Shenmue Dreamcast
  • Publisher: Sega
  • Release Date: Nov 7, 2000
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 134 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 5 out of 134

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  1. Sep 18, 2011
    easily the best game ever produced. even though it had its flaws, it was simply revolutionary in many aspects. most importantly of course the back then STUNNING graphics. i remember when i was watching one of those 320x240 clips of the intro before it was released and somebody was standing a couple of feet away and asked "what movie is that?". i watched that clip again and again for probably half an hour, drooling.
    and then the open world concept, the overall cinematic feeling, all the little things one could do, the epic feeling of the story, the incredibly well-done fighting system (i was skeptical whether it would work well at first but it really did...), the music which was just as beautiful as the graphics...
    it was just amazing and i'm afraid i will never experience anything like it ever again in my lifetime. graphics these days suck in comparison (obviously always in respect to current times) and the scope of games is fairly minuscule. from a pure conceptual point of view, i guess one could compare GTA to it. but there, the graphics and story are lacking.
  2. Mar 26, 2011
    Quite simply the greatest game ever made. Amazing story, amazing characters, great gameplay and graphics. Something truly special. Worth buying a Dreamcast just for this one game.
  3. Apr 19, 2013
    Overall, Shenmue is without doubt in my opinion the finest game ever made. Quite how Shenmue 1 and 2 stack up to one another is unclear to me, as they are both breathtaking and outstanding in their own ways.

    It's simply magical. It's hard to truly do this game justice with words, but it is an immersive, exciting, poetic and captivating experience that you will most likely remember and
    take with you forever.

    Do yourself a favour and play Shenmue, you won't regret it!
  4. Nov 21, 2013
    This is a game that took me beyond, it has no rival to date.
    I played this on the Dreamcast when it first came out, I was a lad back then, and wow, the sheer scope, the advancement in gameplay and graphics, it hit me deep and hard, and brings me joy and great memories to this day.
    An amazing game that is unforgettable.
  5. Mar 19, 2012
    unique, a masterpiece of gaming
  6. Jun 28, 2012
    This game brings me back. The dreamcast was such a great little console and this game is true the consoles defining gem. The game world is highly interactive and oozes atmosphere. The storyline and music and top quality. The acting and dialog is a bit campy, but done in true Sega spirit. This game needs to get remastered on HD consoles. Along with Shenmue II.
  7. Oct 27, 2012
    I'm keeping this one short,I can sum this game up in 3 words,BEST GAME....EVER!!!From the moment I started playing this gem at 1st the visuals blew me away,then it went on to have the most ingrossing storys in gaming,& the fact that you could just pop into your local arcade & actually play arcade perfect versions of Outrun,Space Harrier & Afterburner 2 was just showing off!Every gamer worth thier salt needs to experience Shenmue,simple as that. Expand
  8. Nov 13, 2012
    Shenmue 1 is at the top of my favourite games of all time. Once I picked the controller up, I couldn't put it down until the game ended. There is so much to do, I used to spend hours upon hours in the YOU Arcade, collecting toys, buying sodas trying to get a winning can.. Ah, memories. The story is extremely engaging & immersive, the world is absolutely stunning and it's the first game to use dynamic-weather in a 3D world. This game was ahead of it's time, and laid the foundation for many current-gen games. If you love video games, japanese culture, or just love an adventure, don't look any further than Shenmue. Expand
  9. Apr 5, 2014
    Made by Yu Suzuki, creator of the renowned Virtue Fighter franchise. This game offers similar in depth fighting, but adds open world exploration with loads of interactive stuff to collect and mess around with.
    Its depressing SEGA has not released HD remasters for modern platforms.
    Truly this series has grown legendary and if it released would cause a huge mass hysteria amongst the
    growing fan base. Expand
  10. Jun 26, 2011
    shenmue is a very inovative and fresh new typ of game . you cant compare it to any thing els out there even though this game is 10 years old there still isnt any thing since then thats remotely like this game. you play as Ryu in 1980s japan who's father is murdered by a myserous man named lan di. your goal is to find out about this man . the game play is hard to sum up . its abit being a detective questioning people for info , fighting people in a Virtau fighter style combat , some dragons lair QTE , open world exploration with lots of side stuff to do like playing in a arcade ,collecting toys and more . the fighting controls are pretty solid . the controls when walking around are stiff and the camera fights you alot in small area's . the voice acting can be pretty bad. in some cases laughably bad but this game came out in a day when good voice acting in games still wasnt seen to often . you also can get a job as a fork lift driver which for some reason i just had alot of fun driving it around delivering crates to the ware houses tryin to make that $. i also had alot of fun in the arcade playing darts and hang on. this game to me is a step in the right direction for new and innovating games and i wish we could see more games like this it may not be polished to perfection but it does enough right to get a 9 in my book. Expand
  11. Feb 8, 2013
    Crazy depth to this game, great story, stunning graphics for it's time and amazing attention to detail. In my opinion, one of the more overlooked classics of all-time.
  12. Apr 6, 2013
    Shenmue is an amazing game with great potential and there has to be a Shenmue 3!! its been so long since i last played this game it was awesome great story but its spiritual successor Yakuza is probably better than because it had a better character and a emotional story
  13. Jan 19, 2011
    I was reminded of this game while playing Heavy Rain recently and I can see how at the time this game was such a breakthrough in gaming. At it's heart an RPG but different to anything made to that point. A great experience overall.
  14. Mar 31, 2014
    im not saying its bad, but when i play a game im looking for gamplay, which is something this game doesn't do well, its literally a whole game based on quick time events, one of the major sins of video games, not to Mention its high production value is one of the many reasons the dreamcast died. the only thing that's good here is the story
  15. Oct 28, 2014
    First off, the things this game did well or innovated. Shenmue pioneered QTE as we know it today. It's arguable that previous games had QTE or were based on such mechanics. But Shenmue coined the term and did it exactly like you've seen it done for the next 10-15 years.

    You could practice your combative moves in order to gain more strength. I know of no precursor to Shenmue that worked
    this way. SImilar to the way you level up in San Andreas and Elder Scrolls Oblivion. You level up by practice.

    At the time, Shenmue had the best graphics ever produced for consoles or PC. As such it created an amazing atmosphere. There are day-night sequences, rain, snow, dates change, and different events will be triggered due to the passing of time.

    If you ever wanted to live an average life as a Japanese man in an average town. This game is for you.

    As for the bad, some QTE events couldn't be retried. The game wasn't easy to save and some of the QTE events would happen out of no where and you'd fail them unable to retry or reload. There were a handful of combat scenes in the game. Combat was a moot point. Shenmue didn't use the analogue stick for whatever reason so turning was stiff and ridiculous. More often than not you'll see Ryo stop in his tracks and do a 90 degree turn. Because the graphics were so good, things like audio quality, bad voice acting, and stiff animations when using items fell to the bottom of the uncanny valley.

    The majority of the game you'll spend randomly talking to people in the streets trying to find the next place to go. I remember my uncle commenting on it saying, "Wow, that's like real life, people don't want anything to do with you." 90% of the story progression will be you randomly talking to people, with no dialogue options, and them giving you a dull rejection. If that sounds fun to you, by all means.

    When you're not randomly talking to people, you can pick up an orange, or a change purse from inside your house. There are so many things you can touch and pick up but most of them are there for the sole fact it's there. Other activities include using capsule machines to acquire and collect Sega related toys, throwing darts alone, or playing Space Harrier.

    The Space Harrier port alone gives this game one of those 4 points for me. It's really the best part and the only -game- part of this game.

    As far as the story goes, it has to be said, this is an introduction and nothing more. This can't be seen as a full story or stand alone in any respect. There's no character development among any of the characters and the ending has no resolution. Yu Suzuki planned for Shenmue 1-2 to be one game. As such, Shenmue 1 was broken off into it's own game and was stretched to it's breaking point. Arguably the characters are interesting and unique.

    As an introduction, it's pretty good. As a standalone story it's awful, even by a trilogy standard. Even in movies like LOTR, Star Wars, or Mass Effect. The story gives you a resolution to a major problem in its first installment. While also leaving you on a cliff hanger for a more important conflict. Shenmue gives you no resolution. It was a straight introduction and nothing more.
  16. Apr 19, 2013
    Overall, Shenmue is without doubt in my opinion the finest game ever made. Quite how Shenmue 1 and 2 stack up to one another is unclear to me, as they are both breathtaking and outstanding in their own ways.

    It's simply magical. It's hard to truly do this game justice with words, but it is an immersive, exciting, poetic and captivating experience that you will most likely remember and
    take with you forever.

    Do yourself a favour and play Shenmue, you won't regret it!

Generally favorable reviews - based on 9 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 9
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 9
  3. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. The big improvement for me is that everything is a lot less linear then before; it really does feel that your actions directly influence Ryo’s progress through the adventure.
  2. I loved Shenmue. But as great as I thought that game was, nothing could have prepared me for Shenmue II.
  3. Shenmue II is so much better than its predecessor, refining nearly every aspect of the original. It's a polished game that serves as a showcase for the DC and the evolution of the RPG genre, and fans should definitely find a way to play it.