Shenmue Reviews

  • jameswalker85jameswalker8569,204
    27 Aug 2018
    7 1 1
    I'm gonna start by being upfront: I'm one of those Shenmue fans that was spamming Twitter on the third of every month with a #GiveYuTheShenmueLicense, #SaveShenmue or #SaveShenmueHD (depending on how long ago you go back). I am also the owner of the Hazuki Dojo PS4 community. So, I'm not going to review Shenmue, as I'm a little biased.

    Instead, I'm going to talk about the PS4 port by d3t.

    Overall, I've gotta say I'm impressed by what the team has accomplished. Sure, there are a number of bugs that are rubbing people up the wrong way, but I'm pretty sure these will be patched out soon. I've had a few audio glitches, and sometimes cutscenes occur with the camera pointing at the wall. But I find I can just save the game and restart, which will solve the issue.

    There are a few changes to the game, though these don't affect gameplay. Branding (such as Ryo's Timex watch) has been removed, and all the phone numbers in-game have lost a digit. The 16:9 gameplay option is great, as well as the upscaling employed to give the game a slightly more updated look. Also, the bloom effects are sweet, making Dobuita Street's nighttime seem more realistic with its glowing signs. Not all will be fans, however, so you may be pleased to know that you can turn these off at will.

    One change that does affect gameplay, though not massively, is the ability to save anywhere. In the original release, you could only save in your bedroom, or could perform a "resume" save, which would allow you to save anywhere before halting gameplay, so you could switch off the console and come back to it later. Now, you can save your game wherever you have control of Ryo. This is handy for those who aren't very good at QTEs, or want to beat Chai at the arcade. But, if you're a Shenmue purist, it's completely optional, as you are prompted to save when you enter your bedroom, just as in 1999.

    I'm just reading the back cover again, and thought I'd mention that the "updated controls" are simply that the function of the single analog stick on the Dreamcast controller has been moved to the right stick, and you can move with either the left stick or d-pad. There's no big fancy change here, either.

    The ability to choose between English and Japanese languages is great. Being a Brit, I played Shenmue on DC with English voices, then Shenmue II with Japanese. So, not only can I play both on the same system in the same language, but I can even pick which language!

    The trophies (and let's face it, that's probably why you're on this site in the first place) are very easy to obtain. I'm making my way through the game slowly (I have young kids who are off school, and no free time), but I probably could have gained the Platinum for this and #2 by now. In fact, many already have.

    I won't go on any longer... mainly because I want to get back to playing it now that the kids are asleep, and I'm looking forward to another day of forklift driving.

    All in all, this is a decent port of my all-time favourite game. And, if you don't have a Dreamcast and copies of the games already, this is the cheapest and quickest way to get a hold of them, so what are you waiting for?

    Oh, and I'm rating 5 stars because... well, because it's Shenmue!
  • Jet-KlaatuJet-Klaatu26,126
    22 May 2019
    3 0 0
    The best port I've played of a very old game!

    I loved the original and played it many times; so much so that when it game to playing this ported game I remembered all of the steps to finish the game.

    The only differences I found from the original;
    - HD 16:9 1080p ratio in game (not in cutscenes)
    - Updated graphic effects on bloom and detail
    - Controls recalibrated for the modern controlpad

    The vocal sounds are still awful as the masters had been lost by Sega but other than that it's aged VERY well.

    If you've not played the original game then I would give this a miss. A common complaint is the pace and controls when trying to get Ryo around small corners. Those of us that got used to this on the original forgave this small problem.