It was to be expected. The original was a technical marvel and scored better than the game should have because of it. But the game didn't save the DC, and the series died after the 2nd installment even though it was ported over to the OG Xbox. The game just wasn't very fun to play and felt outdated ...the world wanted GTA and not Shenmue.
I bought it for like $9 back in early 2001 and loved it but I recall it getting mixed reviews. Then GTA 3 came out later that year and (even though they aren't similar games at all) reviewers were calling it "Shenmue done right".
It really was a technical marvel, though. Even had internet features that I never got a chance to use because we didn't have internet access until like 2007 in my home.