In an ideal world, Shenmue III would have launched on the Dreamcast in the early noughties, completing Yu Suzukiâ€™s legendary trilogy. But sadly, this world is neither ideal nor perfect, and so here we are almost twenty years later.
Considering many had succumbed to the fact that a third Shenmue was never going to happen, to finally have a copy in their hands seems like a genuine miracle.
Playing Shenmue III is, allegedly, like being transported back to 2001. Sure, the graphics are vastly improved, but itâ€™s still the same old Shenmue underneath the new gloss. Depending on your persuasion, this is either a blessing or a curse â€“ times have changed, this much is true, but would Shenmue still be Shenmue if it wasnâ€™t a little bit campy, daft and rough around the edges?
The first review score out the door is VG247â€™s 3/5. â€œRepetitive, rough, but strangely endearing,â€ was their final verdict.
Games Radarâ€™s review is still underway, meanwhile. â€œItâ€™s ludicrously self-indulgent, constantly absurd, often beautiful, objectively awful and yet somehow wonderful,â€ their reviewer claimed. â€œSomehow Shenmue III is not only real, but it feels 100% authentic after all this time and against all the odds,â€ they continued.
Other new releases for this week include the currently review-shy Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts. IGN posted 12 minutes of gameplay footage on YouTube, which doesnâ€™t look any better or worse than the last Ghost Warrior game. Weâ€™re in very familiar territory from the looks of it.
Asterix & Obelix XXL 3 â€“ out on all three major formats – offers platforming frolics with some curvaceously rounded visuals. Itâ€™s curious to note the change of perspective from the last Asterix & Obelix game, going for a more top-down approach.
Fans of French animation may also be interested in Titeuf Mega Party, based on the troublemaking tyke. Itâ€™s a remake of a PS2 title which we donâ€™t recall ever seeing for sale in the UK.
Like last weekâ€™s Terminator: Resistance, arcade revival Bubble Bobble 4 Friends also heads to Europe first. This Switch exclusive was billed as â€œa simple, satisfying revival of an all-time greatâ€ by Eurogamer.
Nintendo Life enjoyed it a tad more, opting for an 8/10. â€œThe focus on teamwork will be wonderful for families and friends looking for some co-op fun, but the lack of online play and the absence of any real competitive features could limit its longevity,â€ they said.
Elsewhere, Sid Meierâ€™s Civilization VI makes the jump from Switch to PS4 and Xbox One, We Happy Few receives its We All Fall Down add-on (trailer below), while Curve Digital gets ready to launch the action strategy TV tie-in Narcos: Rise of the Cartels.
The Switch receives a bunch of new physical releases too, including the sleeper hit Children of Morta and the cult classic Deadly Premonitions: Origins.
New release showcase
Sid Meierâ€™s Civilization VI
Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts
Asterix & Obelix XXL 3: The Crystal Menhir
We All Fall Down – We Happy Few
Bubble Bobble 4 Friends
The Curious Tale of the Stolen Pets
New digital multi-format releases
- Narcos: Rise of the Cartels
- Sid Meierâ€™s Civilization VI
- Munchkin: Quacked Quest
- Farmerâ€™s Dynasty
- Asterix & Obelix XXL3: The Crystal Menhir
- Titeuf Mega Party
- Lost Ember
New on PSN
- Shenmue III
- Atelier Ryza: Digital Deluxe Edition
- The Curious Tale of the Stolen Pets
- Arcade Archives IN THE HUNT
- Lost Ember
- Stretch Arcade
- Woodle Tree 2: Deluxe+
New on Xbox One store
- G.R.E.E.N. The Life Algorithm
New Switch retail releases
- Asterix & Obelix XXL 3: The Crystal Menhir
- Overcooked! + Overcooked! 2
- Zumba Burn It Up
- Deadly Premonitions: Origins
- Ghost Parade
- Children of Morta
- AeternoBlade II
- Will: A Wonderful World
- Bubble Bobble 4 Friends
Next week: Where the Water Tastes Like Wine: Xbox Edition, Blacksad: Under the Skin – Limited Edition, Gas Guzzlers Extreme, Soccer: Tactics & Glory, and GOLAZO!