When Sega's arcade game guru Yu Suzuki used his talents to craft 3D action adventure Shenmue, the results were reassuringly impressive. Now comes the much-awaited sequel, pushing the level of realism even further and depicting the amazing 3D environments with even more detail and a higher degree of interactivity. The result is one of the largest games ever developed for the Dreamcast, combining martial arts, intrigue, and a storyline ripe with drama, emotion and surprises.
As in the original Shenmue, the hero is Ryo Hakuziki, a martial arts expert from Japan determined to avenge the murder of his father and also to unravel the mystery of the fabled Phoenix Mirror. On his journey Ryo encounters a fantastic cast of characters - some must be fought, others can be engaged in conversation, all look great. The environments featured here are really something else, with the action sprawling through Hong Kong, Guilin and Kowlook, the detailed environments as adept at depicting dingy back alleys as Taoist temples in the wilderness. Fans of the original won't need any further encouragement.
Those yet to learn of the addictive powers of Shenmue shouldn't hesitate a moment longer. This is another Yu Suzuki masterpiece.
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