Is Shenmue 3 the worst game I’ve ever played? A modern day “ET” for Atari, this game is thievery. And not only in the monetary sense – it’s robbing itself blind of all charm and dedication thrown into the original game. Shenmue 3 is a historic failure.

The cover of this monstrosity.

For those lucky enough to open a DreamCast on Christmas Day and unwrap a fresh copy of Shenmue digging your finger nails into the corner seams of tightly wrapped crinkly plastic to break out the 4 disc chest of gold. You know why Shenmue is a historical achievement. Contrived dialogue with lip syncing to match the earliest of Jackie Chan films – it remains a masterpiece in technological application and creative execution. People slaving over every minute detail they could. The story, the setting, all of it engaging and brilliant.

So what have they been doing for the last 20 years? When setbacks delayed John Carpenter’s “The Thing” – John spent hours molding and polishing his movie into what is arguably one of the finest horror thrillers of all time. It’s clear Yu Suzuki did not focus the same dedication on Shenmue 3.

It’s Kickstarter waged 6.3 million dollars in June of 2015. And four and a half years later delivers a game with components glued together with Elmer’s the likes of an infants Macaroni Sculpture. It’s like they took the same engine from DreamCast ported it to PS4 and dubbed in higher res graphics. All the clumsiness is a little less charming than it was in 1999.

Crossfades, and I’m not kidding, every 10 seconds. Dialogue that’s drilling a wooden bit into a metal post. Rubbish graphics, inept story telling, a fighting system lacking excitement, poor voice acting, poor execution, grating music. Not a single redeemable quality in this entire product.

This game couldn’t even rest on the laurels of nostalgia. How bad is that?

What I’d like to know is where all the KickStarter and Epic money has gone. Lining the pockets of Yu? Did he not care about his baby anymore? Was it all a money grab? I speak for any artist in saying I’d never let something I care about fall to this level. Thin budgets and greedy studios do not excuse a lack of imagination and rushed end product. Can we even call it rushing? It’s been 4 years and change. Bethesda can release 15 platforms of Skyrim in that time.

There is no amount of positivity that can breathe life into this corpse. For god sakes, in Shenhua’s house there is a loading screen just to walk up the single step into her living room! Grand Theft Auto can load an entire city into one playable arena! This is the end product of pure laziness.

If Shenmue I is a historic masterpiece, Shenmue 3 is a historic failure.

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