Review by FenderStrat492

"A perfect score for the perfect game.."

So, you're interested in Shenmue, eh? Well let me help you out on your decision to purchase the game..To make this short and sweet, if you are an RPG fan willing to put dedication to a game, this is for you..but to aid you on your decision, go through my review with a more in-depth description of the game's main components.

Game Play (10/10)
You take on the role of Ryo Hazuki, a young man who saw his father be murdered with his own eyes. To help Ryo get his revenge, you are going to need to take on the role of ''decision maker.'' The Shenmue engine is amazing. You can interact with nearly everything in the game (be it doors, light switches, store items, locks, calligraphy pictures and a whole lot more!), but you most likely wont be able to take most of it on your quest. Not only items can you interact with, but also hundreds of people! As you go into different areas in Yokosuka Japan, you meet new people (There are about 350 total characters!) and can speak or fight with them. Another interesting insert of the game is the QTE's (Quick Timer Events). In some cases, you must push certain buttons on your Dreamcast controller to progress in certain events. There are a lot more features in the game play of Shenmue, but I don't really have much room to list them all, besides..I don't want to tell you I? Game Play is absolutely awesome!

Story (10/10)
Once you start the game, you are flourished within a compelling story line, and you are required to follow it through the entire game. Within the meager thoughts of revenge by Ryo, he also circles around in romance, fighting and gathering information. From beginning to end, the story line is presented wonderfully and is a constant keeping through the game.

Graphics (10/10)
The graphics in this game are simply amazing! Through the power of Sega's Dreamcast, Yu Suzuki compiled his ''dreams'' into this wonderful game. You can see the distinct difference between people from the way they look in this game. If you have a younger person next to an elder person, you would see the different facial expressions, voice talents and different habits that you can interact with, be it their speech or fighting techniques. Simply astonishing!

Sound (10/10)
You can obviously see the originality with the songs in Shenmue. When their is romance abroad, you get ear candy to the wonderful sounds of orchestral instrumentations! There are even different theme songs for different people when you are around them..for instance, if you are with a honky-tonk guy like Goro, you hear a funky little disco-type song..or if you are in a town where their has just been a catastrophe, you can feel the pain and anguish within the town. I get the shivers when I think of all the work put into the sound.

Replayability (10/10)
What is there to say? As of February 15th 2001, I have just finished Shenmue for the fourth time. No, I am not saying that the game is drop-dead-easy..but I actually put thought, time and dedication into the games, and I still long to actually ''complete'' the game, as there are so many different things that can happen, and you will soon realize that once you finish the game for a second or third time. Need I say more?

Buy It or Rent It......
Umm..if you are reading this message after reading everything before this, there is no need to even say whether you should buy this game or rent it. BUY BUY BUY! Buy it new or used! Pay hundreds of chump doesn't matter! GET THIS GAME! It is simply THE BEST game I have ever played..and that is a big statement from a person like me (considering playing videogames [and defeating them] is my number one past time..)!

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 02/16/01, Updated 09/03/02

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