User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 67 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 63 out of 67
  2. Negative: 3 out of 67

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  1. Jun 28, 2012
    This is essentially the same game as the original, but expanded into more chapters. The original serves as chapter 1. With that said Shenmue II seems more grand and epic than the original. The world is huge. These games were ahead of their time.
  2. Apr 19, 2013
    Overall, Shenmue is without doubt in my opinion the finest game ever made. Quite how Shenmue 1 and 2 stack up to one another is unclear to me, as they are both breathtaking and outstanding in their own ways.

    It's simply magical. It's hard to truly do this game justice with words, but it is an immersive, exciting, poetic and captivating experience that you will most likely remember and
    take with you forever.

    The only possible flaw with Shenmue 2 is the occasional slowdown on Dreamcast I am unsure if it's been smoothed out for the Xbox version (quite likely).

    Do yourself a favour and play Shenmue, you won't regret it!
  3. Nov 23, 2013
    Shenmue II......
    I own both the Dreamcast and XBOX version, i also own the first title, Shenmue II opens up what was already a masterpiece, and turns it the dial to 11.
    More content than ever before, richer graphics, but not missing anything from the gameplay.
    A stunning and enchanting game, a must have for anyone with a XBOX or Dreamcast console.

  4. Nov 13, 2012
    This is probably the greatest game I've ever played, and I've played many. The story is absolutely fantastic, it carries on from Shenmue 1 on Ryo's quest to find Lan Di. It does a really great job at character building, It has some really emotional moments and engaging conversations with certain characters. The voice actors (at the time) were great, I fell in love with Shenhua's voice & character. The graphics are extremely beautiful, displaying various/diverse characters on-screen at once, and there's so much to do, I don't see how you will ever get bored of this. If you've played the original, or even if you haven't, you MUST play this game. Expand
  5. Feb 8, 2014
    It is difficult to describe Shenmue 2 with one word because the game deserves nothing less than a series of brilliant adjectives; beautiful, ground-breaking and ambitious. The game proves a worthy, and in some ways (which will be mentioned further on in the review) improved, successor of the Dreamcast classic Shenmue. Firstly, I am grateful for being born in London and thus, having the privilege of growing up with this game on my Dreamcast. I also owned the Xbox version and the only problem with it is the voice acting, and the fact that Shenmue was made for the Dreamcast. Other than that, Shenmue 2 is as flawless on the Xbox as on the Dreamcast.
    There are so many layers to the game which make it worthy of its huge fan base. The game is very detailed and, quite simply put, well ahead of its time. It is difficult to find examples of games, even now, where you can enter pretty much every room in a building. In Shenmue 2, especially when you reach taller buildings, you would find that Yu Suzuki and the Shenmue team have put their hearts into creating such magnificent detail, whereby a 7-storey building has around 50 accessible rooms or how the forests toward the end of the game are so well designed. It may seem like nothing huge, but it is these little details which show how much effort was put into the game.
    The music is equally as beautiful as the look of the game. The music created, like any other good game, is very appropriate in creating the right mood for the right part of the game, for example, the final boss fight is made even more epic by the music. However, for me personally, it wasn’t until the last part of the game, with its relaxing music, that I found out how beautiful the music in Shenmue 2 is and I can truly state that it is some of the best music that I have ever heard in a videogame.
    Then we have the gameplay. Whilst some may criticise the pacing in the game, it should be stated from the outset that one should not play Shenmue 2 if they are not prepared to spend time thinking about how to advance in the game. The game’s free-questing is actually rather enjoyable and it seems amazing how you can talk to pretty much anyone. The fighting itself is similar to Shenmue 1 but there are new fighting moves as well as some of our favourites from Shenmue 1which are retained. The QTE is improved with the new pause-QTE method, whereby you must correspond correctly to a number of buttons in a row, on screen, quickly. This helps to create more exciting, fast paced fighting scenes where Ryo can throw a number of punches as opposed to one at a time.
    Finally, the story in Shenmue 2 is the final aspect of the game which gives it the deserved ‘10/10’ rating. The story draws you in from the start of the game until the very end. I remember owning the demo, before getting the full version, and playing it over and over again. There is something about Shenmue which is addicting and leaves us hungry for more; Shenmue fans deserve that final fight with Ryo’s father’s killer, Lan Di.
    It is this hunger which has kept us waiting for Shenmue 3 for all these years. Undoubtedly, Yu Suzuki created a masterpiece those 13 years ago and we gamers are still waiting, increasingly impatiently, for another one.

Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
  1. Technically, the Xbox conversion of Shenmue 2 is a pot-pourri of highs and lows. Visually, it's two notches above its DC brother (AM2 have attached light sources to EVERYTHING - moreso at night, where neon bathes you in its "afterglow") but two notches below what the system is capable of.
  2. Rarely has so much sheer brilliance been nestled side-by-side with such absolute tedium and badly conceived gameplay, along with wild shifts in tone guaranteed to make your head spin. [Winter 2002, p.88]
  3. Ultimately, your perseverance with the sluggish pacing can be rewarding, but Shenmue 2 consistently proves itself an ageing game with ageing looks. It should never have happened like this.