Roger Craig Smith: SEGA Wanted Sonic To Sound Older

Roger Craig Smith: SEGA Wanted Sonic To Sound Older

New Sonic voice actor Roger Craig Smith attended London’s MCM Expo today to help promote Ubisoft’s new game Assassins Creed Brotherhood, in which he plays the role of Ezio Auditore De Firenze, but that didn’t stop him from gladly speaking to Sonic fans at the event too. SSMB Members Doctor Sonic and Jaymeister got to meet Smith briefly and both had nice things to say about the voice actor.

Jaymeister feels he has a passion for his role as Sonic:

It was also interesting when I talked to him at MCM. He actually noted how there wasn’t the best reaction to the original Alton Towers clips, so I guess that may have also been an influence.

Really nice guy though, I can tell just by our 2 minute conversation, he really cares about his role and is very willing to listen to feedback in order to give what the fans want. He just seemed totally natural when talking to the fans, be they of Assassins Creed or Sonic. I hope to meet him again one day.

Doctor Sonic found out some interesting information from Smith behind the voice direction for Sonic:

I met Roger today at the MCM expo in London. Hes a really nice guy and was very happy to talk about voicing Sonic.

Without me even mentioning the deepness of his Sonic voice he said he had been told by Sega that they wanted Sonic to sound older. From what he said it sounds like Sega consider this to be an important factor in the current relaunch of Sonic.

So there you go, the deeper voice is what Sega wants, so it looks like it will be staying,

If you recall the clear and unedited Alton Towers voice clips, Smith did portray a lighter voice for Sonic back then when compared with the voice we revealed as part of a joint-exclusive with Sonic Retro and Sonic Wrecks yesterday.

Have a listen to both voice clips below for comparison and share your thoughts on the voice direction in the comments.

Clear and unedited Alton Towers voice clips:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fp7M7QrKzr8

Sonic Colours cutscene:

Roger Craig Smith will be back at the MCM Expo tomorrow if you missed out today and would like to meet him. More information about the Expo can be found at the events official website.

Thanks to Doctor Sonic and Jaymeister at the SSMB for the information.

77 Comments

  1. (yay my video got featured XD)
    Anyways, I think Roger is doing a great job. He’s clearly done everything Sega has asked him to, and he cares about his role. That’s one dedicated voice actor, I think I’ll really enjoy him as our new Sonic πŸ™‚

  2. Well this clears up a lot ^^ Now NOBODY can blame Roger Craig Smith of “bad voice acting” when it was a decision by Sega to make Sonic sound older. That said though, I still really like his new voice and I think I’ve already gotten really used to it.

  3. @Jakeiiii:
    I was trying to think of where I’d seen the unedited clips on YouTube and remembered I had seen them on your channel XD

    I know what you mean. I’m enjoying his acting so far and look forward to hearing more. πŸ˜€

  4. Well, the main thing I’ve liked about Roger is that he’s done a really great job of actually ACTING his part without NOT acting or OVERACTING, like Jason tended to do a little too often.

  5. Damnit, I wish people took footage of the event.

    *sighs* Sonic’s all grown up now. ;_; I wonder is Sega going to changed his age turn him into a young adult.

    Oh well, I’m loving Roger. ^_^

  6. But… why? Have they made him older?

    I’m still not into it. I love the acting, but… I always thought Jason’s voice was too deep, and Roger’s is like three times deeper.

    IT’SKNUCKLESIT’SKNUCKLESIT’SKNUCKLES.

  7. You guys shouldn’t worry about Sonic getting older.
    Sega can always have Sonic games based on earlier times in his life… so the possibilities are endless as they say πŸ™‚

  8. Haha, but this won’t stop people winning, i think hes done a great job.

    Wow, you can hear alot of improvement.

    Though i hope he doesn;t think he doing a bad job because some people refuse to be a bit more open-minded.

  9. I understand that Sega is trying to make him sound older, but for Sonic it just doesn’t work. Sonic’s model is actually shorter this time around, so when he talks like a tall surfer teen, it just throws me off.

    I liked Sonic because he was fast and fun little hedgehog, not because he was a typical teenager.

  10. Strange…cause…I don’t really hear old…I just hear deep. In fact, Sonic sounds younger than before. Strange how this works. But, either way, Sonic is a cartoon character. Age, honestly, is a non-issue (except when it goes beyond 30).

  11. I’m already growing used to the new voice after watching the cutscene over 50 times now.

    People aren’t used to this kind of tone for Sonic cause we’ve been hearing a higher nasal Sonic for 17 years now. Sonic sounds more natural and way less annoying then his previous voices.

  12. @sonfan1984: I did actually video him talking briefly about Sonic on stage. Will upload it to youtube tomorrow.

  13. ! WARNING ! ! WARNING!

    THE FOURTH WALL HAS BEEN BREACHED

    ALL EMPLOYEES ACTIVATE DEFENCES INCASE THE 5TH WALL IS BREACHED

  14. Well if that’s how Sega wanted it to sound then that’s okay. I do wonder why they want him to sound older though.

  15. Now that I rewatched the clip, It made more sense, I think this chage was probably for the best. Im gonna buy a 2nd copy of the game if it comes to this. XD

  16. Man, Sonic sure likes gesturing when he talks.
    Anyway, I think I’ve watched the cutscene about…30 times now, and I think I like this new voice!

    <3 Yacker

  17. mystery solved to tell you the truth I liked the higer pitched voicen for Sonic he did better but seriously SEGA most fans dont like a deep voiced Sonic. I prefer Sonic to be youthful with a high pitched voice Jason Perfectly executed that but did SEGA not know Jason could deepen his voice In Iron Man Extremus the motion Comic he was so deep he could perfectly copy Rogers Sonic but IMO Sonic is not meant to bee deep voiced and thats why I fell SEGA is really screwing up with Sonics voice and why this was a bad move vcause all it will do is further the voice war. So to Roger sorry for being hot headed I actually like the sounds from free riders but Colors is gonna be diffacult but Jason is always Sonic to me

  18. Well, he certainly accomplished Sonic sounding older. I’m just glad he’s not EMphaSIzing EVery SIngle THINg he SAYS like another voice actor we all know when he first started. However, it’s really hard to judge his entire voice work from only one cutscene.

    Like before, I’ll wait when Sonic Free Riders is released and the cutscenes are posted on YouTube. Hopefully, Jet won’t sound like an annoying parrot.

  19. Just becuz his voice is deeper doesnt mean its any better… its still very unfitting for Sonic…

    I find it funny how when he first heard those alton tower hotel lines, everybody was like “Guys, this is not the final voice! Hopefully itll be higher pitched in the game”

    Well now we hear the game and we come to see that its the same voice from that hotel, except now those same BIAS fans are suddenly ok with his deep voice despite saying that they didnt like it at first… No matter what this guys does, ppl are just gonna say they like roger either becuz they like him from other roles or they just dont wanna admit that jason was more fitting

  20. @atm:
    Aren’t you the one who said that Roger’s voice sounded ‘childish’ a few days ago when you saw the Free Riders Videos? Now you’re upset cause he sounds older? So no matter what voice he uses, it doesn’t sound good cause it’s not Jason who is voicing him.

    He sounds much more calm and less extreme then his voice used at Alton Towers.

  21. New voice for Sonic is a bit jarring when compared to the old one, but I’ll get used to it. Much better acting.

    Also, new love for the new voice for Tails? It’s his first voice that doesn’t make my ears bleed!

  22. @sonicfan1984 I didnt say anything about roger being childish, ther no way he cud souind childish, I said from the Wave game spot video, the characters you can hear in that all sound childish, I didnt say roger did…

    His pitch is still the same from the alton Towers which is what really bugged ppl and worried them that that was he was gonna sound, but nao that ppl see thats how its gonna be, they up and changed ther mind at the last second just to make it seem like ther ok with watever roger will do with sonic

    First they didnt like him sounding older and deeper, now ther all gung-ho for it

    But you’re right, as good as Roger could be, Jason will probably be my favorite always, but that says more about how good jason did and not on how bad roger is

  23. Just give it time. I didn’t like Rogers Sonic’s voice at first cause I wasn’t used to it. But after the shock wore off I’ve forced myself to listen to the cutscene over and over again but now I’m starting to like it and Sonic’s voice doesn’t really sound that ‘deep’ to me anymore. Now I’m looking forward to more of the cutscenes.

  24. It really saddens me to see so much criticism of pretty much every aspect of the series these days, even when SEGA is clearly working really hard to make Sonic the best he can be. I love this new voice straight away and I hated Jason’s voice. I don’t understand the criticism of this voice cos i think it works really well and I’m scared that SEGA might actually listen to the people complaining now and change it again…

  25. @sonicfan1984 The more I listened to it the more I wanted Jason back, so I had to stop watching it XD otherwise id just piss myself off

  26. Sonic sounds so cool with a deep voice and I really like Tails’ voice too,I think the new voices are perfect. πŸ˜€

  27. @atm
    Ah, too bad. The more I listen to it the more I forget about Jason. :\ Then when the game comes out it’d probably be kinda hard for me to go back to playing games like Sonic Unleashed cause Sonic screams so much during gameplay. Atleast he doesn’t do that now.

  28. I actually like his screaming like “FEELIN’ GOOD!” and “YAHOO!” it kinda added to the whole high-speed excitement, for me anyway, course those kinda scream wudnt work in SOnic COlors since its more platforming then speed running like Unleashed

  29. I don’t understand why you people/general sonic fans is complaining so much about Sonic’s new voice. I like it, I’ll have to get use to it, but I like it. Much better acting then Jason. It has a nice mix of Jaleel and Ryan mixed together. It makes sense to me now – Sonic’s 19, turning 20 next year.

  30. I dunno what else to say now…I mean sonic;s voice in free riders seems better. I’m going to feel weird playing colors…

  31. I think the newer games like Unleashed were outstanding, however, some people don’t seem to agree. I’m happy to see that Sega is trying harder to give the fans what they want. Maybe now, everyone will stop complaining.

  32. Thats interesting that they wanted sonic to sound older, that explains the deepness i didnt expect.
    But i like this voice of sonic.

    I dont care what anyone says, whoever says sonic as a character is turning 20 or whatever is wrong.
    By that logic sonic would be 1 years old in sonic 1

    If sega comes out and says
    SONIC OLDER NOW

    then hes older, but he has ALWAYS been 15 or 16.

  33. Listen to TheDanimator everybody, Sonic’s Official age is 15 until said otherwise! So dont fool yourselves into thinking since its the 20th Anniversary, Sonic’s 20 years old.

    If you put this same concept with the mario series, then mario himself wud be in his 60s in the next game

  34. Well, finally got to listen to them thanks to my Wii (*Smacks laptop angrily*).

    Not too sure. I mean, I love his passion for acting…But it’s the deepness I’m a little unsure about. It’s not bad, believe me – it’s a lot better than I thought it would be. I’m just used to his lighter voice, that’s all. Still, out of 10, right now I’m at about a 6 with him.

    I noticed something – Shadow went from a deep voice to a lighter one, and Sonic is going from a lighter voice to a deeper one XD How odd! Well, they are opposites of each other…Buuuut anyways…

    Really, I can’t complain too much. Obviously if SEGA gets a ton of complaints, they’d be willing to change it…But so far, I don’t see much reason. It’s just…I can’t get used to it until I hear it a lot more – so I’ll be playing my copy of Colors a lot come this Christmas.

    Sonic sounded like a moron when asking Yakker (sp) those questions though XD I get the feeling it was intended! And fourth wall breakage…Awesome. Haven’t had one of those in a while!

  35. @Grassy: lol, I think Sonic talking to Yacker like that was done on purpose. xD I talk slow like that too when I’m talking to somebody who can’t really understand me.

  36. AAHHHH! THE WORLDS GONE CRAZY! Why do they want Sonic to sound older? It just REALLY DOES NOT SUIT HIM! NEXT THEY WILL BE GETTING MY GRANDAD TO BE DOING THE VOICE ACTING TO MAKE HIM SOUND OLDER! Geez, SEGA what a terrible decision you made! SONICS NOT MEANT TO SOUND LIKE A CHAV!

  37. Footnote: For the record, I LIKE this voice a lot. It’s just gonna require getting used to. I never understood these VA wars. None of the voice actors have been good enough to fight over.

  38. Hmm, well that makes sense.
    Sega probably wants show Sonic become a bit more mature over his past Adventures and I really have no problem with it.
    Looking forward to hear RCS in more aggresive cutscenes.

  39. This is what I was talking about the other day! His voice is deeper in Sonic Colors but not THAT deep! It’s the same as the unedited Alton Towers clips the only difference being the tone is calm in Sonic Colors and exclaimed in the clips! =P

    @Grassy

    Huh? Shadow went from a lighter voice to a deeper voice, yo! XD It was deeper than Sonic’s before but it got even deeper and gruffer later. =P Sonic’s voice has BEEN getting deeper. Jason Griffith’s Sonic voice in Sonic & the Black Knight almost doesn’t even sound like Sonic it’s so deep (compare it to the first episode of Sonic X). SEGA probably had this “older” thing going since Unleashed. lol

    BUT, they said they were listening to feedback. So maybe if SEGA and Roger hear that we like the voice just not the deepness then they will change it back. =P It’s not a big importance worth complaining about, but if they hear it is a major preference still they might kindly go ahead and do it. XD

  40. I totally LOVE Sonic’s new voice! Roger Craig Smith might be the best voice actor Sonic ever had. Watch out in a few months Roger and Sonic will be associated together as Ryan Sonic were before.

  41. @CyberGW: I think you’re over-reacting a bit. o.o Once you get used to the voice, it really doesn’t sound so deep and it sounds good.

  42. … Hmm, interesting…

    Now is it too late to get SEGA to make Tails sound a little more enthusiastic? =P

    … I’m making a bigger deal out of that than I intended. Sorry.

  43. @Doctor Sonic: Oh, and I never thanked you.
    Thank you Doctor Sonic, I hope you upload videos of your time with Roger Craig Smith real soon. πŸ˜€

  44. I actually feel like jason made sonic sound even older than this at times
    if you stop focusing on how old sonic is and if it fits blah blah and just think of him as a hedgehog, it may help a little

    Ive watched the clip a bunch of times, and rogers voice is keeping interested, and it makes the clip funner to watch, if you think sonic sounds funny, just watch the clip a bunch of times and the voice may grow on you, as it is for me.

    @ChaoticFox
    if course this is a matter of opinion considering drummond is one of my voice acting heroes and id give my left nut to have him back.

    rogers voice really isnt much deeper than sonics voice in the first sonic adventure.

    I still find it very ignorant how it seemed like every time i brought up voice actors when Jason was voicing Sonic people kept saying “voices dont ruin gameplay” and stuff.
    The fact of the matter is, for a huge amount of people they really can make the experience a highly amount more enjoyable.

    People really take for granted how big if a deal sound is in games, whether it be voices or music.
    If i watch a movie and the music isnt catchy and good it can completely break the experience for me.
    The same with voice actors.
    People would say ” just play with the tv on mute then”
    has anyone ever tried actually doing this? When there is no sound at all it makes the game far less fun which just further proves what im trying to get across.

    The fact is, some people like sonic more as a game, some like him more as a character, i like him more as both.

    for most people a voice can absolutely make or break a character.
    Which is why its a risky move when you replace a voice actor with one that doesn’t sound identical to the previous.
    Which is why sega should of done whatever they could to stick with drummond from the start.
    While drummond was doing sonics voice, it was the most well recieved out of all the voices so far, it wasnt until jason started voicing sonic that the fanbase devided then sega tried to make up for there mistake by getting somone else, i think they were aiming for someone that sounds a little like everyone thats voices sonic mixed into one to try and please everybody.
    Anyways the point is, when you screw with a voice you screw with a character END OF STORY.

  45. corrections…

    and rogers voice is keeping interested,
    and rogers voice is me keeping interested***

    i like him more as both.
    most like him more as both***

    that sounds a little like everyone thats voices sonic mixed into one
    thats voiced sonic***

  46. “People would say ” just play with the tv on mute then”
    has anyone ever tried actually doing this? When there is no sound at all it makes the game far less fun which just further proves what im trying to get across.”

    I have with Sonic Chronicles. The music is freakin awful and it RUINS the experience for me.

    But you’re right though about Ryan Drummond having a deep voice for Sonic in SA1 compare to how he sounds in SA2 and Heroes.

  47. Personally, I love the direction that they intended… however, that comes up with a very interesting question. If Sonic, the main icon, is intended to sound older, then about about the other characters? How would they all sound if Sonic himself has that new direction? I like how Tails is though, that sounds perfect… what about Knuckles, Amy, Shadow, Blaze, and Silver… Especially Silver. I think he REALLY needs a new voice.

  48. @Reku
    Well, we will find out what Silver sounds like in Free Riders. Unless they re-use clips from his old VA.

  49. been there didint see him though i saw sonic figures (only sonic,bnk sonic,3 inch werehog and sonic super poser) on sunday

  50. I think the voice sounds weird at first but I’m sure Roger Craig will improve quickly and it could of been far worse. I actually think the lip-sych is a bit off so that could of been the problem.

  51. @ Danimator

    I’m not disputing the importance of sound or voice acting. Voice acting CAN’T ruin great gameplay, but it can definitely affect the experience in a positive or negative way. I’m just saying that I was never particularly THRILLED with Jason OR Ryan. They did the job all right, and I had no problems with them, but the level of fanboyism I’ve seen regarding their work is BAFFLING to me.

    I’ve never seen people get into arguments over voice acting as heated as the ones over which of the two (extremely similar) voices was the best Sonic.

    I like Sonic more as a character than I do as a gaming franchise (particularly because Unleashed is the first Sonic game I’ve truly enjoyed in many years), but I’ve been able to adjust to all of his different voices. To me, there is no “true” Sonic, and each incarnation reflects a slightly different take on the character. As long as the voice work isn’t particularly BAD, I have little problem adjusting to changes.

    I was able to swallow the English version of Sonic OVA (which has arguably the strangest Sonic voice of all), I still enjoy Jaleel’s work to this day, I hardly notice a difference between Ryan and Jason unless I directly compare them side by side, and I stopped watching Sonic X because I think it’s a terrible show, not because of the VAs.

  52. yeah ppl are saying “WATCH THE CLIP OVER AND OVER, YOU’LL GET USED TO IT” well sorry the more and more I listen to it, the more I want Jason back, so I had to stop watching and just focus on the game itself

  53. @amt: Well, if you truly don’t like it then there’s really nothing we can do to convince you otherwise. Hopefully you’ll grow to like it when you hear more then one cutscene of his work. ^^

    @Doctor Sonic: THANK YOU SO MUCH! ^_____^ *hugs and favs the video*

  54. @sonfan1984

    What you said is partially just proving the point i was trying to make.

    With the music you dont like on, it ruins the experience for you.

    Personally i feel like games like chronicles are a partial exception because they are slower paced.
    Mostly i feel the faster paced games are not as fun if you mute them and most of sonics games are faster paced.
    Im not saying they are not fun when you mute them, it just really drags down the experience imo.

    @ChaoticFox
    The only Sonic voice to date that i did not feel like captured sonic is Jason.
    I truly dont feel like sonic was ever supposed to be like he was when jason portayed him.

    This wasnt entirely Jasons fault, its partailly the script writing.
    And as i said, there were times when Jason captured sonic “very rarely”

    All of this is obviously a matter of opinion, but it really does seem to me that most of the people who actually grew up with sonic from the beginning prefer Ryan/Jaleel

    I couldnt stand Jasons up and down tone, his upward inflection on words and the unenthusiastic way he would deliver line sometimes.

    And it seemed like most people agreed for the longest time
    but then spax came along, someone who was a dedicated ryan fan suddenly turned looney and went crazy about it.
    After that ryan fans started saying “i dont want to be compared to spax” and they started either siding with Jason and or saying they dont care anymore “i have literally got someone that said they liked Jason better to admit they were lying because they felt bad for him”
    then spax randomly decided he didnt like ryan and prefered Jason to get people off his back.
    Then more and more fans that started playing the sonic games when sonic was being voiced by Jason thought thats how he was supposed to sound /act and fell in love with a far different portayol.
    So eventually the ryan and jason fans were pretty evenly split.
    But the point is, from the start no one really complained about drummond.
    i mean ive heard people say “the sonic game acting has always been bad”

    But until Jason came along i never heard anyone really complain.
    Im not blaming Jason like i said, i just hate what happened.

  55. he’s awesome, i like how he’s done it! they made him closer to how he is in the storybook games and has a 4th wall break lol

  56. It will take time to adjust get use to Roger and I’m sure he will do much better in the future

    I don’t like the voice acting now but eventually I’ll get use to it (Hopefully)

    I just want him to give Sonic the teeange,calm fitting mood Like Jason did

    Jason and The rest of the 4Kids Cast will always be the true sonic co voices in my heart.

  57. It’s growing on me.
    Wonder why Sonic had to sound to naisely (?) to begin with..

    Anyway, it’s not like the previous actor didn’t get his fair share of voice acting for Sonic, he got some lines into Brawl, and that’s a big honor.

  58. I’m getting used to Roger. I suppose Roger is getting used to Sonic and getting more comfortable with the role. Note when Veronica Taylor voiced Ash Ketchum he sounded a lot different in the beginning, but eventually evolved (pun not intended) over time and became that notable gravely tone we once knew (until they decided to CHANGE the voice actors, but I won’t get into that.)
    I like Tails VA as well, less whiny.

  59. @Truesonic

    Sonic is not supposed to have a “calm mood”
    Sonic is about speed, and hyperactvity and impatience.

    This is why Jason did not fit him.
    Your in love with a different character than i am.

  60. I’m enjoying Sonic’s new voice. It sounds so cool! Jaleel Who? *shots* Just kidding folks. and Tails voice is better he doesn’t sound like a little whiny baby girl

  61. @TheDanimator

    “Then more and more fans that started playing the sonic games when sonic was being voiced by Jason thought thats how he was supposed to sound /act and fell in love with a far different portayol.”
    In that case, technically you’re saying Jason wasn’t BAD just DIFFERENT and you were unable to get used to the change because of what you were originally used to hearing. That makes sense cuz some people I know who never heard the voices say… in SA2, seem to find the voices as trash in comparison. o.0 lol

    “Sonic is not supposed to have a β€œcalm mood””
    Obviously he was since he did. XD Actually, Sonic is supposed to be very calm. He’s care-free. He’s also adventurous, so during the action moments he should be pumped. (Did you say you liked Ryan/Jaleel best? o.O Ryan and Jaleel were totally different though so why does Jason being different have to be back? .-. Sonic was still pretty calm even when Ryan was voicing him… as long as he wasn’t talking. He chilled a lot and relaxed in his spare time, except he always spoke overexcited which didn’t fit sometimes and was kind’ve annoying but the point is Sonic was technically calm during those scenes.. just… Ryan was unable to portray “calm”…. and “angry”. XD)

  62. @foxboy

    Im not saying sonic is NEVER supposed to be calm
    i am saying hes not supposed to sound calm all the time, jason sounded so calm that to me it sounded like he didnt care about ANYTHING usually…
    I know thats what care free is, but thats overboard haha.

    I dont ever think ryan sounded over excited, ive never had any problems with his lines.
    And yes, i am saying Jason was BAD, I have no respect for him as a voice actor… Every voice ive heard him do you can tell its him. Now this might be the voice directors fault but i doubt it because ive heard tribute videos to Jason and 90 percent of the voices sound exactly the same and the other 10 percent sound very close with slight variations.

    Now thats not saying he was completely all bad.
    I feel there were a few lines where his sonic voice sounded good “very rarely”
    and i liked his shadow voice most of the time.

    I feel like many of those people your saying that think the adventure voices sound like trash, are mistaking bad lip sync and dragged out lines “they had to try to fit the lips best they could” for bad voice acting. One advantage the 4kids actors had is they didnt have to worry about the lip flap thing as much because they started giving it 2 different versions for english and japanese.
    btw i dont hate 4kids, “you never said i did directly im just clarifying”
    I love the voice work of mike pollock and dan green, i also dont mind amys 4kids voice.
    my 2 biggest complaints were Sonic and Tails.

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