Game Review: Shenmue II

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Ryo Hazuki is on his way to Hong Kong. His goal is to avenge his father’s death, who was killed by Lan Di. On his way he learns about the Phoenix Mirror and all its powers. The journy won’t be easy. Along the way some thugs might get in his way. Ryo will only fight if he must, and nothing will get in his way of finding Lan Di.


The controls are very simple. You use the left stick to move around, the left trigger is used to change the view to first person to zoom in on things, while the right trigger allows you to run. The face buttons are used for you to interact with other characters, check on your inventory, and read your notebook. Now when you’re in a fight the controls change. The trigger buttons are then used to make Ryo run, so you can use whichever trigger you like. Then the face buttons can be used to kick, punch, block, and throw opponents across rooms. All simple that make the game more enjoyable.


The game is a port from the Dreamcast, but more detail has been added to improve it. Pretty impressive if you ask me. I mean just look at other games by Sega, including Panzer Dragoon Orta. What a visuals department they have. One thing that blows my mind is the unique character detail. Pretty crazy considering that there are 1000’s of NPC’s (non-playable characters). Enviroments are also quite impressive. Buildings are all different sizes and style. It is not surprising how you can get lost in the city. The cut-scenes are average. Nothing out of this world or anything like that. Considering this is a three year old game ported over, its not bad at all.


The sound is a mix of good, average, and bad. The music is good. In game sounds are average. The voice acting is bad. The music is a mix of old Chinese type stuff in old movies, and rock to give the game a nice balance of music to go well with the game. The in game sounds are decent. You’ll sometimes hear people off in the background and at times you may feel like you’re the only one there. The voice acting is just horrible. Some voices are good, but the rest are just crap. The actors over react and their emotions don’t match the character’s expressions.

Ending Note:

This is a solid game that all Xbox owners should have. It has a compelling story where you can connect with the character and maybe become part of the game. I know that sounds cheesy, but thats the way I feel. Even as a port over from the deceased Dreamcast, it has found a warm home on the Xbox. If you have played the first one you should check out this one. Wouldn’t be a bad idea.

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