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19 minutes ago, Calashnikov said:

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:

 

 

 

The problem they have here is reviewing Shenmue 1 and 2 as applied to modern expectations of "open world" games. So of course you'd be disappointed if you wanted Shenmue 3 to not try to emulate the old games.

 

"The forklift driving is like having a real job!"

 

1999 called, it would like its hot takes from other reviews even at the time it came out back.

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22 minutes ago, Lorfarius said:

 

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.

 

If the game was a total mess it wouldn't have got the good reviews it did. It's got 67 on metacritic which is not mindblowing but not exactly big rigs either and well above average. Just because the story didn't play out like it did in his head, or he doesn't have a grasp of simple things 'why does he take his shoes off in the house?' 'why does he walk past this obvious shrine' 'why didn't the story end the way I wanted it to' and it's full of frankly bullshit statements presented as fact 'the only way to accrue enough money in this game is to spam the gambling' which is nonsense. I was absolutely minted by selling herbs and fish alone nevermind doing jobs and fighting in the rose garden.

It's pretty insulting to Yu Suzuki on several occasions and any true fan would like to see a series they like do better, which with the systems in place Shenmue IV absolutely could have been. But instead he traded his fandom for clicks and when they were trying to pitch Shenmue IV to publishers they likely saw this 2 million view video and thought...nah we're not getting involved in that. The Shenmue series has always been low hanging fruit for people to rag on (J Sterling did one 'the waterworld of videogames') it's like people can't handle this lavish expensive production has a languid pace and funny voice acting so it's easier to take the piss out of something you don't understand than just move on. Bastards the lot of them

 

Anyway i'll gladly take a Anime over nothing and I don't watch Anime so 🤷‍♂️

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I think it was a lot more true to it's original (warts and all) than what happened with broken age, to choose another big kickstarter game. 

 

There's definitely ways of improving it, it could have been "better" but I do think it's a fine line to tread. It would have been worse IMO if they tried to make it more like a GTA for instance but yes it could have even been improved to a certain extent within it's own style. 

 

Personally, I'm with @Benny in regards to enjoying getting to see any of it at all, which might be aiming low or being happy to get scraps off the table or some big exaggeration but I do think the extent to which some people claim it's an abomination is OTT.

 

The originals are a clunky beautiful mess that you could also easily nitpick and find what would essentially be minor changes which would make the experience better but they didn't have them either so yeah, I liked it and would happily play a 4th.

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5 minutes ago, Down by Law said:

 

If the game was a total mess it wouldn't have got the good reviews it did. It's got 67 on metacritic which is not mindblowing but not exactly big rigs either and well above average. Just because the story didn't play out like it did in his head, or he doesn't have a grasp of simple things 'why does he take his shoes off in the house?' 'why does he walk past this obvious shrine' 'why didn't the story end the way I wanted it to' and it's full of frankly bullshit statements presented as fact 'the only way to accrue enough money in this game is to spam the gambling' which is nonsense. I was absolutely minted by selling herbs and fish alone nevermind doing jobs and fighting in the rose garden.

It's pretty insulting to Yu Suzuki on several occasions and any true fan would like to see a series they like do better, which with the systems in place Shenmue IV absolutely could have been. But instead he traded his fandom for clicks and when they were trying to pitch Shenmue IV to publishers they likely saw this 2 million view video and thought...nah we're not getting involved in that. The Shenmue series has always been low hanging fruit for people to rag on (J Sterling did one 'the waterworld of videogames') it's like people can't handle this lavish expensive production has a languid pace and funny voice acting so it's easier to take the piss out of something you don't understand than just move on. Bastards the lot of them

 

Anyway i'll gladly take a Anime over nothing and I don't watch Anime so 🤷‍♂️

 

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Plus I really really really hate this sense of entitlement that something that was unfinished more than 20 years ago somehow owes the fans closure in one game. Like, as if Yu Suzuki and the dev team shouldn't be allowed to learn and grow from the mistakes made in 3 and improve upon it for a better sequel? Videogames and the Shenmue series especially are so much about the joy of existing in their worlds, so this idea that Suzuki, who now has a chance to continue expanding upon his baby, should pander to "fans" is extremely weird. People also seem to fundamentally miss the point of Kickstarting something. It could have never come out and I'd still have happily funded it. That was the whole point.

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1 minute ago, Benny said:

Plus I really really really hate this sense of entitlement that something that was unfinished more than 20 years ago somehow owes the fans closure in one game. 

 

Sure. However, if there's NO(!!) story progress AT ALL in the whole game we're going from one extreme to the other.

 

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36 minutes ago, Down by Law said:

 

If the game was a total mess it wouldn't have got the good reviews it did. It's got 67 on metacritic which is not mindblowing but not exactly big rigs either and well above average. Just because the story didn't play out like it did in his head, or he doesn't have a grasp of simple things 'why does he take his shoes off in the house?' 'why does he walk past this obvious shrine' 'why didn't the story end the way I wanted it to' and it's full of frankly bullshit statements presented as fact 'the only way to accrue enough money in this game is to spam the gambling' which is nonsense. I was absolutely minted by selling herbs and fish alone nevermind doing jobs and fighting in the rose garden.

It's pretty insulting to Yu Suzuki on several occasions and any true fan would like to see a series they like do better, which with the systems in place Shenmue IV absolutely could have been. But instead he traded his fandom for clicks and when they were trying to pitch Shenmue IV to publishers they likely saw this 2 million view video and thought...nah we're not getting involved in that. The Shenmue series has always been low hanging fruit for people to rag on (J Sterling did one 'the waterworld of videogames') it's like people can't handle this lavish expensive production has a languid pace and funny voice acting so it's easier to take the piss out of something you don't understand than just move on. Bastards the lot of them

 

Anyway i'll gladly take a Anime over nothing and I don't watch Anime so 🤷‍♂️

 

Well put. I've talked enough about my admiration for Shenmue 3 and the team behind it, and I'm very glad it exists at all. 

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I've calmed down since last year and re-bought this at a cheap price and game it another go. Its interesting how many comments in this thread have a caveat.  It's always, "this game is good, given that the developer had no money" or "this is great, I mean, we're lucky it even got made!".  But it's not a great game in and of itself.  There are some weird gameplay choices (getting hungry and not being able to run is game ruining alone), and the fact You Suzuki didnt move the story on at all is just mind blowing, but to me Shenmue has so much goodwill from the video game community that people overlooked the faults and tried so hard to love it.  I did the same with Deadly Premonition 2, a truly fucking awful mess of a game but right up until the point I completed it I was loving it because it was Frances York Morgan and I was back in that world.  Then, when the credits rolled I was quite stunned.  That was it? Literally just loads of fetch quests in a row? All the things I expected to open up didn't and I suddenly realise all the good stuff I thought was coming... Wasn't.

 

It's fair to say, I think, that if Shenmue 3 was a stand alone game with all new characters it would have been instantly forgotten.  It's not a good game.  It's not even a good Shenmue.  There are too many bad decisions made in the design stages.  But those who enjoyed it (and fair play to those who did) surely had their patience tested by the end as the story you'd been waiting 20 years to enjoy went absolutely nowhere.  If they do a Shenmue 4 I'll be interested in seeing it, but it better conclude the story because part 3 cost them my goodwill and I'll be dammed if I'm playing another Shenmue with no significant story.

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I sincerely hope there'll be Shenmue 4. However, seeing that the momentum has slowed down almost to a standstill and goodwill for Yu has evaporated across a big part of the (backers) community, I doubt it. Shenmue 3 probably was a once in a lifetime chance, both emotionally and financially. With a bit of flexibility Yu could have brought it to an end in style. But no, he had to stubbornly hold on to his initial roadmap from 25 years ago.

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Are people forgetting even Shenmue 1 had barely any significant plot movement to speak of through most of it? The story started to ramp up in the second game, but most of the actual time spent in both games is exploring and pottering about and having little conversations about the weather. They were hardly Metal Gear. 

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5 minutes ago, Benny said:

Are people forgetting even Shenmue 1 had barely any significant plot movement to speak of through most of it? The story started to ramp up in the second game, but most of the actual time spent in both games is exploring and pottering about and having little conversations about the weather. They were hardly Metal Gear. 

 

True, but it did set the stage for an epic story while simultaneously letting you explore a Japanese town in detail - which was unprecedented at the time. That epic story is nowhere in sight in Shenmue 3, except for literally the last few seconds :facepalm:

And don't forget it was meant to be a saviour for Dreamcast and would have seen its sequels being released in a timely manner - as opposed to a 20 year gap due to Dreamcast's failure. Times have changed. 

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Given the story is "get revenge for your dad" I'm surprised people care so much. It was hardly the driving force as to why the games were enjoyable (or ground breaking).

 

I don't think any possible Shenmue 3 could have pleased anyone, it's the last star wars trilogy all over again. 

 

There's some rose tints involved, there's how far things have moved on since, there's how much or little Yu cared about that fact, the cost, the expectations, the original vision, the market, the Internet...

 

It was like a game that should have been released ages and was wonky because of that but I think that's pretty much what would have happened if 3 came out on the dreamcast using the original engine etc. 

 

If the whole trilogy came out now, it would flop hard but it basically created the open world game and I'd still rather shenmue 3 stayed as ropey as it always was instead of turning into one of a million other games which the genre turned into. 

 

It could have been better but so could the first 2, they were just so ground breaking that a lot of the jank was forgivable. 

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10 hours ago, Benny said:

Like, as if Yu Suzuki and the dev team shouldn't be allowed to learn and grow from the mistakes made in 3 and improve upon it for a better sequel?


I think the problem here is - the chance of there ever being another sequel are now lower than before Shenmue 3 was released, such was the lukewarm market response. 
 

Shenmue was Sega’s white elephant practically from the get-go. This all happened before already. The very idea that Suzuki witnessed those events, got a second spin of the wheel and decided to place all his chips on the same spot again is baffling - not even from a fan point of view, but from his own. He’s 64 now - surely he wants his magnum opus completed? He doesn’t have another 25-30 years to wait, even if that third bite at the Cherry were to come around. 

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4 hours ago, crisy said:

I always expected the ultimate closure of the series would not be Ryo battering Lan Di but rather Ryo learning to let go of his hatred and his quest for revenge.


This would have been a great way to finish off the series. 

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23 hours ago, Down by Law said:

 

If the game was a total mess it wouldn't have got the good reviews it did. It's got 67 on metacritic which is not mindblowing but not exactly big rigs either and well above average. Just because the story didn't play out like it did in his head, or he doesn't have a grasp of simple things 'why does he take his shoes off in the house?' 'why does he walk past this obvious shrine' 'why didn't the story end the way I wanted it to' and it's full of frankly bullshit statements presented as fact 'the only way to accrue enough money in this game is to spam the gambling' which is nonsense. I was absolutely minted by selling herbs and fish alone nevermind doing jobs and fighting in the rose garden.

It's pretty insulting to Yu Suzuki on several occasions and any true fan would like to see a series they like do better, which with the systems in place Shenmue IV absolutely could have been. But instead he traded his fandom for clicks and when they were trying to pitch Shenmue IV to publishers they likely saw this 2 million view video and thought...nah we're not getting involved in that. The Shenmue series has always been low hanging fruit for people to rag on (J Sterling did one 'the waterworld of videogames') it's like people can't handle this lavish expensive production has a languid pace and funny voice acting so it's easier to take the piss out of something you don't understand than just move on. Bastards the lot of them

 

Anyway i'll gladly take a Anime over nothing and I don't watch Anime so 🤷‍♂️

I highly doubt that, they more than likely saw that despite now having three instalments, the general public just don't care enough to buy the games to make it worthwhile. I doubt they care about YouTube videos, but by that logic, why aren't there loads of multi-million viewed positive videos about the game (or if there are, why are you saying only the 'bad' video has had an impact? You can't have it both ways.)

 

Ultimately, despite the cult status achieved over the passage of time, it just isn't a series that looks like it will ever break-out and become a hit. You'd imagine that the fact Deep Silver didn't immediately sign another publishing deal is quite telling in terms of performance.

 

12 hours ago, Popo said:


I think the problem here is - the chance of there ever being another sequel are now lower than before Shenmue 3 was released, such was the lukewarm market response. 
 

Shenmue was Sega’s white elephant practically from the get-go. This all happened before already. The very idea that Suzuki witnessed those events, got a second spin of the wheel and decided to place all his chips on the same spot again is baffling - not even from a fan point of view, but from his own. He’s 64 now - surely he wants his magnum opus completed? He doesn’t have another 25-30 years to wait, even if that third bite at the Cherry were to come around. 

I think this sums things up quite well; Suzuki is clearly making the game he wants to make, even though there was absolutely no reason to believe the outcome would be any different from 1 & 2 and I'd be amazed if he truly believed this would be the game to reverse the trend. It therefore leaves fans with the uncomfortable truth that the story is probably never going to be finished in game form, because if by some magic a fourth game does get off the ground then you'd either get another game that trundles along with no ending (in line with his vision) or he'd have to abandoned what he believes in to satisfy the crowd, who would then moan "It isn't Shenmue" (and the general public still won't buy it.)

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11 hours ago, deKay said:

I paid £270 for my copy of Shenmue 3 and would happily pay the same again for a Shenmue 4.

 

It was bloody excellent. Sure, it wasn’t a “modern game” but thank fuck it wasn’t - I wanted Shenmue 3 not some other game with the Shenmue name on it.


high five!

 

I might stick the art book in the for free folder later…

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Bearing in mind that Shenmue 2 is my favourite game of all time...

 

Good things about Shenmue 3:

 

- It looks great in a way that is faithful to the previous games while massively improving on them.

- The village area is a nice and relaxing place to hang out.

- It's amazing that it exists at all.

 

Bad things about Shenmue 3:

 

- It barely progresses the plot.

- When it DOES move things on (at the end) it leaves them in a less interesting place then was promised by the end of S2.

- There are only two main areas.

- The second area makes you do all the stuff you did in the first, again.

- The fighting engine isn't fun and not as good as the previous games.

- The RPG system adds nothing positive and makes you grind levels.

- The stamina system adds nothing positive and stops you being able to run.

- Shenhua and especially Ren are badly used.

- None of the new characters are memorable or interesting.

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I'm not sure, mind. One or two of the more fanatical fans keep expecting a Shenmue 4 reveal at every gaming-adjacent event. But the only tangible upcoming thing looks to be an anime. Even when I asked in here a little while ago, nobody was able to give a clear answer.

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On 08/10/2021 at 15:12, Calashnikov said:

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:

 

 


Good video but all the things he criticises Shenmue for is all the same reasons why I adore the game. I think if you don’t like the mundanity of Shenmue then Shenmue just isn’t the game for you. It’s the pace which makes Shenmue what it is. That Edge quote is bullshit too. To top it off there’s a bizarre comparison to GTA3, the games are completely different, even still GTA3 isn’t fit to scrub Shenmue’s boots. At least that suffered an even worse Edge review.

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In my opinion, Shenmue 3 is not as good as 1 and 2 on its own terms, not compared to modern games. It is simply a far more tedious version of what 1 and 2 did (which I re-played shortly before this one, and loved them both!), and most of its problems stem from the stamina system forcing you to do regular repetitive daily chores. You aren't allowed the same sort of freedom as in the first games because there's this constant, nagging, drain on your character's stamina that keeps saying "hey, buy some food, chop some wood, earn some money, buy some food - don't you dare run too far!". It saps the joy out of the game, turns it into much more of a 'job' than it should be. It's almost like it's trying to force you to explore and mingle and earn, rather than just allowing you to. It's a structural problem, I think, that stems from the early design stages.

 

That said, it's quite possible the game would be massively improved just by removing the stamina drain / food requirements. I'm sure the PC version could be modded to do just that and it would make it at least 75% better.

 

Nowt to do with 'wanting Shenmue to be like GTA' of whatever nonsense, I just wanted Shenmue 3 to be a better Shenmue game.

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14 hours ago, Mr. Gerbik said:

I'm not sure, mind. One or two of the more fanatical fans keep expecting a Shenmue 4 reveal at every gaming-adjacent event. But the only tangible upcoming thing looks to be an anime. Even when I asked in here a little while ago, nobody was able to give a clear answer.

 

Well, yes... even some people on Shenmuedojo (which consists of the most enthusiastic fans) say that the anime has to be a great success for there to be even a chance of S4 😕

I've said it before and will say it again: S3 was THE chance to bring it to an end, in style and story. He blew it. Apparently we need to watch the anime now to see how the story ends.

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1 hour ago, alex3d said:

Well, yes... even some people on Shenmuedojo (which consists of the most enthusiastic fans) say that the anime has to be a great success for there to be even a chance of S4 😕

I've said it before and will say it again: S3 was THE chance to bring it to an end, in style and story. He blew it. Apparently we need to watch the anime now to see how the story ends.

I see. I started to doubt what exactly the status quo of Shenmue 4 was when I saw posts on social from people seemingly genuinely surprised that it wasn't revealed at TGS and "maybe next show".

 

I totally get why fans of the series consider this less than ideal but getting an anime is better than nothing at all. It's closure at least, time to move on. I remember not long after after Shenmue 2, people were already saying that if 3 never happened, maybe they should make it a manga or anime to see how the story ends.

 

Edit: the original concept for what would have been Half Life 3 got leaked by the writer himself a few years back. Going by that experience, it's a disappointing form of closure. Not nearly as satisfying as people thought beforehand. But at least it's closure, even disappointing closure is better than none at all if you're that invested in a piece of fiction. Getting nothing at all is just endlessly frustrating for the fans.

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We know that they were pitching IV to publishers and if anything the anime can only help that. It's one thing to say 'look we have a niche series here but we still raised 7 million dollars through kickstarter' to 'we have a high quality anime adaptation that can bring in legions of new fans that could all be potential customers for Shenmue IV'

 

He couldn't end it with Shenmue III. Shenmue II only covered up to chapter 5 of 11 so the idea that he could cram in 6 chapters worth of story in a very low budget game that doesn't have many expensive cut scenes to begin with would have been a grave mistake IMO. Not to mention that the scope of the game changed so much with the different funding streams and Deep Silver coming on board so it wasn't like the game was pre-planned and scripted with a singular vision, you don't get that luxury with kickstarters. I still maintain it was and is an amazing achievement of how far they stretched that budget. This wasn't the AM2 Sega glory years with 100's of established developers on board it was an indie studios first major game.

 

Having an Anime might be disappointing to some but Shenmue has never been more alive. It's not like the wilderness years of 2002-2015. 

 

IV could be in production right now for all we know but Cedric Biscay (Shibuya productions and producer on III) said the one thing they regretted was having to release very early footage to show backers (the 2017 trailer) - that is also the only trailer without the Shibuya productions logo because he wasn't happy with it (this is the one with very stilted characters whose eyes didn't move). The game faced an uphill battle after that and was the source of much ridicule online for it's graphics, despite it obviously being early pre-alpha footage (parts of that video don't even exist in the finished game). 

 

I still reckon we'll get another game but it makes no sense to promote the anime and muddy the waters with a game announcement at the same time. Let the animation do it's thing and show the next game only when it's ready and there is good stuff to show.

 

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On 09/10/2021 at 04:48, crisy said:

I've mentioned it in this thread before, but I actually love the approach Yu took in regards to story progression of Shenmue 3. It's just so Shenmue and seems like he was just trying to be true to himself and his vision of the game, rather than try to force some ultra blockbuster fireworks finale that could never realistically hope to match the fantasises the fans clamouring for that have been cultivating over years anyway. Yu just went his own route and did a total Shenmue move by not finishing it and by making the game more about the relationship of the two main characters than the revenge on Lan Di. It's bold and brilliant and feels like something he would have done while he was sill the big man at Sega rather than a tiny developer totally beholden to the fans. But also I suspect going that route was the only way Yu could make the pressure bearable for himself, just focusing on the spirit and atmosphere of the game rather than chasing after some ungodly dramatic payoff the fans want. 

And for me there was significant story progress in the game, as for me the Shenmue series was always clearly not really a revenge story but a coming of age story of sorts. I always expected the ultimate closure of the series would not be Ryo battering Lan Di but rather Ryo learning to let go of his hatred and his quest for revenge. When you go back and play the original games, it's done pretty well I think, the subtle portrayal of Ryo's emotional distance from the normal lives of people around him, and less subtle but the signposting that he's on a dark path in seeking revenge. And gradually we see him soften slightly over the course of the two games as he travels and makes new friends. And sure, we don't get closure or Ryo's renunciation of revenge in 3, but for the first time in the series it seems like he cares more about other people's lives than his own quest, he cares more about rescuing Shenhua's father than avenging his own. And it gives the game a wonderful excuse to plod around and be slow and rambling in the way Shenmue should be. 

And anyway Shenmue was really all about atmosphere and location, Yu knows that well and S3 has that in spades. China, in particular Niaowu, is stunning. And the whole thing is just full of so much heart and gratitude, it beautifully pays homage to the fans who made it possible and pays homage to itself. It's a game that is just happy to exist, for it knows how miraculous that existence is.

I love 3 in a different way to the way I love the first two games (but to me, all three individual Shenmue games are somehow different beasts with same heart), but I love it just as any fan should, and any fan making a vid entitled "this game is terrible and I've wasted my life" is a cunt basically.

This post, entirely on its own, has made me re-evaluate my opinion quite significantly. Possible contender for post of the year, that.

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