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Shenmue III - PS4/PC | Out Now!


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I mostly loved Shenmue 3 but for me the oddest thing about it was coming back to playing Ryo in my late thirties after identifying so strongly with him when I was eighteen. I've shifted from seeing him following a righteous path toward avenging his father's death to potentially throwing his life away for revenge.

 

It's also strange to go from that feeling of immersing yourself in something cutting edge and new to playing a game that self-consciously feels old in places and has obvious budget restrictions. The Kickstarter backer rewards in-game also stuck out like a sore thumb and I wish that there was a code to remove them.

 

Spoiler

One of Lan-Di's henchmen is clearly someone who had paid a few thousand dollars to get their face in the game and it was comically distracting.

 

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I was pretty lucky in that I was somehow able to buy 100% into what Shenmue 3 was trying to do. Fan expectations placed a massive, heavy chain around the game's neck. No, a small French indie was not going to be able to match the $70 million muscle of hey-day Sega. But what they were able to do was recreate a superb sense of place in the tatty homes and lonely temples of rural China, and give us a catch-up slice of life with Ryo as he comes to terms with his skills as a martial artist, gets to know Shenhua and explores some pretty beautiful locales. 

 

There are some weird story beats, and the kickstarter-ness of it very occasionally shows through, but it's still got that inimitable Shenmue atmos. The incidental details of the little knick-knacks you can scrutinise in shops shows a lot of love has been put into this. 

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2 hours ago, Lorfarius said:

And what about the Yakuza series?

 

I love Yakuza as well, but it's nothing like Shenmue. They complement each other very well.

 

When you fight in Shenmue, it's a big story event. There's more fights in Yakuza running from one end of the town to the other than the entirety of the first Shenmue game. Yakuza's time of day changes to suit the plot. Shenmue is a full day that you must plan to make the most out of. You must work, train, fight and investigate in equal measure to progress, in a real time setting. In Yakuza, if I want to spend 30 real hours between the next story checkpoint just doing management mini games or go kart, I can do that. Shenmue is quite downbeat and dry with a small main cast , with the occasional comedic element, and a large emphasis on martial arts. Yakuza is hilarious and melodramatic with many excellent characters, with a large emphasis on hitting people with breakdancing moves. 

 

They are both great series and nothing alike, apart from arcades rammed full of Yu Suzuki classics.

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22 hours ago, Openrob said:

I still have not played Shenmue 3.

Considering how vehemently I campaigned for it, considering how much I backed it financially, considering how much I still absolutely adore the series, I just haven't started it.

 

I think I'll play it later this year. I thought that playing it right away would have set my expectations too high and was all just s bit too much pressure for what should be an enjoyable pass time, and I didn't want that. Then I had a chilg and it was just too much to squeeze in much of any gaming at all!

 

I think, now, my expectations are set accurately, and I hope I enjoy it for what it is. I'm going to play through the first 2 before jumping in.

 

But fuck, I do love this series - it does do many things I appreciate so well.


How could you NOT play it straight away after what was the pant wetting cliffhanger to Shenmue 2?

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  • 4 months later...

The Anime first look is at New York Comic Con on October 7th so if there is going to be an announcement it would likely be there.

 

Yu Suzuki is also featured in a recent trailer for 110 industries (it's in the Wanted:Dead thread) and they have new games to announce, so there's speculation they are working together. 

 

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14 minutes ago, DeciderVT said:

Outside of the Kickstarter I hear that sales for 3 have been very low on PS4, so there might be some struggle to justify releasing it on those platforms.


This is what I assumed but was too lazy to check for myself. The idea that Suzuki didn’t take the chance - his one last chance - to end the story with 3 still absolutely baffles me. 

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38 minutes ago, Popo said:


This is what I assumed but was too lazy to check for myself. The idea that Suzuki didn’t take the chance - his one last chance - to end the story with 3 still absolutely baffles me. 

 

I don't mind that, the languid pace of the Shenmue games is probably their most distinctive feature, and I'd hate a rushed conclusion more than no conclusion at all I think.


What I don't understand is that 3 didn't move the story on at all. I mean there's about forty hours of filler followed by a whole 5 minutes of plot. How can the only Shenmue game in twenty years be basically irrelevant?

 

(I liked it, but still).

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14 minutes ago, Garwoofoo said:

 

I don't mind that, the languid pace of the Shenmue games is probably their most distinctive feature, and I'd hate a rushed conclusion more than no conclusion at all I think.


What I don't understand is that 3 didn't move the story on at all. I mean there's about forty hours of filler followed by a whole 5 minutes of plot. How can the only Shenmue game in twenty years be basically irrelevant?

 

(I liked it, but still).

It's the way of these games. The first game's story could have been done in the first 15 to 30 minutes of any other game. Dad gets killed, Ryo asks around and boards a boat in pursuit of the killer. The rest is all filler presented in the most languid pace possible. But that's what makes Shenmue, Shenmue imo. The basic story is just an excuse to wander about and immerse yourself in the(for that time) ultra realistic setting.

 

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43 minutes ago, Garwoofoo said:

 

I don't mind that, the languid pace of the Shenmue games is probably their most distinctive feature, and I'd hate a rushed conclusion more than no conclusion at all I think.


What I don't understand is that 3 didn't move the story on at all. I mean there's about forty hours of filler followed by a whole 5 minutes of plot. How can the only Shenmue game in twenty years be basically irrelevant?

 

(I liked it, but still).


I hear you, but if it’s a choice between finishing the story and never finishing the story…

 

Hey, maybe in 35 years time as I lay on my deathbed, having just got through my pile of shame, and Suzuki’s son releases part 4 based on ancient scroll manuscripts left to him by his father in a secret room under the dojo attached to his house - maybe then he’ll be vindicated. 
 

At the moment it looks for all the world that he’s let perfect be the enemy of good. 

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2 minutes ago, Popo said:


I hear you, but if it’s a choice between finishing the story and never finishing the story…

 

Hey, maybe in 35 years time as I lay on my deathbed, having just got through my pile of shame, and Suzuki’s son releases part 4 based on ancient scroll manuscripts left to him by his father in a secret room under the dojo attached to his house - maybe then he’ll be vindicated. 
 

At the moment it looks for all the world that he’s left perfect be the enemy of good. 

100% agreed.

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1 hour ago, alex3d said:

FFS. Yu will finish the story in this anime, mark my words. Fuck this :(

 

If only 'the fans' weren't so dramatically negative about part 3 online you might have been seeing a different outcome 🙄🥴

 

2 million views this fucking whiney arsehole video got. Trading your fandom for clicks more like. 'i have wasted my life' it's a videogame mate 

 

1 hour ago, Calashnikov said:

The Shenmu3 DLC is dirt cheap in the PS sale just now. Loada shite is it aye?

 

Battle Rally is good fun. Not played the other two yet, gonna do a trilogy run through over Christmas. 

 

topbg_pc.jpg

 

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The online and YouTuber discourse (particularly among people in their 20s) for Shenmue 3 is completely baffling. It's not as good as the Dreamcast originals, but what the game does do considering the budget they had is about as much as Yu Suzuki could have realistically achieved while keeping the atmosphere of the old games. It really does feel very much like Shenmue. It's like everyone playing it had never played a Shenmue game before and were expecting to just jump in, have everything make sense, and be some kind of triple A experience.

 

The same YouTubers are always the ones moaning about how few game developers are willing to take risks and so keep serving up more helpings of GaaS tripe. Well, I wonder why that is.

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1 hour ago, Down by Law said:

 

If only 'the fans' weren't so dramatically negative about part 3 online you might have been seeing a different outcome 🙄🥴

 

2 million views this fucking whiney arsehole video got. Trading your fandom for clicks more like. 'i have wasted my life' it's a videogame mate

 

 

He's entitled to his opinion and does a great job of explaining why he's so upset with it. The guy certainly doesn't do many games either as its mainlyy anime on his channel so attacking him for covering somethign different is weird, it's certainly a break from the norm to cover the game. And to be frank it's more than a videogame mate, a lot of us have been sat pottering about for 20 years in the hope the 3rd would come out and its a total mess. Waste of KS funds and people have every right to be peed off. I feel exactly the same, extremely let down having wasted so much of my time with the series for what we ended up with. The thirds a mess.

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Yes, it certainly isn't the players' fault that Yu is poor at reading tea leaves. Many just sought closure - instead of a lets-just-walk-through-a-few-locations-and-be-happy game.

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Just a thought though: if a channel mainly covers anime, and they spend most of their time watching anime, then I don't expect to glean an awful lot from reviews of a game on that channel. And if you're breaking from the norm to cover a game just to rip into it, it's a shame if it's to rip into an indie project as opposed to many many more deserving targets.

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I personally liked Shenmue III quite a lot, but even I remember thinking that was a really good video by Super Eyepatch Wolf whenever I watched it. Had me wishing many of his suggestions were in the game as opposed to what we got. Particularly his ideas on how the final boss fight could have played out.

 

Incidentally, this other, older video he made about the first two Shenmue games was pretty fantastic imo:

 

 

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1 hour ago, Down by Law said:

 

If only 'the fans' weren't so dramatically negative about part 3 online you might have been seeing a different outcome 🙄🥴

 

2 million views this fucking whiney arsehole video got. Trading your fandom for clicks more like. 'i have wasted my life' it's a videogame mate 

 

 

Battle Rally is good fun. Not played the other two yet, gonna do a trilogy run through over Christmas. 

 

topbg_pc.jpg

 

 

I couldn't agree more. 

Even as someone who is a bit lukewarm on Shenmue 3 (mainly due to it really not pushing the story further much) I just can not believe it got made and it actually exists! It can also all improve for the sequel with the same team moving forwards with the knowledge of the prior game under their belt. 


This wave of negativity is absolutely cutting nose off to despite your face, as it's a sure way to feedback to the publishers and stake-holder that this "is not what the audience wants"... so that's what happens. No part 4 for you, but unfortunity also for all of us. :(

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