Feeling the Cold Winter of Shenmue

Shenmue Snow Top Cut

Many like to boil Shenmue down to an open-world adventure game. Fundamentally they wouldn’t be wrong, but it undermines the title’s ambition. What makes the game special is not the countless items you can examine, the number of characters or size of the towns. It’s the craftsmanship of the world, its citizens and how the two interact.

Part of what completes Shenmue is its weather system, which can change the atmosphere of the environment. It’s something I would largely overlook if I didn’t have a surreal experience with it.

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Robbing Kirby of his Greatest Asset

Kirby Challenge Missions Power Up Line Up

Kirby has become defined by his ability to copy his foes powers. But what is he without them? They add variety to the gameplay and help differentiate each title. Rideable pets modify abilities in Dream Land 2, Super Star has multiple skills per power up through button combos and The Crystal Shards lets players mix and match to create all new attacks.

However, each game has one common problem linked back to the copy abilities: they trivialize the adventure.

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