Monday, September 19, 2016

New "Shenmue AM2" Podcast Series

A new podcast series called the Shenmue AM2 Podcast has recently started, with two episodes released so far. The podcast hosts are Andrew Letson and Matt Humphrey (their initials forming the A and M of "AM2"), two Shenmue fans and Kickstarter backers from Canada, who share their memories, opinions and humorous anecdotes about the Shenmue series.

Episodes 1 and 2 in Soundcloud
Episodes 01 and 02 are out now.

In Episode 01, a shorter episode of 25 mins, the guys introduce themselves and talk about the time they first played Shenmue and what it was that drew them to the game. Behind the commentary, selected tunes such as the Bob's Pizza theme play in the background for added atmosphere. I found myself keeping an ear out hopefully for the Tomato Mart song - I wasn't disappointed as it turned up later in the podcast.


Episode 02 is an hour in length, and in it the guys compare notes and observations about the content of the first disk of Shenmue, after having each carried out a fresh play-through (future episodes are to cover a further disk each time, subsequently moving on to Shenmue II).

For example, Matt points out the fact that when it rains in the game, you can see the raindrops actually forming splashes on the ground if you move the camera close enough, another small detail that was advanced for its time. While he also mentions that the back of the ears on the character models seems a bit "wedge-like" and could perhaps have been implemented more naturally.

Rain forming ripples on the ground
Raindrops in the game form little ripples
when they hit the ground.

Fuku-san in the dojo
Don't mind me, Fuku-san.
Just checking the shape of your ears.
As another example of the game's detail, Andrew relates that he was outside the little Dobuita street bakery at the end of the day, and when the owner went inside to shut up the shop he could be seen through the window as he turned off the lights before leaving to go home.

I enjoyed listening to their comments on many of the little things that occur or can be found during the game, as well as the more general observations about the atmosphere and environment. They clearly both share an appreciation for even the smallest touches to be found throughout the game.

These first two podcast episodes were great fun to listen to and they are worth checking out for any Shenmue fan - Matt's voice impressions including Ryo and the town's tipsy "drunkard" from the game are spot on!

The episodes are currently hosted on Soundcloud, and future episodes will also be made available on iTunes. The third episode will be discussing game-play notes from Disk 2.

Update October 11, 2016: the episodes will now be hosted on Libsyn, in addition to iTunes, going forward.

Check them out at these links:

2 comments:

  1. Update: the AM2 podcasts are moving to Libsyn (and iTunes) going forward.
    http://shenmueam2podcast.libsyn.com/

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  2. This is a fantastic podcast. I highly recommend all my Shenmue brothers (and sisters) give it a listen.

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