Shenmue HD Remaster is a direct port of the original game which was first released on the SEGA Dreamcast back in 1999
Please keep in mind whilst reading this we have never played the original Shenmue game unfortunately, it is a shame and we do consider ourselves to of lived under a rock all of those years.
Anyway thankfully SEGA managed to release the HD remasters of both Shenmue and Shenmue II for us to enjoy and here is our review of Shenmue.
First off we are truly grateful to SEGA for letting us finally get our mitts on a title that we have been longing to play for a while now but unfortunately have not been able to do so.
When it comes to Shenmue, we have sadly only ever managed to play the second title prior to the much needed HD releases. So with this we where very excited to be able to experience something new that was also connected to the story arc in Shenmue 2.
One of the features in which we liked with this release was the ability to play with either Japanese or English voices, we are unsure if this is a new feature or was part of the original too, however we where very fond to find it an option within the game.
The overall story can be rather enjoyable and we do so love games that are featured heavily on Martial Arts and revenge, however we did unfortunately find ourselves with one major gripe.
This being the rather frustrating as we like to call 'The Break Time' in which we can get up to a certain part of the story and all of a sudden we are told to have to wait so many in-game hours to finally be able to progress the story once again, and this unfortunately featured on several different occasions.
Though it is nice to get to at certain parts as sometimes we get so lost in the game we fail to realise just how long we have been playing without actually taking a much needed break, its the amount of times in which we had to do this that we found rather frustrating.
The game heavily relies on you the player connecting with the various different NPC characters in order to progress through the story and it does not hold your hand in doing so, you may end up talking to the entire village and only gain a small clue to your next destination.
Shenmue also includes several mini games some of which are easy enough but then you end up finding yourself with a Pool Cue and realizing the mistake you just made.
Another small gripe in which we couldn't help but notice was the fact the game had several small side quests, in which we could undertake but unfortunately none of these where marked and thus it was purely by coincidence that we managed to find them in the first place.
Shenmue is a great game with a great story which sees you seeking revenge from the very start. I'll admit it can become rather repetative at times, whilst also perhaps being reffered
to as being rather basic at times too, however the overal gameplay, story and feel for the game seems to be addictive enough that we can simply ignore those trivial matters.
We also have to admit we cant help but feel rather saddened and dissapointed by the fact that there is not many games such as Shenmue out there. We love games that are based on Martial Arts which constantly remind us of the Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan movies, we would love to see more like this type of game!
+ Great to finally be able to play a game that is considered to be a classic, in HD.
+ The overall mechanics are easy enough to follow, allowing for overall better enjoyment.
+ Great storyline which keeps you wanting more.
+ The whole having to wait for a specific amount of in-game hours to pass before we can finally progress is somewhat frustrating and tiresome.
+ There are so many hidden side quests that are for no real reason locked behind certain plot points which can easily be missed.
PLATFORM REVIEWED ON: PS4 Pro
Story Length: 20 Hours
Platinum Trophy Length: 24 Hours
SHENMUE II REVIEW:
Shenmue II was originally created on the SEGA Dreamcast back in 2001 and was the direct sequel to Shenmue. It compromised of open-world elements and quick time events. Unfortunately though Shenmue II failed to sell very well meaning a long hiatus for any future games which for us is quite surprising as we thought this game was very well written, enjoyable and a masterpiece of its time.
Being a remastered game of the older versions for the Dreamcast and Xbox the overall graphics as expected was not that big of an overall improvement, however the game is now playable on the typical 1080p HD setting which is a new feature as the much older versions where of course not able to run at such a quality, we also noticed that the game seemed to play much more fluid too which was a rather nice and quick noticeable improvement.
Other noticeable improvements also featured was the ability to transfer saved data from the original Shenmue game including any items you may of collected whilst playing through the original too, which though great we didn't personally find the need for any of it, though we will admit it was nice to go back to the Diary and reminisce over past events from the original, a nice little bonus there in our eyes though perhaps this was also featured in the original version anyway.
Whilst we where very young when we first played Shenmue II back on the original XBox we remember fondly enjoying this classic game, so it was nice to replay it and relive those great memories in which we created whilst first playing the game.
The game features a really well written storyline of revenge and friendship with great characters which we easily found ourselves feeling connected to, it for us was a huge improvement over the original, Shenmue I.
The game managed to feature many great mini games from gambling games to Duck racing competitions, there is always something interesting that you can find yourself enjoying whilst having a much needed break from the rather engaging storyline.
Shenmue II was and always will be an incredible game and one in which will live on in our hearts and memories for many more years to come.
Shenmue II is a game that thoroughly deserved the remaster it finally got, being a unique game for its time it was thoroughly enjoyable. The HD remaster managed to remind us of those
months we first spent playing the game as young children growing up and thankfully the upgrade managed to keep everything that was important to the game, whilst also giving us slight improvements too.
+ Improved general gameplay which made things feel much more fluid.
+ Wonderfully written storyline which we find very engaging and hungry for more.
+ Characters are vey well written to the point in which we instantly feel very much connected to.
+ Tons of side activities that can be played including Duck racing and take it from us its Quackers!
+ Game was very unique for its time and felt like a martial arts movie, which we enjoyed a lot.
+ Thankfully it managed to do away with the whole having to wait for specific in-game times to pass in order to progress the story, this for us was a huge improvement!
+ The game now features the ability to collect trophies and achievements. Which though its not for everyone, it does add more value to the game.
+ The controls can often be fiddly and we managed to find ourselves ploughing into walls more times than we care to admit.
+ The quick time events though can be fun, we feel like we do not get enough time to pull each button off, however this is probably just us lacking quick reflexes.
PLATFORM REVIEWED ON: PS4 Pro
Story Length: 27 Hours
Platinum Trophy Length: 35 Hours
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