Ryo's quest to track down Lan Di, his father's killer, has lead him to China in Shenmue II. For Sega's ambitious sequel, Ryo will travel to and explore four real locales in China: Aberdeen, Kowloon, Wan Chai and Guilin. He'll also finally come face to face with Ling Sha Hua, the mysterious girl who haunted his dreams in the first game.
From early screens and movies, Shenmue II will feature a lot more people on screen at once. A particularly cool section is when Ryo walks through a crowd of students practicing martial arts in unison. The towns themselves are much more impressive than the slightly small Yokosuka from the first game as well. What little else we know is that Shenmue II will hit sometime in 2001 in Japan (no U.S. date has been announced), and that Ryo will meet three new female companions. We don't know if characters like Chai or Nozomi (Ryo's love interest from the first game) will make an appearance. None of the QTEs or fighting events have been shown, either, but we bet they'll be back.
Download Shenmue II
An almost impossible game to categorize, Shenmue II picks up where the original left off, with Ryo Hazuki chasing his father's killer from Japan to Hong Kong. Those of you who never picked up the original game on the Dreamcast missed out on a different and fun adventure game. But fear not Xbox owners - you can jump into the fray with the second chapter of the series. And don't worry. This game contains a DVD that shows episode one's cut scenes and explains exactly what happened.
But what does the sequel to a now-defunct system's sleeper hit mean to you?
Shenmue II is an involved, revenge-driven adventure where players literally live the life of its protagonist. Players must find food, work for money and sleep as you go through days and nights of investigating and asking many, many citizens questions about Lan Di, the man who killed your father. Of course, what fun would it be if that's all you did (I mean, you can do all this in your real life), so expect to get into martial arts driven fight scenes, arm wrestling matches and other wacky things that we all wish happened more in our normal lives.
Personally, my favorite parts were the action sequences that play like a modern Dragon's Lair. Toward the beginning of the game, Ryo gets his backpack stolen. When he catches up with the thief, a chase scene ensues and players must hit the correct direction or buttons as they flash on the screen in order to dodge obstacles that spring up in order to catch the street urchin. These action scenes happen throughout the game and were always a pleasant diversion when they occurred.
Graphically, the game looks better then most, with incredible depth and intense detail. Some could argue that this is actually a form of alternate reality. In fact, since the game takes place in the mid 80's you can even choose to play some video games from that era (exact replicas) like After Burner and Out Run. The character music is also moderately paced and fits the game's tempo nicely, but the voice acting does suffer from some' err' interesting translations.
Shenmue II is a game that will not fit well with some, but should be checked out by all. It's an uncommon game, but in my opinion, it's a really fun one.