The Greatest Story Ever Told...


I'm sure this title was originally reserved for the film version of the birth of Christ, but I'd beg to differ... For me its the story of Ryo Hazuki, and the murder of his father, you know the day the rain turned to snow...


I'm fairly sure there has never been a proper Shenmue 2 post here on the 'Yard, so here goes....Where do I start? Let me tell you about my own Shenmue 2 experience... I knew nothing about this game, nothing! I walked into Gamestation, looking for the usual £2.50 Dreamcast bargain and saw a title that warranted the price tag of £25.00... It was a double disc title as well. OK the price hinted at something big, and the two disc package hinted at something epic...


And epic it was! This game has probably consumed more of my life than any other! As I tentatively placed the first disc into my Dreamcast, I was greeted by a glorious visual feast... Something akin to a movie, with titles, the name Yu Suzuki attached to it, and a boy, on a ship sailing towards Hong Kong...

And so it started, off the boat, there were the most beautifully bedecked characters... Every person was dressed in beautiful silks... The lines on their faces, so fabulously rendered, speaking in unintelligible Japanese... (That sounded so right, with its subtitles...)


And so it continued... Graphically, this game still outstrips Red Steel, the Wii launch title (and why shouldn't it?) This is the most expensive game in developers history! AM2 seriously depleted Sega's budget producing this game! But lets get back to Ryo's journey...


As you wander round Hong Kong, you're gonna have your bag stolen by those pesky Heavens gang... But your bag contains that all important mirror so central in unravelling the mystery of your father's death? So you're gonna have to get it back by executing some VF3 fighting moves... (apart from the wandering round, you'll have to fight enemies and competitors on a regular basis and as you fight your repertoire of killer moves increases!) The story unfolds beautifully, as you pick up clues and explore your environment talking to key characters...


The timescale of Shenmue, is in real time, you're affected by the weather, your finacial responsibilities and so on.... You'll have to find lodgings, employment or gamble to make money and there can be a lot of waiting round! But you can just go and explore every, barber shop, temple, warehouse building, cafe and caged bird shop you want to!

That's the great thing about Shenmue! it rains, its sunny! Wanna kill some time? Go and work at the docks shifting crates! Go and play gambling 'Lucky Hit' games, or just waste some cash down at the arcade playing 'After Burner', 'Super Hang On' or 'Outrun' (all previous AM2 titles) which are secreted within the game...

The people that populate the Shenmue world are all interactive - by that I mean they will all talk to you (some are helpful in your quest, some indifferent and some hostile). The game unfolds at a very gentle pace and will take lierally days to complete. I'd highly reccomend a walkthrough, as the game can be frustrating if you get stuck with unravelling part of the plot... There's one here if you need it... Without a walkthrough you might miss the hidden treasures like the ever beguiling duck race (you can find your own racing duck within the grounds of the Man Mo Temple, but where do you race it????)
The characters you meet are fabulous - Shenhua Ling, Joy, Ren Of Heavens, Lan Di, Xiyung Hong - check them out here...

The game just gets you hooked and there is the first title (the very badly voice acted Shenmue) to play afterwards! And that's the way it was for me! I played them back to front, playing Shenmue 1 second. It's great, but the terrible wooden English voice acting make it a much leser experience... The world you can explore is considerably smaller, and the colours less vibrant. If you're only going to play one title, make sure its Shenmue 2...

The story unfolds, you've got to find out about those creeps that killed your Dad right? You'll find yourself hooked into the drama that connects you with a story that exists within China and Japan, Yakuza, gangs, Buddhism and Taoism...

As you span those two discs, you'll uncover fighting moves, mystery, spirituality and more...

I could spout on forever about the wonder of this game, but the greatest way to experience it is to play it yourself! Oh and the QTE's (or Quick Time Events) see you mash buttons at crucial moments, in response to the game's demands... Allowing cinematic events to unfurl before you if you're quick enough to meet their demands...

And the side/mini games/activities such as collecting bargainable capsule toys... Wonderful! Spend your hard earned dollars on capsule toy collections, and you'll have money to spend when you really need it! Just go to a pawn (not pr0n) shop and you'll be quids in!

The game never reached the US, being released in Europe and Japan only, but it did re-emerge on the XBox, bundled with a DVD of the story of the first Shenmue, allowing those who had never played the first title, so they would be up to speed when Ryo stepped off the boat... Sadly there never has been a conclusion to the story, no Shenmue 3. Reputedly in full development, the theory goes that it would be fincially disastrous to release and promote it, just bad economic sense... Despite the hopes of Shenmue addicts like myself, it's unlikely it will ever see the light of day. One thing is for certain, if it came out on the Xbox 360 or PS3, it would see me getting one on the day of its release!

I'm waffling a bit, so I suggest you check out a proper review here, here, here and here... Oh and for every Shenmue resource you'll ever need look here...



18 comments:

Treamcaster said...

Nice review!! It shows that you, like every Shenmue real fan, loved to play the game. Shenmue I and II, marked my life, besides from being my favorite games ever, they gave me something special.. something that no other game can give you...

Porroe said...

I've had this for over 2 years now, I always get to the look for sailors part and then don't play for a while and accidentally delete my savefile or forget which memory card has it

NebachadnezzaR said...

You shouldn't have played Shenmue II first, Father. Believe me, I've played as I was supposed to, first Shenmue I and then II, and it's much more satisfying, not only because you can follow the story from the very beginning but also because if you play Shenmue I after II you'll miss the improvements of the sequel.

Anyway, I still believe we're going to see a Shenmue III someday, mainly because Yu Suzuki said some time ago in an interview that he definitely wants to finish the story and he plans on doing that with a last game, not a movie or something.

fatherkrishna said...

Traemcaster! Do you own a Treamcast? 'Cos you'd be the only person other than me that I know...

Porroe! Great to see you here, I'm heading over to The Hunt right now!

Ah! Nebacha! I know Yu Suzuki said that, but where is it? If they announced a third title on any console, I'd buy that console!

Still, it aint there! A Wii release would result in an embarassing trouser explosion... :)

Myles said...

Aren't there supposed to be multiple sequels left? Father. If you think your special with you Treamcast check out this http://www.davesportablesystems.net/dreamcast6.htm

Tomleecee said...

I only played Shenmue 2 for a few hours...and to be honest I felt a bit overwhelmed by it all. That was months ago, and I havent touched it since. Since I got hold of Deadly Skies, Shenmue 2 holds no appeal to me

Caleb said...

Sell me your copy then Tommy.

I will payz!!!!!

NebachadnezzaR said...

OMFG! You guys aren't going to believe this! I don't believe in this myself, it's just to fucking awesome to be true! Anyway, according to ruliweb.com, here are some of the games SEGA is going to present on TGS 2007:

ChuChu Rocket! (Xbox Live Arcade,PC)

Fighters Megamix 2 (Xbox360,PS3)

Jet Set Radio Next (Xbox360,PS3)

Shenmue I & II Plus (Xbox360)

Skies of Arcadia 2 (Wii)

Sonic the RPG (Xbox360,PS3)

Space Channel 5 Part3 (Xbox360,PS3)

Space Channel 5 Showtime (Wii,NDS,PSP)

The House of the Dead 4 (Xbox360,PS3)

Virtua Fighter Kids 2 (Wii)

and...

Shenmue 3 (Xbox360)!!!

The thing is, among these fucktastict games there are some "real" ones, like Sega Rally Revo, NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams, and such, which at least gives the list some credibility.

Anyway, you can check the whole thing here: http://tinyurl.com/39oogq

Myles said...

nebachadnezzar, only like 3 of those are definite. Whatever happened to Shenmue online?

fatherkrishna said...

If that's true Nebacha I have to start saving for my 360!

Myles said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Myles said...

Well it just got posted on kotaku as a possibility so maybe it is. Looks like I will get a next gen console after all!

Treamcaster said...

"Traemcaster! Do you own a Treamcast? 'Cos you'd be the only person other than me that I know..."

Hey there dude! Sorry for ansewring just now, but I have been away for some time.
Yes, I do have a Treamcast! The black edittion. Which one u got?

NebachadnezzaR said...

So, apparently our fears were confirmed. As I said, it was just too fucking good to be true, and as of now I'm pretty sure the list is a fake.

Well, at least we all were happy for a couple of minutes...

treamcaster, father's not going to respond soon, he's on vacation.

Myles said...

nebachadnezzar, who confirmed it was fake? Tis a shame but I guess it shouldve been expected I mean come on Samba de Amigo psp just didnt sound right.

The GagaMan(n) said...

Of course it was fake. I mean, Fighters megamix and Virtua Fighter Kids sequels? Come on, it just screams out "fan-wish-list" which is exactly what it turned out to be.

Caleb said...

If they woulda added "Panzer Dragoon" and "Samba de Amgio" then it would have been more obvious.

Caleb said...

Sega’s new console to be powered by the crushed dreams and tears of Sega fans?

In an impressive “fake out” someone released a huge list of beautiful lies. Beautiful beautiful lies…

My only hope is that this display of the average Sega fan’s ability to create hope and then have that hope dramatically ground into the dirt will show that Sega can indeed create a console that can be powered by sadness and longing…

...oh so much sadness and longing…