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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A look back: What Cing’s Nintendo adventure games can teach us about innovation
The original article is below.
It’s been almost four years since Cing went out of business. In over a decade of its existence, the company created multiple point-and-click adventure games for Nintendo’s platforms. Being a fan of Hotel Dusk: Room 215 on the Nintendo DS, it was sad to see them go as they finished work on the sequel, Last Window: The Secret of Cape West, which only released in Europe and Japan. I imported Last Window years ago, but have saved it for when it felt right to dive in. I finally sat down and completed in a couple of flights over the holidays, and realized I was more disappointed than I should have been about Cing’s closure.
Obviously it was a shame to those who lost their jobs, and I hope by this point they’ve all found some form of employment. But as much as I enjoyed Last Window, the title did little to broaden their horizons.