Parents' Guide to

Shenmue I & II

By David Chapman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Classic franchise returns with retro tale of revenge.

Shenmue I & II Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

Community Reviews

age 9+

Based on 1 parent review

age 9+

A Wonderful Game! It has so many Fantastic Elements!

This game is old. It shows its age in a lot of ways in how it controls. But the message and quality of a fun adventure are still there! As young Ryo Hazuki you are on a quest to avenge your father who is killed with Kung Fu! You must find the clues and make your way to him. I think any age is fine with this game. Even though it does hint at alcohol and gambling. It is not a requirement to play this game and you can just enjoy the story on its own. There are good characters that help you and make it an enjoyable and uplifting experience. Definitely a Buy!

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (3 ):

With so many big video games out on the market trying to grab players' interest, it's hard to remember the foundation on which these modern blockbusters were built. But before the big city sandbox of Grand Theft Auto III or the reflex-testing quick time events of God of War, there was Sega's open-world adventure, Shenmue. Now players get to revisit Ryo's tale of revenge with Shenmue I & II, a re-release updated for today's hardware. The game's been enhanced with updated graphics, a few tweaks to the controls and user interface, and Japanese and English voice-overs. But does it still measure up after all these years?

Although the visuals have been updated in Shenmue I & II, the simple truth is that the game's still showing its age. The colors and details may be much sharper and pop more now than they ever did on the Dreamcast, but the models and animations aren't much different than they were back in the day and aren't pushing any technical limits. While the controls have been tweaked, they're still a bit clunky and awkward in spots, particularly in certain side missions. In spite of these issues, somehow Shenmue I & II still manages to hold tight to the quirky charm that's made the franchise a cult favorite all these years. It's still easy to get lost in the daily grind of work and play: You'll want to pull in one more shift at the docks or try to get in one more game of Out Run or After Burner in the arcade. It's like a detailed life simulator, but with a much more exciting life than you probably live now. After all, most of us don't get into martial arts battles against street gangs on a regular basis. With both games packed together, there's no shortage of content to go through. In fact, moving almost seamlessly from the first game to the second feels like turning the page on an epic adventure.

Game Details

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