Yes, Samba de Amigo requires $80 maraca peripherals that come in a big yellow box with cartoon characters on it. And yes, it's one of those silly music games that are so huge in Japan. But what do they know? They bought more copies of Seaman than Soul Calibur. And you read online that there are some Ricky Martin songs in the game, and there's no way you're ever buying a game featuring the Latin sensation from Menudo.
In that case, developer Tose Software did a superb job of recreating the Gran Turismo effect on Dreamcast. Sega GT plays the same, looks the same and sounds the same as its PlayStation counterpart. Of course, Sega GT is able to take advantage of Dreamcast's superior processing power, so the cars and environments look more realistic and less grainy than they would on PlayStation. Aside from that however, it's hard to believe this game wasn't developed by Polyphony Digital.
The appeal of Sega GT extends beyond any sort of admiration I may have for Gran Turismo, because it is quite the opposite. It would seem that I am one of the two percent of gamers who actually dislike Gran Turismo. I have never been a fan of the silly tests and other hoops that Polyphony Digital forced me to jump through just to gain access to certain cars—especially ones that perform only marginally better than the last one I owned.
According to the ESRB, this game contains: Animated Violence, Comic Mischief
Where Brad and I wholeheartedly agree is in Banjo-Tooie's visuals. These worlds cover serious real estate, and it's no more evident than when standing on a cliff or after taking flight and surveying all that is around you.
So does the final release of Shenmue live up to all the hype of being the most expensive game ever made and deliver Dreamcast owners onto the promised land of gaming bliss? The answer is yes and no. Shenmue is the Bill Clinton of videogames; extremely ambitious, arguably successful, and yet undoubtedly flawed.
Sega seems to have a theme going lately consisting of games which are extremely original and challenging on many levels, yet strangely, they aren't very much fun to play. Seaman was the first game in the recent trend, and Shenmue is definitely another.
With Rare's first 3D attempt at the genre on the Nintendo 64, that was exactly the case. Banjo-Kazooie was released to huge fanfare as Rare successfully produced a game that not only did everything the groundbreaking Super Mario 64 did, but did it better. Heaven achieved.
After more than a year of Nintendo's persistent Pokémon marketing blitz, the fact that Pokémon Gold/Silver had me glued to my Game Boy Color's LCD to the extent that it did is quite amazing. As Chi said in his review, the game is not that much different from Pokémon Red/Blue, but it is such a solid overall game that it picks up where its predecessor left off without much of a hitch.