Just finished Shenmue III some hours ago. Was extremely satisfied. Thought it a perfect continuation of the old games.
This poison for me, too. Give me more of the same, I'd gladly drink it again and again indefinitely. The plots in these games were never all that much. It was mcguffins and banal cliches. It was always the atmosphere that made the games special.
I wish they'd make many more Shenmues with no intention of ever bringing the saga to an end!
I think you are kind of right to say that..to some degree...let me elaborate.
The interesting thing about Shenmue to me has always been the lore it's building. The plot itself hasn't really divulged much of anything concrete over three games, we have tidbits and we have a lot of hearsay and conjuncture and we have some facts but we're still waiting for real answers to a lot of questions. But the lore and world building is the thing that is most intriguing about these games.
I know people love to praise Shenmue II as being the peak of the series, but when it comes to core main plot, even that game really doesn't give you much of anything in its one pivotal scene with Zhu. In fact, I would argue that one scene with Zhu is actually foreshadowed in the original game. There's that one conversation with the antique shop owner about the mirror where the game gives you a vital clue by showing you the stars...which Zhu goes on to confirm in SII.
I tend to think it's not so much the plot of these games that got people, I think it's the lore and world building that got people. The constant search for knowledge is what drives us. I think people tend to confuse the two. To me, the strength of this series has always been the lore it's building and the many questions waiting to be answered about said lore.
And I think that's where my minor disappointment with SIII lies -- that it ultimately gave me more questions than answers -- mind you, I actually enjoyed Shenmue III but that was my disappointment with it. Because I kind of expected SIII to be the turning point from questions to solid answers and SIII didn't really deliver that on that. It just gave us more questions than answers. It was still just more hearsay and conjecture as opposed to solid concrete answers.
I liked Shenmue III for what it was though. Once my initial disappointment was removed, I saw the game for what it was. It gave me another chance to play in that world and gave me more questions to linger on. I still think it gave about as much story as the first two games did. The problem for some (and me to some degree) is that it ultimately didn't give us what we wanted, more solid answers. Instead we kind of just got more of the same hearsay and conjecture...but then I think to myself that's Shenmue. Maybe that's what Shenmue actually is with its main detective game. Maybe it really is all about the chase for answers.
I'm still hoping IV will go on to reveal more answers. That's my hope.
I think the disappointment for some of us here is that the solid answers still remain undiscovered. But overall, I really liked Shenmue III and felt it gave me more of what I loved about Shenmue even if I have my own disappointments with it.
BTW, welcome to the forum.