Endurance Run worthy?
This game seems to be the real candidate for the next Endurance Run. Ryan specifically said the words "Shenmue" and "Endurance Run" in one sentence in the last Bombcast. I have not played through Shenmue, and I wanted to ask those who have: Is this game good enough for the next Endurance Run? I mean, Persona 4 is a tough act to follow, but can Shenmue pull its own weight?
No. Here's the thing: how much extra stuff did Jeff and Vinny do in Persona 4? I mean, I don't know much about the game, but from what I understand, the game in a straight-forward manner takes a LOOOOONG time to beat. Therefore, trying to find something to rival it seems to be limited to anything with "Shin Megami Tensei" in the title. Strange Journey is supposedly 70-100 hours of play. Alpha Protocol supposedly has 100+ hours of longplay. Rogue Galaxy can last upwards of 100+ hours for a longplay. However, how many of those are STRAIGHT-FORWARD? Longplay means that you are going for EVERYTHING in the game. You could go through Rogue Galaxy in 30-40 hours easily.
That's why it's difficult to really find something that can compare. Also, Persona 4 is pretty zany, which is what made it enjoyable material to watch.
Therefore, I don't know what to pick.
Watching the Quick Look of the game, I'd be up for watching someone play through it. The Quick Look actually made me wish that I had actually bought a Dreamcast back in the day so that I could have played Shenmue. There's just something so different about it, and an Endurance Run of it wouldn't be for everyone, but I would totally be up for watching it.
There's already a thread about this.
Having played both Shenmue I and II, and actually liked them, I still have to say no.
Granted you're into these sorts of games, I think its one of those games you have to experience for yourself first-hand to really enjoy. Shenmue is a really slow burn. I could see 70% of the endurance run just boiling down to watching them run around aimlessly finding key conversations and items. Combat encounters are few and far between and the game often throws repetitive tasks at you. For example there is a point where you work at a dock driving a forklift moving boxes which gets tiresome real quick but is necessary to progess in the game. Yeah, not fun to play much less watch. You also do things like, if my memory serves me correctly, like clear out some books from some guys library, attempt to hit a certain amout of falling cherry blossom leaves from a tree, and play darts. Again, not much fun to play much less watch.
Now I know it sounds like a I hate this game, but at the time the atmosphere and story really kept me going. That probably won't be enough for most people, and you can't really fault them for that. Had there been as much combat as there was aimless exploration and repetitive tasks, I think this game would have appealed to more people and would definitely be a viable endurance run candidate.
On a related note, I think the Yakuza series is a really cool spiritual successor to Shenmue and when Yakuza 3 gets an English translation (which I think it is but don't quote me on that) it would make an epic endurance run. The beat-em-up combat looks fun and the story and setting seem engrossing enough to make the quieter moments of the game interesting to watch. I don't think that will happen though since I don't think they'd just jump right into the third act of a story-heavy series.
People might not like this, but I wonder what the increase of viewership was from the first endurance run to the Shenmue one. A 4,000% increase on views might not even be that crazy of a number. But I will go even further, there are obviously more people at this site now; but I would bet a greater percentage of the total audience watched this Shenmue Endurance run than any other endurance run too.
The videos did their job: they generated views, they generated discussion, and they probably even raised the amount of times per-week the average "Duder" showed up to the site. All the metrics Giant Bomb and CBSi would want were raised by Shenmue. It was figuratively "a rising tide that lifts all boats". Whether you watched because you like Shenmue or came to tell us all it was boring, the video series likely did good things for Giant Bomb.
The boring-ness of Shenmue makes it perfect for an ER. For me ER's need a bit of struggle. Some of the best parts of the P4 one where when they got wiped from that dungeon suddenly or struggled through long boss fights (and then had Vinny cast an ice spell on the enemy and heal them and Jeff FREAKS THE FUCK OUT).
I loved it. Hearing Vinny realize what the game was over time, especially that stretch where he ran into a bunch of "come back tomorrow" moments, was brilliant.
Just how absurdly stupid this game was made it so good for an endurance run. It is def a bit of a different theme than some of the other rpgs in endurance run history, but well worthy of its place. If anything just to watch Vinny get more and more angry about how terrible the game is .
Slower pace equals more banter, which is why I follow GB in the first place. And sometimes it's nice to just let a strange game like this wash over you. The ER also reminded me how much I enjoyed Shenmue back in the day and I ended up buying another Dreamcast so I could play it. Got first place in the forklift race!
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