Shenmue – A True Work of Freedom Well Ahead of its Time

Yu Suzuki's Historic Video Game Project Changed the World On December 29th, 1999, twenty-two years ago, the opening chapter of Yu Suzuki’s Shenmue was released in its native Japan. Released by Sega Enterprises at the time, Shenmue was a game world built like no other.

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Nerdmaster700d ago

The first two games were ahead of its time. Too bad that the third game stuck in time with things that didn't work anymore, and didn't include a lot of things that became expected from open world games since the first games were released. It even added some baffling and horrible mechanics like the stamina that doubles as HP, and goes down as you run around.
This without even mentioning that that third game, plot-wise, was basically a filler.

-Hermit-700d ago

I like Shenmue 3, but the stamina bar was a horrible move. I'm shocked that they thought fans would like it. I wasn't a fan of fishing (I hate fishing mini games) or collecting herbs either. I also hated how Ryo was so easily beaten by thugs after all of the training he went through. Ryo felt weaker in Shenmue 3 than he did in Shenmue 1. The saddest part was not including throw moves, that is just a weird thing to leave out of a game where throwing moves feature so heavily in the first two. I would still rate it 7/10 though, nothing special, but enjoyable enough and I'm happy it was made after so many years of waiting.

Shenmue 1 and 2 are special games though. Shenmue 1 is my favourite, it's not as big as Shenmue 2, but I like that. It's a game I never like completing because you get so comfortable and immersed with the world.


Loved Shenmue 1 and 2, but I never bothered with 3 as I was deeply invested in the Yakuza games (superior to Shenmue in every way IMO) by the time it came out.

slowgamer699d ago

I did like the first most, as it had the most detail and smaller scale and adventure was quite fun and new for me, second one was okay too but didn't like it as much and I haven't really had the strenght to consentrate on third one especially knowing that it basically doesn't finish the story and it feels more clumsy than I would like.

babadivad699d ago

I put in WAAAYY more hours on Shenmue part 1 than 2. I was blown away by the detail of the world. There was literally nothing like it. For an action game, Shenmue 2 was better. The plot moved along a lot faster due to it covering so many chapters.

Training wasn't as big a focus in the second game. It actually annoyed me at first that I couldn't find anywhere to train. I was still in the part 1 mindset, training wasn't as imperative as it was in part 1.

So many games have borrowed from Shenmue, it's a shame the buying gaming public didn't support such an incredible achievement of the day.

Shenmue as a series has had a tortured existence and it's pretty sad.

KingofBandits699d ago

Shenmue was a true watershed moment in gaming. There were just so many elements that even if they did not originate with the series, they were refined, tweaked and combined in a way that was never done before. For the era this was released in it was mind blowing at the freedom, density, and depth you were given in the game world. Couple that with a beautiful OST, cutting edge graphics and deep fighting system and it was really something special. very few games have ever captured my attention like it to this day. the third game has its faults and is not nearly as ambitious but a lot has changed since the first game was released. Shenmue 3 in truth simply existing was an undertaking, though I do hope that Yu Suzuki is given a chance at making Shenmue 4.

SinkingSage699d ago

It remains my favorite video game of all time to this day.

CrimsonWing69699d ago (Edited 699d ago )

The 1st and 2nd were truly special games especially if you played them when they were released. It just was fresh and unique. I tried to get into the 3rd one but I just couldn't. I will give it another try at some point because of the story, but I just wan't a fan of the setting. I think if it had taken place in a city like Hong Kong or something other than the country side I'd probably be more drawn to it.

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Without Shenmue, We Wouldn't Have Yakuza

As Shenmue 2 celebrates its 20th anniversary, let’s look back on how it made Yakuza possible.

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-Hermit-813d ago

I prefer Shenmue, but I am happy we have both. I don't like the constant comparisons between the two though. Anybody that likes and plays both of them enough can tell that they are very different games. There really aren't many similarities.

Petebloodyonion813d ago

I always felt that Yakuza was the spiriual successor to Shenmue or the natural evolution of Shenmue.
The settings of a Yakuza or a very Japanese-oriented story.
The open-world element with restaurants, convenience stores, and arcades.
Playing arcade games like Space-Harrier and Hang-on (is it me or Space Harrier is always there)
Collecting toy capsule

SimpleSlave813d ago

"...natural evolution of Shenmue." No. While it is very tempting to get to this conclusion, this is incorrect. In fact, while Yakuza have refined some aspects (fighting, controls, etc.) that where present in Shenmue, the reality is that Shenmue is still the more advance and ambitious game when it comes to its gameplay systems and presentation.

In Shenmue, NPC's had routines, there was a day/night cycle, stores would actually close, there was a weather system in place, etc. Shenmue was not trying to pretend to be a slice of life but actually let you play a slice of life.

I understand it might seem insignificant to most, but it makes a huge difference and thus is makes for a vastly different experience than Yakuza.

FreeckyCake813d ago

Takeshi Kitano films and Fist of the North Star too.


Six Games With Brilliant Soundtracks

Music is a crucial component to virtually every game. Here are six titles that do it right

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Father__Merrin1039d ago (Edited 1039d ago )

Music is key it's the most memorable aspect for me over visuals etc. Thunderforce IV on the Mega drive..........

ZeekQuattro1039d ago

My favorite videogame soundtrack to this day is Sonic Adventure 2 Battle. When they added themes from that game to the 3DS best believe they stayed on my system. Lol

Chocoburger1038d ago

This is a good list, so many great songs on those selected.


How real-life martial arts influenced all three Shenmue games

After a surprise announcement at E3 2015 and a massively successful Kickstarter campaign, Shenmue III finally arrived last month and it…. didn’t exactly blow us away. Developer Ys Net has painstakingly recreated the goofy and stilted charm that defined the first two Shenmue games, but that charm sadly isn’t as easy to appreciate in 2019 as it was 20 years ago when the original Shenmue arrived

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S2Killinit1434d ago

I thought the fighting techniques were real techniques way back when I was playing the original.

IamTylerDurden11434d ago (Edited 1434d ago )

Playing through the original on PS4 atm.

I'd really like to catch up on the series before playing the third.

I enjoy the classic martial arts aspect. It's cliche, but beautifully so!

My only criticism of the first game on PS4 is the classic controls are rather rough and movement has a bit of lag. However, I bought Shenmue I & II Collection on PS Store for $11.99 several days ago and it was still a steal. Very nostalgic and I'd have to assume that the visuals and controls will be significantly better in the third installment. I believe I will love the third.