shenmue 1

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Shenmue Chapter 1: Yokosuka

(DC/JP/December 29,1999)

This game had a profound effect on me as a kid. Probably instrumental in making me want to come to Japan, but also really made me think about what games could be. Playing this game now I can definitely see it’s limitations. But even though I can see through it’s simple tricks to give the impression of a large open space, I can still remember how huge and amazing this game felt to me back in 2000. Shenmue evokes some of the strongest feelings of sentimental value to me. Just booting up the game brought a tear to my eye. I remembered starting Shenmue with my dad, going to the gashapon machines in the game, playing Space Harrier at the arcade-within the game itself, and exploring every nook and cranny that this virtual representation of Yokosuka, Japan had to offer. It’s a huge contrast playing this game as an unimaginative 21 year old in a room by myself in Japan rather than my happy go lucky, escapist  7 & 8 year old self sitting at a desk with my family behind me but this game is still hands down one of my favorite games of all time. I will go as far as to say this still holds up today. The controls themselves are awkward but if you can get past that, you are in for an amazing ride way back from 99.

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