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Nibellion, also known as Nibel, is the moniker used by a Twitter account that was dedicated to aggregating gaming news, sales, and other related information and pushing it out in a condensed state. The anonymous user behind the account, who notably uses a PFP of anime character Shigeo Kageyama (aka Mob), was also a longtime gaming forum user who helped popularize and fuel NeoGAF and helped found ResetEra as one of the original mod team members.
Nibellion's Twitter account was created in 2012 and immediately started to tweet things related to video games, including gameplay and reviews of bigger topics within the gaming sphere (examples shown below).
On NeoGAF, Nibel was a member since pre-2012 and would often post reviews of games he played, as well as engage in other types of forum culture, such as random shitposting in threads. This ended in 2017 with the transfer from NeoGAF to ResetEra that a lot of power users did, with Nibel's last post on NeoGAF being a long-form review of the game Shenmue II (shown below).
Oct 21, 2017
Before anything happens to this website, I want to leave one final truth on gaming side:
There was a game released on the amazing (but criminally short-lived) Sega Dreamcast called Shenmue. This, to many Sega fans, (myself included,) summed up everything that was great about the system. Sega took huge risks and spent tons of money delivering amazingly ambitious and original gameplay experiences, and Shenmue was easily the best the system had to offer. Never had an action/adventure game brought me so deep into its world. You didn't just "play" Shenmue, you "lived" it. And as corny as that sounds, Shenmue remains beloved by many even to this day.
And well, it's almost hard to believe, but Sega has here created a game that's even better than Shenmue, which I didn't think was humanly possible. But what we have here is a game that takes Shenmue's best qualities and brings them back better than ever, while at the same time improving many of that game's weaknesses. The results, as you can see by my score, are stunning.
Graphics- As you may know, this is a port of a Dreamcast game, (Shenmue II was released in Europe and Japan on the Dreamcast but was blocked from a US release by Microsoft at the last minute as they purchased exclusivity for an Xbox version) and while this is fairly evident throughout, it doesn't stop Shenmue II from being one of the prettier Xbox games around. The Xbox version uses the same basic graphics of the DC version, (there are some improvements, however,) and brings it all here without the large amounts of slowdown and long load times, and they reduced the pop-up. While some would argue that this game doesn't push the Xbox like Shenmue did with the Dreamcast, I'm not complaining. Shenmue II looked great on the Dreamcast, and it looks great here. The city of Hong Kong is brought to life with very vibrant colors. There are many more characters on screen at once than there ever were in Shenmue, and they're even more detailed. Xbox games have since looked better than Shenmue II, but few have shown this much amazing attention to detail. The facial expressions are much more detailed than in the first Shenmue, as well. They improved upon Shenmue in a couple other ways visually; The load times are much less frequent, for one thing, and some areas of the game don't feature loading as you enter or exit stores. This makes exploring a lot more fun. While some detail had to be sacrificed due to the much bigger environments, (nothing in Shenmue II is exactly as detailed as the Yard in the first Shenmue, or some other standout areas,) Shenmue II, like the first one, shows exactly how detailed games can be. Hong Kong, Kowloon, and Guilin are brought to life here in such a huge way that anyone with any interest in Asian culture or cities will love every second of Shenmue II.
There's still some pop-up of non-player characters (NPCs) and the new Xbox version-exclusive Light Bloom effect will leave mixed opinions, but I felt that the "glowing" effect this produced on the lights and characters gives cities at night a very cool look. This Xbox port features dramatically reduced slowdown, pop-in, and somewhat shorter load times. It also includes some fairly useless filter changers and a camera, in which you can take pictures whenever you want. (This can unlock some goodies that Shenmue fans might find interesting, though good luck doing this without a guide.)
Though I can barely even wonder how amazing this game would have looked had it been developed with the Xbox in mind, (rather than being ported) Shenmue II still looks great as is. Even today, there are some moments here where my jaw drops (a scene in Guilin involving an eagle is particularly stunning,) and I can only imagine what a next generation Shenmue could be like, if only it were to get made.
Story; Shenmue II's story is sort of hard to describe. It's a continuation of the first Shenmue, so it picks up with Ryo leaving his home in Yokosuka, Japan and arriving in Hong Kong in search of Lan Di, the man who murdered his father. His only lead is a man named Zhu Yuanda, (he sent Ryo's father the letter that "arrived too late" in Shenmue,) who may know of the secrets of the Phoenix Mirror. Ryo hopes that this evidence will lead him to Lan Di. Finding Zhu Yuanda turns out to be harder than Ryo thought, however; he seems to have disappeared, and his company (The Five Stars Corp,) has vanished. It's rumored that he's hiding from the Chi You Men, who, as Shenmue fans will know, is the group that Lan Di belongs to. The plot twists and turns, leading Ryo deeper and deeper into Hong Kong's widespread criminal underworld as he finds the answers he seeks.
The plot's got some pacing issues occasionally, which is a bit unfortunate. After a great start, the plot sinks back into a pretty forced "fetch quest," of sorts, and it seems to take forever to get to the point. Once it finally does, though, Shenmue II locks into a groove of non-stop excitement and intrigue that never lets up. It moves ahead in a much more focused manner than the sometimes scattered Shenmue 1 storyline. Since we're now far away from Japan, (and therefore, far away from where Ryo's father was murdered, and his lifelong friends,) the storyline in Shenmue II doesn't necessarily hit all the same emotional beats, though there are still some very effective moments in here.
The only real problem I have with Shenmue II's story is that Ryo and the supporting cast this time around, while still very likable, don't get to leave quite as much of an impression as Shenmue 1's, (aside from the likes of Ren, easily the most entertaining character yet, and Shenhua.) Ryo, though he's never exactly been "Mr. Personality," seems even more stiff this time around, and finds himself reduced mostly to one-liners and commands until the last few hours of the game, when he finally gets to show some personality, especially as he reminisces on his childhood.
But then again, I'm starting to feel that Ryo was meant to be this way; that he was given as little personality as possible because in a way, he's….us, the gamers, and his personality is our personality. We decide his actions and who he talks to, etc. etc. etc. As the series progresses, it's seeming more and more likely that this was meant to be the case. Though the supporting cast may not be quite as likable, the cast of villains this time is much improved and the Yellow Head make the Mad Angels from the first game feel like a joke: these are seriously disturbed and very dangerous people. And even though a couple of Yuan and Dou Niu's …erm…quirks, were toned down for the Western releases of the game (look it up,) they're still very entertaining villains to watch. The dialogue, though, takes a rather large step back from Shenmue 1, as it's clear that the translation was significantly lower-budget and rushed.
Small gripes aside, Shenmue II tells a great story with some intense action, great plot turns and advancement, and a sense of urgency and mystery that gets even more interesting as it becomes mystical towards the end. You really don't play a game like Shenmue for a Shakespearean story, which is why the often bad dialogue isn't nearly as big an issue as you'd think. You play it to live in this world and become immersed into another life and in that sense it's extremely successful.
The next paragraph will sound familiar to anyone who may have read my review of Shenmue, since a lot of it's copied-and-pasted from that review. I have updated it accordingly, though.
Gameplay; The core gameplay from Shenmue remains here, but is very much improved. (More on that later.) The Shenmue games essentially get you started on a storyline, and you have to go through this storyline. They put you into a living, breathing world. In Shenmue II, it's the cities of Hong Kong and Kowloon, as well as the mountainous region of Guilin, (all in China.) The time of day is always displayed. As you explore these big and bustling cities, there are many buildings you can enter and people to talk to. As you walk through the streets, you see NPCs (non-playable characters) walking around at all times, going about their own business. You can talk to any of them. You can enter an arcade and play classic Sega games as well as darts and other favorites like the QTE punching game. Money's a very important part of this game, and if you want money, you can either do a part-time job or you can gamble, which includes street fights, gambling houses, Lucky Hit stands, arm wrestling…plenty of options. Oh, also, there are pawn shops too, where you can sell your capsule toys, Zippos, etc. for quick cash.
It rains, it's sunny or cloudy, and day turns to night, with a cool, area-specific scene triggering at around 7:00 PM. This is officially the start of the night scene in the Shenmue series. Stores will turn lights on at this time, and unless it's my imagination, the Quarters with bars and restaurants seem much more populated at night. Shenmue II's world, like that of the first game, is extremely well-developed. Unlike small town of Dobuita from Shenmue 1, Hong Kong doesn't sleep, with most stores open for all hours of the night. So Shenmue II puts you into this living, breathing world. You talk to NPCs, you find out clues, you follow these leads, and you get into some fights. Shenmue II has a great fighting system, improving greatly on that from Shenmue 1. Some fights in Shenmue II provide a big challenge, and while most fights allow you to re-try them, sometimes losing a fight will have consequences, so this adds some urgency to win every fight or QTE that the game will let you win. Some fights towards the end of Shenmue II are INTENSE, but nothing is ever extremely difficult, which is one reason why the Shenmue games are so fun to play. In the first Shenmue, you could get away with doing nothing but mashing the kick or punch button during fights. In Shenmue II, dodging has been vastly improved, and using the dodge button and planning your next move is often very important to winning the fight. Sometimes, you will get in QTEs. QTEs are when during situations, a button (such as A,B,X,Y, or left, down, right, or up, on the d-pad) will appear on the screen quickly, and you must react by pushing the button immediately. Some fights are handled like this. But often, QTEs are for events such as chases. These are also much improved from the first game, often going on for much longer and featuring more fluid animations and cinematic scope. Despite the vast amount of different gameplay styles here, everything's pulled off nearly perfectly.
Like its predecessor, not everyone will like Shenmue II. Those expecting an action-packed game or a fighter will likely be let down. Shenmue II definitely has its share of fights and very thrilling action scenes, (and definitely many more than the first game,) but quite a bit of this journey is spent wandering through towns, making money, asking people questions, and getting clues to continue the storyline and adventure. Basically, just living in this extremely inviting and realistic world. All the important clues that Ryo gets will be written in a notebook, which you can check at any time. This keeps you on track and serves as a great reference point, making it almost impossible to be "stuck" in the game.
The "detective" portions have also been improved over its predecessor; asking arond in town for clues is much easier in Shenmue II than in the original. In Shenmue II, almost any NPC you ask will tell you what you want to know, which definitely speeds up the pace. Another huge improvement makes talking to NPCs much easier: you can now choose what to ask them. When you talk to an NPC, a small menu often comes up asking exactly which lead you will be following up on. For example, need to find that antique store, instead of asking again about the Chaiwan Sign? Well, a menu will come up, asking you exactly which question to ask the NPC. And the "Y" button is used exclusively to ask the NPC about pawnshops, gambling, part-time jobs, etc. And again, almost all of people you talk to are helpful. The amount of time spent "waiting" around for an event to take place is no longer an issue in this sequel, as they've added an optional "wait" feature. This allows you to skip ahead to the promised hour if you choose, rather than waiting around for it to arrive. Gamers who feel this cuts into the game's realism can choose to not make use of the feature, so pretty much everyone wins.
Shenmue II is really all that you would hope for in a sequel. The gameplay engine that the fans loved returns here, but with many improvements that make the game so much faster, as well as a world so huge that it makes Shenmue's impressive world feel unbelievably tiny in comparison. Though there's evident change here, very little of the core gameplay has been altered, so if you liked Shenmue, you will almost definitely like Shenmue II. Newcomers to the series may also find themselves drawn into this world and story, though as you might guess, since this directly continues a previously started storyline, playing through Shenmue before jumping into this sequeI comes highly recommended, especially with its (unfortunately,) very slow start.
Though I feel bad mentioning any flaws in such an amazing game, I might as well throw these in there, because they are certainly minor issues. I already mentioned the slow pacing early on in the game, which isn't helped by the need to make money. Doing jobs, while fun, stops the plot in its tracks, a bit of an issue early on. I also found myself missing the "hidden, time-sensitive" events from the first game, and missed features like the cassette tapes and the cat-caring simulation, etc. etc. etc. I also hated the "plank crossing" mini-game, but these are all just nitpicks. Aside from the slow start and the chore of making money, Shenmue II is almost always as fun as the original, and at many times it's even better. It moves at a much faster pace, the events here are often extremely exciting, and overall we have a much bigger and more epic game. It's the sequel that any video game fan would want for one of their favorite games. Even though it introduces some flaws that weren't present in the original Shenmue, Shenmue II makes up for them by offering a more thrilling and well-put together storyline, along with a bigger world and faster pace once it finally gets going.
Sound; Voice acting is, like the first Shenmue, a complete mixed bag. It's again extremely clear that many NPCs are voiced by the same people, though this can be forgiven, since there are hundreds of them. Among the main characters, Ryo's voice actor from the first game returns, and he once again provides a fitting voice for Ryo, though he sounds a bit bit bored this time around. Eric Kelso, who basically stole the show in the first Shenmue as Gui Zhang and Fuku-san, once again steals the show as the voice of Ren. While not as good as Ren's Japanese voice was, he does a great job. Main characters' voice actors range greatly in quality, with some good and some painfully bad. Acting is all over the map, but anyone who has played the first Shenmue will expect that. Shenmue II is acted better than the first installment, but it's still sub-par, and the actors are working with a cheaper script. Like Shenmue 1, the lip sync is actually much better than average, which once again demonstrates this series's fantastic attention to detail. (As I said in my review for the first game, though, it's too bad that the same attention to detail did not go into the English voice acting and script.)
Yet again, though, I find myself amazed; Shenmue II has the best soundtrack I've heard (to date) in a video game, hands down.Every street (or Quarter, as they're known as here,) now has its own music, and it changes to a slower, more relaxing tune at night. Shenmue II's music is a huge improvement over the first game's music, (which is a big achievement, since the first game had amazing music as well,) and there are quite a few standout tracks. Dragon Street at night is perfect. Worker's Pier at night, Langhuishan, Queen's Street during the day, …all perfect. The music that plays during the cutscene I mentioned earlier, (The one in Guilin with the Eagle,) also perfect. The Thousand White Qr.'s music at night provides the perfect sad, sort of subdued and mysterious tone reminiscent of the 1st game's soundtrack. Music-wise, Shenmue II's got a bit of everything, and it's almost all excellent. There's no aspect where this feels lazy at all, and you can walk into some random jewelry story (which has nothing to do with the story) and be hit with one of the "best songs you've ever heard," and that's what you're in for here. I'm thoroughly convinced that no human being can dislike this game's soundtrack.
The sound effects, although not quite as good as Shenmue's, once again succeed in bringing you into this realistic world they've created. Very well done, totally immersive, and once again gave me chills as I felt like I was traveling through a real city.
Verdict; I said it with the first game, and I'm saying it again; Shenmue II is an amazing game. It improves on Shenmue in many ways; less time is spent asking around town for "where the sailors hang out" and more time is spent on the game's actual plot, and I enjoyed the faster pace. Shenmue II's gameplay improves on Shenmue's in almost every way, and there are a couple of issues, but they almost don't matter much in the scheme of things, because Shenmue II offers up a thrilling adventure and a near-perfect experience unlike any I've ever had in a video game before. Playing a Shenmue game isn't just a "game," it's an experience, and as corny as that sounds, if you try this game and let yourself get absorbed into it, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. It's an amazing sequel to an already amazing game, and it would be great to get to experience a Shenmue III. Hopefully Sega won't forget all about this series and its many fans.
(Note) Anyone who is into ANY GAMES AT ALL should check out the Shenmue series. However, I recommend (highly) playing the original Shenmue first, since Shenmue II is a little harder to get into, and I'd be very surprised to see someone who hasn't played the original Shenmue get past this game's slow first few hours. If you really are interested in the series but don't have a Dreamcast, Shenmue II does have a Digest Movie which is an effective 15 minute video found at the main menu showing important events from the game first game. While this summary is not as effective as playing the 1st game itself, it will make getting into Shenmue II's storyline much easier. Shenmue II also comes with Shenmue: The Movie, which is a 90-minute video of almost every single event from Shenmue. I'd advise you to actually NOT watch this. The Digest Movie gets the job done perfectly of catching you up with the storyline. Shenmue: The Movie will do a good job of putting you to sleep.
(Note 2) Shenmue 2 is playable on the Xbox 360. It's definitely not the ideal way to play the game, as some audio glitches, especially in Wan Chai, leave a negative mark on the game's atmosphere and immersion. If you have absolutely no other option, I guess I'd say go for it, but if you're intent on playing Shenmue 2, I'd easily recommend digging out your old Xbox to play it on its native system instead of going the backwards compatibility route.
After joining ResetEra as an original moderator, Nibel, as well as other former moderators such as ZhugeEX (also known within the gaming news aggregation scene), left the site before its 2021 acquisition by M.O.B.A. Networks, as detailed in a forum post by original moderator Emily on October 14th, 2021 (shown below).
After leaving ResetEra, Nibel started up the gaming journalism information aggregation tweeting, which earned him a spot in the Twitter gaming sphere as a largely trusted source of non-fluff information about anything notable.
2022 Quitting Twitter Announcement
On October 31st, 2022, it was announced via a post on his Patreon page that Nibel would be stepping away from Twitter, a few short months after creating his Patreon page for his brand of news, with it initially being successful before falling back to only being worth roughly $1,000 a month, something that was considered unsustainable for the amount of work he purportedly put in (shown below).
2022 Game Awards Nomination Controversy
On November 14th, 2022, it was announced that as part of The Game Awards, Nibel was included as a nomination for "Content Creator of the Year" next to high-profile individuals such as Ludwig and others, confusing many who only believed Nibel to be a retweet news aggregator and not a content creator (shown below).
 Familboards – They Do It For Free
 Twitter – Game Awards Nomination
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