an older Steve Urkel from Family Matters fame… it is.

Jaleel White white was the first voice actor for Sonic, he voiced him in three cartoons. Seems the fan film has pulled the retired Sonic voice actor back to the hot seat, according to the site they had him record as a older and younger Sonic, they are still going to choose what version to use. The film is set to be 10-15 minutes long, so don’t expect a Lord of the Rings long movie.

[Via: TSSZNews]

Sonic Spinball Ride and Sonic’s new voice!

As you may know a well know theme park in the UK, Alton Towers has a new ride based around Sonic the Hedgehog! The ride is called Sonic Spinball, no relation to the video game of the same name. The ride is similar to a roller coaster but the seats actually spin in a round-a-bout style motion as it goes around for maximum vomit inducing fun.

Sonic himself can often be seen walking around the grounds of Alton Park and having pictures taken with fans. There is also a Sonic UFO catcher on the video with Sonic toys inside.

But most interesting of all, when they go into the Sonic branded room (that is now open to the public) when you open the door Sonic says a few phrases… With Sonic’s new Voice Actor Roger Craig Smith. Give it a listen at the 01:33 mark on this video.

I’m afraid I don’t know who took this video but it’s very interesting so well done who ever it was!

Rumor: Sonic to get a new voice actor?


There was a post by SEGA community manager AAUK stating that SEGA has some ‘ground breaking’ news coming regarding Sonic franchise. People seem to think it might be a new voice actor.

Jason Griffith, current voice actor for Sonic has stated that he will not be lending his voice for the upcoming Wii exclusive, Sonic Colors:

“Thanks for sending [a video of Sonic Colours]. Not sure who is voicing Sonic, unfortunately, so I can’t really say. Also, we have all signed NDA’s in the past, so I don’t really “speak up” on a lot of things involving SEGA.”

Or it could be that Sonic 4 and Sonic Colors won’t have voice work. Wouldn’t that be awesome?

[Source: GoNintendo]