Shenmue was amazing - a whole world to kinda mess about with within limits - but unless you're gonna feed the kitten and play arcades until you're blue in the teeth (and Lan Di kills you in a dream if you spend too much time being human - therefore game over) it was a short lived beauty, like a seasonal rose- beautiful for five minutes and then leafless and dead. Forklift truck races were a laugh for five minutes - then you'd figured it out and ranked yourself to get all of the little toys and it became trite.
Shenmue II expands on the fun of gambling with random mad sailors that don't question your sexuality, throws in QuckTime Events like they're going out of fashion (THEY NEVER WILL) and basically makes you the protagonist in Bruce Lee's 'Game of Death' for the third disc. The fourth disc, where you become a hippy, is wackjuice.
You know, if games were real, I'da beat that little prick who stole all my money at the beginning of disc one within an inch of his life - or spent all my money on lighters before I hit the cutscene hitbox.
Then, if it was really Hong Kong, I'da made a mint on selling those lighters for smack.