I’ve written about this game a hundred times across a hundred different websites and it never fails to make me feel as though it is the best game to ever have been created. I usually like to direct my Throwback Thursdays to something a little more relevant to what is going on or to whatever it is that I’m currently playing but I think that Shenmue deserves to be on every website that I am a part of. The game has always been a very important facet of my life not only as a great Dreamcast game, (my favorite home console of all time), but a game that changed a generation of gaming. Shenmue focused on main character, Ryo, who is searching for the person who murdered his father, crime lord and master martial artist, Lan Di. Of course, detective work isn’t easy for a teenager who has only ever studied martial arts, so you need to utilize the time of day as well as your surroundings in order to find Lan Di.
The game utilizes time as an important factor, as it dictates when certain stores are open and when certain people are able to be spoken to. It triggers most events of the game so it is greatly important that you pay attention to the time and date in the game. Another incredible feat created by Yu Suzuki, creator of the game, is the fact that basically every NPC has both a voice and a personality. Depending on the holiday or time of day, they each say something different or will have a different word of advice that can help you progress in the game. This kind of gameplay was almost unheard of during the time of this game’s release, making it both incredible to hardcore fans of the roleplaying genre as well as those that passively want to play the game without any harsh movements. Speaking of harsh movements, the combat in the game is done through the use of different skills learned, which are activated through different combo buttons, or through a series of quick time events.
Games nowadays pretty much always have these elements in their gameplay and it seems like no big deal but the difference is that this game came out in 1999, a whopping seventeen years ago. Intricate gameplay that required you to discover your path through a series of trial and error while following written notes and challenging your memory wasn’t something that was developed every day. In fact, it is loved by so many people that a Kickstarter was created last year to bring the third game to fruition and bring the series to a whole new light. Hopefully, the intricacy of the game stays and the only thing that will be changed is the level of fighting and the ability to discover more than just the closed area that you were allowed to be.
Check out the trailer for the first game below:
With the buzz of E3 just around the corner, it’s difficult not to look into all of the rumors and leaked information that will most likely be unveiled at the conference. That being said, two of the biggest titles in the rumor mill are Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption and their remasters. While they are both well respected games as well as well respected developers, remastering the two and releasing them for newer generation consoles seems a little bit like a cop-out in a time where remasters are everywhere.
Of course, no one expects Bethesda to pump something out like a sixth Elder Scrolls game only a year after the release of Fallout 4, but fans of the franchise want something new, I know that I do. In the four, almost five, years since its release, Skyrim is still one of the most heavily downloaded and heavily modded games to ever have been released on PC, giving even casual gamers something to be excited about. The only problem with that is that since its release, Elder Scrolls Online was released and took a litle bit of a dive on the Elder Scrolls series, allowing room for a new installment to take the reigns on the series. Why not talk more about the Khajit? Why not talk more about the Dwemer? There are plenty of routes that Bethesda can take and although Skyrim would sell/be pre-ordered faster than the Final Fantay XV collector’s edition, it still doesn’t make up for what could have been.
On that note, Rockstar might go down that same path with Red Dead Redemption. Grand Theft Auto V also happens to be one of those heavily downloaded and heavily modded games and while people are still very happy with that, no one can say that they wouldn’t be excited for a second Red Dead Redemption. *SPOILER* John Marston is dead, so there is room for a whole new protagonist in an even bigger world with even more quests and missions to go on. But, the real honest truth is that this has been teased for so long that it would be disappointing if Rockstar doesn’t deliver it this year. I mean, if YS Net was able to announce Shenmue 3 last year, a game that had been set to be announced sometime within the last 15 years since the last installment, Rockstar can do the same. There isn’t any real pressure on them, really. Rockstar might take their time with their releases but they always end up being top notch, (still waiting for Bully 2).
While none of this has anything to do with either Bethesda or Rockstar’s inability to deliver great games, because EVERYONE knows that isn’t true, it would be sad not to see them do more than just remasters. We will just have to wait and see this coming week for more information on what both of these developers will be announcing.