Shenmue 1 & 2
PS4 version tested
Review code provided
I wrote recently about how excited I was for the Shenmue collection re-master and got into quite a bit of detail around the game. Well I’m now at a point after downloading it days in advance just in case it was released early, and then being insanely impatient around the time it took to just be released on time. Having now played it I wanted to touch how it holds up versus my nostalgia and also advances in the way games have progressed in the last decade and a half.
Graphics wise it looks exactly the same as I remember it, now I will accept that my memory is definitely clouded by my love for the game so I’ve checked older videos from the Dreamcast and it’s definitely been cleaned up a decent amount but it still looks nice. The level of detail and the scenery are still pretty good even now, though obviously, it’s not going to compare to something more modern which can fully make use of the latest innovations in technology.
Voice acting on the English dub, on the other hand, has not aged particularly well, it’s definitely a product of the time as the voice acting seems to have been done by people who aren’t professional voice actors some of the dialogue can seem awkward or overacted. That being said I love how cheesy it can be and how some of the lines were instantly funnier because they were nonsense and then delivered in a ridiculous manner so it’s nice that this has been maintained in a weird way.
Let us talk controls now, I had a conversation with a friend where he mentioned that I at have extreme nostalgia and that I’d be disappointed when the controls turned out to be crap. Well, he had a point, it’s definitely incredibly clunky and the camera is a bit iffy like games of that time generally were. It takes a decent amount of getting used to though thankfully it doesn’t ruin the game, some will hate it though. the analogue stick is used to look on the Dreamcast has been moved to the right stick for the re-master though which is an obvious improvement.
In terms of the game it is more or less exactly the same as I remember, far too many random things to interact with that serve no purpose, the quick time events pop up with absolutely no warning and it’s very easy to waste time faffing around. As expected my main time wasters so far are the capsule toys, the orphaned kitten and the games that are available to play in the arcade, I’m a big fan go Hang On.
What I’m really pleased with is that my nostalgia hasn’t ruined the game from a personal level, despite the obvious flaws it has versus more modern games and it’s been awesome finally getting to replay a game that I love as much as I do. I am hoping that Shenmue 3 improves on these flaws when it’s released next year (I’m a little sceptical despite the confirmed release date).
Beard Score: 7/10
PlayStation 4 Essentials:
Genre: Adventure, RPG
Release: 21/08/2018 (Console)
Format: Steam, PlayStation 4, Xbox One