A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
On one hand, the message is positive -- about a teenage boy's efforts to find his father's killer -- but the game features a lot of combat, too, which might suggest violence is one way to get what you want.
Positive Role Models
The main protagonist, Ryo Hazuki, is a likable character, who, understandably, wants answers on his father's killer. He talks with many people with respect, but he also is a jujitsu expert who wants to improve on his fighting and isn't afraid to get involved in street fights with several people. He also gambles on various games to use the winnings on upgrades.
Ease of Play
The game isn't difficult to control, but there's a learning curve, especially in the combat department. Plus, navigating the dialogue menus when talking with characters can be tedious.
Violence & Scariness
There's no blood or gore, but there's a lot of martial arts combat. As Ryo, you'll learn and execute melee moves against enemies. You'll want to win the fight, of course, but no one's tortured or dies. Fighting makes up a large part of this game.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some female characters wear revealing outfits, showing large amounts of cleavage under low-cut tops. There are also characters who make overt sexual references in dialogue.
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Dialogue includes words like “ass,” “bitch,” and “pr--k."
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Products & Purchases
Latest installment in the Shenmue franchise.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Many characters can be seen smoking cigarettes or pipes, and drinking beer or jugs of wine.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Shenmue III is a role-playing game (RPG) for the PlayStation 4 and Windows PCs. The story is the third installment in the Shenmue franchise, and revolves around a young martial artist looking for his father's killer. The game includes lots of fight scenes with hand-to-hand martial arts brawls, although there's no blood or gore shown as a result of the fighting. The game also includes some women who dress suggestively, along with references to sex and female anatomy. Additionally, plenty of characters are shown smoking, drinking, and gambling. There's also some profanity, including words like "ass" and "bitch" used in comments. While it's not difficult to learn the controls, navigating through dialogue options can be tedious.
Is It Any Good?
It's been a long time to wait, and is very similar to the first two games in the series. but this adventure is starting to show its age. One one hand, hardcore fans may not be disappointed with Shenmue III. The story, open world, mini-games, and melee combat will all be familiar to those who played its predecessors, though there have been improvements in executing combos and chained attacks. For instance, you now have the ability to map a learned move to a particular button. Even the look of the game is similar, even though modernized with HD graphics, and the QTEs are back, too. But the game series is showing it's age. The pacing is slow, choosing dialog options with many dozens of characters can be tedious, and the graphics look outdated -- including stiff animation and some inconsistencies in the character models (some look good, while others seem rushed and generic).
Fighting, though, is rewarding, if you give it some time and earn enough money to upgrade your moves and try them out on the next hoodlums you encounter. It's a long game at more than 40 hours of play, with a few different plot twists to keep you interested in where it's going. This is a good thing, since many of the dialog sequences can't be skipped -- so those who love a game's strong narrative should keep a close eye on the information given by various characters. But this slower pace isn't too popular today. Those with a sentimental leaning towards the original games will find value in this long-overdue sequel, which continues on its story directly from Shenmue II. But it's certainly not the best JRPG you can play today -- not by a long shot.
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