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Most of this page I wrote when I was overseas in 2002, so some of it’s a bit out of date really. Plus Iíve mellowed a bit more these days.
Welcome To My Pad.

Firstly, I’d like to say a big Hi to any of you who are huge Sega fans. I’ve been playing Sega games from just before the time I got my Mega Drive in December 1994, so haven’t been at this as long as all of you. I never had a SMS or a GG, but I had an Atari 2600 before the MD, so I’ve been playing video games since about 1992, or so I think. It’s been about 10 years.
I’ve taken good care of my consoles, and the only 2 that’ve required repairing were my Atari 2600 & my Dreamcast, which I fixed myself. They’re all pretty reliable though.
I’m a big fan of Sega’s Yu Suzuki & Yuji Naka, lead programmers from AM 2 & Sonic Team respectively. Plus Overworks for their top title, “Skies Of Arcadia.”

Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a Dreamcast

Over the years, Sega has gathered a massive league of loyal customers, me included, that appreciate quality titles as more than just a splash of fun. In the games I play, I look for depth, playability & good replay value. Sega’s programmers & developers tend to have a great love for gaming, and they all know what works to make their game something unique & very special, unlike some certain companies who bang out a vast array of trash for a quick bit of dosh.
Of course if you’re really serious, you’ll no doubt be ending up hunting down hardware, software & other related gaming items from overseas. Some of the Japanese only releases can be tempting, but I haven’t seen enough games to make adding a switch to my consoles worthwhile. Of course, getting games overseas can be expensive & tricky if you don’t know where to look. Check the Links page out for some good suppliers.

Withdrawal Symptoms — I Will Console You.

After the demise in new Saturn games, I was left desperately waiting for the Dreamcast. In that space, I took to a few PC games to attempt to fill the void. When the Dreamcast arrived, however, my joy rating hit top of the scale!

John & The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcast.

Sega have brought about an amazing colourful array of games, & it certainly shows. The Mega Drive was riddled with some of the most awesome games ever. Sonic was the greatest thing to hit the console & the likes of Virtua Fighter 2, Virtua Racing, Ristar, Sonic 3D, the Phantasy Star series & Ecco The Dolphin made it the choice system. 3rd party games such as the amazing Rocket Knight Adventures, Cool Spot, Earthworm Jim, The Lion King, Bomberman & Micro Machines all added to its great collection.
A few consoles down the line to the Saturn, we saw even more top Sega titles. Sega World Wide Soccer ’97, Virtua Cop, Daytona USA, Sonic R, the unmissable NiGHTS, Winter Heat, Sega Rally, Panzer Dragoon & Last Bronx — all fine examples. 3rd parties also gave us great games such as The Need For Speed, Grandia, Steep Slope Sliders, Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, Pandemonium, Quake, Duke Nukem 3D and the awesome Dead Or Alive.
Moving on to the Dreamcast saw all manner of new funky Sega games. Outtrigger, Crazy Taxi 2, Sega Bass Fishing, Skies Of Arcadia, Sonic Shuffle, Sonic Adventure, Virtua Fighter 3 t.b., Shenmue, Ferrari F355 Challenge, the BAFTA winning Virtua Tennis 2, 18 Wheeler: American Pro Trucker, Phantasy Star Online & Chu Chu Rocket are all excellent games. 3rd party support brought Le Mans 24 Hours Ultimate Endurance Challenge, Unreal Tournament, Quake 3 Arena, Street Fighter Alpha 3, Grandia 2, Dead Or Alive 2, Soul Calibur, Revolt and Power Stone 2, just some examples. Recently, the Dreamcast has picked up several homemade games & programs available from various sites on the Internet. These include some spiffy actual games that some pro programmers have whipped up in their spare time, and some handy applications for viewing video and image files. Not to mention the ability to listen to audio on some also.
The controversial “Bleemcast” suddenly allowed you to play PlayStation games on your Dreamcast, simply by purchasing a Bleemcast CD and the appropriate game. All very well, but a bit insulting to Dreamcast gaming.

The Phat Controller.

A good control pad makes all the difference between playing to your best ability & doing absolutely shoddily. The Saturn’s original control pad & the 6 button Mega Drive pad are both top examples of quality design. They’re comfortable to hold, light weight & have good layouts. The Dreamcast pad however, is somewhat questionable. The “+” shaped digital d-pad is atrocious for the likes of the Street Fighter games, & the lack of buttons makes it hard to use where you have more than 4 actions.
The analogue d-pad & the analogue L & R Shift buttons however, like the NiGHTS pad on the Saturn, are great for most racing type games & some platformers.
Luckily, however, 3rd party companies released other various pads for the Dreamcast that were improved, such as the Mad Catz Dream Pad, & the “Saturnish” Capcom vs SNK pad.
Of course, control pads aren’t always the best option for every game. The House Of The Dead 2 & Outtrigger are 2 examples. Numerous peripherals for the Saturn & Dreamcast were made. The Saturn featured the Virtua Stick, the Virtua Gun, Racing Wheel & a 4 button mouse, which I’m not sure about. The Dreamcast featured a steering wheel, dance mat, maracas, microphone, Dream Eye (web cam), wheel mouse, keyboard, arcade stick, light gun & a fishing rod.
The original PS2.

On To The Next Level.

As much as I love playing games, I can never forget the feeling of getting a new console. In particular, the day I had the Saturn box laid out on the table, & when I was cuddling my Dreamcast back home in the car from the midnight launch.
New games, new peripherals… but what about a new brand? Unfortunately now that Sega no longer make their own consoles, it kinda stinks having to buy other brands to get their games. (Oh, yes, unless you’re super rich and can afford their arcade games.) As a loyal Sega fan, it’s been hard changing over. Microsoft’s XBOX is by far the most powerful console (at the moment) & appears to be getting the games I want. Not only that, but Microsoft have had a good partnership with Sega. Firstly providing the customised Windows CE operating system for the Dreamcast, asking Sega to design the XBOX (, which fell through,) and finally their joint effort with the Chihiro board. So it seems like the right choice to me.
Panzer Dragoon Orta is a fine example of Sega’s XBOX offerings, as well as OutRun 2, The House Of The Dead 3 & Crazy Taxi 3 to name a few. Soul Calibur 2 is also a top buy from Namco, plus Bethesda’s The Elder Scrolls 3 Morrowind - Game Of The Year Edition. Keep your eyes peeled for SpikeOut also.

Button Bashing.

On the more nasty side of things, it’s no secret that I absolutely despise Sony either for how they’ve infested the video game market with their “cool to own” consoles that promote nothing about gaming, and have generated a class of so called casual gamers who don’t know what they want, and only buy their stuff because it’s popular. I know that’s harsh, and yes, it does stem from bitterness that they’ve stolen the limelight away from companies like Sega & Nintendo who epitomised quality gaming, but that’s how it is. I just hope the XBOX doesn’t go along the same way either.
I don’t agree with the people who say it’s not about the specifications anymore, and that the game play is the only thing they’re concerned about, especially if they’re talking about getting new consoles like the XBOX 360, PS3 or the Nintendo Revolution, because that’s utterly hypocritical. Why else would you be getting a brand new console? If it was only gameplay that mattered, then the Dreamcast would still be selling bucket loads right now. Moreover, it’s the companies who do all the shouting that sells consoles. The PlayStation 2 is still out selling the GameCube and the XBOX, and it’s not even in their league. The same goes for how the original PlayStation kept on selling more than the Dreamcast, despite all the new things it offered. The same with the PSP also. Sure, it’s more powerful than Nintendo’s DS, but when I was talking to my Mum about it, she didn’t even know what I was on about, but she sure knew about the PSP, ’cos it was plastered over every sale catalogue that came through the mail.
Finally, the other thing that annoys me is how consoles like the XBOX & GameCube get the crusty end of the deal, with a great deal of their games simply being straight conversions off other older consoles. I’m not talking about retro packs here either - new games that no body’s bothered to optimize for their abilities. There was a thing I read about Super Monkey Ball, where someone had said that it was a great showcase of the GameCube’s power, but it came off the Naomi board. Sega could’ve done it on the Dreamcast. And how many PlayStation 2 games have simply been slapped onto the XBOX? Why would I bother buying games that aren’t XBOX exclusive? It’s such a waste of what it can actually do. And I’ll give you an image that looks at that from the other perspective also. Say if, things were different, and you owned a PlayStation 2, and the Saturn was outselling it, and the majority of the games that were coming out were simply straight conversions of the Saturn games, wouldn’t you feel ripped off too that you’d got such a console and barely ever got to see what it could accomplish?