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Shenmue’s Open World, 2D vs. 3D, and Why Some Graphics Age Better Than Others (Podcast)

Shenmue handles open worlds differently than most other games. We talk about what makes its gameplay and world so special — why Shenmue 3 is getting so much attention right now.

And speaking of Shenmue, and the recent Bloodstained (by the man who gave us Castlevania: Symphony of the Night), we talked about games whose graphics age better than others. You can listen via the embedded YouTube “video” above, or, you can use Sound Cloud if you prefer that. You can get an MP3 download by clicking that little arrow on the Sound Cloud embed below.

Here’s a time-stamped table of contents:

Episode 6: Easy on the Eyes

0:00 – Intro and quick recaps

2:35 – Dreamcast laser problems (see link below)

4:55 – Castlevania SoTN and Shenmue still look good

5:34 – Shenmue first impressions

8:53 – Shenmue’s gameplay structure: doing detective work

14:00 – What Makes Shenmue’s open world different than other games’ open worlds?

15:43 – NPCs don’t exist to serve the player… kind of like reality

20:04 – Symphony of the Night: Galamoth, Medusa shields, and level design

23:16 – SoTN speedruns and the backdash

27:37 – The artistry of 2D graphics

30:31 – Alucard’s animation frames

34:50 – Graphics vs. aesthetics

38:03 – Good-looking 2D vs. good-looking 3D

43:34 – Using simple techniques to build better environments

45:18 – Tom’s dreadlocks and Ryo’s face

47:06 – Have FF7’s graphics aged well or not?

51:24 – Jet Grind Radio

Thank you for listening!

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