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Let us measure

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  1. I think I'm starting to see why Shenmue 3 is so divisive though. Aside from everyone defending the game being men of impeccable taste and cultured virtue, the main issue seems to be one of expectations. Dumpster lists the fact that it feels like a game from the DC era as a negative, whereas for me this is one of the main strengths of the game. It's a bit like Sonic Mania. Sonic Mania was created as a 'What if...?' game. What if the 2D Sonic series had continued on the Sega Saturn? Sonic Mania succeeds because it is very much a game made in 1997, with all the level design quirks and idiosyncrasies of a 2D platformer of that era included in the package. If you were expecting a Sonic game for the 21st century, you'd be coming away disappointed. For me, Shenmue 3 falls into this same mould. What if Shenmue had continued on the DC? Or Shenmue 3 had been a PS2 title? Given the Kickstarter upbringing and the incredible weight of expectation of 18 years, maybe my expectations were kept a little in check. I certainly wasn't expecting, and deep down didn't really want, a 'modern' cinematic blockbuster. I expected and wanted more Shenmue. The vibes, the gorgeous Chinese strings in the soundtrack, the amazing sense of place, the sick martial arts moves, and yes, the stilted dialogue and the waiting around and the general jankiness of the UI. That's all Shenmue to me. And I got more than enough of that in this game.
  2. OK, but A) There is story progression. The amount of 'stuff' that goes down is just on par with, if not actually more than, Shenmue 1. B) There's a lot of neat missable dialogue between Ryo and Shenhua. You get to know Ryo as a personality a lot better than you ever do in the first two games. The Ryo - Ren relationship is shallow, I agree, but also comical and fitting. Finding herbs and food is a complete non-issue. Herb collecting is satisfying as. C) Bailu village tower was a great moment! Akin to finding the basement beneath the Hazuki dojo for me. Hidden secrets and all that. Dialogue is precisely as Shenmue as it needs to be. All you need to do is remember the owner of the sweet shop's VA in Shenmue 1 ('my little suede-headed Ryooouu', etc.) to realise that Shenmue 3's dialogue is of a general higher standard. Although I agree that's not saying much.
  3. Semi-personal? Not too sure what your point about Shenhua is. I do find it interesting though that you fairweather fans have been able to bitch and moan about a glacial pace and lack of story and having to look into drawers and stuff (all things pretty much part and parcel of the Shenmue experience since the beginning), without ever elaborating on what exactly needed to be done to make Shenmue 3 a worthy sequel in your eyes. So I ask again: What would a perfect Shenmue 3 have looked like to you? And in what ways would it have been different to the one we got?
  4. Indeed. Someone who couldn't be arsed to have a nose around the Bailu temple museum for five minutes and yet claims that the previous games, with their cha wen signs and book airing and forklift driving and other such similar menial tasks, are two of the best games of their generation. It's just such a... contradiction? You didn't even reach Niaowu @dumpster! Shenmue 3, on my second play through, is becoming one of my favourite PS4 games. It's cosy in the way Animal Crossing is, a tiny part of a world and its inhabitants that you get to know really well. The story here is Ryo's quiet development as a martial artist, and the way he's able to open up to Shenhua in a way he couldn't to his friends back in Japan. It's a janky game with a lot of heart and it's a more than worthy continuation of the saga.
  5. Great feat fella, well done! I'm currently aiming for all side quests and all fishing spots done. Doubt I'll ever be able to get the all herbs or 1000 fish trophs though!
  6. OK, thanks for the heads up. Yeah, once you've played one Psikyo you've kinda played them all, but it would be nice to complete the Strikers collection.
  7. Where the flaming hell is my Strikers 1999?! I've bought all the other Psikyo shmups on the Alpha Collection, so not too keen on spending £35 just for one more...
  8. I've really enjoyed Shikhondo, amazing Korean aesthetic which makes a bit of a change. It's fairly simple and the leader boards seem a bit borked, but it's good fun. Some great tunes too.
  9. I don't really get Fantasy Zone, and that annoys me. I've been playing Super Fantasy Zone on my MD Mini, as well as the gorgeous Fantasy Zone II 3D Classic on the 3DS, but the gameplay leaves me a bit perplexed. The two-directional thing annoys me as I often have to reposition myself by flying back and forth to be able to take out the generator flower thingies. And @Stanshall mentions saving coins so that you can go all super market sweep at the shop balloon, but said shop balloon only ever appears at right at the beginning of the stage and then never again. Which means, given the upgrade time limits, that stage bosses are usually fought with your bog-standard shot and bombs and nowt else. Maybe that's the point? I don't know, I don't find it very satisfying. I guess I'm asking for advice - help me get better at Fantasy Zone!
  10. I love the subtle rumble too, makes it very more-ish!
  11. Sweet as. Do the 'erbs respawn? I'm guessing no as then the related trophies make little sense. Also, how long does the luck you get from a fortune teller last? For the rest of the day?
  12. @deKay, could you spoil me on that legit way please? I might try and go for the Plat and money would be useful.
  13. I love the chilled out vibe of Yakuza 3, quite a different flava to the rest of the series. I see it as the contemplative interval episode between the two main arcs of 0-2 and then 4-6. Probably the last time we saw true Sega Blue Skies(TM) too.
  14. Come on fellas, Shenmue III as a Twin Peaks-rifting survival horror directed by Swery65 would have been something. It wouldn't have been Shenmue, but it would have been something...
  15. That option still exists, but the Lunar boot screen still flashes up for a moment or two when you turn the console on. It's a small thing but it's annoying, especially as Hakichi on the Snes mini doesn't do anything similar.
  16. Works perfectly for me, but then I've only added Shining Force II. Not too much else I want to add tbh. Very grateful for this, and the boot screen music is amazing, but I wish there was a way to remove any kind of boot screen completely and hide Project Lunar and Retroarch from the game selection screen.
  17. Shit, forgot about our man Sylvando! Might need to make an edit.
  18. The one you've all been waiting for. Many thanks to Benny. Game of the Year A1. Shenmue III It's awkward. It's slow. It's I see. It's have you seen any thugs around here. It's beautiful. It's bliss to be back in such an uncanny Yu-niverse again. A2. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice Tight. Gameplay, lore, progress, parrying system, combat, everything. Tight. A3. Judgment Help KimuTaku solve murders in the Yakuza universe. A brilliant set-up, some genuinely likeable (and not so likeable) characters, a great plot, some Fighting Vipers, and one of the best-written central villains in gaming. Plus Kamurocho has never looked so good. A4. Dragon Quest XI - S: Echoes of an Elusive Age That warm feeling you get when you settle down on a Friday evening on the sofa in your pyjams with a hot cup of cocoa and no-one around to bother you; coalesced and packaged into a game. A5. Samurai Shodown Modern SNK at the top of their game. Bombastic, tactical, a blast to play. Biggest Disappointment of the Year (game, hardware, or anything else) Z1. Z2. Z3. Z4. Z5. Sound Design of the Year S1. Sayonara Wild Hearts S2. Shenmue III S3. Yakuza 4 (Pure Love in Kamurocho, goddamn) Visual Design of the Year V1. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening V2. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice V3. Sayonara Wild Hearts Writing of the Year W1. Judgment W2. Dragon Quest XI - S: Echoes of an Elusive Age W3. Shenmue III Gaming Format (System) of the Year F1. PlayStation 4 Publisher or Developer of the Year P1. Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio Best Supported Game (released pre 2019) of the Year B1. Street Fighter V Your game of the year that didn't come out this year (basically what is your favourite game you played this year that came out in 2018 or earlier) X1. The World Ends With You: Final Remix Best game character of the year C1. Goro Majima (Yakuza 4) (Majima wins every best game character of the year by default) C2. Kyohei Hamura (Judgment) C3. Ryo Hazuki (Shenmue III) And the big one: Game of the Decade D1. Bloodborne (For all the reasons discussed ad nauseam) D2. Virtue's Last Reward (KERBLAMMO) D3. Yakuza 0 (Brilliant) D4. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (This really deserved a lot more success than it got) D5. Journey (The ending made me cry) D6. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (Find a character who controls better than Punished Snake. Go on.) D7. Nioh (Better than Sekiro, and that's saying something) D8. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Magical) D9. Shenmue III (It exists) D10. Project Zero 2: Wii Edition (The best survival horror ever made... remade)
  19. It's really good. The story's a load of cliched pap, but the core gameplay of monopoly with added troll fights is amazing. Get on't.
  20. Nah, Down by Law was quoting Alex's earlier post. Anyway, someone teach me the basics to Choubu Fighter - I'm complete rub at it.
  21. Precisely so. @alex3d, you seem to want Shenmue to get with the times and develop like modern games and it's 2019, etc. etc. but you don't really elaborate on how you'd want the game to 'get with the times'. Is it just a case of the shoddy editing and stiff animations? Then we're absolutely in agreement that there's work to be done there, and hopefully things can be improved on a technical level for Shenmue 4. But even AAA graphics and animations wouldn't have changed what Shenmue 3 is, I don't think. Is it just the lack of closure to the story you're disappointed about? That's fair enough, but isn't really about 'getting with the times' or being more 2019. It's been pointed out again and again that the pace of plot development is in line with the first two games, and is also in line with Suzuki's long-term vision for the series. Is it the money-making and gate-keeping? But this is part and parcel of Shenmue's dna, and besides that there are more ways of making money in Shenmue 3 than ever before. I did the wood-chopping game precisely twice, mainly because it was boring and I'm crap at it, but also because I much preferred gambling on frogs and reeling in fish. Your argument for modernising Shenmue seems to boil down to 'make it less like Shenmue', which is the bit that a lot of us are struggling with. What would your perfect Shenmue 3 have looked like?
  22. It absolutely does have the same magic though. The sense of place in Bailu and Niaowu is immense, and some dodgy editing in the first walk down the hill with Shenhua does very little to detract from the whole experience in the grand scheme of things. The voice acting is what it is, and is perfectly in line with the first two games, occasional dodgy responses and awkward stoicism from Ryo and all. And again with the Yakuza comparisons. Listen, Yakuza 0 is in my top five of all time, but if you want a Yakuza game, play Yakuza. Shenmue's not it. I'm not too sure what this action-packed Streets of Rage in China with Lan Di as the frenzied final boss that so many of the supposed fans seem to have been clamoring for in Shenmue 3 would have actually turned out to be like, but it sure as hell wouldn't have been a Shenmue game. The series is defined by its leisurely pace, with a creeping sense of mystery and intrigue providing the story beats that, yes, can seem slight and laconic. Exploration and curiosity brings narrative rewards, but the rewards are subtle, and are sometimes gained by rifling through the lovingly rendered tea cups in the cupboard of a rural Chinese household in 1987. Basically, if you're not the kind of person to get a small thrill out of finally being able to see what that weird blind woman in the village keeps in her living room, then it's likely Shenmue's not for you. And you should want to train every morning. You're a martial artist. It takes time. And you've got to admit that seeing that little yellow bar move and the crash of gongs marking your progress during gangnam style horse stancing is pretty satisfying. I'm just a bit bewildered at all the negative comments this is attracting from fans of the series. I don't get it at all. Bailu feels really lived in. Niaowu is gorgeous. There are capsule machines and original arcade games and, at long bloody last, Ryo can actually change out of his no doubt stinky clothes. It's everything I wanted from a new Shenmue game. Plus it existing in the first place is a bit of a bonus.
  23. Thanks to @Klatrymadon and @Jamie John, I picked up Radiant Historia and Culdcept in the sale yesterday. Mightily impressed! Culdcept resembles a fantasy Itadaki/Boom Street, and I always wondered why no one had bothered to make a battle Monopoly before... Well addictive.
  24. Looking at the Shenmue chapter plan you posted earlier @Down by Law, it does make me think if Shenmue is still actually, secretly, an Akira Yuki origin story. Ryo seems to be growing into someone, seeing as SIII is pretty much all about his development as a martial artist. I just wonder if Suzuki hasn't been able to completely forget the series' VF RPG roots... Lots of complaints online that Ryo should be stronger than he actually is at the beginning of the game, but I disagree. Bailu is a village of martial artists, it's in their history and their blood. Hong Kong upstarts were just small fry...
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