Have you ever become engulfed in something you love so much you cut off the outside world? That’s what happened to me when I played Shenmue. After reading about the game in the Official Dreamcast Magazine, I was intrigued with how an open world game would work with a powerful system. I tried to rent it, but was out, then decided to buy it to no avail. It wasn’t till months later I learned that my neighbor had the game and I asked if I could borrow it. He agreed, and my weekends were something I will never forget.
Every weekend I spent engrossed with the story of finding Lan Di, while also performing mundane tasks, such as buying food, and helping a little girl find her lost kitty. What made the tasks great is that every NPC has a small story about them if you decided to talk to them. When it was time for me to get a job at the dock, the game prompted me to insert disk two. Immediately, I asked for disk two and to his surprise, I got farther than him, to which I beat the game wanting more. Heck, I even dressed as Ryo Hazuki for Halloween.
I learned that Shenmue II was being made, but wwould not be released in the U.S. until the following year when Microsoft announced that the game would be an Xbox exclusive with new features added in. I was disappointed to learn that my stats would not carry over with it being on a new console. To this day, people are amazed that it wasn’t Master Chief that made me get an Xbox; it was Ryo Hazuki. In hindsight, it’s funny because of the announced (funded) Shenmue III, I have a reason to get a Playstation 4. The Shenmue franchise is the only series I can remember where I bought a system for a specific game because I wanted to see how this long, cliffhanger story ends.