Shenmue II


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I can't really explain why I fell so deeply in love with Yu Suzuki's first console release, the Dreamcast's original Shenmue. Perhaps it was the sense of complete freedom, which allowed players to spend their income however they saw fit, completely disregarding the story in favor of video games and little toy capsules. Maybe it had more to do with the utterly enveloping environment, which went further toward becoming a totally immersive scenario than any other game in history. Who knows, maybe it was the game's setting in mid-80s Japan, two cultures I've always found fascinating (80s pop culture and traditional Japanese culture). One thing's for certain, it wasn't the emotionless, deer-in-the-headlights expression constantly sported by the story's hero, Ryo Hazuki. Regardless, I was hooked on this story of revenge, the reality in which it was set and the awkward relationships of our teenage years.

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