Shenmue

Shenmue: Retro game of the day

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Shenmue, released in 1999, was developed by AM2 and released on the Dreamcast. In fact it was the reason I purchased a Dreamcast. The game was the vision of Yu Suzuki who wanted to create an interactive world by simulating aspects of real life, such as the day and night system, real-time variable weather effects, fully voiced non-player characters with their own daily schedules, quick time events and various other interactive elements such as vending machines, arcades, and convenience stores.

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‘I’m looking for Sailors’ – Ryo Hazuki

The story begins November 1986 when Ryo Hazuki comes home to witness a gang leader beating his father to death. Ryo steps in to defend his father but is knocked out and the gang leader, Lan Di, rides off into the sunset with the mystical dragon mirror… but just what is the dragon mirror and why did Lan Di kill Hazuki-sensei?

At the time of production Shenmue cost $47 million making it the most expensive game ever created. It was soon followed in 2001 with a sequel, Shenmue 2. The original and its sequel are still considered to be among some greatest video games ever released but with disappointing sales figures, in comparison to costs, the story was left at an unresolved cliffhanger. The 3rd and final game in the trilogy is yet to surface, all we can do is keep our fingers crossed…

Shenmue did briefly return in 2002 when an enhanced version of Shenmue 2 was released on the Xbox. The most significant differences with this version were the graphical improvements and the inclusion of a full English dub, with Corey Marshall reprising his role as Ryo Hazuki. The Xbox version benefited from being able to fit onto one DVD and was bundled with Shenmue: The Movie on a separate disc. This 90 minute film composed entirely of scenes from the first game which helped to fill in the story so far, check it out here ->

With HD remasters of both games apparently complete we again wait with fingers crossed for their digital re-release. This can’t happen soon enough as decent sales may kickstart the final chapters production.

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About GamepadGlory

Celebrating the golden days of gaming and stomping on its head.

Posted on May 9, 2013, in Retro and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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