- Aug 10, 2018
Tbh, I would personally be wary of ascribing any particular blame for Shenmue III loading most of its plot into the final hour.
Ryan Payton summarised it quite well in one of the podcast interviews with the Dojo where he said the team had to devote a lot of time to building essential systems over content. Some hard choices were made to get the game out the door, and I think that runs all the way up the chain to the story composition too. Shenmue III excelling at small moments is probably because that was more achievable in a pinch than trying to fulfil the original story plan.
Better choices could have been made, but it is what it is.
My opinion of Shenmue III changed when I revisited the game. When playing it with the knowledge of Shenmue III's real purpose was to simply get Ryo out of that cave, I was able to enjoy the more smaller, slice of life things a lot better than I did on my initial playthrough. However I really hope the up the ante significantly on story progression in the Shenmue IV when it gets made.