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 Review of Son of Beast @ Kings Island
0 Rating Posted by: ndcaesar on 5/1/2009 12:46:00 PM
I wasn't expecting much from Son of Beast when I went on it last year. Overwhelmingly negative reviews and pervasive warnings of its incredibly rough ride set the tone, and as I boarded the unimpressive trains and headed down the prelift (which doesn't deliver much considering it had a decently-sized drop to work with, by the way), I started to have second thoughts about CLANKCLANKCLANKCLANKCLANKCLANKCLANK Did I mention that the lift hill is unfathomably loud? It wouldn't be nearly as bad if the coaster wasn't over 200 feet tall. Come to think of it, I also didn't mention that making a wooden hypercoaster before Intamin started prefabricating them and having RCCA build it wasn't the brightest of ideas? Well, there you go. After disengaging from the lift hill, the train goes around a curve and down the drop. I can't think of anything else notable to say about the first except that 1) there isn't any airtime to speak of and 2) this thing doesn't track well at all. It's not as bad as, say, Rattler pre-refurbishment, but it's still pretty terrible. A couple of turns, one to the right up high and one to the left down low, follow. There would be a nice sensation of speed if these elements weren't so gradual, although considering how rough SOB is already, we should count our blessings. And then we get to the first tilty double helix thing, which looks cool from the air, but isn't. The curve at the top is slow and jerky, then it accelerates to the bottom and bucks around the helix while shaking violently enough to shame most jackhammers. Violently enough to let its esteemed riders entertain the not-all-too-pleasant thought of structural failure. Which happened, by the way, back in 2006, albeit in a different place on the ride when they were running heavier trains, but that's besides the point. So, after that funfest, we get to do it all over again. Keep in mind, I don't usually mind roughness much; it's part of the experience for any woodie that isn't a pre-fab, and it can add to the ride experience. However, this was just unacceptable. I can say without fear of self-contradiction that the bottom portions of that helix are the roughest parts of any woodie that I've been on. Racer is still rougher overall on the blue side (I think... it was one or the other), but that's for another review. After that fun-tastic helix, we hit the mid-course brakes, strategically positioned at the beginning of a straight segment that goes on for too long. Then we learn that the purpose of that straight bit was to build up speed or something for the gradual drop to the left that follows. Where the loop used to be, there is now a bit of an s-bend that doesn't really do anything. Then, another tilty double helix thing. This one curves to the right where the first one curved to the left, and it isn't nearly as rough. SOB really tightens things up for the rest of the second half (right, right). There's an airtime hill minus the airtime, a turnaround into a drop, then we hit the brakes. The station is fifty feet high or so, after all, to make room for the prelift. -- Alright, Son of Beast wasn't quite as bad as I'm making it out to be. I can't say for sure whether it's likely to induce headaches or spineaches or anything like that; I took some Advil in advance (reputation is a powerful thing), and any pain I might have had upon leaving the park was probably from Racer's blue side. Regardless, you probably won't be in much agony after the ride ends. It's really more of an unremarkable disappointment than anything, for me. One thing that I haven't seen criticized much is the ride's pacing, and that surprises me. I'm not asking for GCI-esque madness here, but there shouldn't have been any need to make it seem like slow motion. Even that would have been acceptable if there was any airtime, or even lateral forces that didn't come with a side of heavy jackhammering. As I said, SOB doesn't inspire the kind of hatred that, say, a bad SLC might get from me, and if you like this sort of thing (I would say Dinn-Summers coasters or other RCCAs, but I don't know of anyone who likes those specifically), or if you're willing to put up with roughness, it's worth a try. Rounding up, I'd give it a 3/10, and rounding up further (I would have liked to have the old out of 10 rating system here, but this will do), it gets a 2/5.

Review Comments

ndcaesar on 5/1/2009 1:12:08 PM said:
This should have separate paragraphs. I'm trying to use the tag and all that, but it doesn't register when I update the review, and when I return to the page later, in the post-editing box, where I had the tags, it just shows up as empty lines. For now, sorry about the impenetrable wall of text.
ndcaesar on 5/1/2009 1:15:54 PM said:
(That should say lesser-than P greater-than tag, by the way. Substitute the typographical symbols in there.)
detroit_jc on 11/4/2009 7:49:22 PM said:
I do give much credit to the designers of this coaster. It seems like an attempt to maybe match Milleniium Force but at a woodie level. But we have learned the limitations of the wooden structure in the process. I think the park should keep the lift and drop but reprofile this coaster into a huge out and back. Just like shivering timbers. plenty of wood to work with.
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