Shenmue Reviews

AuthorReview
Jet Klaatu
252,036 (158,920)
Jet Klaatu
TA Score for this game: 1,659
Posted on 13 September 18 at 23:41
This review has 12 positive votes and 10 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
The best port I've played of a very old game!

I loved the original and played it many times; so much so that when it game to playing this ported game I remembered all of the steps to finish the game.

The only differences I found from the original;
- HD 16:9 1080p ratio in game (not in cutscenes)
- Updated graphic effects on bloom and detail
- Controls recalibrated for the modern controlpad

The vocal sounds are still awful as the masters had been lost by Sega but other than that it's aged VERY well.

If you've not played the original game then I would give this a miss. A common complaint is the pace and controls when trying to get Ryo around small corners. Those of us that got used to this on the original forgave this small problem.

Enjoy!
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Sabot Fox
625,630 (359,618)
Sabot Fox
TA Score for this game: 1,659
Posted on 28 June 19 at 21:37, Edited on 28 June 19 at 21:38
This review has 5 positive votes and 4 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
I've heard of Shenmue, but never got a chance to play it during its original release, mostly because it came out on the Dreamcast and … really, who had one of those? Still, SEGA has been very dutiful in porting their library of titles to give new gamers (and old fans) a chance to (re)play these games.

Sooo, taking into account that this is a port, there are some issues with the game based on graphics and controls, but other than that … well, it's like a slow-moving train wreck story wise. The majority of the game seems to be spent standing around in the streets of a Japanese town waiting for time to pass, because there's no mechanic (even though you have a watch) to speed time up. You feel like there's this huge mystery to solve and everything is moving at a Harry Potter pace (We need this plot to stretch an entire school year! How do we do it?!?) where it feels the game designers sat around and puzzled out how to stretch this game out into three discs. "Hmmmm, maybe we just have nothing happen for a couple hours during the day? Then the player could buy toys from vending machines!"

Say, for instance, there's a shop you need to visit to pick up your next clue. Well, if it's closed, you'll have to wait for it to open, and if it's closed for the day, you'll stand around like an unemployed bum for several hours waiting until it's late enough to justify going home and sleeping.

Then in the second half of the game, Ryo gets a job down at the harbor, which entails using a forklift to move boxes from one warehouse to another. For hours.

Add to this that every so often you get challenged to a fight by some real goons (really, more like a Care Bear style of villain that you almost anticipate snickering while forcing you to smoke a cigarette or something. I mean, sure, the big bad villain killed your dad (not a spoiler, it's the main premise of the game), but every one else you come up against is mostly just shoving kids around. So, naturally, you have to kick and punch the crap out of them using your l33t karate moves. Of course, you better have memorized what the inputs are before the fight, because you can't look at a move list during the battle. (Just basic kick, throw, evade, and punch inputs are displayed, but not the combos)

Add, as is the case with most games from the 80/90s era, there's not a lot of handholding in this game. While it may be refreshing to not have a big arrow pointing you in the direction you need to go, it's equally frustrating to have NO idea what to do next, so you just start harassing every NPC you see in the hopes of getting a bread crumb, and sitting through endless dialogues about how what you're doing is dangerous … or they don't have time to answer your question (for whatever obscure reason) … or they don't know anything.

I'd heard good things about this series - and I'm a glutton for punishment - so I'm sticking it out until the end, but if you embark on the Shenmue journey, bring a book along to kill your oodles of downtime!
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BrazenCoronet17
15,451 (9,541)
BrazenCoronet17
TA Score for this game: 795
Posted on 29 June 19 at 21:59
This review has 1 positive vote and 2 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
(Don't worry. No spoilers in this review. Also, I have not completed this game, so my perspective may change during playthroughs)

Shenmue is pretty good. It's a strange open world RPG kind of title, and definitely captured my intrest. And let's just say that this deserves its cult classic status.

The game has plenty to do besides story: You can talk to people, collect Gachas, and even play Sega's classic arcade game Space Harrier. The game takes a slow but tolerable pace, and the locations and dialouge is memorable.

The story is a crazy one: I won't go into detail to avoid spoilers, but it's a story of revenge and questioning, and a story that will captivate you.

What keeps me from giving this game a perfect score is the mechanics. The Free Quest control and camera is very problematic, and movement during brawls are janky.

Overall, this game is fun and well-done, and is presented impressively. The port is faithful while doing some good for the title. Definitely worth a try.
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