The Shenmue 2 Page

Genre: F.R.E.E. / RPG.

Title screenRyo Hazukiís mission to discover more about Lan Di and the mystery of the Phoenix Mirror continues in this awesome sequel to Shenmue. But will he actually confront his new enemy? The game starts right from where you left off in the 1st game, with an awesomely exciting intro leading you into Aberdeen and if youíve started Shenmue 2 from a completed Shenmue saved game, you can transfer over your items, money, and your martial arts training as well. As Ryo arrives, he must search out Yuanda Zhu, and Master Lishao Tao, who will help him on his quest.
At the start of the game, Ryo getís his bag nicked by a bunch of Heavens members, including the kid, Wong, who later becomes friends with Ryo. Unfortunately, they gamble off all your money, so youíll need to make some more in order to do certain things. Itís a good idea then to buy lots of capsule toys, any maps you come across, and the like as soon as you start. Shenmue 2 has quite a few ways to make some dosh, and these include playing the “Lucky Hit” stands, working at them, pawning your items off or working at a place that delivers crates. At times using combinations of these will get you the results you need, depending on whether you need lots of money or just a couple of dollars.
When you start in Aberdeen, youíll meet a hot chickie named Joy, who rides a motorbike, and she helps you out from time to time, and finds you a job, and gets you cheaper accomodation at a hotel. She would have been the ultimate girlfriend, but Ryoís colder than those refreshing soft drinks he guzzles down.
Finding Master Lishao Tao is relatively easy, but getting to see Yuanda Zhu (Zhu Yuan Da) is a different matter all together. He hides out in quite an awkward location, and later you need to rescue him from the Yellow Head Building, and get past the massive Dou Niu, one tough, mean dude with a nasty attitude.
As in the first Shenmue, there are numerous people to talk to, that will help you on your way, and they all go about doing their own thing. One thing thatís changed, is that by zooming in on somebody, you can then follow them around, and see where they go, and people will sometimes offer to take you right to where you need to go, which is handy if youíre having trouble finding it yourself. Another bonus is, that if you have to wait until a particular time to meet somebody, you can simply choose to “Wait” and the time of day will zip past right in front of your eyes until you need to be there. One other thing that has improved, is Ryoís running movement. He can now run at slower speeds than he did in the first game — this can come in very handy, especially when youíre following Yuan.
Shemue 2 also has the added advantage of allowing you to save the game from nearly anywhere, rather than using a “Continue,” as in the first game.
When you reach the end of disc 2, you will then move on to Chapter 3 into Kowloon at the start of disc 3, which has a pretty fine intro, and this takes you closer to Yuanda Zhu and very close to Lan Di.
Disc 4 also begins Chapter 4, and takes you to Guilin, but Iím not going to mention much about that far into the game, as I donít want to spoil it for anyone.
Altar Shop Street.Shenmue 2 is somewhat 3 times as big as the first game, and it certainly shows. The amount of places you can go is extraordinary, as is the amount of things that you can do there. Once again, you can visit the arcades, and once youíve played a game, you can then play it again on disc 4 in the “Collection” section. This time youíll also find Afterburner 2 and my fave, OutRun. The slot-houses will also retain any tokens you had from the first Shenmue, so you can pick up where you were pretty much.
When you reach Kowloon, you can take part in some serious street fighting, which will earn you money if you win. You also get the chance to ride lifts in the many tall buildings, which I reckon is pretty neat. You make the decisions on what floor Ryo goes to, and at one stage of the game you will even need to collect the keys to operate them. Check out the old “nixie tube” numbers inside also, which indicate which floor youíre on.
Towards the end, Shenmue 2 also reveals what the word “Shenmue” is, but of course, Iím not going to say. (Hey, you wouldnít want me to spoil it, would you?)
Graphically speaking, Shenmue 2 is equally as good as the first game, and in some areas itís even better. Take the sky for instance. You may have noticed a bit of pixelation in the 1st game, but now, itís all nice and smooth. Theyíve also added in a nice lens flare effect this time round as well.
Unfortunately thereís no English speech in this game, (except for a tiny bit,) and so youíll need the subtitles on, unless you can understand Japanese. You may be able to pick up on some common phrases in the game, and if you did Japanese at school, like me, it comes in handy for little bits of speech. Hereís some bits I found out:

onegai shimasu / kudasai
Please (as in a request to please do something, not pleasure)
osaki ni doozo
After you
anata ka
You? (You are?)
soo desu ka
Is that so? / I see
arigatoo gozaimasu
Thank you

This is pretty correct, I think. If you have any others, send me some e-mail.
All up, Shenmue 2 is a totally mind blowing experience that youíll certainly want to experience, especially if youíve played the first game. I can ramble on all I like about how good this is, but you really have to experience this yourself. The emotions youíll feel, on many levels, the meticulous attention to detail, the BIG, BIG, environments, and the overall gaming quality that is unsurpassed.
Finding the Dreamcast version of this now is pretty difficult, seeing as it came out so long ago, and if you do find it 2nd hand, be prepared to pay through the nose. If you canít find it now, you can always get it on the XBOX, but you wonít be able to transfer your stuff from Shenmue 1. Shenmue 3 is supposed to be on the board, but goodness knows when thatíll be. Anyway, if youíre a loyal Sega fan who wants to get Shenmue 2 for the Dreamcast, to follow on from the 1st game, you can most likely get it from one of the few places at the bottom of the page (if I still have any listed). Although, Iím having trouble finding decent places that still stock it. Shops in England had this in the bargain bin when I was there in April - July (2002), so it wonít be around much longer!
Yeah this needs updating, but in regards to the XBOX version, I was surprised to see that a few things had actually been removed from the graphics of the game. Have a look at this handy comparison to see what.

NiGHTS capsule toy
Chao & Pian capsule toy
Fangmei Xun
Xiuying Hong
Beverly Hills Wharf
Man Mo Park
Guang Martial Arts School
The Big Ox Building
Fighting ó Ryoís got the brio.
A plane going over
Langhuishan
Green Field

Overall, Shenmue 2 is breathtaking, and is one solid reason why you should have a Dreamcast. The whole thing just plays brilliantly, and despite the gorgeous graphics, itís obvious that the game play was considered the most important factor. A complete work of art. You wonít find much that comes close to this anywhere, so itís well worth looking for.
Once youíve finished the game, be sure to save it, and youíll have unlocked the video of the original Saturn version of Shenmue. It shows you both Shenmue 1 & 2, and itís absolutely stunning to see the Saturn cracking this off. Some of the early Dreamcast games didnít even look this good! Naturally some of the detail isnít as high as the Dreamcast version, but itís still obviously the same game.
Also, keep your eyes peeled for Shenmue The Movie — based on the story of Shenmue 1.
Lastly, owners of the American version of Shenmue 1 might want to keep their eyes peeled on the Internet for a program that converts the save file to a PAL version for use with the European version of Shenmue 2.

Graphics: Sensational. The Shenmue series are the games Yu Suzuki said wouldnít even run on the PlayStation 2 because of the lush use of textures, and as such, Shenmue 2 is totally realistic, and very yummy to look at. Twinkling dew on the trees, reflective mirrors, floors and water, amazing coloured lighting, light rays, lens flares, coronas, nice big textures and some highly detailed 3D geometry makes this jawdropping to the extreme. Possibly the best looking game there is and ever will be on the Dreamcast. Top notch! 99%
Animation: Pretty smooth all round, but again, like the 1st game it gets a bit jerky when thereís lots of detail. But it certainly doesnít become unplayable. Plenty of action surrounds Ryo as well, such as the people, birds, movement on the water and the little butterflies, etc. 89%
Sound:
Well, no English speech this time round, (except for a puny bit on a cassette Ryo listens to,) but other than that, the Japanese speech is top quality, and the music excels once again. 92%
Playability:
The controls are easy to use, and Ryo is very responsive. Some of the QTE stuff can be quite tricky, especially the ones that require multiple button presses quickly. This is pure joy. (Oh, no pun intended either.) 95%
Lastability:
The storyline just begs you to come back over and over to find out whatís going to happen next. Thereís so much to explore, and so many people to talk to! Excellent! 95%
Overall:
An excellent, and somewhat improved sequel to the original. Damn, itís good! Shenmue is the most expensive video game to date, according to the Guiness Book Of Records, and cost over $20 000 000 (American) (£12 000 000) or so to produce. It certainly shows. Shenmue 2 has once again showed just how great Sega gaming is. It will envelop you in a world you just wonít want to get out of! This is a masterpiece that every Dreamcast owner should have! I canít stress that enough! Plus if you donít have a Dreamcast, then the 2 Shenmue games should make you think otherwise! 98%

Where to find yummy effects, like reflections & other stuff:
To find reflective mirrors, go into the barber shops around Three Blades Street, while youíre on disc 1 or 2.
Also, try the Beautiful Country China Shop, if you find it. (Disc 1 or 2.)
The Big Ox Building, on disc 3 (as seen in the pictures above) has a spiffy looking floor.
In the Yellow Head Building, youíll see some cool flickering fluorescent lights.

Johnís Tips & Interesting Locations

ē Practise your QTE skills with my QTE Challenge fan game:
ē When youíre told you need $500 to meet Ren, itís time to get gambling! Rather than bust your back lifting those damn crates with Delin for 10 zillion hours, consider instead maybe doing it once, and if you still donít have over $100, try racking it up on the Lucky Hit stands with a part time job. After that go to the warehouses, and try your luck placing a $100 bet on Chow at the Big Or Small games. Thereís 2 places that have this, I think, that have an 8 to 1 pay out (could be another one there somewhere too), and if youíre lucky, this will rack your money up quick smart. When I was playing, I had $132, and after that game, I was up to $832. While I figured that that was enough to go and pay Ren, I decided instead to go to Warehouse 10 (is that right?) where you can make the $500 bet. One place offers Wai Sik, and thatís a 30 to 1 pay out, but itís not so easy to get. So I went for Chow again, and this paid me out $4000, giving me a total of $4332. Much more than what I came to Hong Kong with, and enough to carry me through into those fighting areas you need to pay for in Kowloon on disc 3. Once you get to Kowloon, you may happen to find a place that accepts a $1000 bet. Wai Sik anyone?
ē Be careful when youíre taking on that funky Jamaican style dude with the darts. The 1st 2 rounds, heís pretty bad, but challenge him to the big money on round 3, and heís a dead set pro, hitting the bullís-eye the majority of the time. Beating the Darts Snob is pretty tricky also. Simply stay calm, ignore anything he says, and concentrate on that bullís-eye! If you can do better than 519.0592 points, youíve beaten me also.
ē When you need to go up the, uh, Ghost Hall Building, to see Yuanda Zhu, you can take the lift in the Thousand White Building, or whatever itís called, up to the 6th floor, and then cross over to the Ghost Hall Building from there. This saves you about 1 section of plank crossing.
ē In room A-1 205 on the 2nd floor of the Dimsum building, (I fink,) youíll find a cute little doggie thing.
ē If you keep playing the cassette from when the counterís at 651, you can hear a bonus bit of Gui Zhang from Shenmue 1 and Joy chatting.
ē On the 6th floor of the Dancing Dragon Building there are some neat Mahjong gambling places. Unfortunately theyíre just for show, but worth having a look at.
ē On the 6th floor of the Moon Child building youíll find some dentists. Some of them may even offer to look at Ryoís teeth. Of course he doesnít have time though.
ē The Thousand White Building has some neat places. On the 3rd floor youíll find the convent, where Ryo wakes up to find Xiuying after he gets beaten up by Dou Niu and his gang. You can also enter on the 4th floor to overlook the room. On the 6th floor is Tiger Gate Kung Fu, on level 8 is the Bronze Room for gambling, level 10 is the Silver Room and on the 12th storey is the Dural Room.
ē One great site to pick up more tips is Shenmue Dojo. Look out for information on the hidden duck race, Fangmeiís birthday and heaps of other not so well known goodies.