Woa, a game on DREAMCAST! An you though we were prejiduce against Sega. Nah, We like sega. Like a STOMACH PUMP!
It's a good thing you don't have to be able to pronounce a game title inorder to play it. With more and more imports it's getting more and morecommon to find yourself saying things like, "Dude, I just got this cool newgame called 'Hammah ...Hyzoamah ...Hiko ...'Some Japanese Dude's Quest!'"That's what brings us to my newest game, 'Shenmue' "What?" you ask, "How did that intro have ANYTHING to do with this game?" The answer is this; Shut up!
I didn't really know the name of the game when I went to buy it so I decided to ask a clerk:
Murph: "Hey, do you have that new Dreamcast game? The one with like 4disks?"
Clerk: "Um... Do you know the name of it?"
Murph: "It's like 'Shamu' or something..."
Clerk: "We don't sell shampoo here."
Murph: "No, no, 'SHA-MOO"
Clerk: "You mean like the killer whale?"
Murph: "NO NOT LIKE THE KILLER WHALE! It's like... 'Some Japanese Dude'sQuest'"
Clerk: "...for shampoo?"
Murph: "NO! DAMMIT! I'll find it on my own!"
Clerk: "Heh, heh, heh..."
But yes, after you do get the game, you'll see that Shenmue is a gamelike no other ...besides the fact that it's name can't be pronounced. Thegame opens up with some lady talking about her period or something and thena scene where your father gets killed by some dude in a green dress cause hecan't find his 'mirror'. The 'mirror' was hidden under the apple tree inthe back yard that your father used to teach you martial arts by. But then,a dude named Iggy-son or something gets hurt and thrown into the tree thatthe 'mirror' was under, that your dad got killed for having, by the crossdressing chinese man... yes. They all leave and a few days later an oldlady gets a letter. Then you start your adventure!
A bulk of the game is walking around asking people questions. You go upto every damn person in town and ask 'em if they've seen any men in blacksuits. Throughout the day it gets darker and such (ever 2 seconds is aminute or something) and your 'bed time' is 10:30. This part of the gamegets boring quick, I mean, why play a game when I can go outside and askpeople about men in black suits in real life! And I don't have to be hometill midnight!
Next, is the 'QTE' thingy they use in the game. If you remember the oldDragon's Lair games where you push a button as it flashes on the screenyou'll know what I'm talking about. Anyway, randomly through the game therewill be 'QTE' segments where you have to push the right button at the righttime. This is not a big challenge, I can push buttons. Then again it doesraise my self esteem, so I guess it's all good. But, during these times thegraphics are so amazing that you tend not to notice. Character design andanimation are top notch, as in, best ever. Graphically, as in the facialexpressions, movement, and ways people just live out their lives, Shenmue isthe best out there. If you squint and look through a pillar of water, theylook real. Very real... almost too real.
Realism can be a good thing, but too much can blur the senses. Seeingall these real looking people and walking around talking to people was toomuch for my mind. The game got blurred with reality. I found myselfwalking around town trying to pick up chicks and getting discouraged whenevery time they said, "Not now, I'm busy." or, "Come to the bar, we'll talkthere." or, "I don't talk to strangers." or, "Your an idiot, I don't knowhow anyone in their right mind could stand to be with you!"... wait, thatlast one was real... damn, it's happening again! Ahhhh!!!! transforms intojapanese man who always has a cut under his left eye* Noooooo! I swear, ifI ever go to Japan I'm gonna find that Ryo Hazuki and... steal his 500*insert yen sign here*
Another thing that makes this game like real life is possibly it's bestfeature; the ability to buy toys. Yes, toys. I spent just about all mymoney in this game on toys. I had some bad ass ones too! Most are allSonic and Virtura Fighter stuff, and all for the low, low price of 100 yen!You can also buy and drink a can of pop that does absolutely nothing! Talkabout fun!
Buying toys isn't all that's fun though. I know, comparing buying toysto anything better is very hard, but bear with me. Fight scenes areawesome! You get surrounded by like 8 guys and get all Billy Banks on theirass! It's like Rumble in the Bronx! The last battle of the game is you andone ally against 60 dudes!! 60! And they're all running around and yourall like "WHA-TAAAA!!" then bosses show up with lead pipes and baseball batsand stuff! It's like Streets of Rage had a deformed bastard child withTekken III! Once you beat the game the 60 person battle royal can be playedagain and again and again and again and again and again and again and againand again and again and again and again and again and again and again andagain and again and again and again and again until you get sick of saying"and again" again!
Oh yes, um... got a little off track there... uh... The sounds and musicare ok, no Machine Head though, damn. And there is this story line thing inbetween the bashings... although you never do find the chinese crossdresser. I think that's because there are supposed to be about 14 chaptersor something, and Dreamcast will never support them all. Although ShenmueII is coming soon... maybe there will be 120 dudes!! BRING IT!"WHHHHHAAAAA-BLLLLAACHO!!'
|Gameplay||60 dude battle-royal! TOYS!!||4|
|Graphics||Super - Keen #1!||5|
|Music/Sound||Boring Japanese music, really annoying singing.||2|
|Replay Value||Good for the battle royal, but as for beating it again... nos!||3|
|Originality||Like nothing you have played||5|
|Final Verdict: 3.8|