Shenmue Review

Information At A Glance
Shenmue is a Dreamcast game in the Adventure genre. The game was published by Sega and developed by Sega AM2. The game has an ESRB Rating of T (Teen 13+) and was released on 2000-11-06. The game's official site can be found at www.shenmue.com.

Overall Game Ratings

Graphics 8.0
Sound 5.0
Gameplay 8.0
Replay Value 4.0
Enjoyability 8.0
Overall 7.0
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A great immersive mystery with a believable game world - one of the Dreamcast's best games.


User Ratings

Graphics 8
Sound 5
Gameplay 8
Replay Value 4
Enjoyability 8
Overall 7

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This game took forever to be localized for the North American market but it was well worth the wait. It was the brainchild of Yu Suzuki – who was responsible for many of Sega's other smash hits such as Virtua Fighter and Ferrari 355. This game takes place in a sprawling urban landscape complete with shopping areas, residential areas and docks. Everything is so extremely detailed and all of the various areas are fully populated with random people, vendors, and more. The game even includes a day/night cycle and weather effects such as snow.

The game is about Ryo, who is trying to figure out and track down who killed his father. The game itself contains a fair amount of exploration that is broken up with numerous battles and quick time events. The battles themselves play a bit like Virtua Fighter, which is expected given Suzuki's involvement in the title. In addition to the main storyline, the player can take part in numerous side-quests and minigames such as playing arcade games and collecting toys. The game really makes you feel a part of the world – you really become attached to Ryo and his predicament.

The game starts off very slow, but the story really picks up partway through disc one. Unfortunately, the story kind of fell flat during the earlier portions of disc three – but I'm guessing this was deliberate as to pave the way for the sequel and keep us wanting more. Another one of my complaints with the game is the voice acting and the localization – I found it very weak and personally found it greatly disappointing that a game with such high production values skimped in this department which is vital to being immersed in the story and gameworld. This is even worse considering the fact that much of the game is spent in conversations trying to unravel the mystery of his father's death.

Overall, this is far more than a simple tech-demo for the Dreamcast – it is a wonderful adventure game with a real story and a believable world. One of the better games for the system.


Review Posted By AllYourBaseBelongToMe On 2011-04-14 At 02:52:16

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