Shenmue is one of the biggest titles ever released for the 128-bit console Dreamcast. Shenmue is as big as Sonic Adventures was for the console because of its unique style. Shenmue can be seen as a free RPG-style game with puzzles, fighting, and various tasks to do. The most known part of the game is truck driving in the harbor area of the game which was one of its kind when it came out.
The story of Shenmue is powerful from the moment the game starts and how the story evolves. Even with the 2000-style graphics, the game even keeps up now. For the time this game came out the graphics are insane! You can see the textures today but that’s not important.
Now you can play Shenmue on modern consoles and modern computing platforms. Shenmue defined modern gaming and it made Dreamcast rise before its unwanted fall.
The community that continues using Dreamcast today is still strong and because of all postings about Shenmue, there’s even an anime series launching now. This remarkable saga that is made by SEGA got tons of feelings in it that made it to thousands of gamers worldwide.
So, here is my 10 Reasons Why Shenmue Made People Love Dreamcast. With every Shenmue game sold, there’s a new Dreamcast soul out there.
#1 – Shenmue comes in one of the most passionated game boxes ever
The game box is art. It is bigger than the usual Dreamcast game box as the game comes on 4 CDs. The cover melted my heart the very first moment that I saw it for the first time and it sits well on the shelf together with the other games for Dreamcast.
You can download it and play it on modern consoles but it is not the same thing.
The loading time is a bit longer on Dreamcast, but for me, the noise from the CD-ROM drive of Dreamcast was part of the Shenmue gameplay feels too.
Today Shenmue for Dreamcast is very pricy, but that’s because of the design. I post a video of the PAL version as it is the one that I remember the most. The blue design of Dreamcast CD-ROM covers was striking. Why didn’t SEGA do this everywhere?
#2 – Shenmue makes use of the mini-memcard console coming with Dreamcast
Dreamcast is one of the first consoles to make use of another screen including a TV or monitor.
The mini-memcard coming with Dreamcast was heavily used by many games including Shenmue. The mini-console that came with Dreamcast is known as the VMU. It is that part that can be inserted into the amazing Dreamcast controller.
The Visual Memory Unit (VMU), is also referred to as the Visual Memory System (ビジュアルメモリ, Bijuaru Memori) (VMS) in Japan.
While playing Shenmue you can see the Shenmue Goodies and also Training instructions. Those Shenmue Goodies that you collected in Shenmue could be taken to Shenmue II too.
The VMU was a genius product that is still to be taken to the next level. Nintendo Switch is the closest product to this today, but it cant be compared.
#3 – Shenmue is the biggest Dreamcast game ever
It is the most massive game release for any platform when it came out. Gameplay on 3 CDs + Shenmue Passport. The European release is what I remember the most.
Today this package is getting more and more pricey. SEGA did amazing work with presenting this game. So, this is a remarkable gem that Must not be forgotten.
#4 – Shenmue is packed with mini in-games
Including having the main story. Shenmue is full-packed with in-game games. Shenmue is in my view a Life-changing game. More than a game, really. An epic masterpiece. The aura of this game is truly something that only happens once in a decade. Check out all the content packed into this masterpiece!
- Arcade halls can be found with some of SEGA’s most interesting arcade games such as Super Hang-On and Space Harrier. Boxing machines can be used to train yourself before battles in the real game of Shenmue. You can play dart and snooker at the pubs
- You can drink from vending machines as if you are in Japan. You can walk into many stores and buy things for the side-quests. You can also win on lotteries which are as if you are there.
- Truck racing is a mini in-game even though it is part of the story. You actually both work and race using trucks in the game. There’s even a 3D racing part with Ryo’s motorbike too.
#5 – Shenmue attach you to the personalities in the game
From the moment that the game starts until the end the story grabs your heart. I won’t spoil anything for you in the game, but this is the first game where I was able to connect myself to lots of personalities that Ryo meets on his journey. You will feel lots of emotions through the game and I think that is something that games today have forgotten.
Dreamcast from SEGA gave the game creators freedom to create and Shenmue is one of the last games with a true spirit. Shenmue III which is out now continues that spirit thanks to the amazing Shenmue community.
#6 – Shenmue defined the Open World movement Genre forever
No other game before Shenmue had such an open-world feeling. It would take years for GTA to take that role, but that’s a completely different game. Shenmue defined the open-world genre. You can see some of the same open-world feelings in Yakuza games too, but this game is so much more true to the daily life people got in my view.
#7 – Shenmue made a dynamic Open World very memorable
The open-world in Shenmue is so dynamic. From the moment Ryo wakes up until he sleeps you can witness sunshine, rain, and snow.
You can feel the difference between mornings, daytimes, evenings, and nights. The clock is very calm too during gameplay. The time goes faster than in real-time, but at the same time, you feel the time and year that you play the game in.
All of the stores got opening hours and the bus stop got bus schedule times. You can see when the stores open and close. The grocery store feels very Japanese too. There are playgrounds and parks where people do their things. The dynamics of the world where you play in make Shenmue really unique beyond anything still in 2022.
#8 – Shenmue Music is without any doubt a masterpiece
The music in Shenmue is just outstanding.
It is a powerful tune with lots of piano playing. Shenmue’s story is tough and the music fits the theme of the game perfectly. All places you visit have different vibes to them and that makes Shenmue so unique. You get the real vibe in every corner you are at in the game and that is something that only MYST has managed to capture including Shenmue in my view.
#9 – Shenmue side quests made sense
Including having mini-in-games parts. Shenmue also got tons of side quests.
Some of the side-quests are about helping older people, calling people for fun, or just trying to win goodies at the small vending machines located in the game. You can also buy a drink for a person standing in front of a vending machine without cash. You can also feed a cat in the game which is a side quest that fits the main gameplay really well.
Try also to knock on all of the doors in the game. You might even notice something very cool. Shenmue is really huge and I am sure there are still surprises that people haven’t found. This game is huge.
#10 – Shenmue lets you collect unique SEGA toys
While playing Shenmue you can see the Shenmue Goodies and you can collect them. You can bring them to Shenmue II which is the sequel.
Shenmue was released on December 29, 1999, in Japan, November 8, 2000, in North America, and on December 1, 2000, in Europe. By gathering these goodies your also gathering goodies from 1999-2000 onto your console or modern computer that you use today. Bring them onto Shenmue II which is also remastered.
I will always love Shenmue. It made me play for hours on my Dreamcast.
Now I have it on my Playstation 4 as it is available on Playstation Store. If you are into games that are giving you the freedom to do a lot. Then I really recommend anyone to purchase it. I bought it at a sale. You get both of the games in one package for Playstation 4 which is really good. There are some improvements to the loading time and where you can save while progressing in the game.
I love my Playstation 4, but when I play on it, I do miss the Dreamcast CD-ROM drive sound a lot in the remastered version. The Dreamcast CD-ROM had this unique but warm alike reading sound that made the Shenmue experience something extra. The remastered versions of Shenmue are good. It keeps the Dreamcast fire burning and maybe SEGA will release Dreamcast 2 in the future? .. I hope so! Where will Ryo’s adventure end? Play it. I recommend it a lot.
Where is it possible to buy Shenmue Today?
I don’t earn any clicks on the links above. I just want to help SEGA!