Newest Review: ... guy called Ryo Hazuki who's father gets killed off by a Chinese assassin known as Lan Di. This sends poor Ryo off on an adventure to aveng... more
a flawed masterpiece
Member Name: dr. gruber
Date: 01/05/01, updated on 01/05/01 (44 review reads)
Advantages: involving characters and plot
Disadvantages: inability to fast forward time is annoying
Shenmue is a great game - it just has a lot of flaws.
The plot is interesting, and the characters are quite a lively bunch. Unfortunately, like many rpgs, the characters don't seem to remember what they've already told you, and will happily spend hours repeating themselves like parrots. The dialogue is fun though, especially when talking to tom or goro.
Graphically, the game is superb. Detailed characters cast convincing shadows around them. It is a very immersive environment.
The control, however, is clumsy - why use the d-pad for navigation when there is a perfectly good analogue joystick? Where the control in games like goldeneye is spot on, shenmue is frustrating, and inconsistent. Driving the forklift truck and motorbike are chores rather than fun.
It's split into 3 main game types - exploring, which, while lovely to look at, can get boring quite quickly, especially when you're waiting for a certain event to happen at a certain time.
The second type of play, quick timer events, are a lot of fun, and generally have some quite furis action going on. You cant lose though - if you fail an event, you just play it again and again until you complete it.
Fighting is the best part of the game. Multiple opponents and full 3d environments make them a lot of fun. Like the quick timer events, if you fail a fight, you generally have to do it again until you complete it, but they are quite easy, even the 70 man battle (!) if you use the training option at the end of each day.
The 'real time' system sounded like a lot of fun, and helps to split the game into managable blocks; a day in the game takes about an hour and a half in the 'real' world.
However, waiting for specific events is infuriating, sometimes having to wander around aimlessly for half an hour before a rendezvous is activated, for example. The time-skip feature in shenmue 2 looks very tempting!
The sub game
s are fun, but don't really compensate for the slow pace of the main game, which is terribly inconsistent.
But when shenmue kicks off, its ace.
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