Review by furiousmaico

"Could've revolutionize gaming, damn...."

Most game magazines underrated Shenmue as a mediocre game with alot of expectations and epic proportions but people that gave it a chance didn't come out of the game unrewarded. Being a videogame fan since the nes days (I actually had the famicom) till the playstation days, people can say that I am a big gamer so I can say that I've seen alot in games and played a whole lot of them but there's a time when I just lost interest in games and thought I've seen it all,I'm done with it and I ''actually'' stop playing games. But with my girlfriend playing FF7 and me just doing nothing, I sat in front of the TV, hooked up my brother's DC and shoved shenmue passport and damn my eyes and my cousin were just seriously glued to the TV with the Shenmue preview, historic moment for me and videogames (I'm back in the game baby). Next day checked out funcoland, start playing shenmue. My mind is just totally blown away and here's how I break it down...

Story: 10/10

Typical ''you kill my dad so I will avenge him'', sounds simple and repetitive but doesn't end there. With having two artifacts the phoenix and dragon mirror and it's mysteries, having the dragon mirror stolen from Ryo's dad by a man name Lan di and Ryo's struggle to find out his origins is just one of the deep aspect of this epic game. I can say that the story is up there with FFX, Chrono Trigger, Chrono Cross, Xenosaga and other epic RPGs. It has a cast of unique characters and they're own personalities. The story unfolds in a film like cutscenes that will have your eyes glued to the TV the whole time. Nobody can explain the whole concept of the story so I just decided to talk about the first Shenmue which is the first of the sixteen chapter of this game.

Gameplay: 9/10

Gameplay is simple but unique, there's the cutscenes (tons of this) that rivals hollywood movies, roaming is never been fun since you can talk to whoever you want whether you're asking for directions or just checking out the 100s of people that inhabits the busy streets of Yokosuka or just do anything that you want, spend money on the vending machines, buy and collect toy capsules, go shopping for some munches and the best part; play ''real sega game'' arcades. Fighting gets a little repetitive and will turn into a button mashing marathon, it's okay since all of us has problems and stress and wanna take out on the controller. I'm not saying that the fighting is bad and with all the scroll moves thats there to collect and learn, it's a pretty nice addition to the already nice gameplay. Ofcourse if you want to keep advancing to the story, you have to complete task that you can take your time with and do appointment to people that can help you in your quest. I'm so amused about the gameplay that I started hearing things and it keeps echoing in my head, ''Sega put alot of work and effort into this game''. It happened to me and it could happen to anyone.

Music/Sounds: 9/10

The whole game is consists of voice acting rather than text dialogue and trust me there's at least 1000 lines in the game so I felt like some of the voice acting is being recycled thru different NPCs but that's not a bad thing since sega put alot of effort on having at least 50 or 70 voice actors. The main characters voice actors including Ryo did a good job on putting effort with their jobs, I'm not saying it's as thick as Metal Gear Solid but it's pretty acceptable. The only downfall is the voice actors of the NPCs, it sounds like they got paid $5 each for the job that they did, cheap I must say. Music is where this rocketed the score, it's epic and puts you in the mood of the situation and drama of the game. Trust me, when I find my self humming the music of shenmue either in a serious way or more on the goofy side then definitely there's something wrong with me err... I mean, the music is so damn fine that I had to get the whole soundtrack. 9 is fair enough just for the hummin'.

Graphics: 10/10

WOW!!! Look at Ryo's grandma's wrinkles, it looks real!!! That's how I explain how good the graphics is, this virtual world will make suck you in like you're there chillin' and
sippin' on saki and enjoying the view, it just looks real.


Why the not make it ten??? Well with little flaws like the repetitive fighting and sound effects,nobody can really stop this game as in my point of view to be one of the greatest game for any console. With it's revolutionary gameplay approach and epic story this game is about having fun and being addicted, it'll make you wonder about it's mysteries, it'll suck you in the dramas and comedies, it'll surprise every minute and most of all it'll make you wanna come back for more after the first chapter is over and feel extremely rewarded for being a part of this epic gem.

-Good gameplay, something new for videogames.
-Awesome graphics, ''look at her wrinkles, whoa''!
-Music is oh so great, you'll find yourself humming
-Story is just deep and has so many depths
-Voice acting for main characters is pretty good
-Good audience game, people likes watching it due to it's film like cutscenes
-Straight up fun and addicting, you would never wanna taste mom's cooking again it's not that it's nasty.

-Voice acting for NPCs sound generic like cheap stuff
-Fighting system gets repetitive
-Shenmue 2 is cancelled in the US, only for XBOX

Buy it, a must have for Dreamcast owners or any gamers. I doubt you can still rent it though and with a really cheap price of $6 to $10, I say go for it and trust me, your not gonna regret it.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 01/16/04

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