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Reviews of Shenmue Memorabilia

'What's Shenmue?' Demo

Yu Suzuki in the Ending of 'What's Shenmue?'

This demo was given away in limited quantities with Japanese Dreamcasts and is very sought after by collectors. I do have a copy, but no I won't sell it. The main playable section of the demo, despite being very short-lived (it takes about 10-12 minutes to finish), it is surprisingly addictive to play. Even in this small area, there are still at least 50 NPCs (Non-Player Characters) to talk and interact with! As it's all in Japanese, I can't understand the entire story, but it's something like you are trying to find Yukawa-san, Sega's president, to ask him about Shenmue.

The game has two QTE sequences, like the one where you fight Enoki and co, and the other chasing Yukawa through the streets. Both of these are brilliant, and bode well for the finished articles QTEs.

The demo's highpoint was definitely the ending, though. It shows Yukawa-san in his office with piles of unsold Dreamcasts behind him. He looks up at a Shenmue poster on the wall and just clenches his fist and says "YES!" to himself. Very cool.

Rating: 92%

Shenmue Jukebox CD

This is the CD given away free with Shenmue in Japan. I'm not sure, but I think it is the jazz-style music from the jukebox in the bar later on in the game.

Next to the Orchestral Soundtrack CD, this is a little underwhelming, but as a free CD, it's not bad.

Rating: 75%

The Shenmue Orchestral Soundtrack

The Orchestral Soundtrack

Now normally I don't care about game soundtracks (Sonic Adventure's a possible exception), but this is stunning. The music has a brilliant oriental feel, and is unsurpassed as game music. You simply must have this CD.

You can buy the CD at for $28.99.

Read SegaWeb's review of the CD here.

Rating: 95%

The Shenmue Original Soundtrack

The Original Soundtrack

Although many don't, I like this 2-disc set better than the Orchestral Soundtrack. There is a load of variety in the music, ranging from the oriental/orchestral epic songs of the Orchestral Soundtrack to the J-Pop love song 'Wish...' from the game's motorcycle sequence. This is better than 99% of movie soundtracks and is unequalled among game soundtracks. Only Shenmue Part 2 will be able to equal this.

Not only do you get the soundtrack CDs (with 39 tracks altogether - this might seem quite a lot for a game but the Zelda: Majora's Mask soundtrack has 112 tracks) but you also get a nice booklet with art and lyrics as well as a limited edition piece of cinefilm featuring a cutscene from the game. Mine was of Ryo on the motorcycle.

If you like Shenmue, go to the link below and buy this CD set and the Orchestral Soundtrack. They both feature brilliantly evocative and emotional music.

You can buy the CD at for $35.99.

Rating: 97%

Shenmue II Premiere Guide

Shenmue II Premier Guide

If you can read Japanese and you're a Shenmue fan this book is a must-have. If you're a non-Japanese-speaking Shenmue fan it still makes a nice addition to any collection of Shenmue memorabilia. Inside you'll find a list of all the new features that you'll find in Shenmue II complete with examples taken from the game, character artwork from both Shenmue games, an interview with Yu Suzuki, and guides to the locations in Shenmue. It's all wrapped up in a glossy paperback cover that will look very nice on your bookshelf. Highly recommended.

Rating: 92%