Friday, 31 August 2018

Shenmue Review with Richee

In early 2001, little Richee played Shenmue on his Sega Dreamcast, one of the worst consoles ever; I remember two good games for that console; this and a game called Headhunters. But anyway, Shenmue 3 got funded on Kickstarter and muggings here jumped at the chance, maybe a bit too quickly. The games got re-released on all the latest consoles last week and I here brought both Shenmue 1 and 2 in my excitement for the old PS4.

I launched straight into the first game remembering what to do for most parts in the story. Unfortunately, the game itself has aged badly; the dialogue is awful in both delivery and recording, the controls are awkward and clunky but manageable, but not in combat, that camera is a god damn nightmare when trying to target people, and why don't the people you're fighting have a health bar? Minor annoyances, but still annoyances. 

But traversing the small Japanese town is great. I love the design and enjoy the graphics. Going to the arcade to play Super Hang On and Space Harrier, hell, even the dart games, are moderately entertaining. I was able to get through most of the story quite quickly and get to the funnest part of the ,the fork lift section, where the game really starts to get going as you're battling the Mad Angels in normal combat and QTE (or quick time event for those who can't remember what that means), escalating in the best parts of the games. Sadly, my save data got corrupted and I had to play through the entirety of the warehouse section again, which really loses it's feel second time around. 

I thought sod it, I'll jump straight into Shenmue 2, until I realised I can carry my save file from the first game over, so away I went playing through the same three hours again to get to the final fight to only have the game skip through the save option at the credits, forcing me to play through the thirty minute long end scene again, learning a new move I'm not gonna use and battling karate Gollum to the death. But I did it, and platinum-ed it, so is definitely one for all you trophy/achievement hunters.  

The game is passable as a nostalgia kick but I won't be playing it ever again; it's served it's purpose and the game would have done a lot better with an updated version rather then the lazily copied Dreamcast version. But there you, go it's one for the fans but probably not for people unfamiliar with the series. Final verdict 5/10 for me, and that's with the nostalgia boner I had for it.

Now on to Shenmue 2. At this point I've completed a single in game day, which is probably a bit too early to be judging it, but I fucking hate it. None of my stuff from the first game carries over... oh, apart from my money, which gets stolen pretty much straight away. So yeah, that sucks, forcing me to get a part time job as a kerplunk stall player in what is one of the most painfully boring in game games I've ever played. Until I went to the harbor, that is, to make some money. Gone are the fun forklift races and crate transferring and welcome to the super enjoyable box carrying game where you help a complete moron carry a box who decides to make carrying a box from A to B ten times harder because of fun. Fuck Delin.
I did a bit of the story then lost the rest of my money rolling dice, meaning I can't pay the hotel owner for renting the room and frankly I don't care, I'm a day in and I don't want to play this shit. The people are ugly the game play is nonexistent and I'm dreading what Shenmue 3 is gonna be like. My optimism is dead, buried and rotting at this point though. Fingers crossed the game gets better. It can't get any worse. Richee

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