So Long Dojo It's Been A Ride

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So Long Dojo It's Been A Ride

Postby Riku Rose » Fri Jul 27, 2018 11:12 am

Growing up I was a Sega kid, I feel like every kid in the UK during the early 90's was a Sega kid. I only knew of one person who grew up with a SNES instead of a Mega Drive as it seemed every kid had a Mega Drive despite the sales numbers saying different. One of my first memories is playing Sonic 2 with my mum in that multiplayer mode where you race to the end, it's one of my only memories of my mum actually playing a video game. I have 3 older brothers and I was born in 92 so the Mega Drive was there long before I was. I loved Sonic like crazy and I used to record every episode of the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog cartoon on a VHS tape.

One of the advantages of being in a family with 3 brothers was that at Christmas if we wanted a console we got it, it just became a joint present and we normally got a game each. Well Christmas 96 we got a Sega Saturn. I like to think I remember it but I was only 3 and a half so I don't know if it's just seeing the photos of us opening it makes me think I remember it. I certainly remember sitting at the kitchen table and getting Nights into Dreams for my birthday as it came in a big box with the massive controller.

As we all know the Saturn wasn't long for this world so my parents needed a new games console for us so they could keep buying easy birthday and Christmas presents for their four boys. For people who have no idea about video games they was normally pretty good at buying decent ones for us. Like all kids back then we used to get video game magazines and I was obsessed with a page which had screenshots of Sonic Adventure for the Dreamcast, I wanted it so bad. The universe had a different idea and threw a spanner in the works, the kid down the street. He had an N64 and me and my brothers would be at his house playing games and it made my brothers want an N64 instead of a Dreamcast and they got their wish. Christmas 1998 I was 6 and we got an N64 bundled with Goldeneye and a game each, F1 Grand Prix, Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire and 1080 Snowboarding. I got Diddy Kong Racing. I was no longer a Sega kid.

I was soon in love with the Mario games (64, Kart, Golf & Party) and like any kid in the late 90's got caught up in Pokemania. I remember my dad coming home (What must have been January 31st 2001 according to Wikipedia) and telling 8 year old me that he heard on the radio in the car that Sega aren't making video games anymore, if he's not interested in a subject your lucky if my dad even pays attention to get that close to right.

Christmas 2001 was coming and my oldest brother who was about 18 at the time asked my mum and dad for a Dreamcast. Now that they had been discontinued shops were desperate to clear the shelves and you could get it bundled with with Jet Set Radio, Virtua Fighter 3 and MSR Racing even if you just gave then magic beans. I remember in the days leading up to Christmas my brother taking me into my parents room and showing me the Dreamcast box in their drawer where it was hidden.

On Christmas Eve 2001 my brother came home from work but had popped into a shop on the way home and picked up a game called Shenmue. It was the first I had ever heard or seen of it.

My first memory of seeing Shenmue was walking into my brother's room on Christmas day. He had started playing it when I was downstairs and I walked in as he was buying capsule toys and I think I just watched him play that most of Christmas day rather then play with my own toys.

It didn't take long for him to beat it over the Christmas period and as soon as he was done he ordered Shenmue II online, the main thing I remember is being shocked that it was in Japanese.

I did beat Shenmue I but I never did beat Shenmue II on Dreamcast, I got up to the bit where you have to fight the three street fighters in Kowloon and stopped for some reason. It wasn't until a year later (2003) at which point I was 11 that my brother got it for the Xbox that I finally beat Shenmue II. As we all know it ends on a cliffhanger and I wanted to know when the next game would come out. I went to google to find out and for the first time came across the Dojo.

I would check the site on a semi regular basis to see if there was any news on Shenmue III. I remember checking the Dojo almost daily after the Kikizo article in 2005 for that announcement that Shenmue III was coming.

I signed up to the Dojo in 2006, I had a real itching to play Shenmue again and didn't have the means to do it. My brother had long since sold his Dreamcast and all his games soon after he discovered Ebay and the Xbox had broke. I still had his copy of IIx and was praying that IIx would eventually become Backwards compatible on the 360. I would check the site daily to see if Xbox had updated to make it work and would very rarely post.

By about 2008 when I was now 16 I didn't really have anyone to talk about video games with. My brothers no longer played games at all and all my friends only played games like Pro Evo/Fifa and Call of Duty which I had no interest in. Final Fantasy was my favourite series so I looked at forums for that but none grabbed me. I also loved Kingdom Hearts but found the forums to be filled with people more around the age of 12-13 and outside of video games they only seemed to talk about school drama and I hated school and only saw it as a prison I wanted to get away from and think very little about. It was then that I started to look at the sections of this forum outside of the Shenmue part and found some very likeable and entertaining people and I started to post regularly.

I find that most people here seem to have a fondness for the 2003-2005 era but I loved this place around 2008-2012. There would always be topics about the latest games filled with people giving half decent discussions while most places seem to be filled with people who always just want to shit on everything and find something to hate (although some people here who I like have been guilty at times). We would have topics with funny news stories with people taking the piss out of it and most of the comments people made were funnier then the stupid story itself. Then we would also have debates on topics which didn't descend into personal attacks the majority of time which is a rare thing online.

I don't really post here anymore as I think a few things have kind of killed off what I loved about this place.
1. People getting older and not posting as much as they move on with life so don't surf the internet and play games as much.
2. Ryudo's Mad King phase which drove people away where he would shit over everything he didn't agree with or like and then delete half a thread if people proved him wrong.
3. The thanking system. I feel it stops people replying as they feel the thumbs up is their reply.
4. The Random Thoughts threads in the off topic and gaming forum. They really killed people making new topics. My advice for the new forum is not to have these and encourage new topics.
5. Shenmue III being announced.

I know many will not agree with the last one but before Shenmue III was announced this place had more regular members who were interested in topics other then Shenmue. We used to make it a point to leave Shenmue out of topics outside of the Shenmue forums in things like the favourite video game songs topic as we all knew how boring it was just talking about one game over and over. I remember people rolling their eyes when someone kept saying in a topic about Uncharted II that Shenmue clearly inspired it as there is a bit where Nathan Drake wears a brown coat.

I love Shenmue but I've never been a fan of some of the fans, the game isn't perfect and didn't inspire everything. People who don't like it don't have an 'agenda' against it. It's a game I love but a game with many faults. I don't believe that the tweetathon made the game happen, Sony's Building the list campaign did. Then when the game got announced tons of people who hadn't been posting here said 'we' kept this place alive. It wasn't Shenmue or it's fans that kept this place active, it was the unique personality's who stuck around to discuss stuff that wasn't Shenmue that kept the Dojo alive.

I stopped posting on a regular basis when I realised the people I had been talking to for almost 10 years had started posting about once a week or stopped altogether. They had been replaced by people with Shenmue names and avatars who didn't want to talk about Persona 5 or a funny news story and would rather talk about Shenmue and Shenmue only.

Despite this I still check the Dojo on a daily basis and will continue to do so, it's something I've done for 10 years and has become a daily habit for me. I was first posting here as a 16 year old kid counting down the days until I could get out of school and a week from today I will be getting on a one way flight to move to Florida. A lot has changed in those 10 years but the Dojo is one of the only things that's been there every step of the way.

A final shout out to some of the best members in my time here:

Peter - Good luck with the new forum lad.
Mittens - You've always cracked me up and have a unique way of calling people out that I love.
OL - I think I've voted you for member of the year nearly every year as you clearly always put a lot of thought into what you post.
Kenny - Last I remember you made a go of it in the film business. I always take my hat off to people who chase their dream and hope you do well. Sorry that when you asked for feedback on scripts I was always shit at it.
Henry Spencer - You've always been down to earth and a decent laugh.
Clint - Wish you hadn't left bud. You could debate with the best of them.
QWERTY - I know many people got angry with him but he would always have decent input into a topic (Before he went too far and got himself banned)
Crimson Ryan - Think you started posting around when I did and have always made a comment or two that made me laugh.
South Carmain - Funniest bastard here.
Beedle & Gingefners - The Dojo's chuckle brothers.
Axm - Number 1 Sony boy.
Kiba - You'll always have a place as a presenter at the Dojo awards.
St. Elmo's Fire - You always needed to post more.
Brothaman - The new place needs Brothaman and the ask Brothaman topic back.
Vyse Hazuky - I don't care what Mittens says I'm grateful you introduced me to Deadly Premonition.
Martin - Another guy I would be thrilled when he came back about once a year and then gutted when he left again.
Joe Pesci - You was always a good dad to Beeds and Gingefners.
Yokosuka Martian - My main memory of you is when I once came home drunk and then we played the Assassin's Creed multiplayer together.

I know there are others but I've been typing this post for ages now and it's sunny outside. See you all on the other side.
User avatar
Riku Rose
Shenmue III
Shenmue III
Joined: February 2006
Location: Kent, England
Currently playing: Yakuza 6

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