Review by Virus919

"Have you seen that Dragon, the One with a rhetorical question"

An epic tale, 2 mysterious mirrors made of Phantom River Stone, a Scary Man with too much potential, and a young warrior who has yet to score in bed with certain ladies, supposedly, is yet to be unfolded. This is the Story of Shenmue. Often criticized, underestimated, and yet truely, a Form of Art in itself.

Other than the sad implication of sexual tension between two certain characters, boy and girl type, this game is really great. It got criticized for using the Quick Time Events or QTE's by some game magazines, yet Resident Evil 4 used pretty much the same concept and gets hailed and praised. What the heck? Honestly. Anyway, this is a first in it's type in many ways. It had some strong points, but it lacked severly in others. Otherwise, good flow, and a nice touch.

Graphics-10/10- The graphics are undeniably some of the very best for its time and still is, I think for this particular game. Very well made and thought out. Great detail and work. Wonderful eye candy with a flavor of inner beauty. Well layered to the touch. Very impressive. The in-game scenes looked wonderful, not bad at all. Not perfect, but not static either, for graphics at least.

Story-8/10-I really like the story, being about Ryo seeking out to avenge his Father. Along the way trying to figure out the Mystery behind a Legendary Tale. I like the idea that it's super mysterious with the Oriental Myth, and Hidden Powers, and that's it's also Psychic Powers, but not some horror Cult Fest if that makes any sense. It can get kinda stale, but it's still really good minus some chopiness. The repetiveness can be bad and ruin some things, but I like it otherwise. And the whole Chinese Cartel Mafia adds depth and Force to the story. The romance is kinda interesting, but Nozomi is a pathetic choice. Sorry. Inspirational, Intriuging, and Marvelous. Words to describe a movie, hope they fit.
As for the whole mirror thing, what I like about that is that it's really mystical, and uber mysterious in a cool way. You don't what they are but you know that it's really strange to have and when you find out, it's really cool.

Interactivity-7/10- I find it interesting that the whole game is interactive, but it's not completely there. Metal Gear Solid 2 and Deus Ex have these very same concepts. Not bad, but it doesn't define the game. I still enjoy doing every single minor thing you can do with the enviroment, such as picking up an object, and turning on and off a light switch. Now only if I could find a way to pick up some fecal matter and throw it at the annoying girl who has the nerve to tell you off. Now that would be true to some sense.

Music Score-10/10-While there are many people who say, this music was so awe-inspirational, or this score stank the tank, I try not to go on what many people find to be "Brilliant" so to speak. I really love how the music plays at the background with no one around by the time the day shifts from afternoon to evening for instance. It has a sort of post historic but well orchestrated type music that is true to culture, but contemporary for content. It's just the best, but not better than the rest.

Dialogue-6/10-That man, who is that man? Oh you mean the ugly man, the one with the bad breath, and funny things coming out of his pants? Yeah, that man, he is that man. Hey look, DIFFERENT SOUNDS. WOW Ryo, you sure are a genius if I saw any. Lip flap, some bad translation, and cheesy dialogue, make this one hard to forget, and always easy to remember. Fun to look and listen, but can be taken seriously if you look at it right. Otherwise, I will be asking very badly arranged questions, which will be hard to seem like I am talking normally.

Gameplay-10/10-While Not Perfect, I still Give this one a 10. It has great flow, and will always be one to be treasured. The fighting is okay but this action-adventure rpg is still one of a kind and the greatest at that. It keys in many different things. Well worth going after. I am not the best at describing everything, but rest assured, this is well done. It lacks in the fact that getting online is very hard to do, and didn't last too long either unfortunately.

Characters-7/10-Ryo-Non typical kung fu hero without the few rough edges. Not bad but has a long way to go. Kinda impatient and agressive, with bits of anger management problems. I like Ryo in a sense, but not exactly my favorite protagonist. Lan-Di-He's the main anatogonist, really strong and bad but not really unexpected. Supporting characters-They are funny and they make me laugh. Some make me cry. Some are annoying as heck.His family is small, but I don't see how guys like Tom are living in Japan. There are understories if you pay attention to some of the details. But I really hate it when the Creators of the Game make a game with the idea that you can play a game for extremely long periods of time. Sometimes a message or idea is involved. Not bad in any way I mean though.

Mini-Games-5/10-I like the idea of the mini games. Space Harrier is really something else but hang-on(motorcycle game) is okay I suppose. The darts and QTE trainers are fun, but nothing overly exciting either. The combat and fighting in the game is alright, but training the levels up to advanced is a real pain in the butt. I mean that quite literally. It takes forever to level it up if you wanted to and you can't train the throws unless you throw a person. Plus there is no way to level all of them up because of where the learned moves are set in the game. It can be really frustrating if you want to get everything and all the secrets. I got most of them minus the online ones, but it can be tedious.

Control-9/10- It may take some getting used to, but control is good. A bit frustrating, but still good.

Overall-10/10-This game is freaking great. I don't need to exemplifly why it is good. It's just a great game. Sorry if you think otherwise. Not for everyone though, I will admit that. Not the best of the best, but it's up there alright. Now only I could figure a way out to load it up...

Opinion-As for other matters, now to just let myself talk about the game. Alright, what's up with this General Tao guy in a green suit with a tatoo and scar super mysterious for? What is his main motive anyway? As for Chai, the Golum oddball character, with a Muy Thai Type fighting style is not very smart. Please, if the dentist bill is killing you, please don't kill me with your bad teeth, I mean, EWW. I like Wong. I know he doesn't come until the Second game, but that brat is just Awesome. You want to know why? IT's because He is Wong. He is always Wong! What is the answer to the very difficult question? Doesn't know. That was the WONG answer. Oh that was SO Wong. Ren is cool. Nozomi is too much of a prude. Joy is more Ryo's type. Really wild, but not a female dog if you get the snitch. Xui Ying is a bit tough for the boy. She'd whoop him flat in 10 seconds and then some.

He came for a far Eastern Land. He has yet to realize his potential. A potential that could destroy him, or realize his will. And thus the Saga, BEGINS.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 10/10/06

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