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 Post subject: ShenMue
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, '07, 3:00 am 
So this weekend while out shopping, I picked up a copy of Shenmue for the Dreamcast for $3. I used to hear a lot about this game when it came out, but all the talk about it died off with the Dreamcast. Did anyone here play it, and if so, what are your impressions of it?

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, '07, 9:49 pm 
Here's how I sum up Shenmue (spoiler-free)... you ever have a relationship that starts off really great but after 8-12 months turns sour? You can't break it off though because you've invested so much time, you keep thinking "maybe it'll be great like it used to be". After a couple months of that you're just waiting for it to end, plotting how to get out of it. A year after breaking up you bump into each other somewhere and exchange greetings then go about your business. You're not bitter but have no desire to see if maybe things would work out if you tried again.

That's what Shenmue is like.

It's a three CD game, the first disc is amazing. There graphics are outstanding, as good as I ever wanted them to be. The soundtrack is wonderful, some gifted composers responsible for that. And of course there's this wide open environment. You're free to explore at your own pace and indulge in the myriad of side games and interactions. It seemed almost too perfect.

About 7/8 of the way through the second disc the game totally turned on me. You're forced into a linear plot that quite frankly isn't very good. No matter what you try you're stuck on this fixed course. I thought about quitting but couldn't because I already played through so much. Maybe the third disc will be better.. wasn't. The last third of the game was repetitive and uninteresting. At that point you're basically doing things you could do in real life, but choose not to. It's painful but at least you can see the end in sight.

Once in a blue moon I'll get the idea to try Shenmue again, just to experience the things that made it great. Then I remember how it all ends and change my mind.

So in other words, it's totally worth $3.. just find the strength to quit if it turns sour on you too.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, '07, 4:27 am 
Hm, the copy I bought only has two discs. I guess I got gypped. Ah well, there's always eBay if I decide to get the third disc later.

Thanks for the review. It sounds like the first disc is really good, at least. Well, for just $3 almost any game is a good buy, right? ;)

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, '07, 1:34 pm 
IMO you payed $3 too much. Shenmue was one of the most boring games I have ever played in my entire life. I was super hyped up for it when it came out but found it to be a huge disappointment.

You basically walk around, interact with NPCs, and drive your forkflit for money. However, the controls are bad, the camera is worse, and it just gets old after a while. Since there is an in-game clock, you have to meet people at certain times, so you will spend a lot of time waiting around and killing time, just to talk to an NPC which may or may not tell you anything of value.

There are lots of ways to kill time though, sega classics in the arcade, collectables which you can find, but they are just a bunch of mini games to takes your focus off the boring main story and gameplay.

There are fighting scenes in there too, but they just seem lost in the shuffle.

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