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on 5 February 2014
Shenmue is, quite likely, the greatest video game ever made. The fact that it is now 14 years old and still looks amazing and plays brilliantly only adds to its enduring charm. Anyone who has played Shenmue could talk at length about strolling around Dobuita and Yamanose and Shenmue's other areas. Imagine, too, an open world game of today that didn't contain endless swearing in order to make it somehow "real". Shenmue doesn't need ersatz "grit" to give it character, it has that in spades through superb writing, characters, environments and pacing.

Other titles since Shenmue have had larger landscapes, and I am a fan of many of Rockstar's offerings, but none have the heart of Ryo Hazuki, his family and friends. And enemies. The shops and other buildings aren't pointless empty boxes, either, with great interiors created for such classic retail outlets as the Tomato store and the YOU Arcade. In the former, and other such places, you can buy items, including food (handy for an abandoned kitten you will encounter), batteries, a torch, cassettes (it's 1986, remember) and much more. In YOU Arcade you can play arcade perfect versions of Hang On and Space Harrier, plus other titles. Then there is the beautiful soundtrack (it really is fantastic) and the narrative of tracking down ne'er do wells (including sailors - a hoot!), plus friendly locals who will offer advice. The supporting cast include Ryo's always anxious aunt chastising him for getting home late; Tom and his parping theme whenever you approach his van-cum-hot dog stall; the burger guy who only uses the very best beef in his burgers; Dandy Old Man, the local soak; the love interest Nozomi and many more. On and on go the layers in this brilliant character-led classic.

Myself and other Shenmue fans will never stop hoping for Shenmue 3. But if we are disappointed and such a title never emerges, we will return to Shenmue and Shenmue II time and again. Others prefer the sequel for its more focused story and larger in-game environments, diversity, etc. And they are right to love that also stunning game. For me, though, it's the hometown environments and slow burning pace of the original that I long to come back to most often.

Shenmue is quite simply the greatest game ever made.
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on 17 May 2016
Welcome to Yokosuka Japan. The year is 1986.
Your father has been brutally murdered right before your eyes. The assailant, a member of Chinese triad.
It's up to you to track down your father's killer and avenge him.
This is the premise for one of the greatest and highly regarded games of all time.

I'm sure everyone who picks up this game in 2016 knows what they're getting into, so in my short review I will be taking a quick look on how Shenmue holds up against today's gaming standards.

The graphics:
Aliasing and blurry textures are to be expected. However the overall quality of animation and attention to detail hold up very well, even to this day.
Of course you are missing out on the most advanced motion capture techniques used by studio giants, but as far as just working with 3D-polygons, the work done by Yu-suzuki's team is amazing.

Story:
The first Shenmue does a good job of laying the foundation for the series. Although it first seems that the game tells just a cliche'd revenge-style story (which it to some degree is), there are hints given that something more grand is on the way.

Controls and gameplay:
Compared to today's games, the controls in Shenmue have aged badly.
The game features tank-like controls in the exploration mode, which is where you will be spending most of your time.
You use the D-pad to control Ruy's movements in the world. The analog stick is used to looking around you.
Precise movements can sometimes be a pain to execute.
The controls work well enough for the fighting scenes, which are almost straight taken out of a Virtua Fighter game (duhh). The camera can sometimes be bothersome, but won't spoil the fun.

Sound:
The game features probably the worst voice acting in a high budget production only rivaled by the first Resident Evil game.
The soundtrack is amazing though!

Setting:
One of the most memorable environments in video game history, the Yokosuka area where the game takes place is amazingly created. Streets feel alive with npc's going about their business. You can spark up a conversation with any character in the world.
The period set pieces are perfect without going overboard with 80's nostalgia stuff.

Closing thoughts:
Even today Shenmue is a treat to play. Still to this day, I have yet to play a game that puts so much emphasis on the little details. You can play arcade games, throw darts, practice karate, collect capsuled toys, participate in forklift races, you name it. You can basically interact with anything in the world. This attention to detail makes Shenmue's world feel like a truly living place, and a joy to revisit even after many years.

11/10 would miss that pool shot again.
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on 10 March 2015
I can't even tell you how many times I played this game in my life. I love this game. Good story, good music, good game play and battle system. I loved walking around town talking to people and no matter how many times you play this game, you always find something new. This game will keep you busy trust me, it's one of my biggest childhood games and will always be one of my favorite games of all time. One of the best games on the Dreamcast.
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on 16 October 2016
Love it. Absorb it, live it. The game that set a new standard.
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on 27 April 2017
Masterpiece
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on 4 August 2015
well i alwayshad 1 and 2 my children bought them for me years ago i wanted 1 and 2 again in case they crashed but i recieved the 1 but not the 2 but i still want 2
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on 29 February 2016
Fantastic game, have always been a fan since the game was released! But my original got scratched! Hope they remake for PS4. Delivered on time and communication was excellent from the seller.
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on 8 September 2016
Great for its time, tricky puzzles, mystery, everything you could want.
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on 6 November 2016
super
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on 20 February 2018
Sent back because it was missing first disc
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