For nearly two decades now, Shenmue has been regarded as one of the defining moments in the Dreamcast’s history. Combining elements that we now take for granted, it was a truly groundbreaking title… in 1999. Still, I can definitely see why people fell in love with it and have heralded it as Yu Suzuki’s crowning achievement.

When compared against modern games, though, Shenmue fails to live up. While one can still have fun revisiting Yokosuka and playing many rounds of “Lucky Hit,” there isn’t a single idea present that hasn’t been done better somewhere else. Even the story, while epic in scope, has been perfected by other games.

While I don’t expect anyone already in love to agree with me, those brand new to the series, like me, will likely find interesting concepts that are marred by poor execution. This game is definitely not for everyone, but it does still have its charm.

Review: Shenmue I & II screenshot

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Review: Shenmue I & II