Review by Son Kenshin

Reviewed: 01/01/01 | Updated: 01/01/01

The future looks bright, indeed

Huzzah! Shenmue is out, and after all the hype, Dreamcast shows its true potential against PlayStation 2. What exactly makes Shenmue superior against it? Many, many factors.

You actually want a score of the graphics? Aw, come on! You've seen the pictures. And you know exactly what it looks like. It doesn't get any more realistic than this. Simply beautiful. 'Nuff said.

SOUND (4/5)
Unbelievable! The music in Shenmue is fantastic! Of course, what would expect, there's a section on the fourth disc holding all of the musical pieces you've listened to on your journey. The only thing that brings the score down is the voice acting. Ryo's is tolerable, but jeez.... don't get me started on Goro! And many of the other insignificant characters have voices equally as low. That's a real shame, considering what a masterpiece this game is... and what more of a groundbreaking astonishment it could have become.

When you first play Shenmue, you'll be wondering what Yu Suzuki was smoking when he designed these controls. But then, you'll start to see that it's actually to your advantage. It makes it easier to navigate the world and interact with objects. The only complaint I have is that when you press Left or Right, he takes a 90 degree turn. Argh!!

REPLAY (2/5)
In one word, short. I received Shenmue for a Christmas present, and I beat it within four days. And there really isn't anything to do once you beat it. This game is about one thing, really: exploration. Alright, three things: exploration, free battle, and QTE. But anyways, like I said, this game focuses around exploration. What's the point of playing it over if you know exactly where to go?

STORY (5/5)
The story, spoiler-free, is as follows: Dad gets killed, son seeks revenge, blah blah blah. Not interesting, you say? Well, the story dwells deeper, but if I were to tell of that, I'd give away some of the best parts! The ending is a great beginning for an magnificent story of Shenmue: Chapter 2.

Here's something new in a game: Quick Timer Event (or QTE for short). This replicates a cinema that you control, using buttons and directions. For example, you're searching for someone in the game. Once you find him/her, they start running away from you. Enter Chase QTE! The person might throw some crates at you, and you might have to push right or left to dodge it. The commands will be flashed in the middle of the screen and must be executed in the alloted time. Very cool, indeed. Something else that's original is Free Battle. This battle is similar to Virtua Fighter. X is hand attack, Y is dodge/parry, A is leg attack, and B is throw. You can purchase or find scrolls which will teach you the proper form.

The ending is great and leaves it open for a sequel. Oh, and speaking of that... Sega has planned 12 sequels of this great game! Yeah, you heard me! Twelve!! Ah, the next few years will be interesting, indeed. And as they say in the game's prologue, ''I await whilst praying...''

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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