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Shenmue III - PS4/PC | Out Now!

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If it was intentionally made to be like the originals, voice acting, game play etc and convey the same feel as those now dated games, they did a good job. I guess some people must have been expecting it to be completely overhauled in all areas and modernised which I am pretty sure was never on the cards anyway, or even possible with the budget and team they had.

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Throughout playing it I could tell it was a game the team had really tried to pour a lot of love into, warts and all, despite clearly having ambitions beyond what should be possible with their budget. They've tried to essentially replicate what made Shenmue Shenmue 18 years ago, with varying levels of success maybe, but it's absolutely clear what their intention was.

 

There seems to be this expectation for it to be something it isn't, and was never intended to be. As it's an attempt to finish a long dead creative endeavour, the fact that some people seem to have such animosity towards it is truly baffling. I can only assume it's because they are upset they don't "get it" when so much love surrounds it and they feel like they're not part of some sort of exclusive club.

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On 29/11/2019 at 08:59, Garwoofoo said:

The guestbook should be a terrible, immersion-breaking idea but somehow it’s just perfect, a massive outpouring of love and delight from the fans that suits this game perfectly. 
 

I went into the Niaowu pawn shop last night and dear god there are a lot of move scrolls to collect and just an incredible amount of stuff to find and do. I’m already a bit hooked on looking for the hidden chickens in each shop. 

 

The temple too is fantastic. In fact the guest book should ideally be in the "Save Shenmue" temple.

 

Its just awesome and now feel really bad that I didn't back it originally. However will back a S4 project if one arises and might rebuy this on the PC too! Which will be when it arrives on Steam at some point next year!

 

Imagine if S4 had a VR mode... now that would be something to have as an option! :) 

 

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1 hour ago, Down by Law said:

...So when you've got people like Angry Joe and fucking Jim Sterling piling on it, who have a huge audience, that really grates my fucking cheese because this is the sort of game that should be celebrated.

 

Shenmue 3
will be for the fans,
by the fans
- yu suzuki

 

 

I wrote a big angry page agreeing with you here, but I've just deleted it to simply say I don't care what they have to say about it. They don't like the game. It's like asking me to review Pokemon. I fucking hate that shit with a passion and could easily rant for an hour about why. Fuck Jim and Joe for their cheap shot videos, designed cynically as they are to steal clicks and forum inches while Shenmue's in the games news pages. I don't care, fuck the both of them.

 

-DRAWS LINE UNDERNEATH-

 

21 hours ago, Kayin Amoh said:

Is there a way to skip lines of dialogue? I read fast, I'm playing subtitled and it's taking forever for them to get to the end of a sentence I read almost as soon as it flashed up.

 

Also, in true Shenmue fashion, they repeat themselves. A lot.

 

You're playing it wrong. Chill, take it easy, and let the dialogue play. ;)

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2 hours ago, Nate Dogg III said:

Watched a bit of that Sterling video, inside a minute he says he'll be talking about "Shenmue and its history as a product"

 

A product.

 

Get in the fucking sea.


I’ll be reviewing Shenmue 3 as a 1950s skiffle band.

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2 hours ago, Lumpy said:

I wrote a big angry page agreeing with you here, but I've just deleted it to simply say I don't care what they have to say about it. They don't like the game. It's like asking me to review Pokemon. I fucking hate that shit with a passion and could easily rant for an hour about why. Fuck Jim and Joe for their cheap shot videos, designed cynically as they are to steal clicks and forum inches while Shenmue's in the games news pages. I don't care, fuck the both of them.

 

It's the complete inability to distinguish between "I don't like this game" and "This game is bad" that gets to me. Shenmue 3's the exact equivalent of an arthouse movie - niche appeal, slow pacing, low budget, singular vision - and it definitely has its audience. It deserves to be reviewed by people who are able to appreciate that kind of thing, rather than the kind of slack-jawed knuckle-draggers that just want to play the next Gears of War and review everything through the same lens.

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I haven’t read any reviews for fear of spoilers, but I’d very much expect some of the supposed negative points would actually be the things I love about it.

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This is becoming excruciating for me. I really wanted to play this with no distraction - and what I mean by that is:

 

1) Finish my current play through of 1&2

2) Finish whatever else I'm playing now

 

I obviously couldn't wait so played the first couple of hours the day it arrived but then thought "no, I waited almost 20 years for this another couple of weeks won't hurt". But bloody hell, I'm feverishly trying to finish Jedi Fallen Order and Control - and as good as they are (in fact they are great) I suppose I'm just trying to bludgeon my way through them to get to the main event.

 

I'm actually enjoying seeing little spoilers like location screenshots - it reminds me of when 2 was coming out and I would see shots of Hong Kong and the Kowloon towers... 

 

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Finished it on stream just now. Gonna need some time to process it but all I'm going to say is the ending was lacklustre and failed to achieve the feeling it was going for.

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I agree with all the points made above. The fans got Shenmue 3, a game they had been waiting 18 years for. Some of the reviewers seem to have a game they don't like, but have confused that with the game not being a good game.  It is a Shenmue game. If you don't like Shenmue you won't like this, but that doesn't mean it's a bad game.

 

Having said that, I have to agree with just one of Jim Sterling's points.  Shenmue 3 should have brought the saga to a close and it is a mistake to have made another chapter to the previously unfinished story.  

 

When they announced that Shenmue 3 wasn't the last in the series I lost interest. It became a 'must buy for £20' instead of a 'must buy at launch'.  Sales of Shenmue 3 have been disappointing and I think it is because it is too much to ask of the fanbase to release a new chapter with the possibility that there could be another 18 years to wait until Shenmue 4, if it even happens at all. Why not take this massive opportunity to tell the story now? Bring it to a satisfactory conclusion. That's surely what everyone expected from that first Kickstarter announcement.

 

This Kickstarter was the perfect opportunity to take that unfinished game series we loved and give it the send off we have been waiting for.  I disagree with every other point Jim Sterling makes and I think the poorer reviews are missing the point of what this game is.  I'm excited to play it, but it's not an essential purchase now because it extends the story where it should have concluded it.

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I originally felt the same but if Yu Suzuki says he couldn't finish the story in part III then I believe him. One of the big appeals of Shenmue over something like Yakuza is the globetrotting , I mean, how was he supposed to fit 4-5 cities in a budget open world game?

 

The game doesn't need to sell gangbusters to secure a 4th part. IGN Japan stated the final budget was around 12 million. 7 of that was put up through crowdfunding and the other 5 was from Deep Silver. Seeing as Epic paid 10.5 million dollars for Control exclusivity, even if they only paid Deep Silver half that then they got back all their investment right away (and you can see why publishers are taking these deals when it is eliminating risk to such a degree) . It's also still 3rd in the EGS chart, so it's bringing people to that store.

 

It sold 21K physical copies in Japan. Don't have any hard figures yet for UK and US or digital sales but seeing as Darksiders 3 only needed to sell 100K to turn a profit for THQ Nordic I think Shenmue would beat that easily if not already. It was the #1 selling game on Best Buy USA and around #6 on Amazon on Black Friday and yes those copies were discounted, but chart toppers in the US are shifting huge numbers.

 

Then of course the game is aimed at the 30+ bracket who have disposable income and lean toward digital sales.

 

I wouldn't call Shenmue III a sales disappointment because that annoying fat clown Jim Sterling said so. Unless of course he has sales data no one has ( of course he doesn't )

 

The Collectors Edition sold out across all of the UK, they sold all 5000 CEs in the US in 47 minutes, the French pix n love edition 2500 copies completely sold out. Not bad for a game that another 70,000 people pre-bought 4 and a half years ago and none of those backer sales are taken into account.

 

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Yeah there's a load of good reviews. It has a 7.0 on Metacritic with an 8.0 from users.

 

 


100 Digitally Downloaded

90 - IGN Japan

90 - Slant Magazine

85 - DualShockers

85 - Gaming Trend

85 - PSX-Sense.nl

83 - 4players.de

80 - DarkStation

80 - The Guardian

80 - Gamesradar+

80 - GameCritics

80 - Videogamer

80 - Game Revolution

80 - LaPS4

80 - Hobby Consolas

80 - Twinfinite

80 - VGC

80 - PlayStation Universe

80 - We Got This Covered

80 - Wfftech

78 - Atomix

76 - GamePro Germany

75 - Gamer.nl

75 - EveryEye.it

75 - Multiplayer.it

75 - The Games Machine

73 - Spazio Games

72 - Vandal

70 - Hardcore Gamer

70 - Destructoid

70 - Eurogamer Italy

70 - RPG Fan

70 - IGN Spain

70 - IGN Italia

70 - Gameblog.fr

 

 

 

I mean Destuctoid gave a 7 and the pre-release coverage was so negative. IGN US did an Alien Isolation and gave it a 5.9 whereas IGN Japan gave it a 9 and it's shortlisted for both game and soundtrack of the year over there. Good to see Shenmue remains so Divisive in 2019 :D

 

 

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RE the ending (big spoilers)

 

Spoiler

The castle part starts with a really badly timed fetch quest, I mean, that really should have been cut. Niao Sun was introduced and seen off way too quickly, for such an interesting character that was shown off a lot in press screenshots.

 

Everything after that though, the fighting through the staircases, the red snakes leader, I thought was really good. It reminded me a lot of the harbour in the first game but instead of Guixhang it's best bros Ren and Ryo smashing through mooks and the insufferable red snakes. I took great pleasure in knocking them senseless, especially that gangly lanky one with the grey t shirt, don't know why but I just hated that guy haha. Beating the Red Snake leader at Sunset was really quite stirring stuff. 

 

However … when you hit the top of the castle and confront Lan DI I though that whole part was absolutely superb and the highlight of the game. When I kicked that door in knowing Lan Di was there the hairs on my arms stood up, you just can't manufacture emotions like that. The smoke pouring through the bottom of the room while that incredible music plays, Lan Di blocks everything Ryo can throw at him like an impossible bad ass, the Ren save and his Indiana Jones moment, loved all of it.

 

Shout out to the fighting cut scene with grandmaster Bei on the dock too as that was beautifully choreographed.

 

Shenmue to me is more about the journey than the ending and I loved my 40 odd hours with it and I missed so much. I think I got 20 out of NINETY TWO move scrolls. NG+ awaits. GOTY

 

 

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Look like this has performed badly in Japan and the UK.

 

This is why I didn't get on board with this. Firstly because Shenmue 1&2 were a product of their time and hardware. Secondly, the decision to make this a continuation rather than conclusion. With technological advances this game could've covered a lot of ground compared to it's predecessors. Seems like they made an uncompromising homage, which is all fans wanted, but now you're back to square one. Start the petitions for Shenmue 4 now.

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"Why didn't Yu Suzuki make a different game than the one he wanted to make?" has been a take with this game so hot that my eyeballs have melted and I won't be able to play Shenmue IV.

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I haven't played this yet but I was a big Shenmue fan back in the day, like most Dreamcast owners I guess.

I can understand people wanting more Shenmue, as even now there aren't many games that offer a similar experience. It surprises me that people would really care about the "conclusion"  of the overall story at this stage to the extent that they'd have liked 3 to shortcut its way to an ending that wraps everything up neatly. Is the Shenmue story really all that great? As much as I liked the experience of the games back in the day, I never thought much of the main plot. I can think of a couple of possible endings and none of them would be particularly satisfying.

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12 minutes ago, grindmouse said:

Look like this has performed badly in Japan and the UK.

 

When the producer tweets how happy they are with the Japanese reception and sales, maybe - y'know - they are better equipped to say whether that's bad or not.

 

Quote

 With technological advances this game could've covered a lot of ground compared to it's predecessors.

 

Kickstarter budget game? even so, 40 hours of content, that's like 4 x the length of the first game. Fully voiced in Japanese and English. Probably 100 hours or more to do everything and get the platinum trophy if that's what you're into.

 

Quote

Seems like they made an uncompromising homage, which is all fans wanted

 

"Shenmue III will be by the fans, for the fans" - Yu Suzuki

 

 

 

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Just now, Down by Law said:

 

 

When the producer tweets how happy they are with the Japanese reception and sales, maybe - y'know - they are better equipped to say whether that's bad or not.

 

https://www.vg247.com/2019/11/28/shenmue-iii-sales-disappoint-japan-uk/

 

Just now, Down by Law said:

Kickstarter budget game? even so, 40 hours of content, that's like 4 x the length of the first game. Fully voiced in Japanese and English. Probably 100 hours or more to do everything and get the platinum trophy if that's what you're into.

 

"Shenmue III will be by the fans, for the fans" - Yu Suzuki

 

Cool, I'm not trashing the game or the fans. Maybe he'll kickstart Shenmue 4 straight away.

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A Shenmue game that barrelled through locations and cutscenes in the interest of “getting the story done” wouldn’t be a Shenmue game at all. The series is defined by its leisurely pace. I’d genuinely rather have the Shenmue III we actually got, and no conclusion, than a rushed attempt to tie everything up in a single game. 

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44 minutes ago, partious said:

I haven't played this yet but I was a big Shenmue fan back in the day, like most Dreamcast owners I guess.

I can understand people wanting more Shenmue, as even now there aren't many games that offer a similar experience. It surprises me that people would really care about the "conclusion"  of the overall story at this stage to the extent that they'd have liked 3 to shortcut its way to an ending that wraps everything up neatly. Is the Shenmue story really all that great? As much as I liked the experience of the games back in the day, I never thought much of the main plot. I can think of a couple of possible endings and none of them would be particularly satisfying.

 

Yeah.... Lan Di is so obviously Ryo's real father... 

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(lots of armchair sales and budgeting speculation flying about here... so lets just throw my opinion in the mix)

 

The Kickstarter money is amortised into the project, *if* it cost 7m to develop (which is a big if) - there are various methods of accruing more money during the development period of the third game. Just having 7m on tap in a bank account opens up quite a lot of other avenues towards funding deals. Not least, Deep Silver / Koch Media who probably / possibly signed a first refusal on any sequel based on the recoupment of their monies down (an additional 5m, which to DS / KM is absolutely nothing) - I wouldn't be surprised if they agreed a sequel deal as part of the initial deal. Given Y.S's stance that he wants to make a series, I doubt he'd have signed away a record breaking kickstarter on a sales-dependent arrangement. He's not that desperate. 

So - they haven't necessarily even "spent" 12m developing the game, let alone any side hustles they had from Sony during the kickstarter announce, or VC investment shenanigans in the building of the studio. (Remembering YS himself is probably pretty wealthy and well connected himself) - throw in any Epic game exclusivity deal (which will probably go against Koch Media / Deep Silver recoupment amount) means that they've [KS/DS] already made a profit which triggers their "lets talk sequels" clause.


Digital sales are a complete black box, but they're around 50% of boxed product (my data is a couple of years old so it's probably more than that by now) - so 30k physical sales isn't even half of what it's performed in a single region. It's very difficult to estimate a break even target sales figure for this game as it's so complexly financed, and without the development agreement, it's all just speculation anyway.
 

My suspicion will be that the recoupment rate on the third game (and the royality he's making) and the future recoupment / royality rate of the sequel will be dependent on metacritic and sales figures in some sort of way.

 

tldr;

There's no point saying "the sales of this game equate to the likelihood of the IV getting made" - that's absolutely not how it works and is a really basic way of looking at game financing.

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Shenmue is a game about the journey, not the destination and if you think not wrapping up the story is a problem then you either haven’t played them, have missed the point, or have allowed market trends to dictate what you think is correct/incorrect game design.

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Am I wrong though - didn't the initial announcement make a big deal of Shenmue being the big release follow up to the game from 2001 that was famously left unfinished?  "Every story needs a destination" or similar lines?  Shenmue fans all know that the story of Ryo and Lan-Di was never concluded, and I'm sure that Yu Suzuki talked in interviews about how the time was right to finish the story.  They seemed to change their minds midway through, and I'm sure they referred to this being the conclusion we've all been waiting for up to that point.

 

It's a shame that Shenmue was never concluded due to Sega's issues at the time, and crowdfunding a surprise Shenmue 3 was the opportunity to fix that.  But instead, we're still no wiser on how far into the story we are, and we don't know if anyone will finance a Shenmue 4.

 

Star Wars has shown me that while there is an audience that pays money, they will keep churning out sequels until no-one cares any more or we all die of old age.  If there was evidence to say that Shenmue was originally going to be, say, five games, then I'd be happy to buy Shenmue 3, safe in the knowledge that 4 and 5 were definitely coming and my favourite DC games were getting the sequels they deserved.  A Kickstarter to complete the original story would have been welcome.

 

But in 2019 we now have no evidence to say that Shenmue 4 will be made any time soon, if at all, so all the fans are left with an unfinished story.  They already had that after completing Shenmue 2 in 2001. 

 

That unfinished story from 2001 could have got a send off worthy of it, a final game in the Shenmue series that no-one expected, topping off the first two games perfectly.  Instead, we have another chapter in the incomplete story, with no insight as to how close to the end we are, how many more games there will be and if anyone will ever release any more Shenmue's anyway. That's why it went from essential purchase to "wait and pick up cheaply" and I loved Shenmue.

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