I'm really feeling it!

Nyren's Corner: Shenmue Has Left Me Feeling Empty

I’ve played many great games over the years, but only a handful of times have I ever finished a game, and then suddenly not want to play anything. I don’t even want to replay Shenmue. It’s not voluntary, it’s just this feeling I get when I go to play something, but can’t bring myself to actually play it or commit time to it. Prior to play Shenmue 1 & 2 I was super pumped for Yakuza Kiwami 2 and the update to the Master Chief Collection that makes it playable. I wanted to jump in and spend my one day off working my way through at least one game. But alas, every time I tried to play something, a part of me just felt... empty and uninterested.

I got Yakuza Kiwami 2 in the mail yesterday, and my original plan to spend all day playing it hot off the heels of beating Shenmue II. But when I finally got it and took it out of the packaging... I just stared at it. I set it down on my bed and just stared at it. I made a move to get up and turn on my PS4... but then just sat right back down. It was like there was a haze in my head and I couldn’t think straight. “I really want to play this... or maybe I don’t.” Before I knew it I was just listening to music and watching Youtube videos for hours. And then I tried to play the Master Chief Collection, but I couldn’t finish a single campaign mission, let alone get more than 10 minutes into it before quitting to the menu. The second a friend bugged me to play multiplayer, I shut off my system and turned the TV off. All of my interest was just... gone. And I blame Shenmue.


Prior to this past week, I had never played Shenmue before. I never owned a Dreamcast, I don’t emulate games, and by the time I knew what Shenmue was my OG Xbox was collecting dust in a box and why would I play Shenmue II without playing the first game? But I kept hearing all this good stuff about the game, especially after Shenmue III was announced. My curiosity was piqued and as soon as I could get my hands on the HD collection, I dug right in. I played Shenmue I non-stop for two days though totaling less than 12 hours. And then I dove right into Shenmue II and binged it for two and a half days totaling about 26 hours. It was such a phenomenal experience and when it was all said and done I had that moment where you just sit in silence for a while after it’s over. I then went to bed and woke up yesterday. I had already planned ahead of time to play Yakuza Kiwami 2, but the problems I mentioned above just suddenly cropped up. It’s like nothing is good enough anymore. Even a day later I still have Shenmue on the brain. I want more of it, but I can’t bring myself to replay either game, and Shenmue III is a year away.

It’s a feeling that I’m sure will pass given a few days, but damn does it suck. You just have that experience that’s so great that you just feel like it can’t be topped and it makes you feel empty and apathetic towards pretty much any other game, at least for a little while.

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