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Patrick Waring at GameCloud writes: "Fans of the Shenmue series place the games on a pedestal reserved for the gaming greats, heralding it as one of the greatest things to ever happen in the industry. In a sense, this isn’t incorrect; for all its faults, Shenmue blazed a trail that many amazing games would go on to follow. Its ideas at the time weren’t just novel but borderline revolutionary, and its reputation in that sense is well deserved. That said, the games have aged incredibly poorly, and by modern standards, they are downright terrible to play for a multitude of reasons. A slow and dull story, clunky controls, more forced waiting than an MMORPG, and any other number of design elements that haven’t aged well. Effectively, they’re an essential part of gaming history, but they aren’t fun to play. For new players coming into the Shenmue series on nothing but recommendations alone, temper your expectations with the understanding that “cornerstone” in this industry does not automatically mean “classic.”"