By Sooty 1 Comments
I can’t quite remember if it was Christmas or my birthday but I was given a Dreamcast as a present, I think it might have been my birthday as I recall having to go to school the day I got it and thinking about it all day while I was there.
I remember my Dad telling me when I got home that he had watched the intro of the game and thought it was awesome. I darted upstairs, fired the machine up and started playing. (well, watching)
What a sight it was, I started watching the intro and was just blown away by the graphics, I was only like 11 years old so I wasn’t really a graphics whore or anything but jeez, the Dreamcast was just a giant leap over my PS1 and N64. I couldn’t believe it.
I don’t think I was really that used to voice acting in games either and this was a fully voiced game with stunning visuals, I was enticed throughout the entire intro and immediately after I just wanted to kick Lan Di’s ass across all of Yokosuka.
When I actually started playing though I felt like a kid in an arcade or something, I had never experienced this level of interaction in a video game. I spent ages just going around Ryo’s house and seeing what I was able to interact with, even found a Sega Saturn inside there!
After leaving the house and actually starting to progress through the game I came across many more moments of being engrossed with just seeing what I could interact with. I freaking loved look through all the shops even at the most mundane and boring stuff such as cartons of milk.
The arcades within the game are an excellent touch too, I thought it was brilliant that you could play classic arcade games from within Shenmue, it was presented really well too and never broke immersion. It’s a game that just oozes character and innovation. I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of it and loved the characters.
I didn’t totally dig the fighting system, it was fine really but sometimes felt a bit odd. Although somewhat funnily enough some games in recent years actually manage to feel more clunky than Shenmue and this was released in 1999!!
I don’t really think any game since has given me more of an initial wow factor than Shenmue did though, it was just something else and it wasn’t all about the graphics, as stunning as they were (are!) the game also delivered a compelling story and some fantastic gameplay.
The music in Shenmue is also fantastic, if you watch the intro you will see what I mean, you can also see why the game was praised for its visuals so much too. I would also recommend the theme song, brings back a lot of memories and is an exceptional piece of music.
To be honest I wish I had more to say but it has been so long since I’ve played it that I can’t really remember a great deal about certain aspects of the game, however I now have a Dreamcast and I will be picking the game up in the summer to replay it. I can’t wait.
I just hope Shenmue III gets created someday.