How to skip cutscenes in Shenmue II:

No clever title today, rather one deliberately chosen to make this page easier to find on search engines.

Shenmue 2 nearly broke me tonight.  I’m closing in on the end of the game, I’m pretty sure, but  getting this far has involved a segment with a mandatory stealth bits, one-mistake-fails QTEs AND unskippable cutscenes.  I don’t think you could commit a more serious sin against players than that, but I’m not quite done with disc 3 and still have all of disc 4, so it’s possible that the game may find new ways.

Also, navigating Ryo around is, in general, a constant reminder that the dual analog control scheme is civilization.  I love the Dreamcast, but I do not love its controller.

Anyway, I got past that and then got to a bit where I had to find three guys and fight them.  Each was introduced with a fairly long cutscene to give me a sense for how tough they were, and this same cutscene played again every time I retried the fights after failing.  Rest assured that I was hammering every single button on the controller in a desperate attempt to find a way to not watch these again.

That was very nearly the end of things.  I took the disc out, put it back in its sleeve and went and lost myself in an MMO for a couple of hours.

Then I looked it up online, and found that you CAN skip the cutscenes, by pressing B twice quickly.  As far as I can tell from a quick skim, this isn’t anywhere in the manual, so I owe a great deal to whoever figured it out in the first place.  Maybe it was that way in the first game?

Anyway, hopefully tomorrow will see me to the end.  It continues to have an amazing amount of charm to it, which handily makes up for the frustrating bits.

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