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Shenmue

GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 1

Welcome to the premiere episode of the GameCritics.com Podcast!
This week's topics include:

  • Reviews of Saints Row 2 and Art Style: Cubello
  • Why game criticism matters to us
  • Can games make us cry?

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Shenmue II Second Opinion

Shenmue II Screenshot

While I didn't grow up in a culture like Ryo's (or Gene's), I have lived in places with many similarities. I can definitely relate to elements in the game that are signatures of non-Western cultures, and appreciate their genuineness. Gene's comment stating "This is a foreign game with foreign concepts" has legitimacy and weight, and it would be wise to keep this in mind before entering the world of Shenmue II.

Shenmue II Review

Shenmue II Screenshot

I grew up in a collectivist society, which stresses community effort and family over the dog-eat-dog individualist philosophy. Both terms are extremely generalized and say little about each culture, but there are subtle things that are the key in determining which is which. I never had much use for directions or street names. Growing up on the small island of Guam, directions were given by indicating landmarks of everyday things, like a tree, blue trimmings on a house or strange looking stones. We had street names, just like they do in Shenmue and its Xbox sequel, but apparently the entire community found that they were more of an inconvenience.

Shenmue II

Game Description: Shenmue II is an epic adventure with all the elements of a great movie—drama, mystery, suspense, and action—and offers a unique gameplay experience that seamlessly blends elements of action, adventure, fighting, and role-playing games. In Shenmue II, players assume the role of Ryo Hazuki, a young man dedicated to the task of tracking his father's murderer and unlocking the mysteries of the Phoenix Mirror. Shenmue II continues where Shenmue left off and brings Ryo to Hong Kong with many questions still unanswered as he follows the trail of Lan Di, the man who killed his father.

Shenmue Second Opinion

Shenmue  Screenshot

Sega seems to have a theme going lately consisting of games which are extremely original and challenging on many levels, yet strangely, they aren't very much fun to play. Seaman was the first game in the recent trend, and Shenmue is definitely another.

Shenmue Review

Shenmue Screenshot

So does the final release of Shenmue live up to all the hype of being the most expensive game ever made and deliver Dreamcast owners onto the promised land of gaming bliss? The answer is yes and no. Shenmue is the Bill Clinton of videogames; extremely ambitious, arguably successful, and yet undoubtedly flawed.

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