Both are great series, so where is my gripe with Shenmue being compared with Yazkuza?
Well here it is.
To take nothing away from Yakuza, the regular naive comparison with Shenmue, is mainly meant as derogatory and undermines the latter series. The scale and scope for it’s time, of the Shenmue series. The vision and ingenuity of the Shenmue series.
In the same way, the comparison comes across like as to say, “Oh here you go, this is better, try this”.
It seems many who foolishly use this comparison, don’t truly understand the Shenmue series. There is a much more story led, spiritual type angle to Shenmue, whereas Yakuza goes down a different path.
Both are undeniably great games, but please do not insult either series by coming up with an awkward fitting comparison.
Why yes, Shenmue and Yakuza are both set in Japan and have fighting in. The Einsteins who came up with that link, must be incredibly proud of bringing up the most obvious of similarities. It is however there, where all comparisons END.
Another thing to point out is, you cannot compare the two, because of the time difference from when both games were initially made. Shenmue made today, with the same resources and same team, would blow Yakuza out of the water, without question.
Yakuza is the go to franchise, outside of Sonic, for SEGA, so has a lot more geared towards it rather than against. The financial flop rubbish that gets thrown around with Shenmue does not add up, the further you dig.
Yakuza itself hardly sets the world alight, but is a moderate success. But with strong backing, it is far easier to make games such as Yakuza with today’s technology, than it was to achieve the same feat with Shenmue.
You see, when Shenmue was made, the technical resources available were far less advanced than as of today. It is what constantly makes the Shenmue series such an amazing achievement, because it was truly groundbreaking.
And in an ideal world Shenmue III would have SEGA of Japan backing it and not have fans being forced to stump up the cash instead. But we are where we are.
At least things have finally moved forward.
So, enjoy both series and respect both series. Comparisons between the two games, do no favours for either one of them. They are two completely different genres you could say.
Shenmue is Shenmue and Yakuza is Yakuza. Completely different games, completely different messages being sent and completely different in structure and style.