Review by dosetsu213
"Game as good as the hype behind it?"
I'm pretty sure that everyone has heard of this game due to all the hype behind it. I remember hearing about this game even before the dreamcast console even came out in the US. So I guess it was expected that this would be THE game for the Dreamcast.
This game has rave reviews written all over it. So this game would jump out at you in the stores, as a MUST get. Upon entering the game, you're already brought into a 3d world with interactions that aren't in most games. This game seems absolutely phenomonal when you first check it out. Yu Suzuki, who's behind this game is very ambitious, in which he was planning to make this game the first out of a 16 Chapter saga. If Sega accepts this idea, Shenmue: Chapter 1 could be one of the most longing running single RPG ever.
The graphics in this game is undoubtly some of the best you'll ever see on the Dreamcast, with highly detailed backgrounds, to the most intricate of facial expression. You'll be amazed in how much graphical detail is put into this game. You'll probably find yourself looking at everything you can in this game, because its basically like a mini-world in there. This miniworld has real time and a weather system that will amaze you.
The music in this game is good, no doubt. Supposedly the same guy who wrote the music for such musically known games such as Y's and Streets of Rage makes the music for this game. The sound in this game is fantastic too, with all characters having spoken dialogue for basically every event. This is not even mentioning the sound effects for every little intricate thing, such as the differing sounds of walking on different surfaces, or even the doppler effect caused by passing past a sound source. Very good.
The story is typical, but interesting enough to keep you captivated with the game. The story in the game progresses consistently with cut scenes and action sequences which will ensure that you'll be interested in the story throughout the whole game. Overall, a good story all around.
Now the biggie. The gameplay. In my opinion this game didn't play nearly as good as you would expect for a game this hyped. For one, you'll find yourself just running around the whole time, talking with the same people over and over again, just going on a wildgoose chase. There aren't too many fights in this game either, with just a couple of really good ones, but for the most part fights are scarce. Another thing is that you'll find yourself burning time, and this can be annoying because you just sit there letting time go by just for a single event to happen.
However, don't let all this badmouthing turn you off to the game. There are still a lot of neat gameplay features in the game. There are QTE sequences which test your reflex skills, and the fight scenes that are there, are usually good. The fighting engine is good as well, in which you can learn numurous kinds of moves which improve with time and practice. Also, you'll be able to learn a whole bunch of moves throughout the game. Also, in the game there are a bunch of minigames which will keep you interested in the game for awhile.
So overall, the good aspects weigh a little big heavier than the bad aspects, but not by too much
The replay in this game is alright, which is pretty rare in a RPG such as this. The reason for this replay is that there are soooo many things you could've missed in the first game, and so many skills you may want to build up this time. After beating the game, and replaying it again, I had already experienced plot sequences I never even knew existed. The only problem with playing again, is that you have to do some boring things again, such as burning time for example. It replays pretty well as a RPG of this type, but you'll only do it, if you can get past some of the boring aspects of the game.
This game is NOT as good as the hype behind it. Graphics and sound are what will impress you most. The gameplay isn't anything spectacular and you'll find yourself bored at times, just waiting for the next event to happen. This game, however, is full with many many events, that you probably won't encounter the first time you play it, so you'll be sure to play it again. Just know that if you buy this game, expect to buy Shenmue 2 and every other sequel following it, because the story is good enough to keep you interested in this game.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 12/04/00, Updated 12/04/00
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