Apr 16, 2014

Remembering Shenmue

Ah, Shenmue, one of the 5 Reasons to buy a SEGA Dreamcast! (the Other 4 Are: SoulCalibur, MVC, MVC2, Crazy Taxi)

How did I get involved with Shenmue? It's a story that started a long time ago. It was the Dawn of the 21st Century and I was in Orlando, Florida for a class trip. First time at Disney Parks and I was there on an Educational trip. We had rides and Education. So, the Epcot Day, I found the Innoventions area... Who according to Internet Research was heavily backed by SEGA, so that explains the Dreamcast showings. Now, my memory is a bit foggy, not sure if Shenmue (Japanese version) was actually playable or if it was on a demo mode, but I remember this:

Only the sodas in the game were Fanta and stuff. I do remember a QTE as well.
We move time forward a few months/almost a year later when I went to ToysRUs with my younger brother. There I saw the Dreamcast Display and the Demo video they had WAS Shenmue. I remembered the game from the trip to Disney and began saving for a Dreamcast, a VMU and Shenmue.

Eventually I got the stuff and was immersed in Japan 1986, following Ryo Hazuki's quest for Revenge.
Here's the thing: Mega fans will go with nostalgia tint glasses that makes everything better, while haters and people who don't "get the game" will ramble on and on about the flaws of it and exaggerate them.

I KNOW the game has MANY FLAWS, but I love to revisit it (though now I do it less since my VMU went kaput. I'll have to remind myself to buy two more CR2032 batteries to see if the VMU still works.

The Game CAN BE TEDIOUS... Things like looking for sailors, working at the docks, etc.

Other things just seem weird like going to a parking lot at night to practice karate.

Oh the Voice Acting... Everyone complains about the Voice Acting. It's Awful. It's like the Acting in THE ROOM, but with less emotion and more stilted.

There's some backstory to its awfulness.
Link 1
Link 2

The seemingly bad voice acting stems from trying to keep it as Japanese as possible. It makes sense, since some people have criticized the game for being TOO JAPANESE. Not only the complaints are about the acting but the plot and its pacing are included in there. Yes, it's a bit slow compared to most J-RPGs. Now I actually LIKE the Horrible Voice Acting BECAUSE it reminds me of badly dubbed Martial Arts movies.

How can I describe Shenmue? I could call it a somewhat spiritual Japanese ancestor of Canis Canem Edit. While, yes, both games have some similarities, Shenmue is closer to a J-RPG crossed with Canis Canem Edit,  70s Martial Arts movies and some Japanese Quirkiness...  The Music is one of the best things in Shenmue.

The worst part of Shenmue is that American fans never got to experience the FULL Shenmue Experience. Before anyone mentions Shenmue 2 on XBOX, let me finish. Japanese and European gamers got the true experience since both countries had both games on the same console (Dreamcast) and the Shenmue Save file could be loaded on Shenmue 2, which gave you your items and kept the skills you had on the first game for the second game. American gamers were able to do so by either getting both games from another region, or modifying their savefiles and getting a pirate copy of Shenmue 2.

With the Third installment being MIA for over 10 years, it's a shame that we'll never find out the conclusion to this Kitty petting, capsule toy collecting, duck racing, 70 people beating, fork-lift racing, Vintage SEGA GAMING, Leaf Catching, revenge saga...

While flawed, I LOVE this game!!

Apr 14, 2014


Truly, truly outrageous! We have no script, no cast, movie will be Low-Budget AND it starts Filming in 3 Weeks...

Yes, I know that I'm not the Target Audience and that this movie needs to catch the attention of a new generation of JEM and the Holograms fans; but this seems like it's the wrong way to go about it. I hope the end result DOES NOT SUCK, but My Expectations keep getting lower with every bit of news I hear.

While JEM does not need a Bayformers budget, the whole Low-Budget thing scares me. The Misfits are borderline Terrorists, JEM NEEDS Explosions and Super CGI Magic to turn Jerrica into Jem and the whole Synergy thing. I fear that a lower budget may not give us a decent Misfits terrorist plot or a great Synergy...

The lack of a cast worries me. How can filming start if there isn't a cast set in stone? Also, don't we need a script? You know that thing that needs tons of rewrites before filming...
This project seems to be moving WAY TOO FAST... A rushed movie is not necessarily a GOOD Movie and this project seems to be happening at a ridiculous speed. I honestly hope that it will not suck, but I don't feel that it'll be GOOD.