Back in September I posted a blogabout me playing Shenmue for the first time. I finished that game, and a couple of weeks later, I decided to play through that game again. Soon, during my second playthrough, I order a copy of Shenmue II.
My experience was the first game was great. It's surprising on how plot development can keep the interest of the game going. Though it's not go to say that the gameplay was not interesting at all, or straight-up "garbage" as some might say; there were some addicting aspects to it. In my second playthrough, I decided to focus more on exploring the areas of that game, like walking into bulitings and talking to many people as I can. I became heavily addicted to purchasing products from the convince store because of the raffle tickets. I won all of the cassette tapes and the Saturn version of Space Harrier.
I'll tell you, I've spent a crap load of time just playing Space Harrier. I never beat the game - I ended up getting up to level eleven. The theme song of Space Harrier was defiantly something something, it was the type of song that just gets you so amped up, and for some reason, I'd felt like running every time I listen to it.
And there's also the forklift, a forklift racing game? The thing that made it funny was that cheesy heavy-metal music that was playing in the background.
Now moving on to Shenmue II. Shenmue II was defiantly a huge improvement upon the original game. The story was longer and better, the city was much, much larger than the city of the first game, and there was a lot more gameplay elements. At first, I had a hard time figuring out my way around the city of Hong Kong, but overtime I got passed that. But the city itself was very well design that I spent like the first week (when I mean first week, I mean in the game) just walking around exploring most of the nook & cranny of Hong Kong. The areas of the game was just breathing with life.
I'm really glad I finally got to experience the Shenmue series. I can see how some people were sad with the ended of Shenmue II, I don't want to give much away, but it is annoying when the game fades to black, with texts appearing that says "The story goes on. . ." It's annoying because a lot of fans can see that Shenmue III is highly unlikely. Let's hope that things will change and Shenmue III will happen.
So the SyFy channel has this sister site called Chiller, it's a network dedicated to airing movies or T.V shows that's part of the horror genre. Some of the anime shows that SyFy aired has brought them over to the Chiller network. I was watching the anime Toko, but sadly, after I think about seventeen episodes, it was taken off the air. But last Monday, they aired the movie Blood The Last Vampire in replace for Toko.
I saw the anime series Blood+ on Adult Swim in 2007 and I thought it was a good series.I saw the movie for the first time, and I must say, that the best aspect about the film has to be its animation quality. The film is only forty-five mins. long and there's not much of a plot going on; it's really about a girl who pretends to be a student in a Japanese high school so she can hunt down three man-eating demons. Though it's not go to say the film is bad, the thing I like about the film was how everything plays out. Like I said about the animation quality, the film's best aspect.
The best example is the scene were these students head to the nurse's office--one girl is affected by a illness and her friend is helping her get to the nurse. Then the two girls begin to mutate and Saya burst into the room and kills one of them with a swing of her blade. The nurse looks on and screams and at that very moment, her whole world gets turned upside down. The rest of the film consist of Saya running around Osaka, Japan, the place that the film takes place in, and trying to hunt down the remaining demons, and the nurse is trying to head for safety while she's going through a night of hell.
I did enjoy this film, and it's nice to finally know the roots of the Blood series.
I remember first hearing about the Dreamcast in an article from an old EGM issue. I saw the controller with the VMU inside and my reaction was a bit usual; it was difanetly a trip seeing a little screen in the middle of the controller; it was so unique and it was unlike any other. Sadly, I didn't get the Dreamcast right at launch, it wasn't until summer of 2000 when my older brother first got the Dreamcast with two controllers and a couple of games. The games that he got were Sonic Adventure, Crazy Taxi, Blue Stinger Toy Commander, Speed Devils, and House of the Dead 2.
You consumed so much of my time.
The first game I played was Sonic Adventure, my previous Sonic experiences was on the Genesis with Sonic the Hedgehog 2. When I first played Sonic Adventure, seeing all the high speed action that was shown in the 2D games in 3D, was a blast. I can never forget the time when I played the first level and running along a docks with a gigantic whale chasing Sonic from behind, or going into the casino level and playing the Nights pinball with that beautiful song playing in the background was good fun. After that, I jumped into Crazy Taxi, it was a game, like many other Dreamcast games, was something like no other. I would always pick my favorite character B.D Joe, and then jump into a session in the arcade mode. I must of spent about hours upon hours just playing the arcade mode trying to beat my previous record. I have heard that when other people play Crazy Taxi, they usually play the ten min mode because the arcade mode was too hard/short for them. But for me, it was the arcade mode that was most of my Crazy Taxi sessions have taken place. I've played it so many times that I can make a session in the arcade mode last about an hour.
You and the Dreamcast brought so many good times.=)
After the summer ended, I would say it was a good time in my life as a person who plays a lot of games, and a person who likes anime. When the Dreamcast first came into my life, Cartoon Network's Toonami was at its prime - it was the era of Tom 2.0. I remember coming home from school and and turning on my T.V and watching a new episode of DragonBall Z that was in the Cell Saga which I consider to be the highlight of the DragonBall Z series. And after that, I would watch the many other anime series that was on Toonami like Outlaw Star, the three Tenchi Muyo series, Gundam Wing, and many others, I was officially interested in anime for the first time all thanks to Toonami. After going through the greatness that was Toonami, I would play the new titles that came to the Dreamcast. That time was just unforgettable to me, and the Dreamcast was defiantly the center piece of those good times.
My brother got new games that came out on the Dreamcast, games such as: Capcom Vs SNK, Street Fighter III: Third Strike, Power Stone 1 & 2, Biltz 2000, San Fransisco Rush 2049, Hydro Thunder, Marvel Vs Capcom, and my favorite game of all time, Jet Grind Radio, and many others.
"Shake well before serving."
Capcom Vs SNk, a fighting game that was highly anticipated among a lot of fighting game fans. But it was a game they've found disappointing for a number of reason. First off, the game completely neglected SNK fans mainly because what Capcom ended up creating was a simplify version of some pretty technical SNK fighters - Capcom strip out some of the moves for some of the characters, which anger the SNK fans. I had some problems with it as well, such as the roster on the Capcom side; it was mostly just Street Fighter II characters. Where was the characters from Street Fighter III or characters from other Capcom fighting games? There was just two characters who weren't from Street Fighter II; might as well call the game Street Fighter II Vs SNK. But despite that, I still ended liking the game for its presentation. There was just an epic-ness to it, which was something that was lacking from the second game. I like all the references that it had with all the Capcom and SNk games - like the one part where you pick your groove and what you see is a bunch of TV screens in the background running footages of Capcom and SNK games (One of those games was the original Resident Evil). The backgrounds were so well drawn it look like a work of art, it use a little bit of 3D visuals with the projectiles as well. I really did like the music that was uses like the menu music or the win display music. It was the type of music that was you just didn't expect for Capcom to use but it was a nice touch. All in all, the game's presentation was very well constructed.
"Welcome to the world of Street Fighter III."
The first time when I played Street Fighter III, the thing that I notice was the game's soundtrack, it was known as "Acid Jazz." The soundtrack had a huge effect on me, when I heard songs like "Jazzy NYC '99," " Snowland", " Beats in my Head ," and " China Vox," it immediately sucked me into the world of Street Fighter III; the soundtrack was just untouchable and no other soundtrack from other Street Fighter games could surpass it. What Street Fighter III prove to me was, that a soundtrack can make a cohesive experience to a fighting game. The game itself as a whole was just bursting with creatively, the parry was also the highlight of Street Fighter III's gameplay. With its precise timing , excellent roster, and well compose music, it made Street Fighter III the master piece that move the series forward unlike its successor. I'll tell you, watching videos of high level players playing Street Fighter III, is really a impressive thing to watch.
Stopping really is a bad idea.
There was also another game that ended up being my favorite game of all time, Jet Grind Radio. I first saw a preview of the game in Tips & Tricks magazine years ago. I couldn't comprehend what kind of game it was at first, what I saw was this game that had graphics that I've never seen before; I called it "Some short of tagging game." Playing Jet Grind Radio was a very original and unique, it had so much personality, an atmosphere that that you just didn't want to leave, and a soundtrack that complemented the entire experience. To this day, I play the story mode over and over again and try to recreate that first time.
The Dreamcast is one of those console that is just desirable to me, it's the type of feeling that I don't get quite get with other consoles. But When I heard that Sega is discontinuing the system due to lack of sales, I thought that I was probably the only person who enjoy the Dreamcast for what it was - a console that was the home of some of the most memorable games ever made. But then again, the Dreamcast had a lot of not so good games, but they ended up being my guilty pleasure like this game. I look out into the gaming community and I was surprise to see that many others felt the same way I did about Dreamcast. The system truly was one of the greatest system out there despite its short life span. If the Dreamcast was able to bring out the type of caliber that it delivered in that short time, then imagine how it would be like if it lived on.
After years of hearing about this game, I finally order a copy of Shenmue off Amazon last week; it arrived yesterday and I pop it in my Dreamcast and played it for the first time.The reason why I decided to purchase this game now is mainly because of the upcoming 10th anniversary of the Dreamcast. I'm far from completion of the game but I already played a chunk of it.
Where do I find those sailors?
It's pretty surreal playing a game that I've been hearing about how amazing that game is for years now. When I first jumped into the gameplay, i was surprise by the game's controls - it's the tank-like controls that was found from the early Resident Evil games. The first thing I was told to do is to meet up with a character in the dojo were Ryo's father was killed in the beginning of the game; but I decided to do is look around Ryo's house and growing accustomed of the game's mechanics. I was overwhelmed to know the amount of details the game has - I spent a good amount of time just walking around, opening up cabinet doors and searching for items, it was also neat that I had control over Ryo's arm when a item is found and up close to the camera. What I found was a flash-light and a couple of pictures, and then I begin to ask myself, "Do I need this stuff? I guess I'll find out later."
As I went out experience the world of Shenmue, I begin to notice the game's strongest aspects. The game has no linear progression what so ever, most of what I was doing is just walking around and talking to people to gain new leads on the man who murder Ryo's father. That may sound boring but it was just interesting to know how the story unfolds. At times I was going to turn off game and take a break, but I just didn't felt ready to leave the world of Shenmue yet, I said to myself, "Okay, I'm done for now. . . . .Nah, I'll go find one of the members of the "Three Blades" and then I'm done" There is some combat in the game and it's 100% Virtua Fighter (Hell, some of the sounds are taken from the Virtua Fighter games).
For a game that's nearly nine years old on a system that's nearly ten years old, Shenmue is a impressive game. I do have a original Xbox and I plain to find a copy of Shenmue II. The series may not have been successful, but if it's any consolation, the Shenmue series has gain a new fan.