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Thread: Shenmue

  1. #1
    Blast processor Melf's Avatar
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    Dc Shenmue

    Yu Suzuki's Dreamcast masterpiece was a revolutionary title that blew gamers away when it debuted in 2000. Decades later, it still holds up, with its intricate narrative, large world to explore, and those great little capsule toys! If you haven't played it yet, what are you waiting for? Read our full review for more details.

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    The Gaming Gangsta Master of Shinobi profholt82's Avatar
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    While I admire Shenmue as an innovative game, I've never made it more than a few hours into it before losing interest. It's just not for me. I always end up playing Space Harrier and Hang On in the arcade instead of playing through the actual game. Hahaha

    And in retrospect, had Sega decided against making it in the first place, perhaps their fortunes as a company would have been very different. Estimates for its development cost vary between 40 something and 70 million dollars, and it didn't come close to recouping that in sales. If Shenmue wasn't the straw that broke Sega's back, it was certainly a major contributor. Perhaps that's why I don't appreciate it nearly as much as the modern masses seem to.

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    The Future is Yesterday Hedgehog-in-TrainingESWAT Veteran Leynos's Avatar
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    I will always adore this game. The detail of the world. The music. The atmosphere is what sucked me in and at the time the visuals which were mindblowing at the time. I don't know how many hours I put into it or how many times I finished it. I mainly just love to exist in that world of Yamonose and Dobuita.

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    Mega Driven Raging in the Streets cleeg's Avatar
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    I never played this first time around, and haven't played it, or just about anything at all, for about two years now (the little lad is two and a half, do the maths!), but I remember bumbling through the firstcdisc.

    It's a strange and dreamlike experience which I find quite relaxing, even when beating up sailors.

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    Quote Originally Posted by profholt82 View Post
    And in retrospect, had Sega decided against making it in the first place, perhaps their fortunes as a company would have been very different. Estimates for its development cost vary between 40 something and 70 million dollars, and it didn't come close to recouping that in sales. If Shenmue wasn't the straw that broke Sega's back, it was certainly a major contributor. Perhaps that's why I don't appreciate it nearly as much as the modern masses seem to.
    Yep. I don't like the game -- it's hokey, dull, and a chore to play -- but I find I'm a bit bitter towards Shenmue because it consumed so much money and talent which could have went to other projects and may have helped keep Sega in a better position than it was following its release. At the very least, we could have got some more Sega developed Saturn/Dreamcast stuff before ending its hardware run.

    So, not a fan, but this is a fantastic review all the same. Really enjoyed reading it even if the game's elements don't register with me the way the do for the reviewer and the series' fans.

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    The Gentleman Thief Baloo's Avatar
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    The most boring, overrated game of all time. Has a ton of charm in the character design, level design, story themes, graphical realism, different places to visit. It's a charming game, but it is dull as watching paint dry. The story moves at a glacial pace. The only real gameplay are the Quick Time Events that were way more fun and lifted from Die Hard Arcade. You might as well call this game Kung-Fu Action Movie simulator. That's basically what it plays like.

    It's not without merit, but this is just the most overrated game ever.
    Last edited by Baloo; 07-23-2020 at 02:16 PM.
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    The Future is Yesterday Hedgehog-in-TrainingESWAT Veteran Leynos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baloo View Post
    The most boring, overrated game of all time. Has a ton of charm in the character design, level design, story themes, graphical realism, different places to visit. It's a charming game, but it is dull as paint. The story moves at a glacial pace. The only real gameplay are the Quick Time Events that were way more fun and lifted from Die Hard Arcade. You might as well call this game Kung-Fu Action

    It's not without merit, but this is just the most overrated game ever.
    Can't be the most ever when it's the most divisive game ever. The most overrated ever goes to 3 contenders. Ocarina of Time. Final Fantasy 7. The Last Of Us. I like FF7 and OoT but neither is even the best in their series. TLOU well..it's gameplay is uninspired yet always put on lists as the best GAME ever..meh.

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    I bought this game and tried it, but it never clicked with me. Too many distracting things and I couldn't handle the controls. Probably a great game, just not my cup of tea, so I sold it.
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    Japanese Sonic CD FTW!!! Master of Shinobi Ecco's Avatar
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    I haven't played this yet, but someday I expect that I'll really enjoy it.

    As a kid, I used to imagine how great it would be... for a videogame to let the player wander around aimlessly, in a real world setting, and interact with everything. Like, you could just do whatever you wanted. Walk into someone's house and go through their refrigerator, maybe. Or talk to people, or ride your bike, or play basketball, etc.

    So I think Shenmue seems to be built on a similar premise that I used to daydream about, which means I'll probably love it. Though I can understand how it didn't hit enough mass appeal...

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    Master of Shinobi Mega Drive Bowlsey's Avatar
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    Jesus, has it really been 20yrs since I first played Shenmue on my Dreamcast?! Now I feel really old... I love the game and always have. I see it as Sega's last hurrah. They allowed Yu Suzuki to go balls out the bath on production values and cost, and wow did it show. The game still looks beautiful today. To the people complaining that it was too expensive and that Sega shouldn't have spent so much on Suzuki's dream, I might remind you that this was the very definition of why we all fell in love with Sega in the first place. A company that believed in going all out and gambling to produce some of the greatest games ever made. Did the gamble pay off? In the long run no, but at least they went for broke. Is Shenmue for everyone and is it an all-time classic? It's certainly not for everyone, but I do consider it a Sega classic. The game meant a great deal to me back when I first played it and really struck a chord with me.

    I also want to add that Shenmue never got half of the recognition, attention and praise that it deserved back in the day and, as far as I'm concerned, it was yet another victim of the gaming media's snobbery towards Sega in general. I tell you now, if Shigeru Miyamoto and Nintendo had produced a game like Shenmue back in 2000 the gaming press would still be masturbating over it today.

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    counter of beans Hedgehog-in-TrainingWildside Expert Cafeman's Avatar
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    It's nice to see another Dreamcast game review. I still remember the day that we got shenmue, the day that it rained. I got home from the mall in our black car, quickly fed a stray cat, and ran up the hill home to pop the disc into my Dreamcast. Well, that's how I remember it at least.

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    Mega Driven Raging in the Streets cleeg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cafeman View Post
    It's nice to see another Dreamcast game review. I still remember the day that we got shenmue, the day that it rained. I got home from the mall in our black car, quickly fed a stray cat, and ran up the hill home to pop the disc into my Dreamcast. Well, that's how I remember it at least.
    I actually fell for that, then realised it's from the game! I'm chuckling right now.

  13. #13
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    I think Shenmue's victim of Sega's own marketing for it. To this day people tend to compare Shenmue with other action-y open world games that couldn't be more different than it... it's like buying the Rambo First Blood Part II Text Adventure game on PC and getting angry you don't get to mow down tons of Vietnamese soldiers with a machinegun. I think Shenmue's "lack" of combat is perfect. Unlike something like Yakuza and its countless sequels where you're assaulted every five steps by goons, every Shenmue fight feels meaningful and has weight to it, and that's probably what they originally meant - the final battle at the docks is made epic because of it.

    The only real issue I find with Shenmue are the way interactions with NPCs work. I guess in order to simplify both gameplay and development you can only ask people a single specific topic dictated by the game, and worse yet, in the two places where the game forces you to wait (ie the Tattoo Parlor, the You Arcade ticket wait) instead of letting Ryo do small talk with the NPCs to enrich the story, settings and characters, the developers simply set every NPC to do a "I'M BUSY RYO ASK ME LATER" routine... seeing I wouldn't be able to skip time in those sections and engrossed by the game, this was a HUGE letdown. It's like they WANTED you to push that "skip time" button but forgot to actually program that button in. For a game that uses the realistic setting and individual characters with different daily schedules and background stories, this is such a missed opportunity. Other pain points that people love to point out, like being stuck working with those box lifting carts (forgot the name of them) or the aforementioned forced waits (which there are only two of but no one mentions that... hmm) for me were never as bad or lengthy as people online made it out to be, and some, dare I say, were also entertaining.

    I think Shenmue is a great adventure game and Shenmue 2 is a good sequel, but nowadays I gotta think about them in isolation of the long awaited Shenmue 3, or they both become instantly awful. Why? The story and pacing in 3 is what I'd call AWFUL, and hilariously enough it resolves little of what was set up at the end of Shenmue 2. It's like a 30 min section that could have been on the second game, extended over a couple of hours, and it's no wonder Yu's original plan for shenmue has like 10+ chapters, and Shenmue 2, which was made with someone actually overseeing the project other than Yu himself to ensure it gets done, condenses like 3 of the planned chapter games (IIRC) into one, and just skipped "Chapter 2" (the boat ride to Hong Kong) entirely. Lots of Shenmue fans at the Shenmue Dojo forums are in denial, but also plenty recognized how bad 3 was, unfortunately. It's an unfortunate end to what could have been Yu Suzuki's swan song. As the review says, while the scope of Shenmue is grand, it lacks the narrative sophistication to back it up.

  14. #14
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    Good review for a very divisive game. I've had an original copy of Shenmue for my Dreamcast for ages, but I must admit I've hardly ever played it - the pacing is just way too slow for my tastes. I kind of admire the game for establishing many mechanisms that are now considered standard. That still doesn't manage to hold my interest in the game for longer than a few minutes before I'm switching it off again. Guess Shenmue is one of those "love it or hate it" affairs.
    The funny thing about an oxymoron is, even if you remove the ox, there'll always be a moron. The Question Remains: Y?

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