Review by roadkill

"Real life has never been this much fun."

Graphics - 10
The best graphics you can find short of real life. Some real attention to detail takes place in this game from the streets to the buildings, even common everyday items like eating utensils to the john, this game deserves an award. Even the characters in Shenmue look great and very realistic. One thing that I think really adds to the quality of this game are the minigames. Ever wanted to play old Genesis and Saturn games on your Dreamcast? Well, here's your chance. Shenmue comes equipped with games such as Hang On, Space Harrier, Outrun and Afterburner. You can even win a Saturn so you can play these games from the comfort of your own home. These games play just as well in Shenmue as they did on the Saturn, in fact better. Ever try Hang on, with an analog stick. But one thing is strange, this game takes place in 1986. Now I know that systems hit Japan before they appear here in the US, but 8 years early?

Sound - 10
One of the coolest things about this game is that the characters actually speak. In some areas the background music can get kind of annoying, but not annoying enough to deter this score. And the sound effects of this game are incredible.

Plot - 10
Ok, here's a brief description of what goes on at the start. You (Ryo Hazuki) come home one day to find your maid (Ine Hayata) lying on the ground. You ask her what's happened and she points you in the direction of the Hazuki family dojo. Just as you walk up, you see your buddy (Masayuki Fukuhara) being thrown out the window. You bust in to see what's going on and find your father (Iwao) getting his but wiped by Lan Di (the bad guy). Well, to make it short, he kills your dad; you seek revenge and start the Shenmue Saga.

Character - 10
As mentioned above, all characters are incredible detailed; every piece of clothing, every facial feature, it must have taken them years to program even the characters. Plus all the characters speak. Figuring the amount of different characters in here, this is not just a game; this is the cast and crew of motion picture.

Control - 8
It's horribly difficult to get down, I've only been playing the game for a couple of days now and I still fumble around with the controllers from time to time. But after a while, it will be like second nature to you.

Replay - 8
All in all, this is a great game with a lot of things to do; but to tell you the truth, once your done you may not want to start another game for quite a while. And one thing that gets somewhat annoying (but it is a key element to the game) is the time factor. Every minute in the real world is about one hour in the Shenmue world. And that business with having to run home at 10:30 so you can make you 11:00 curfew can really bug the hell outta you, especially when your at a key point of the story.

Overall - 10
Nothing can undermine that fact that this is a great game and a game that should be in every Dreamcast owner's collection. Can't wait for Shenmue 2!

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 12/18/00, Updated 12/18/00

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