Sonic Spinball (and Other Genesis Classics) Join Switch Online Expansion

If you’ve shelled out for the Switch Online Expansion Pack for the bonus retro games, Sonic Spinball, Shining Force II, and Space Harrier II have been added to the Genesis app. To coincide with this update, Nintendo released a brief gameplay sample of each:

There have been plenty of collections and re-releases of these games, but let’s be real, the true hero of these releases is the rewind. Sonic Spinball is hard. It’s not very long, no, but have you ever made it to that final stage? It’s absolutely insane. So if you’re already invested in the pack, why not just boot it up and cheat your heart out? I won’t hold it against you.

Happy 30th Anniversary, SEGA Genesis!

Today marks 30 years since the SEGA Genesis (known as the SEGA Mega Drive elsewhere, the name was changed in North America due to trademark issues) made its debut!

This name would turn out to be quite fitting, as the SEGA Genesis became the system that would not only make SEGA and many of its franchises household names on the continent, it would also serve as the birth place for the company’s most successful character: a blue hedgehog named Sonic!

Continue reading Happy 30th Anniversary, SEGA Genesis!

Sonic Spinball coming to the SEGA Mega Drive Mini

SEGA revealed another ten games for their upcoming SEGA Mega Drive/Genesis Mini today, including Sonic Spinball. Developed in 1993 by the American-based SEGA Technical Institute, Sonic Spinball put Sonic into pinball-inspired levels, where he had to collect the chaos emeralds and defeat bosses.

Spinball marks fourth Sonic game to be announced for SEGA’s mini console, joining Sonic 1 and 2, and Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine. Check out the list of all ten newly revealed games below:

• Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle
• Beyond Oasis
• Ghouls and Ghosts
• Golden Axe
• Phantasy Star IV
• Street Fighter 2: Special Championship Edition
• Mega Man: The Wily Wars
• Sonic Spinball
• Vectorman
• Wonderboy in Monster World

With ten more games left to be announced, it is very possible that SEGA has one more Sonic game waiting in the wings for their mini console. Stay tuned!

Sega Genesis Classics announced for Switch

Just two days before the Sega Ages games start rolling out in Japan, Sega in the west have announced the d3t-developed Sega Genesis Classics (Sega Mega Drive Classics in EU) for Switch. This was released earlier this year for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. Continue reading Sega Genesis Classics announced for Switch

The SEGA Mega Drive Classics Bundle on Steam is on Sale for 66% off this Week Only

In April, SEGA released the SEGA Mega Drive/Genesis Classics Hub for Steam, which created a wide-spanning virtual hub that encompasses all retro releases from the company, complete with Steam Workshop support for modders to play around with. The hub became available for free to any Steam user with a Mega Drive game in their library, from Alex Kidd all the way to Wonder Boy, including all of Sonic’s 16-bit outings.

In fact, those who wish to complete their collection can do so for a cheap price this week only, as the all-encompassing SEGA Mega Drive Classics Bundle is now on sale for 66% off the usual price. Internationally, we’re speaking $21.07 USD ($61.99 USD), £16.31 (£47.99), and €20.05 (€58.99). The full list of games is as follows:

Continue reading The SEGA Mega Drive Classics Bundle on Steam is on Sale for 66% off this Week Only

Sonic Spinball Ride To Close For Safety Enhancements

Sonic at Sonic Spinball ride

Last Tuesday, there was a terrible crash at the Alton Towers theme Park in which 4 people were seriously injured on the Smiler roller-coaster, which resulting in Alton Towers being closed until the Health & Safety Executive and Alton Towers could conduct a full investigation.

Following the accident, the park owners (Merlin Entertainments) announced that they would be upgrading several rides across several different theme parks with additional safety features and standards. Some of these features were put into place instantly, some however required rides to be closed until additional safety features could be put into place. The specifics of these were not given, however they did say that the majority were software upgrades on pre-existing systems.

Today Alton Towers has announced that the park will reopen on Monday, however the Smiler and the entire section of park which it’s found in will remain closed to the public.

You’re probably thinking, what does this have to do with Sonic?

Well, Alton Towers has the Sonic Spinball ride, despite not being in the same section of park as the Smiler, it too will be closed on Monday for an unknown period of time until “Enhanced Safety Protocols have been implemented.”

Now before people react in an alarmist manner, Sonic Spinball is a safe ride which meets all safety standards, it’s just that Merlin Entertainments has been looking at all it’s rides and carrying out upgrades and enhancements on similar rides in response to Tuesdays terrible accident. Heck I went on it last year and I had a blast, I’ll probably go on it again when I go back later this year, it’s a fun ride.

However, as a response to the accident, Sonic Spinball will be closed for an undisclosed period of time until the upgrades can be fully implemented. So if you were planning on going soon since it’s near the end of school/college/university term to specifically go on the Sonic Spinball ride, you might want to change your dates.

For more information on how to do that, you’re best contacting Alton Towers directly who have been refunding/changing ticket dates for people.

Source: Alton Towers

Sound Test Saturday: Spinball Edition


Because we all need is a good laugh to start things off!

Welcome back to Sound Test Saturday, Sonic netizens! We’ve got quite the music haul to highlight, so take a seat (though you’re likely already doing so), relax, grab some munchies, and ready your ears.

This week, we’ll be taking a look at five Sonic Spinball remixes! And what better way is there to start things off… than with a rearrangement by one of the game’s composers, Howard Drossin?

Let’s boot up the spinball machine and “Return to the Toxic Caves”!


Flip on through the rest after the jump!

Continue reading Sound Test Saturday: Spinball Edition

Destroy All Slackers Interview with Video Game Composer Howard Drossin

Web podcast Destroy All Slackers get down to the nitty gritty with Howard Drossin, sound composer for Sonic & Knuckles, Sonic Spinball and Sonic and the Black Knight (along with some other amazing titles like Comix Zone!) in their latest podcast released.

Drossin gives a very frank account of working for SEGA, putting the Spinball theme in two hours and the big question that seems to still be on everyone’s mind of Michael Jackson’s involvement in Sonic the Hedgehog 3 – it’s a fantastic interview, so do go check it out!

Link to Destroy All Slackers Podcast page.

Props to TSSZ for spotting this!

Oh…and if like me you’d eat your own hat to hear a Howard Drossin compilation CD (with unreleased stuff!), let your voice be heard in the comments!

Sonic Spinball Out Now on iPhone

SEGA has today re-released Sonic’s Mega Drive/Genesis pinball outing Sonic Spinball on the iTunes App Store for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. Sonic Spinball features four levels, three bonus stages and is played using touch screen button controls like all other classic Sonic games available for the devices. The game is priced at $2.99 in the U.S. and £1.79 here in the UK and weighs in at 4MB to download. One new feature in this release is the option to play both the U.S. version and the Japanese version, but the only notable difference is a couple of different music tracks.

Check out some screenshots of the game below:

Source: iTunes App Store

Thanks to SSR DJ JayZeach for the heads up!

T-Bird’s Tour of the Sonic the Hedgehog Room at Alton Towers


Well, I’ve just spent a weekend at the Alton Towers theme park in Shropshire, UK. As well as sighting Jonathan Ross, skipping past the rest of the crowd and getting into the park before the rest of the public, and riding Nemesis 5 times in half an hour (no queue! Insane!), I was there, in true T-Bird style, for the Sonic experience. I was lucky enough to be the first member of the general public to book into the Sonic the Hedgehog Room (which Dreadknux got to stay in a month ago for nothing…lucky badnik he is!) and once I’d stopped running around the room screaming like a child, I recorded a little video tour of the room – enjoy!

Also it seems like my UFO plush machine luck has taken a full turn, as I’ve come back with quite a handful without having to sell any kidneys for money! All the hats, keyrings etc are available from the Alton Towers gift shop.

Alton Towers & The Sonic Suite

As you may have already read, I was the first person to sleep in the brand-new Sonic the Hedgehog themed hotel Suite at UK leisure resort, Alton Towers. My stay was earned by winning a quiz on the coach to the theme park on Friday; a coach that contained a bunch of community luminaries, bloggers and press (with myself in the unique position of both press and community). Except T-Bird, who is still in Japan. I missed his hat.

The special trip to Alton Towers was arranged by Sega, to celebrate the opening of the new Sonic Spinball rollercoaster (and of course, the Sonic Suite). After a three-hour coach journey, we all huddled around the ride entrance where Sega representatives and ‘Sonic’ officially cut the celebratory ribbon. We were then free to stumble in curiosity towards the rollercoaster itself. It was the day before Alton Towers opened for the new season, and so we were the very first people to try this attraction out.

Sonic Spinball may well be an older ride with a new lick of paint, but the nature of the rollercoaster seemed like a perfect fit for the blue blur. Four-seater pods periodically pass through the track, which start rotating as the ride begins and you turn the first corner. Then you meet the initial climb upwards, which was really quite fast, giving you barely any time to soak in the impending drops, twists and turns that lie ahead.

The following events involve high-speed belting around tight corners, V-shaped curves which force you to face the drop as you go down, and a zig-zag of highs and lows sporting a camera at the end. In the free hour given, we must have jumped on the ride six or seven times each, with free unlimited photo prints to keep those high-octane memories forever. To the side of the photo booth were two UFO catchers with Sonic plushies up for grabs – so our time was adequately split between riding the Spinball and attempting to win a Tails doll.

It had to end at some point though, so we all caught a coach back to the hotel where we all stayed; as everyone else took a tour of the special Sonic Suite, I was at reception signing out all of the gear that goes in it – two PS3 controllers, two Xbox 360 controllers, two Wii Remotes, one Wii Nunchuk and a bunch of Sonic games. These included Sonic Unleashed (PS3), Sega Superstars Tennis (360), Sonic 06 (PS3), Sonic and the Black Knight (Wii), Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games (Wii) and Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games (Wii).

Once everybody else had taken their Sonic Suite tour and saved all their photos, it was mine and Jemnezmy’s turn to step in and soak in the room that we would be sleeping for the night. And despite it’s rather pokey size, it’s a rather impressive room for the big-time Sonic fan. Opening the door activates a sound clip that welcomes you to the room – ‘Sonic’ (in a rather trying American accent) introduces the Suite with different phrases each time the front door is opened, including “Hey-Hey! Have you tried Sonic Spinball yet?” and “Watch out for Dr. Eggman! Let’s Go!” alongside boost and spring sound effects.

The wallpaper is a colourful print which takes its design from the recent Sonic the Hedgehog 4 trailer, although there are new elements that you have probably noticed already. Extra platforms, springs and Sonic 2-esque dash pads all feature on the Sonic Suite walls, but none of them look like in-game segments of the game – rather like higher-quality images that have been imposed on top of the landscape seen in the three-second gameplay clip.

The widescreen TV is pretty snazzy, alongside the Wii, PS3 and Xbox 360 consoles that are all hooked up to the unit. A drawer underneath the consoles reveals a couple of Sonic plushies, chocolate coins and a Priority Pass for up to 6 people to ride on Sonic Spinball. Yes, we totally cleaned that drawer out.

Awesome Sonic references are everywhere in this room. The lampshades are Chaos Emeralds, the bed’s headboard is a giant ring, and there’s the most awesome palm tree in the corner that I tried to steal the next day. People would have probably noticed it under my arm, though.

Other festivities that took place outside of the Sonic room included dinner in Alton Towers’ beach resort room (complete with steel drum band and playtests of Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing), an open bar until 2am, giant Connect 4, and a day’s VIP pass at the theme park on Saturday. It was truly a delicious day, and I met several people who attended Summer of Sonic last year who came especially to ride Sonic Spinball. No doubt they all had as much of an awesome time as I did on the ride.

Head to the Alton Towers website to find out more about the theme park and Sonic Spinball ride, and to learn more about booking the Sonic Suite for yourself. You’ll have an awesome time, trust me. Gallery of all images below, go take a look.

SPOnG Exclusive: Photos of the Sonic Suite at Alton Towers

Dreadknux, the founder of TSS, is also a games journalist, writing for Because of this, he was able to visit Alton Towers and earn the distinction of being the very first person to sleep in the Sonic Suite. He has written his impressions of both the Sonic Spinball ride and the £300-a-night hotel room at Sonic Spinball Opens At Alton Towers – Pix! on The picture above is from the article – click to see the rest of them.

Note the wall decor… it’s more Sonic 4 art!  Looks like speed boosters are returning.  For those of you rabid for more Sonic 4 media, wallpaper is a rather odd place to find it, yeah?

The room isn’t the only Sonic-related happening at the theme park.  The rollercoaster, Sonic’s Spinball, is opening this weekend as well.

Rumour: New Sonic Spinball Game Coming To Wii?

UK online retailer Simply Games are listing a new Sonic The Hedgehog Spinball title for Nintendo Wii, but what’s odd about it is they list Capcom rather than SEGA as publisher. This fresh listing has conveniently come in at a time when SEGA and Alton Towers have teamed up for a new Sonic Spinball theme park ride. A statement below from a staff member at the park claims SEGA are planning a Sonic relaunch of some kind.

Dear ….

Happy New Year

Apologies for the delay in getting back to you but I have been on holiday. I am sure that you will have picked up press reports by now relating to Spinball Whizzer and the fact that we are in partnership with Sega resulting in a retheme to the ride to coincide with the relaunch of Sonic. We hope that the retheme will be complete for our February half-term opening.

Kind regards

So, could SEGA be planning a relaunch for Sonic Spinball on Wii? We’ll let you know if any more info comes in, but for now take this with a grain of salt, especially as retailers make mistakes with their listings all the time.

Exclusive: Sonic Rollercoaster Coming to Alton Towers in February

For UK theme park enthusiasts and Sonic fans, we have some exclusive news coming our way from tipster Jon D.  A UK theme park, Alton Towers, will be re-branding one of their roller coasters for 2010, the “Spinball Whizzer,” as “Sonic’s Spinball.”  Jon cites that a fan e-mailed the park after hearing murmurs about the change and received the following response:

Dear ….

Happy New Year

Apologies for the delay in getting back to you but I have been on holiday. I am sure that you will have picked up press reports by now relating to Spinball Whizzer and the fact that we are in partnership with Sega resulting in a retheme to the ride to coincide with the relaunch of Sonic. We hope that the retheme will be complete for our February half-term opening.

Kind regards

The “Spinball Whizzer” is known as a “spinning wild mouse” coaster, which cars rotate freely as the car moves along the track.  There is pinball bumpers and flippers everywhere to simulate the choatic nature of being inside a pinball ta… wait… what was that?  Let’s re-read that e-mail…

a retheme to the ride to coincide with the relaunch of Sonic

Uh… what?!  The relaunch of Sonic?  That’s… a very interesting thing to say…

Anyway, Jon has also included a picture of the ride being converted to its new Sonic theme.  The teal color of the “Whizzer” is being replaced with a vibrant, Sonic blue:

To see a video of the “Spinball Whizzer” in action, click here.

Wrapping up his e-mail, Jon also includes a bit of trivia for all of you.  Did you know that this isn’t the first time that Alton Towers and SEGA have teamed up?  Back in 1994, Alton Towers opened “Toyland Tours” and Sonic had his own section of the ride.  It featured a giant Mega Drive, gold rings, TVs playing videos of Sonic games, and an animatronic Sonic.  Plus, it even had its own amazing music! Will the animatronic Sonic make a comeback with “Sonic’s Spinball?”  We shall see. 

Check out the video below at the 3-minute mark to see Sonic in “Toyland Tours.”


[Found at TowersTimes forums]

Sonic + Bad Influence = Awesome

Are you from the UK? Do you remember an old gaming TV show on CITV called Bad Influence? No? Then you were either too young to remember or living under a huge rock. Bad Influence was the coolest TV show of the 90’s, you just couldn’t wait to get home from school and watch it. No-one had the internet to keep up with the latest videogame news, previews, reviews and gameplay video’s – sure, we had our magazines but to see games in action we needed our TV shows.

The show was presented by Andy Crane and Violet Berlin and contained news, previews, reviews(from actual gamers), reports on the latest technology, U.S. coverage, reports from the latest gaming events, cheats from Nam Rood and competitions. It was awesome!

Anyway, what has all this got to do with Sonic you ask? Well, the show covered the early console days back when Sega and Nintendo were rivals. Sonic features a number of times on the show and thanks to amazing James Osborne who has managed to get permission from Patrick Titley at Yorkshire Television(who own the show) the public now have access to a new website and a YouTube channel for the show and it’s episodes.

Sonic 2 proved to be very popular on the show, in Episode 4 their panel gave the game 2 5/5’s in their review. In the same episode Violet show’s a copy of the first Sonic character design sketches handed to her by creator Mr.Kanari. It’s the same sketches we’ve seen around the net for ages now but still cool to see an official copy.

Andy Crane got to visit the Future Entertainment Show where SEGA were in attendance allowing the public to get their hands on both the 16 Bit and 8 Bit versions of Sonic 2 for the first time ever in Episode 3 – Part 1(8:40, Future show begins) Part 2(0:04 Sonic 2 segment begins). You can also see a couple of the first official SEGA Sonic and Tails costumes, Tails suit has bushy eye brows for some reason.

In Episode 8 Violet visit’s SEGA Japan HQ to look at SEGA’s arcade machines and meet’s the head of the Sonic 2 project team who’s name couldn’t be revealed due to security reasons(anyone who recognises him, let me know by PM over at the SSMB). Violet is shown alot of Sonic 2’s design sketches for the Zone’s, 2 of which are shown up close in the episode. A cool Sonic statue/model can also be seen on the desk(Do want very muchly). The SEGA visit starts at 6:14 and the Sonic 2 bit starts at 6:42 just after the funny sleepy SEGA employee at 6:40.

Sonic Spinball got reviewed in Series 2: Episode 9 and given 2 5/5’s.

Sonic & Knuckles got reviewed too and given 2 4/5’s.

So, have any of you seen/remenber this show? Do any of you guys new to the show like it? What are your thoughts on Sonic 2 zone design sketches?
Let us know in the SSMB topic.

Sonic Spinball Coming To Wii Virtual Console

SEGA really do seem to love Nintendo Wii’s virtual console, and in the near future will be releasing Sonic Spinball alongside the already featured Sonic the Hedgehog.

Although SEGA and indeed Nintendo are still yet to announce the new title, the OFLC (Australia’s Office of Film and Literature Classification, similar to the ESRB and PEGI) contains a new entry for the title. The application, submitted by Nintendo Australia was finalized in late January and received approval for all ages as could have been expected.

A quick search of Nintendo’s other recent application reveal that other SEGA titles planned for the Virtual Console line up include Streets of Rage, Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle and Sword or Vermilion.

Revealed: Full List of Game Gear Games Included in Sonic Adventure DX

Following on from our recent story about Sonic Adventure DX effectively being a “Sonic Mega Collection 2”, we have news of the full list of Game Gear Sonic games that will be included within the Gamecube disc. Read on…

Continue reading Revealed: Full List of Game Gear Games Included in Sonic Adventure DX

Sonic Spinball Coming to GBA via New Sega Smash Pack

The 16-Bit pinball-platformer mashup, Sonic Spinball, is heading to Nintendo’s Game Boy Advance, according to a press release announcing a new version of SEGA’s Smash Pack compilation made specially for the handheld system. Continue reading Sonic Spinball Coming to GBA via New Sega Smash Pack

Games Update: Classic Cheat Codes for Your Mega Drive Games

Remember the good old days, when you could use a third party cheat cartridge to expand the limits of what you could do in your favourite Mega Drive games? We do! Which is why we’ve updated the Games Back Catalogue on The Sonic Stadium with a range of codes that you can use on Game Genie carts to play around with some classic Sonic titles.
Continue reading Games Update: Classic Cheat Codes for Your Mega Drive Games

TSS REVIEW: Sonic Spinball (8-Bit)

Released some time after its Mega Drive counterpart, Sonic Spinball arrived on Master Systems and Game Gears during ’94 and ’95. Everything is in pretty much the same style as the 16-Bit console versions… but… hmmm… well. There are a few differences that make this game different from other versions of the game, and these are explained below, along with a verdict. Continue reading TSS REVIEW: Sonic Spinball (8-Bit)

TSS REVIEW: Sonic Spinball

Sonic Spinball sees Sonic thrown into a world of pinball objects. While you might think that’s quite a basic premise, the game actually feels pretty unique. It’s not your average pinball table… The story? Well, Sonic’s gotten himself in trouble again, isn’t he? After an airborne encounter against Eggman on the Tornado, the blue blur is flung into the sea and into Mount Robotnik’s sewage duct. At least Sonic can begin his counter-attack in earnest. Just watch the smell. Continue reading TSS REVIEW: Sonic Spinball