Review

Shenmue 3 Review - From A Forgotten Time

  • First Released Nov 19, 2019
    released
  • PS4

Be careful what you wish for.

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Shenmue III is an anomaly, a game that feels like it doesn't really exist. It's as though it was beamed here from a parallel universe where the Dreamcast was an ongoing success and early-aughts game design remained the norm decades later. The truth is much more banal, of course: It's the result of a (sometimes rocky) crowdfunding campaign and the hopes and dreams of a fervent fanbase. Unfortunately, while it's fascinating as a weird curiosity from a long-gone era of gaming, it's simply not that fun to actually play.

Shenmue III picks up right where the last game left off--as though 18 years haven't passed since players wrapped up Ryo Hazuki's last adventure--resolving Shenmue II's cliffhanger in a way that's surprisingly unexciting after such a long stretch. Once that's over with, Shenmue III's story revolves around a small martial-arts village in the middle of China (and later, a larger harbor town), as he investigates various happenings, interacts with the populace, and engages in time-wasting activities like mini-games, gambling, scrounging for herbs, and levelling up his fighting skills. In other words, it's Shenmue.

In terms of setting, Shenmue III succeeds quite admirably in making the world pleasant to be in. There are some gorgeous vistas both in and outside of Bailu village, making the day-to-day strolls warm and inviting. The village itself is a charming setting, too; it's filled with interesting landmarks that give it character, like a massive sunflower garden and a small collection of gambling facilities on the riverbed. Niaowu, the port city where the game's latter half takes place, also feels like a real and engaging place, with the massive variety of shops you'd expect from a trading city on the water. The characters who live in these places also give them a nice flavor; NPCs all look distinct, have individual quirks and personalities, and are easy to recognize--which is nice when you have to find and talk to specific people in the absence of quest markers.

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Shenmue III retains a lot of old favorite activities from previous titles--collecting capsule toys, gambling with games like Lucky Hit and turtle races, simple arcade mini-games like whack-a-mole, and the all-important Shenmue staple of forklifting--while also introducing a handful of new activities. You can wander around the countryside looking for herbs, selling and trading sets for money and valuable scrolls that teach Ryo new attacks, or you can kill a few hours fishing and hope your day's catch will net you some money and a cool prize. If you need some fast cash, you can do manual labor and chop wood in a brief minigame. And if self-improvement is your goal, there's always spots to train and raise your martial arts proficiency.

Exploring all of the side activities and enjoying the atmosphere of the locations in Shenmue III is fun, but it highlights one of the game's biggest problems: How utterly boring and unengaging the main story is. Ryo is still a dull-as-dishwater character who we're told is motivated by a sense of vengeance and justice, but his wooden dialogue and complete lack of a personality totally undermine any sense of urgency or intrigue this ongoing martial-arts drama might have. It doesn't help that the main plot moves like molasses, often requiring repeated, tedious wandering and interaction to find the character or place you need to get a tiny sliver of information that moves the plot along ever-so-slightly and unnaturally gating you off from places.

For example, It takes hours to find a pair of thugs at the game's beginning that you probably could have chased down in minutes if you were allowed to enter the area they're in from the get-go. Usually games gate off areas in order to better pace out the narrative they're trying to tell, but nothing interesting happens in the hours between the game's beginning and the confrontation with the thugs. I found myself frequently opting to do everything except what I needed to do to advance the story, not because the mini-games were particularly amazing (though they are quite satisfying), but simply because the story itself was so unengaging that I preferred to spend my time doing practically anything else instead of moving it along.

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It's not just the pacing of Shenmue III that's a holdover from the Dreamcast era, either. There's all sorts of mechanics that, seen through a modern lens, are downright nonsensical and only serve to make the game less fun. For example, there's the stamina system: Ryo has a stamina bar that continuously drains even if he does so much as stands around, falling significantly faster if you choose to do activities like training, working, or even just running to get to a place more quickly (since fast travel is limited). Ryo needs to eat constantly in order to refill it throughout the day, and woe be to you if you stumble into a fight with less-than-ideal stamina, since it doubles as your life bar. In a game where exploration is a focus, it's a baffling mechanic that only frustrates.

Then there's the dialogue, which is every bit as unnatural and awkward as it was in previous games. If for some reason you find yourself in a conversation you didn't want to be in, you can't just cancel or even button-mash out of it--you're going to have to listen to someone babble on until Ryo clumsily apologizes for bothering them and escapes. Since you're often in situations where you have to bother everyone you see to find a person with the info you need, you're going to hear a lot of pointless blather. While there are some fun characters with cute personality quirks that are entertaining to engage with, a lot of the dialogue seems like banal filler meant to make conversation seem substantial when it really isn't.

No Caption Provided

The worst element of Shenmue, however, continues to be the combat, which is every bit as clunky and unsatisfying as it was back in the Dreamcast days. You're forced into an awkward angle where it's hard to see everything around you (which is awful when you have more than one opponent), the button combinations needed to perform various skills don't flow together well, and it simply feels laggy and unresponsive as a whole. You can "cheat" somewhat and simply do training exercises to level up your strength and stamina if you want to struggle a bit less with fighting, but it still doesn't serve to make the combat itself any more fun.

Shenmue III has its moments. It delivers on the promise of creating interesting and engaging new environments for Ryo and friends to explore and play around in. Yet, I can't help but think that the game's dogged determination to retain the same "feel" of its Dreamcast ancestors at any cost hurts it immensely. The creative team seems determined to not move anything forward substantially when it comes to Shenmue--including the story, which ends on yet another unfinished cliffhanger. Shenmue III is certainly an interesting game thrown out of time, but that doesn't mean that it's always enjoyable to play.

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The Good
Lots of entertaining activities to partake in outside of the central story
Individual NPC personality quirks and charming environmental elements make the settings feel alive
The Bad
Personality-free main character and incredibly slow-paced story
Anachronistic gameplay that's frequently more annoying than charming
Archaic-feeling 3D combat is simply not good
5
Mediocre
About GameSpot's Reviews

About the Author

Some people say that the best part of the original Shenmue was the arcade, but Heidi knows that it was all about that good kitten. And the Virtua Fighter toys. She spent about 40 hours playing through Shenmue III on the game's recommended difficulty setting. Review code was provided by the publisher.
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NipseyTussel

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Heidi Kemps goes by the moniker "Zero Chan" on virtuafighter.com and at VF tournaments. This is her freaking out at EVO 2012 after getting destroyed in VF5. Lol . https://youtu.be/GocR6V1xj-A

Take her review of Shenmue with a grain of salt. She gave Yakuza Kiwami a 7.9 in her Gamespot review. She clearly has no taste in games.

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pillarrocks

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I been playing Shenmue 3 and I really like it alot. Only negatives are having to eat food to train and fight someone and the controls for fighting being different than the previous two games. It's truly a game made for the fans.

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SystemOverload

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The retail price is $59.99? Really?

Also the developer spent many many months creating the game increasing overhead cost, negative dollars...

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Foxhound1982

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Somehow i knew the (extrememly late) arrival of this game wouldn't be relevant in the modern gaming era. I loved the first Shenmue. I actually gave up on the sequel when i got sick of the daily grind of shifting pallets on a forklift. I play games to escape the grind of the 9-5 life of a working man. I didnt want to come home from work and then play what amounted to a "working class misery simulator".

At the time there was genuine sadness when it was revealed the Shenmue story was being cut short. Back then we all wanted the final part of the trilogy. But they kept us waiting too long, and we moved on. Sad really, as i have such fond memories of the first Shenmue on Dreamcast. I especially loved collecting the little toys from the coin machines scattered around!

Ill always smile when i recall the old "Did you see a black car, the night of the incident"...!!!

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Oemenia

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Should have been Miguel Concepcion reviewing this. He would given it a couple of points higher...

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angrycreep

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I thought it was 7.0

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Gr4h4m833zy

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Edited By Gr4h4m833zy

@angrycreep: so its not so bad after all huh? How's the combat?

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Grampy_Bone

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It's a fair review. Shenmue died for a reason.

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Mraou

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"Personality-free main character" ... Must have played the game with shitty English dub. Masaya Matsukaze does a much better job at voice acting Ryo than Corey Marshall.

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vgmkyle

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I don't think Heidi Kemps even got out of Bailu. Look at the pictures. You never see Niaowu or hear of it.

And her take on the gameplay is HILARIOUS! She doesn't like... the angle? I mean can I get a piece of proof to what that is? And how about the "lag" lol it's called plus and negative frames. Learn more about games and stop pumping reviews out like the holiday season has you busy.... cause this review doesn't explain anything!

I like how she takes a shot at Ryo's personality too. He is supposed to be "wooden" because he only has one thing on his mind. Everyone else is phased out.

I left gamespot years ago, and I'm glad to see nothing has changed. These people don't finish their games and put a score up anyway.

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aiat_gamer

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@vgmkyle: "I left gamespot years ago,"

And somehow you have posts dating back to March this year...! It is actually adorable how people visit the website to post about how they are not visiting the website.

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JustPlainLucas

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@vgmkyle said:

I don't think Heidi Kemps even got out of Bailu. Look at the pictures. You never see Niaowu or hear of it.

And her take on the gameplay is HILARIOUS! She doesn't like... the angle? I mean can I get a piece of proof to what that is? And how about the "lag" lol it's called plus and negative frames. Learn more about games and stop pumping reviews out like the holiday season has you busy.... cause this review doesn't explain anything!

I like how she takes a shot at Ryo's personality too. He is supposed to be "wooden" because he only has one thing on his mind. Everyone else is phased out.

I left gamespot years ago, and I'm glad to see nothing has changed. These people don't finish their games and put a score up anyway.

Yup, you're clearly biased.

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vgmkyle

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@JustPlainLucas: No. You are. You worked for this site right? Now you are defending a poorly written review because Shenmue players are not just going to stand idle.

I think she made a big mistake taking shots at Ryo's character. He was written this way on purpose because revenge has consumed him and his relationships with other people do not matter much to him, but he remains polite.

Poor poor analysis for the character.

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JustPlainLucas

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@vgmkyle said:

@JustPlainLucas: No. You are. You worked for this site right? Now you are defending a poorly written review because Shenmue players are not just going to stand idle.

I think she made a big mistake taking shots at Ryo's character. He was written this way on purpose because revenge has consumed him and his relationships with other people do not matter much to him, but he remains polite.

Poor poor analysis for the character.

No, I was an unpaid moderator not even for a couple years, and that was at least 10 years ago. I have no stake in GS's editorial staff, because I don't even know any of them anymore. Now, I'm a Shenmue player myself, but just because I am, that doesn't mean I'm going to automatically shower praise on the game. Bad is bad. Ex: The Room.

As for her analysis of the character, I remember Ryo being wooden before his dad was killed. He's just never been a character who expresses emotions well. But, it's something to be said that the NPCs of this game seem to be more full of life than the past games, yet, he and especially Shenhua are just as bland as they ever were. Also, so much detail was put into making the environments look great, but if all Yu Suzuki cared about was nostalgia, why did he bother improving the graphics at all? He could have just reused Xbox assets.

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TJT_Link

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@JustPlainLucas: Ryo's dad dies at the beginning of the first game so how would you know if he was wooden before his dad dies. I Smell BS just like the review

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JustPlainLucas

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@TJT_Link said:

@JustPlainLucas: Ryo's dad dies at the beginning of the first game so how would you know if he was wooden before his dad dies. I Smell BS just like the review

Yes, he dies early on, but while he was still alive, Ryo was still as stiff and emotionless as he is now.

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vgmkyle

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Edited By vgmkyle

@TJT_Link: If it's not a blockbuster or a hipster Indy Gamespot will review it poorly. Look at their review for Death Stranding.

Let's not forget that DS story also moves like molasses and is boring as hell and has little to no mechanics... But it's a blockbuster so it gets an easy A.

This website hasn't had a good review for yeeeears. Poor internship production value. They bank on cnets money and that's it but they've always had it out for this series.

Then again fans have kept it alive despite critics not understanding it. Proof that critics don't matter as much as they think they do.

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JustPlainLucas

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@vgmkyle said:

@TJT_Link: If it's not a blockbuster or a hipster Indy Gamespot will review it poorly. Look at their review for Death Stranding.

Let's not forget that DS story also moves like molasses and is boring as hell and has little to no mechanics... But it's a blockbuster so it gets an easy A.

This website hasn't had a good review for yeeeears. Poor internship production value. They bank on cnets money and that's it but they've always had it out for this series.

Then again fans have kept it alive despite critics not understanding it. Proof that critics don't matter as much as they think they do.

A LOT of review sites have praised DS, so it's not just GS that gave it a higher score than most would like. And no, not just any blockbuster will get a pass. For example, both Gears of War 4 and 5 got a 7, and Judgement got a 7.5.

Then, you talk about how this site has always had it in for the franchise... Well, the first game got a 7.8 (which would be an 8 by today's standards) and the second game got an 8.7 (which would be a 9 by today's standards). I'm done being nice, so now you need to shut the hell up.

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sad_wolf776

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Only 40 hours!!! That means she barely saw anything. I think that her review doesn't match up with the score at all and I'm trying to figure out why she is wasting time comparing Shenmue to modern games instead of actually reviewing it for what it is.

I truly doubt this person played the previous games or actually sat down with this one in patience. I've already played waaaaaay more than 40 hours and still have tons of game left. So you know that she missed content in the game that was never observed or reviewed.

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JustPlainLucas

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@sad_wolf776 said:

Only 40 hours!!! That means she barely saw anything. I think that her review doesn't match up with the score at all and I'm trying to figure out why she is wasting time comparing Shenmue to modern games instead of actually reviewing it for what it is.

I truly doubt this person played the previous games or actually sat down with this one in patience. I've already played waaaaaay more than 40 hours and still have tons of game left. So you know that she missed content in the game that was never observed or reviewed.

I read a review from someone who beat it somewhere over 20 hours. I did a Google search and the average length is around 18-25 hours. Sounds to me she put more than her fair share of time into the game.

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vgmkyle

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Edited By vgmkyle

@JustPlainLucas: if you rush through it and miss quests. No actual proof she got passed Bailu based on her rushed review.

All she did was prove that she didn't play it how it was supposed to be played.

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JustPlainLucas

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@vgmkyle said:

@JustPlainLucas: if you rush through it and miss quests. No actual proof she got passed Bailu based on her rushed review.

All she did was prove that she didn't play it how it was supposed to be played.

You don't need to play every quest to understand a game enough for the review. Shenmue's quests aren't exactly that thrilling or rewarding as it is. Stop trying to discredit this review and move on.

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sladakrobot

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This game needed 2 reviewers to cover both sides of audience.
Like 8/10 for fans,5/10 for every average Joe...imo

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SolidGame_basic

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I guess if you want to rate a game purely on comparing it to today’s games, and not take into account the game‘s intended purpose, then yea, it’s mediocre. But we all know this game was for the fans. The originals had awkward dialogue too but the fans loved that. The originals were also not like other games of the time either, but the fans enjoyed its unique style, even if that meant running around and asking the same questions over and over again. Again, even for that time, that was considered boring by mainstream games. Shenmue 3 does a great job of capturing the originals and that to me is what it was supposed to do.

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googleli

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Back in the days people were comparing Shenmue with Final Fantasy - I was like LOL. Look who's the boss now after all these years. Shenmue was a hyped game to begin with and now this is just a joke.

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Edited By Mraou

@googleli: But Final Fantasy has been awful since XII, though (and even that game's MMO style was bad). XIII was garbage; XV wasn't even a true FF game, but a XIII spin-off. And VII Remake is an episodic action game, but the 1997 original will always be more loved than it.

At least Shenmue has stayed true to itself and its fans, regardless of whether the mainstream likes it or not. Whereas Final Fantasy hasn't stayed true to its origins; it has tried to placate a mainstream audience, which has resulted in the franchise completely losing touch with its original fanbase.

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googleli

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You haven‘t played FFXIV? Best FF since 6, whether MMO or single player - yes, better than the original 7, and probably the “Most FF” FF of all time.

@Mraou said:

@googleli: But Final Fantasy has been awful since XII, though (and even that game's MMO style was bad). XIII was garbage; XV wasn't even a true FF game, but a XIII spin-off. And VII Remake is an episodic action game, but the 1997 original will always be more loved than it.

At least Shenmue has stayed true to itself and its fans, regardless of whether the mainstream likes it or not. Whereas Final Fantasy hasn't stayed true to its origins; it has tried to placate a mainstream audience, which has resulted in the franchise completely losing touch with its original fanbase.

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Mraou

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@googleli: I have, and you're insane if you think it compares to single player Final Fantasy. Also that game had a botched launch, which lasted for almost a year, where it wasn't even anything like the game it is today.

Bravely Default/Octopath Traveler/Persona 5/Dragon Quest XI are the direction where Final Fantasy should have gone, if it had, then it would have stayed true to its roots, while being great games at the same time. Instead, it's all gone MMO and Action RPG.

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The voice acting and the entire structure of the game were meant to emulate the originals as much as possible and evoke a sense of nostalgia. That's why it's the way it is. What this reviewer ignores is that Shenmue 3 was made for the fans, not for modern gamers in 2019. If you're going to judge the game, you have to judge it by both standards at least to be fair, not simply writing it off because it does not conform to the modern era. That's why the user rating is considerably higher than the mainstream critic rating, both here and on Metacritic (for the PS4). Fans and users, in general, understand the distinction and context, whereas mainstream reviewers, it seems, expect or require a more updated experience to allow for a higher rating.

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Icarian

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@Slinqy: we're almost in 2020 now. Games should always be reviewed based on current standards. There's no excuse for bad gameplay and controls, and no reason not to update them.

Also reviews are not made for fans but for general public, fans will buy the game no matter what.

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vgmkyle

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@Icarian: I want to know what's wrong with the controls and gameplay who cares what year we are in? This is coming from the same site that thinks Death Stranding is amazing when it's "modern" but has absolutely nothing for gameplay.

So who cares if it's not a blockbuster game? The least she could do is her job and finish it before slapping a score on the product.

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JustPlainLucas

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@Slinqy said:

The voice acting and the entire structure of the game were meant to emulate the originals as much as possible and evoke a sense of nostalgia. That's why it's the way it is. What this reviewer ignores is that Shenmue 3 was made for the fans, not for modern gamers in 2019. If you're going to judge the game, you have to judge it by both standards at least to be fair, not simply writing it off because it does not conform to the modern era. That's why the user rating is considerably higher than the mainstream critic rating, both here and on Metacritic (for the PS4). Fans and users, in general, understand the distinction and context, whereas mainstream reviewers, it seems, expect or require a more updated experience to allow for a higher rating.

I'm a fan. I wanted a better game. I didn't get a better game. I'm not buying this whole "it's bad for the sake of nostalgia" excuse. What did Yu Suzuki do with all those millions of dollars? The game should have been improved in at least a few areas.

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vgmkyle

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@JustPlainLucas: It wasn't an excuse it was specifically said prior. I'm glad that it's modern and feels like an old game. I've experienced "modern" this year with other games and it wasn't good at all. I've played the gameplay extensively and I can confirm that there is "no lag" and no "incorrect angle" just a critic that didn't know what she was talking about and put little to no effort into her review.

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JustPlainLucas

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@vgmkyle said:

@JustPlainLucas: It wasn't an excuse it was specifically said prior. I'm glad that it's modern and feels like an old game. I've experienced "modern" this year with other games and it wasn't good at all. I've played the gameplay extensively and I can confirm that there is "no lag" and no "incorrect angle" just a critic that didn't know what she was talking about and put little to no effort into her review.

Maybe it's not an excuse per se, but it was a terrible decision at worst and a missed opportunity at best to keep the game antiquated. I've also experienced modern games and to hear you say "it wasn't good at all" suggest to me you're quite happy being stuck in the past. I've experienced the lag myself, so it does exist. If it doesn't bother you to the point where you simply don't notice it, more power to you, but your bias of the game is making you dismiss this review. It's fine if you disagree with it, but to say she doesn't know what she's talking about just further illustrates your bias. As someone who played the originals and is currently playing the third, I'd say she's pretty spot on.

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Zander80

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@Slinqy: I'm a huge Shemue fan and I agree with the review. I can't go back and play the original games anymore because they're so outdated. Designing the long awaited third installment to be just like a 20 year old game does no one a service.

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Gr4h4m833zy

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I love all 3 of the shenmue's. But i also love days gone and death stranding so i dont know. Everyone else hates those games.

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Edited By gotrekfabian

I'm getting the sense that this is yet another GameSpot Click-bait review score. By reviewing the game unfavourably viewers bicker, resulting in back and forth comments to each other and GS gets their extra traffic.

It seems that the reviewer wouldn't have liked the original game when it was released. Sure, not every game is for every person but impartiality has to out when reviewing professionally and this just doesn't coincide with the general consensus of opinion.

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xantufrog

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@gotrekfabian: "impartiality has to out when reviewing professionally and this just doesn't coincide with the general consensus of opinion."

TBH, I disagree. I'm a big Shenmue fan, but I think the positive "general consensus" you describe is coming from existing fans of the series (like me, and it sounds like you). These games, without a major facelift, won't satisfy a broad audience and probably warrant a "mediocre" for your average joe.

I wonder if giving it a better score would, in fact, be the opposite of "impartiality" since these games are riddled with quirks and some objective issues that would make someone who doesn't have an existing attachment to Ryo go "...what is this...?".

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vgmkyle

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@xantufrog: How is her review on the gameplay professional? How is this even a professional review? It sounds to me like she didn't get it all and played the first 25% of the game.

No pictures in Niaowu... only Bailu. Kinda suspect if you ask me.

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gotrekfabian

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@xantufrog: I totally understand your stance here and that Shenmue 3 is more for the fans of previous games but I feel that should be taken into consideration. Sure, this game isn't for those who want all out action gaming, immediate rewards or high-end graphics and, to that end, wouldn't it have been better to have someone who has played the previous games review this?

You could argue that fans simply need to add on a couple of points to the review score but I still don't think that would take the review to where it should be. It is what it is but it doesn't seem like an objective review of what this game is to me.

GameSpot reviews have been all over the place for the last few years and it's about time we saw change. GS desperately needs a new Kevin Van Ord (for example), someone who could bring both passion for their hobby as well as a balanced opinion. Using random freelance journalists really isnt working.

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jcwainc

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once again gamespot is out of touch. yes this game is made for a older generation. its not yakuza its not fallen order. its a continuing story of a franchise in the 2000's and kept the gampplay that made it famous. any ways your entitled to your opinion and your review but your wrong from my point of view.

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ZmanBarzel

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@jcwainc: That's great, but it's a mass release in 2019. Yu Suzuki and 505 Games aren't selling it exclusively via mail-order to the Official Shenmue Fan Club, and are charging people a mere $60.

Oh well. Thankfully it's out, and its tanking will put the final nail in the Shenmue coffin.

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NoobFLProducer

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@zmanbarzel: Yea, ok mate.

100

  • DIGITALLY DOWNLOADED

9+

  • 90 - IGN Japan
  • 95 - Niche Gamer
  • 90 - Slant Magazine

8+

  • 85 - DualShockers
  • 85 - Gaming Trend
  • 85 - PSX-Sense.nl
  • 83 - 4players.de
  • 80 - DarkStation
  • 80 - The Guardian
  • 80 - Gamesradar
  • 80 - Videogamer
  • 80 - Game Revolution
  • 80 - LaPS4
  • 80 - Hobby Consolas
  • 80 - Twinfinite
  • 80 - VGC
  • 80 - PlayStation Universe
  • 80 - Wfftech

    Seems good enough to me and it's the highest rated game in GAME, uk as well as the best sold game in CEX.

    So GTFO ya toffie nosed twat. Yu the creator already said he plans to do a 4th with or without new generation of gamers.

    He already said on reddit that he already has the funding for a 4th but it would be better if a newer audience will like it and easier but then he says but it's all down to who i can secure meaning who he can get behind to release a 4th.

    so he's not even worried about the money, in the credits he says a 4th one will be made and he will never give up on his own personal dream.

    so stfu you'll see shenmue 4 be announced at e3 in 20121 you just watch.
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Gelugon_baat

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Yeesh. No shortage of cherry-pickers, huh? Seen so many of these over the years.

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aiat_gamer

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@noobflproducer: Yeah I can go in and gather all the low scores for this game as well and make the same point in the opposite direction. Also, you like the game, the fourth one is being made, why are you here being all childish and throwing insults? Do you need everyone else to validate your opinion?

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ZmanBarzel

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@noobflproducer: Great. Best of luck getting the funding.

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JSprunk

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I'd say a score of 5 is perfect for this game. I thought part of the original attraction to the Shenmue series was that it was kind of like watching a crappy Lifetime movie.

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Articuno76

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Edited By Articuno76

I take issue with criticising the game for being archaic or anachronistic without substantiating the criticism. What, exactly, are we talking about here? Which aspects?

I ask because outside of the way the presentation is constructed, there's very little in Shenmue 3 that was superseded by superior systems. In anything the industry changed as a matter of trend. Case in point: most of the things Shenmue 3 does that don't align with modern games were never standard to its age anyway, because the only game that played like Shenmue 1 and 2... were Shenmue 1 and 2.

In my mind, that makes these elements characteristics of the series (that happened to start long ago), but it's not the same thing as being outdated in and of itself.

It would be like, for example, calling turn-based games outdated if turn-based systems had been left by the wayside, while completely ignoring whether the game plays to the strengths of a turn-based system (and surely how well it does that is what should be evaluated).

Shenmue 3 has its faults (which this review touches on), but there's a difference between being genuinely outdated, and not following a trend.

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JustPlainLucas

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@Articuno76 said:

I take issue with criticising the game for being archaic or anachronistic without substantiating the criticism. What, exactly, are we talking about here? Which aspects?

I ask because outside of the way the presentation is constructed, there's very little in Shenmue 3 that was superseded by superior systems. In anything the industry changed as a matter of trend. Case in point: most of the things Shenmue 3 does that don't align with modern games were never standard to its age anyway, because the only game that played like Shenmue 1 and 2... were Shenmue 1 and 2.

In my mind, that makes these elements characteristics of the series (that happened to start long ago), but it's not the same thing as being outdated in and of itself.

It would be like, for example, calling turn-based games outdated if turn-based systems had been left by the wayside, while completely ignoring whether the game plays to the strengths of a turn-based system (and surely how well it does that is what should be evaluated).

Shenmue 3 has its faults (which this review touches on), but there's a difference between being genuinely outdated, and not following a trend.

I take issue with people taking issue for calling a game out for being purposefully out of date, whose mechanics weren't even that great in its era. This game does not deserve a pass just because of nostalgia.

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Shenmue III More Info

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  • First Released Nov 19, 2019
    released
    • PC
    • PlayStation 4
    Shenmue 3 is the true sequel to the classic open world action RPG games, Shenmue and Shenmue 2.
    8.1
    Average Rating27 Rating(s)
    Please Sign In to rate Shenmue III
    Developed by:
    Ys Net
    Published by:
    Deep Silver, Koch Media, Oasis Games, Sega, Limited Run Games
    Genre(s):
    Adventure, Action
    Content is generally suitable for ages 13 and up. May contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling and/or infrequent use of strong language.
    Teen
    Mild Language, Mild Suggestive Themes, Simulated Gambling, Use of Alcohol and Tobacco, Violence