When I first got into the Internet and using a personal computer, my interest was mostly with using it to play games and perform routines with educational software. Things didn’t start to get exciting until America Online was introduced. This brings the beginning stages for me and where I started out.
Fastforward to a more modern time, I’m browsing through the Sega Force or Shin Force, for the uninitiated. A bounty of content and elaborate details about much prized Sega memorabilia. I was always fascinated with this site and especially because to me, all life really was and is about GAMING.
I really enjoyed the shin force, and I used it as a valuable resource for news and information, hell I even went as far as becoming a staff member and contributing even some of my own content, which now that I think about it, I cannot even remember whether I even contributed anything or not? whatever the case, I really liked the Shin/Sega Force. So, with that, it’s my great pleasure to get to ask the webmaster himself some questions and get his feedback.
I’ll answer most of those questions……..
Q. what got you into sega?
A I became a Sega fan for life by going to arcades in the 80s and realizing how many amazing games were created by them. Games like Buck Rogers, Zaxxon, Turbo, Shinobi, After Burner, and Golden Axe we’re always among the most popular at local arcades. The Master System release in 1986 was a match made in heaven, with Sega hardware and software in one neat package.
Q aside from your fandom of sega, what enticed you into building and making a webpage? why did you think to make the shin force?
A Sega/Shin Force was inspired by my opinion that too many video game magazines didn’t match my view of Sega. I thought it would be a great way to commune with others that appreciate their originality and creativity.
Q you seem to have a lot of interest in airplanes, where you ever in the air force?
A I love everything about airplanes, but I never served in the military. I grew up playing with airplanes, making model airplanes, visiting aircraft museums, and attending airshows regularly. All flying games are of instant interest to me, beginning with the original Microsoft Flight Simulator (PC).
Q what do you suppose would rebirth sega? is it even possible?
A My vision of the rebirth of Sega is not probable, because it would be Sega making its own modern console and supporting it with awesome software. That dream died with the Dreamcast when Sega discontinued it in 2001. If there was an avenue of rebirth, it would probably involve being purchased by Microsoft and kept as a second party exclusive developer.
Q how did you learn to code and design web sites? any formal education or schooling?
A I used Netscape Communicator to produce HTML, which featured a WYSIWYG interface that made website creation accessible to everyone. No formal training necessary, just a creative idea and the desire to see it through.
Q what kind of music do you like?
A My go to music genre has always been Heavy Metal. I grew up on Iron Maiden, Rainbow, Loudness, Earthshaker, Motley Crue, Accept, Grave Digger, and Yngwie Malmsteen, to mention a few.
My first ever Sega webpage
Q Would love to hear about any other sega web sites or anybody else who was doing something like yourself at the time. Really hash this out and give us information on what the web scene was like when you first started doing your web page.
AThe web scene in the 90s was young and growing by leaps and bounds. There were a few sites I would visit daily to see the hottest video game news, which I would compile into news articles for Sega Force. Honestly, people would constantly ask for web link swaps, and I almost always agreed. Sega/Shin Force had enough impact to gain the attention of some companies like Sega and Tecmo. For example, Sega gave me access to their media FTP and Tecmo sent me a pre-release version of Dead or Alive 2 (Dreamcast). The best part was knowing that like-minded gamers were finally getting what they craved: a Sega biased view on video games. Fast forward to current times. I’ve been covering Sega for 25 years and will continue to do so, mainly on social media, until it no longer gives me satisfaction. I don’t do this for popularity or profit — I do this because I want to share Sega fandom with others. We also have a couple of international correspondents on Facebook that provide occasional content. The main focus is outlined as follows: we specialize in Phantasy Star, Sega, Xbox, and retro gaming.
That about wraps it up. I am very grateful to Shin and the FORCE for giving us all a whole of courage and inspiration in a dark cold and depressing world. Is it getting close to fall yet?
For those interested, please consider checking out:
A youtube channel by the name of Black Z Studios Electronics Entertainment has several videos showing games like Panzer Dragoon Saga and Guardian Heroes being emulated. Here is an excerpt you can find from on their youtube page.
DEMO of a development version. Work in progress. The current version of the SEGA Saturn™ Station emulator produces several bugs with this games such as error calculation in 3D positions, graphical glitches, etc. Also it needs to implements features like RBG screen emulation.” -via youtube page
Tokimeki Memorial – forever with you (aka TokiMemo) is a dating simulation game published by Konami of Japan for the Sega Saturn. It was what basically spawned the Dating Sim Genre in Japan, and gained massive popularity in Japan, not only TokiMemo, but the Dating Sim Genre itself. And if you haven’t guessed already the overall premise of the game is to date beautiful Anime girls, and no they don’t take their clothes off for you, or get raped by large tentacles. Sorry, you wont find any hardcore hentai here.
You play as a teenage boy in Kirameki high school and your main objective is … well, to get a date, of course! One of the characters, Shiori, is the girl of your dreams, but if things don’t go well with her, you can always go for one of her twelve friends! In TokiMemo your attributes are measured similar to those in an RPG game, with stats for science, arts, athletics, stress, humanity, knowledge, etc. if, for example you spend too much time playing sports, your studying stats will decrease and all of the girls will think you’re a dunce. The key to success is to keep your popularity high without getting a “bad rep” amongst the girls. A girl’s feelings toward you can be gauged by her expression when she faces you. She can either be sad, indifferent, happy or just plain “sparkling”! With help and advice from your buddy, Yoshio, you strive to reach your ultimate goal: Love.
The game play of TokiMemo as you might of already guessed, could be quite challenging, due to the language barrier, and although the game is entirely in Japanese (for the most part) it does remain quite easy to play, just not follow along with the dialogue. And most of the time it’s just point and click type playing, you simply access menus and what not. But something that made TokiMemo so much fun is all of the Mini games, that were thrown in along the way. For instance, during certain parts of the year they have you partake in the Annual School Athletic Meeting. And that ranging from activity’s like the 100m dash, 3 Legged Race and a quite challenging event where you balance a ball, on a tennis racket. Something else I found hilarious along the way, is that when certain events take place, it will trigger a fight, which is basically a huge Final Fantasy Spoof, got to love getting the chance to beat up on the school bully! And finally, something else that is added for enjoyment is a really fun over top shooter, that you can get by attending the Computer class long enough. So as you can see, the game doesn’t entirely remain a simple point and click game.
The graphics in TokiMemo are very well drawn Anime styled pictures, and pallets. Although the anime sequence does remain to look a bit grainy on the Saturn it’s really nothing to complain about. You will not find any revolutionary 3D graphics displayed, it all remains in a classic 2D form, which moves very smoothly on the Saturn. I really enjoy the chibi style in Animations, and add’s that classic Anime feel to the game, which I for one enjoy.
The sound and voice acting for TokiMemo, couldn’t have been better! even if you don’t understand a word of Japanese, just listen to the emotion and true vocal composites which were displayed in TokiMemo, at times, you might catch yourself off guard and really think you are talking to one of the girls. The music, was arranged superbly, if you let the game sit idle for a moment in the beginning you will be treated with a really catchy song, which was an A+ on my list, as well as a Video to include with. The in-game music, are definitely rpg influenced scores, which in all actuality go quite well with the pace of the game. I can’t really complain here.
And now for the cash crop of the game, the Entertainment! yes, this is where the game scored the mother load. I myself only know a few simple Japanese phrases, and don’t know a single piece Kanji, but this game still stands as one of the most fun and addictive games, I have played yet. The idea of dating girls, and building up your character on the popularity chain is just too much fun to pass up. Although often times, you will be kicking yourself, wondering what the heck is going on, it still remains very fun throughout the whole game.
Overall, I would highly suggest this game to anyone who fancy’s themselves in Anime, or Simulations. I can guarantee once you get started, you will not be able to put the controller down. The only gripe I can clearly point is the huge Language barrier, so if you think loads of Kanji, and Japanese dialogue will effect your gameplay, then stear clear of this title.