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  1. It worked pretty well for me. I chucked some money at it, largely forgot all about it for a few years, and now someone's posted a new Shenmue game through my door.
  2. So I guess the question now is: do we ever get Shenmue 4? Fans seem delighted with this instalment, the team and the game engine is all ready to go, it would likely be straightforward (at least compared to what they had to go through to get S3 off the ground). And I'm sure Yu Suzuki wants to see his story through. But I'm not sure this game will reach that many people who weren't already invested in it, so if it doesn't make much money over and above what it raised for the Kickstarter then it's going to be a tricky thing to pull off. I guess they could do another Kickstarter but I can't see it getting the same level of support, funding "the next Shenmue chapter" doesn't have the same kind of appeal to people as "resurrecting this legendary game franchise". Especially given the reviews.
  3. The reviews depress me. Not just because I'm genuinely delighted with the game but because of what it says about the state of game reviews at the moment. You just know that this game has been reviewed by young kids with objective ideas of what "good games" should be - people who never played the originals (or at least never did so at the time), have almost certainly played this with the English dub, and are more interested in resolution and frame rate than anything more intangible such as atmosphere and world-building. That Polygon review compares the game to Red Dead Redemption 2, complains incessantly about the graphics, and complains that it's not the final chapter in the story. It's just baffling really. It would be like every film reviewer only liking Marvel movies or book reviewers comparing everything to Fifty Shades of Grey: just no understanding that there are more things you can do with this medium than just constantly iterate on the same kinds of games and that something that's stately and atmospheric can actually bring something entirely new to the table. I like the fact that the combat tutorial is basically "press the buttons and see what happens". That's exactly what I did and I worked it out pretty quickly and I had fun doing so. It doesn't need a ten minute tutorial making you punch three times, then kick three times, then telling you you're amazing.
  4. I quite like the combat, I find it much easier to get to grips with than Shenmue I or II. In the first game I spammed two moves relentlessly, in the second game I just dodged round people and punched them in the head. In this I'm at least trying out different moves and looking cool in the process, plus I can always level up if it gets too hard and cheese through things a bit. In general I think the interlocking systems work really well in this. Gaining money in Shenmue II always felt like a bit of a chore, and in the end I just save scummed Roll It On Top until I had enough I never needed to worry about it any more. In this, even early on, there are lots of options and I might have just spent all my money in the capsule toy machine trying to get a full set of fishing lures. Plus the music in the wood chopping game is just
  5. I’ve realised that this game is, at best, going to be a three week interlude in my ongoing lifetime saga of Waiting For The Next Shenmue Game.
  6. The Continue option is definitely broken. Make sure you manually load your last save when you load up the game.
  7. I am very much enjoying the way in which Ryo, having not changed his pants in three months, is now taking his quest to be the smelliest man in China to a new level by eating garlic eight times a day.
  8. Not really a spoiler, but it’s a bit odd that they’ve chosen the name Yuan for Shenhua’s father, as that’s the same name as the Clare Balding lookalike who pursues you throughout much of Shenmue 2. Surely it would have made more sense to pick a different name?
  9. Absolutely, but do play the first two first. The draw of this is the long-running story and the attachment you build with the characters. Jumping in with the third one would miss out on all of that. Yes they're old but they're incredible games still once you get past all that.
  10. Yeah the opening cutscene in particular is really alarming as the fans went from nothing to FULL ROAR in a split second as soon as it started.
  11. I think it's running at an uncapped framerate, which is causing it to go nuts in cutscenes in particular. To be honest I'd prefer a 30fps cap, it's a bit too variable for my liking as it stands, so maybe it's something they'll patch in at some point. My Pro is a noisy beast at the best of times so it might be that others find this more bearable than I do. One other oddity is that trophies don't appear to be live yet - I don't know if you can earn them in the game, but the PS4 tells you that there are no trophies if you check on the dashboard.
  12. Well mine arrived and I couldn't resist having a look. I had to drag myself away from it to post this. It is gloriously, unrepentantly Shenmue. More so than I ever expected, more than I could ever have hoped. Even having only (re)completed the second game days ago, it picks up where it left off like the last 18 years never happened. It looks fantastic, plays like a game out of time and it's exactly what I wanted. Pretty much the only complaint I have so far is that it causes my PS4 Pro's fans to go absolutely berserk, but that's easily rectified with a pair of headphones. Yu Suzuki continues to be an absolute genius and an utter maniac. It appears he's spent most of his Kickstarter budget on extra drawers for Ryo to open. It's probably going to get mauled in reviews but for every Shenmue fan here it's going to be like eighteen Christmasses have all come at once.
  13. I don't think it's a must at all though, these aren't remasters, they are ports. They give you a chance to play a pair of games that haven't been available for the best part of twenty years, on modern hardware. In my eyes the closer they are to the original experience, the better. A significant part of the appeal of Shenmue is the extraordinary technical achievement of having had these games running on the Dreamcast. (Even going back to it, I'm astonished by certain things, such as the whole of the Kowloon chapter having originally been on a single GD-ROM. It's massive! How did they do that?) Every step you take away from that original vision detracts from that. I don't want Shenmue to look like a bad modern game, I want it to look like an exceptional 1999 game - which it still does.
  14. The remasters are fine. Best played in 4:3 to match the originals and avoid distracting aspect ratio switching throughout, and like the originals they control best with the d-pad. And, of course, the Japanese voiceover is pretty much essential. But they're still absolutely worth playing. I quite like the fact they are really just ports, there's been very little attempt to tart them up or make them more palatable for a modern audience. So you get the authentic Shenmue experience, warts and all, and you get to appreciate what extraordinary technical achievements they were for the time and the technology involved. The first game takes a bit of getting used to these days, mostly because of all the waiting around, but it's still a completely unique experience and it still sucks you right in if you let it. The second game feels a lot more in line with modern sensibilities, the balance of talking, exploration and action isn't far off what you'd get with any modern title and everything from Kowloon onwards is simply incredible. I think I'd be happy with Shenmue III if it ran at 4:3 in the Dreamcast engine, I just want to play more of this unique story. It's just extraordinary that I've waited half my adult life for this game and it's going to be here either today or tomorrow. First impressions from Shenmue fans are coming in now and they seem ecstatic; it seems like we're going to get exactly what we've been waiting for all this time.
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