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Shenmue III - PS4/PC | Out Now!


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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.

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I loved Shenmue back in the day but I find those first two games hard to go back to. What I loved most was the feeling of virtual tourism, visiting a convincing rendition of a modern Japanese village. Nowadays I'm crazy about Yakuza, partly because it gives me the exact same feeling of virtual tourism - visiting recognizable modern day Japanese cities, many of which I actually been to for real. 

 

However, it's not a given that Shenmue fans will therefore automatically love Yakuza. Most probably will, because there are definitely similarities at the core, but as was said earlier in the thread Shenmue also feels like living everyday life. Yakuza feels like stumbling into a completely crazy over the top action movie, nothing everyday about it in that regard.

 

I backed Shenmue 3 but still haven't started it because I don't think it will give me the same feeling that playing the first one in 1999 (I think?) did - I mean, how could it? But I want to someday, just to satisfy curiosity.

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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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