Shenmue III hasn't changed much from its Dreamcast-era roots--and it can't reach its full potential as a result.
Its charm ultimately wins out in the end, but the finale is bittersweet. The pieces are set up for something grand but there’s a sense that most of our time was spent putting them into place for a climax that may never come. If it took this long for Shenmue III, why get our hopes up for Shenmue IV?
Shenmue IIII pushes its epic story forward while holding firmly onto dated concepts, game design, and narrative presentation, but it will likely please die-hard fans of the series. Everyone else, meanwhile, might wonder what all the fuss is about.
For better or worse, Shenmue 3 is a blast from the past. It's a beautiful world marred only by its insistence to stay the same.
Rejoining Ryo Hazuki's quest to avenge his father is exciting, but Shenmue 3 feels like a game that has ignored the innovation and progress of the last 20 years of video game development.
A seamless continuation of the series that makes up for its limitations with pure heart. It's like Ryo never left us.
A bewitching time capsule that transports us to late 80s China, and to turn-of-the-century video games.
A magnificent, authentic, totally uncompromised sequel that crucially ignores virtually every gaming trend of the past 18 years.
A literal dream come true for fans and while most others will struggle to understand the appeal it's impossible not to admire Yu Suzuki's vision and tenacity in not only making the game but making it his way.
Exploring small towns is still fun and rewarding until you have to engage in battle and dialogue. Then it falls apart