Wednesday, December 30, 2009

You don't look a day over 18, Ryo Hazuki

I know it sounds crazy, but Shenmue protagonist Ryu Hazuki turned 28 yesterday.

I'm not sure which is more disheartening--that Ryu doesn't look a day over 18 or that the Dreamcast's pièce de résistance (that would be Shemue) is a decade old. (It was released in Japan on Dec. 29, 1999.).

I know it's one of those love-it-or-hate-it kind of games, but I've always had a soft spot in my heart for Shenmue. It was my first experience with an "open world" game, and although it didn't quite live up to the hype that preceded its release it's still a stellar example of designer/producer Yu Suzuki's abilities.

For those of you who've never been to Yokosuka (the Japanese city that serves as Shenmue's setting), here's a brief overview (courtesy of YouTube, of course):

Sadly, although I have a Dreamcast, I no longer have a copy of Shenmue. (I stupidly sold it, along with a slew of other games and my original Dreamcast, a few years ago.) Thankfully, there are plenty of copies for sale on eBay these days.


Viewtiful_Justin said...

I've always wanted to buy a dreamcast and a slew of games, just for the chance to say I have one. Chu Chu Rocket was one of the best games ever.

Flex said...

Having never had a dreamcast, what advantages did it have over other consoles at the time?

Bryan Ochalla said...

Fidgy: Actually, the Dreamcast was the first console released after the N64/Saturn/PS1 generation, so for a brief bit of time it was the best of its generation :)

Seriously, though, IMO the Dreamcast was comparable in power to the PS2, though it was capable of better graphics. (Check out games that were released on both systems, like Rez, Space Channel 5 and Virtua Tennis).

Also, it was home to some of Sega's greatest games ever: Chu Chu Rocket, Crazy Taxi, Rez, Space Channel 5, Shenmue 1 and 2 and Virtua Tennis 1 and 2.

I only have a handful of games at the moment, but I keep telling myself I'll buy some more when I have the moolah.

BTW, new Dreamcasts can be had for a fairly low price on eBay these days--about $50, if I'm remembering correctly.

Flex said...

I think my fella would kill me for coming home with another console, the lounge would be packed haha. Still i always feel like I missed out with sega, had a master system that I swapped my mate for, but that's about it.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Oh, I understand that completely, Fidgy :) I'm thankful 'the hubs' doesn't know a game from a hole in the head--that way he never notices when I buy a new game (or system, for that matter).

Anyway, it's kind of funny that the only Sega system you've ever owned is a Master System, as the company's best games appeared on the Genesis/Mega Drive, Saturn and Dreamcast.

I have a hard time deciding which of those systems I liked the most. My gut tells me it was the Saturn, but all three were home to some wonderful games.

Flex said...

Was very much a nintendo child, my first console bring a NES. Maybe one day I hope I'll get to try it out!

Bryan Ochalla said...

I was a Nintendo child, too. First console was a NES, then I got a SNES, of course--oh, and a GameBoy. Eventually I branched out to other systems--I was a real TurboGrafx-16/PC-Engine freak for a while, and a Saturn freak, too--but I've always enjoyed Nintendo systems and games along with them :)