General Impressions

Joined
Mar 6, 2019
We don’t really know that none of them are near the mark. Remember, this game didn’t even answer basic questions that should’ve been answered at that point in the plot. There is plenty of wiggle room. I’d say it’s a little too early to be panicking about that.

Now, the actual quality of the writing going forward? Well, that’s certainly a concern. I’d like to believe that Yu isn’t an idiot though, and will listen to the fans’ complaints therefore ensuring better writing and story progression for Shenmue IV, if that does happen.
He seems pretty receptive to fan opinion so I think we can at least count on improvement in S4. Problem is that, as we know, any investor like DS will need confidence on their return, so if S3 sells poorly, they can’t afford the risk. That simple.
 

TwiceFriedRice

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SkillgoreK
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He seems pretty receptive to fan opinion so I think we can at least count on improvement in S4. Problem is that, as we know, any investor like DS will need confidence on their return, so if S3 sells poorly, they can’t afford the risk. That simple.

I don’t think Shenmue 4 is likely to happen. That wasn’t the point of my post.
 
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Re; the letter. If Yuan knew that Ryo would be arriving imminently, who’s to say that he didn’t know that the thugs would be coming for him too? Admittedly, the letter reads more like he is dying, but it kind of makes sense if we assume Yuan has the ability to see the future or that the prophecy has more to it than we know.

Re; the mirror. Who is to say that Chai didn’t tell Niao San about the mirror? We know that his dream was always to work for the Chi You Men, but despite his best efforts, Lan Di didn’t seem interested in recruiting him.

We know that Lan Di’s primary goal is to take the mirrors, but Niao San is something of a mystery as are her motivations. All we really know about her is that she wants to seize power of the CYM from Lan Di. Maybe she wants the mirrors too, but this could be a secondary motivation.

I did find myself asking, why didn’t she just have Mr. Muscles take the mirror after one of the beat downs he gave Ryo, but this wouldn’t help her deal with Lan Di.

Luring Ryo to the castle to get the mirror from Ryo and then have him distract Lan Di while she torched the place kind of makes sense (although I suppose she could have just taken both the mirror and Shenhua and got the same result pre castle).

I think it’s possible to explain away all of these little questions, but the game did a piss poor job of doing it.
 
Joined
Aug 6, 2018
This. There may be a story to tell somewhere but S3's storytelling is so piss poor and so painfully amateurish, it makes 1980s van Damme movies look like the deepest Martial Arts stories ever.

The Prophecy poem is the prologue to all three of the games for fuck sakes! If you don't press start at the start screen in S1, 2, or 3 you get that fucking poem, and here we are in the very village it originated from and yet the game tells us fuck all about it. Absolutely jack shit.

And the letter? Ryo and Shenhua talk about it on their way from the cave to Bailu, Ryo mentions asking her father about the letter and the mirrors in one of the evening conversations but when they rescue that old dude, they just don't ask him. In fact Shenhua is so indifferent, she doesn't even join Ryo's conversation with the old geezer.

And now there's two Shenmue trees, maybe more. The game is called Shenmue, Shenhua was born under one of the trees and named after it. How about some story on the trees while we're standing in front of them?!?

And Niaowu? Why was it even in the game? They could have put the extra Arcade games and the forklift in Bailu for all I care. The only interesting thing in Niaowu could have been when Ryo received the move scroll with his father's name on it from the Temple priest but Ryo just doesn't care enough to ask about it.

I'd rather they would have cut Niaowu and focused on Bailu and Baisha and gave the game a dignified ending and some plot development.
 

Ryo Suzuki

SHENMUE PODCASTellano
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Yu Suzuki believed at the time that Shenmue 2 would be the final game in the series so he wanted to go out with a bang; there's an interview of his about this somewhere on the forum.
I didn't know.
I don't remember this interview. Where is this statement?
I would like to read it.

Interesting topic btw!
 
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sppeac1987
Yu Suzuki believed at the time that Shenmue 2 would be the final game in the series so he wanted to go out with a bang; there's an interview of his about this somewhere on the forum. That's why there are those fantastical elements at the end of Shenmue 2. If he had known he would produce Shenmue 3 one day then I think the ending of Shenmue 2 would have been different. The problem he has now is giving the fantastical elements context within the Shenmue story. I just don't see how they can. When the relief was revealed at the end of Shenmue 2, I was obviously amazed but how does he give the relief meaning? Yuan says 'my work is done', which surely alludes to his carving the giant mirrors but unless they're giant gates which open to a secret room which contains the white tiger and snake tortoise mirrors, then the whole thing was a waste of time. Maybe we'll find out the answer in Shenmue 4.
Whoa, we need to find and dig up this interview, methinks! That would certainly explain a lot...

[USER=266]Lan Di-sama[/USER] said:
Is the fact Yuan was considered Shenhua's stepdad and not her actual father in Shenmue 2 retconned? It was never stated, and in Bailu Ryo asked Shenhua about her mother, with no mention of her biological father being made. And if it's the Yuan Family that have this connection to Phantom River Stone and the creation of the mirrors, I would think Shenhua is biologically related - yet they have different surnames. Anyone else confused by this?
I'm sure he's still meant to be Shenhua's stepfather rather than her biological one - I can't remember specifically, but I'm sure this is mentioned in a conversation with Shenhua in S3.

[USER=266]Lan Di-sama[/USER] said:
-Side note: I thought the Phoenix and Dragon mirrors were ANCIENT - ("been my destiny since ANCIENT times", the allusions that Shenhua has a deep connection with her ancestors, etc) - but we learn in Bailu the mirrors were apparently created for the emperor in 1910. That just doesn't sit right with me, for some reason.
Yes, I found this a bit jarring too - I naturally assumed, as I'm sure everyone else did, that 'ancient' meant 'not created in the same century'.

And this topic made me realise I'd forgotten about the Shenmue tree!! Is that still going to have any relevance going forward? I mean, you would hope so, considering it is where the series title comes from, and also Shenhua's name...
 
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sppeac1987

It's somewhere towards the end of the article.
Thanks - found it :)

Towards the end of Shenmue 2, more fantastical elements began to creep in, though. The floating sword Ryo and Shenhua come across in that Guilin cave always had me worried that Shenmue 3 would throw away the mundane in favour of magic. "When we made Shenmue 2, we knew it was the last one," Suzuki reassures me. "We decided to go out with a bang - that's why there are those fantastical elements in there! Also, in China and in Japan, there's a strong belief, like in England and with Stonehenge and the druids, we get energy from the spirits and the trees and nature. It's called ki, and it translates as feeling and emotion. It's not the same as fantastical fairies and demons - it's more to do with a natural, basic power. We're considering bringing that element into Shenmue 3.
Now this is interesting, that he states they're considering bringing that element into Shenmue 3. Does this suggest they later decided against it? Other than the tease of Shenhua's power when she gets the thug to spill what he knows, I don't recall any other suggestion of these elements.
 
Joined
Jul 31, 2018
Thanks - found it :)


Now this is interesting, that he states they're considering bringing that element into Shenmue 3. Does this suggest they later decided against it? Other than the tease of Shenhua's power when she gets the thug to spill what he knows, I don't recall any other suggestion of these elements.

I hated that interview because I thought introducing these elements in the final hour (literally) made for an epic reveal and excellent storytelling. However, I never expected the fantastical bits to extend much beyond what Yu is referencing by ki and emotional power, so I was a little comforted he brought that up.

He later confirmed bluntly there would be no supernatural elements in 3 so I kept my expectations in check. I was expecting a full retcon in the cave, so I was mostly relieved that even though the floating sword was cut that there was still a mirror pedestal shooting out a beam of light - not a total retcon. (However, at this point of knowing the full story, I am a little sour that they brushed the epicness of Shenmue 2's finale under the rug)

Shenhua's powers were at least hinted at in conversation and again when interrogating the thug (side note: he wasn't even a Red Snake was he? Just a random thug...?), I do think it's possible Yu considered this chapter a reboot hence why it was light on story, Ryo had some amnesia, and that any of these supernatural elements were deferred for later chapters.

Other side note - I actually think interrogating the thug and giving Shenhua a primary role in that sequence was one of my favorite parts of the game. It felt very Shenmue to me.
 
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Joined
Aug 22, 2018
I loved the ending at the castle but I feel like they've cut it necessary to release a complete game.

I hope we go back to Bailu and Shenhua's father discusses his letter.
 
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Joined
Dec 23, 2019
This is not to say that I didn’t enjoy some elements of the game (I have highlighted these below), and at first I was really happy with the game. It felt like a Shenmue game, a true respectable continuation from 2. It was only after the monotonous grind this game became did I realise nearing the end of my first playthrough that very little story has been or will be revealed, and that is when my opinion on Shenmue 3 changed from a relatively positive one, to a mostly negative one that I have now. This is driven by the fact that the entire game’s story sees us attempting to rescue Shenhua’s father by having to beat two separate thugs (once in Bailu and again in Niaowu) by learning the same move TWICE in order to defeat them (and in order to learn these two identical moves we must submit to boring gameplay mechanics in order to make money so that we can eventually obtain the Body Check moves, even though I actually beat both of them with my default movesets on the hardest difficulty during their respective fights but was still forced to lose to both of them multiple times until I obtained the Body Check Move… twice). That is the ENTIRE STORY of the game. It repeats itself twice. This is very bad storytelling. I did not wait 18 years or give $2000.00 to the Kickstarter campaign for this to be the story of Shenmue 3. It honestly feels like a bad joke.

Overall, I am disappointed in this game and the fact that very little story was revealed throughout and that the story we have been waiting for 18 years did not conclude. I am also disappointed with all the calamitous decisions Ys Net had chosen to make during the Kickstarter campaign for Shenmue 3. Such decisions as the inability to divulge the level of financial support being received by Ys Net from Sony, Sega, Shibuya Productions and Deep Silver, the Epic Games Store exclusivity deal which led to the refusal to give backers refunds until pressure mounted, an overall poor marketing campaign for Shenmue 3 and falsely advertised Steam keys, and the fact that the DLC for this game was not given to Kickstarter backers who backed the project over a specific pledge tier for free or at the very least was not even included in the retail collector editions of the game or the digital deluxe and required ANOTHER separate purchase even after fans have backed this project with their own hard earned money is, quite frankly, beyond unacceptable and continues to highlight that Yu Suzuki and his team have no intention of ensuring consumers or fans are happy and that his team possesses no basic business acumen skills to operate successfully within today’s gaming industry. The Shenmue IP cannot recover from the irreversible damage that has now been done leading up to Shenmue 3’s release.

After reviewing the retail sales figures of Shenmue 3 globally, which I must say have been abysmal, along with all the critical reviews for this game which have range from mostly average to negative, I have little hope that there will be or even care if there is a Shenmue 4 anymore. I honestly feel like I have wasted $2000.00 and if I had the foresight to have known what decisions Ys Net would have made during the Kickstarter campaign and that the fact that Shenmue 3 would not reveal the important story elements that we fans have waited for 18 years to know, I would have backed the Kickstarter at a considerably lower amount, somewhere around $100.00 tier.

It is unlikely a Shenmue 4 will be produced so I now urge Yu Suzuki to release a book, novel, manga or simply his script synopsis which details the end of the Shenmue Story in so to please the fans who gave them their own money. It is a shame of what Shenmue 3 is and has become, because Shenmue 1 and 2 were and still are some of my favourite all time video games ever made and are historically and culturally significant artistic works of fiction and are masterpieces in their own right. Shenmue 3 is not.

I have separated detailed issues and improvement suggestions I have for the game into categories below:

(Heavy Spoilers so be advised):

Story issues/questions:
  • At the end of Shenmue 2 and when you read the letter that Mr Yuan left for Shenhua it is implied he knows that ‘the one who holds the Phoenix’ will arrive to accompany Shenhua (being Ryo), and it is also implied he knew he would get kidnapped. How did he know this?
  • There are noticeable differences to Shenhua’s house from 2 to 3. Why change it up and add the extra room?
  • Why does hardly anybody know or care in Bailu that Mr Yuan, Shenhua’s father, is missing?
  • 11pm should be the point Ryo returns to bed for the night, not 9pm. Though I believe this decision was made to hide the fact the game is horribly short.
  • Shenhua should tag along with Ryo more when exploring Bailu, she acts as if she does not care her father is missing most of the time (further highlighted by her emotionless and terrible voice acting).
  • There are many moves from the original games missing in this game, most notably the throw moves.
  • The game feels very repetitive and feels like you are walking in circles (e.g. talk to this guy, then this guy). I do note this was similar to Shenmue 1 but I feel Shenmue 2 did away with the majority of such repetition. I would like to have seen more fighting and more action.
  • I do not like how we are forced to lose to Yanglang, the thug in Bailu or the Red Snake’s boss.
  • Grandmaster Feng doesn’t introduce himself by name yet Ryo seems to know it when he meets him in Ternary Springs and speaks with him a second time.
  • Why are there only 3 thugs in Bailu, one of which causes Ryo so much trouble? Ryo beat Chai, the three elite Kowloon fighters, Master Baihu and Dou Niu, along with an army of Mad Angels, Heavens and Yellow Heads, yet he cannot beat this single thug Yanglang? It hardly seems realistic and the lack of more thugs seems rather non-threatening considering what Ryo has been through prior. This issue is again highlighted with the Red Snakes and their Boss.
  • Grandmaster Feng, Shiren, Liu, Zuxiong and the Martial Hall martial artists and master should help Ryo in the Hermits Nest against the thugs, yet they don’t do anything (with Lui and Shiren showing up last minute).
  • Wouldn’t the thugs in Bailu just eventually run away rather than basing up in the Hermits Nest while Ryo is wasting time grinding to learn the body check move?
  • Bailu is a martial arts village but there don’t seem to be many martial artists of the calibre of Toa Lishao/Xiuying Hong there (apart from Grandmaster Feng who we never see in action).
  • Ryo hardly reacts to seeing Chai again, even though he knocked him into the Yokosuka Harbour Bay and defeated him on the ferry again during the cut manga chapter 2 on the way to Hong Kong.
  • How did Chai track Ryo from Hong Kong to Bailu Village?
  • Did Ryo get the scroll back from Chai after climbing the bell tower and defeating him in the QTE? Because I remember Chai snatched it, got elbowed by Ryo and then runs off, we never see Ryo get that specific scroll back from Chai.
  • Who arranged for Shenhua’s and Ryo’s hotel stay in Niaowu? Does Ryo pay for Shenhua’s room? It looks like he only pays for his own room, and if that is the case, who pays for Shenhua’s room? Where did she get the money? I am sure in an interaction with an NPC Ryo mentions he pays for her lodging but we don’t actually see this amount be deducted from our overall money.
  • Why does Niaowu have a start time to the day of 8am and Bailu have a start time of 7am?
  • Why does Ryo call Nozomi by her last name Harasaki when he calls her on the phone? By the way, the English voice actress for Nozomi in Shenmue 3 sounds nothing like the original voice actress from Shenmue 1. It is actually hilarious to listen to.
  • Ryo never asks Guizhang if his leg has healed following the end of Shenmue 1 when he calls him on the phone.
  • Many of the Shenmue 1 and 2 characters do not sound anything like their original English voice actors when you phone them from the hotel in Niaowu. The original voice actors should have been involved in the game. Joy however sounds good.
  • How did Ren track Ryo to Niaowu? He only knew he was going to Bailu Village at the end of Shenmue 2 when Zhu Yuanda told Ryo to go there.
  • Who is Trish P and why do you get a move scroll for interacting with her name in Lui Joa Shrine?
  • Why is the story repeating itself when you need to learn a specific move, the body check, to beat Yanglang in Bailu, and again the reverse body check, to beat the Red Snake’s boss in Niaowu? Why repeat the exact same thing? This is VERY BAD storytelling. And the grinding involved to obtain the wine in Bailu and the move scroll in Niaowu is boring and repetitive. I expected more from a Shenmue game.
  • Why even bother including that pointless fetch quest near the end of the game for the Pawn Shop owner in the old castle area who says his items were stolen by the Red Snakes?
  • Every interaction we have with Chai from Bailu to Niaowu is a QTE. They should have been fully fledged fights.
  • A fight against Niao Sun would have been great.
  • The $10,000 dollar Kickstarter backers who got to be Lan Di’s elite guard NPCs should have been a much tougher fight. They went down easily, even on the hardest difficulty.
  • The last 3 guys with Lan Di should have been difficult fights, not comically weak characters who you beat in a QTE. Why would Lan Di associate himself with such weaklings?
  • There should be more threatening Chi Yo Men guards employed by Lan Di. The jokers we beat are nothing even compared to the Mad Angels or Yellow Heads.
  • Lan Di sounds nothing like the original English voice actor from Shenmue 1.
  • Lan Di’s fight should have been longer and even more challenging.
  • Did Hsu and Grandmaster Bie not stop Niao Sun and her guards from burning the castle down? They are clearly seen walking towards it on the bridge beating guards after Ryo and Ren make their way to the castle. Why not stop her from burning the place? Why did she not send her own guards after Hsu and Bie?
  • Did Niao Sun get the real of fake Phoenix Mirror? Did Ren throw the real or fake out of the window to save Ryo from Lan Di?
  • At the end of the game Ryo says to Mr Yuan he found a scroll in the cliff temple which Ren, Shenhua and Ryo are seen walking towards in the final game cutscene, but when did Ryo visit this temple to obtain a ‘scroll’? What scroll is he talking about?
  • Ren has very little screen time and character development. There should have been more just like Shenmue 2.
  • Shenhua’s mysterious magical abilities are not elaborated on and she gets little character development overall.
  • Shenhua’s English voice actress is bad and she sounds as if she suffers from a mental disability. I know the voice acting for Shenmue games is always bad in general and as a result is unintentionally funny, but Shenhua’s voice acting is just plain bad.
  • The Shenmue Tree’s significance is never explained or the fact that the game itself is named after this tree is never elaborated on.
  • The story is overall disappointing and feels underwhelming especially when compared to Shenmue 1 and 2. More story should have been revealed.
  • The game is very, VERY, short.
  • The ending is bad and doesn’t make me want to continue this story nor have any anticipation for a sequel.
  • How does Ryo even interact with people in Hong Kong and Mainland China? He can’t read Chinese but can he speak Cantonese and Mandarin? They surely don’t understand or speak Japanese.

Fan Treatment issues:

  • All DLC should have been included to Kickstarter backers who backed over a certain pledge tier or at the very least the DLC should have been included in the Collector’s Edition/Digital Deluxe and not have required a separate purchase. This is unacceptable.
  • Why did Sega refuse to include original arcade games within Shenmue 3 such as Virtua Fighter, Space Harrier, Hang On, Afterburner or Outrun? I would have also liked to have seen a return of Sega IPs in the form of capsule toys e.g. Sonic. However I am assuming Sega refused to do this. Sega really are trash and deserve the harsh exit they suffered from the gaming hardware market and all their financial failures. The only good game they make now are the Yakuza Series.
  • Some of the capsule toy sets in the game are terrible e.g. shoes set or chairs and tables set. These are crappy capsule toys.
  • Some of the PS4 trophies are unacceptably long and require too much grinding e.g. catch 1000 fish/find all herbs. Further, getting the high score across all arcade cabinets and collecting all the herbs should have been reduced to: get the high score on each type of arcade cabinet, not all of them, and collect 1 of each available herb in the game, again, not all of them. These were really boring/frustrating trophies I had to achieve, especially the fish one.
  • The Catfish Rally sidequest is terrible.
  • The 10,000 Yuan and 500,000 Tokens related trophies for PS4 should be cumulative.
  • Some of the in-game items cost too much e.g. prize exchange clothing items. It required too much grinding to obtain.
  • The Kickstarter capsule toys in the Save Shenmue temple should be listed in the in-game menu as separate capsule toy collections so that we know what we need to collect and what is missing.

Technical issues (I do however understand this is a Kickstarter project and thus lacked the funds to polish the game to desired Triple AAA game standards but many of the issues highlighted below should be rectified in a patch in my opinion):

  • The graphics are bad. An overall graphical improvement of the game is needed, from character animations, NPC faces (which convey no emotion and look very still) to inanimate objects. The graphics look like an early PS3/Xbox 360 game. They are not of PS4 quality.
  • The cartoony graphical style chosen for NPCs in this game is not good, and the graphics of NPCs should resemble realism just like the original games did.
  • There are some minor glitches in the finished product such as getting stuck on stairs, the inability to return to your room/hotel at 9pm and the game crashing, leading the player to reload a previous save.
  • The Options button on the PS4 controller should pause the game, not R1.
  • We should be able to skip and pause cutscenes during our first playthrough (you can only skip cutscenes during your second playthrough if you loaded your completed save to begin a new game +).
  • Skipping dialogue should be an option. It is beyond unacceptable that it isn’t.
  • There should be an option to check the overall game map, place markers and it should be accessible from the main start menu, not in the notebook section of maps.
  • Pressing the PS home button should pause everything in-game including cutscenes until the application is re-selected like most other games have implemented.
  • The game does not run at 4k 60fps on the PS4 Pro. I specifically bought a PS4 Pro and a 4K TV just for this game but it made no difference in the end.
  • Ryo’s mouth doesn't move when he enters an area he shouldn't be going to and then backs away saying "maybe I should talk to a few folks around here" etc. This looks very awkward.
  • There are parts of the game which play no background music. The ambient music should remain on loop as it did in the original games and not fade out and repeat again in areas where ambient music actually plays.
  • The walking and running animations are extremely awkward.
  • The stamina system which always requires you to eat food is horrible. Stamina should either last longer or be removed entirely from the game. Or a separate stamina bar should be implemented into the game which is refilled via eating e.g. Metal Gear Solid 3 Snake Eater’s two separate bars, one for health and another for stamina.
  • Certain animations for picking herbs do not exist and instead the game cuts to black e.g. the Trifoliate Orange. Why couldn’t there be an animation for this?
  • The minimap in the corner of the screen is too small. It should be larger (or there should be an option to enlarge it).
  • The animal animations look terrible e.g. the cows and chickens.
  • The rain in the game is barely visible. Changing weather was implemented better in the first game which came out in 1999, 20 years ago.
  • Some side quests disappear after the main story is advanced only slightly. E.g. The Biggest Catch, the fishing side quest in Bailu disappeared on me completely and required a second playthrough to complete. This was really annoying.
  • The fishing mechanic is simplistic and very boring. Red Dead Redemption 2 for example had a much more fun and interactive fishing mechanic.
  • QTEs are way too fast and sometimes unachievable. They need to be slowed down.
  • Shenhua cannot follow Ryo properly. She lags behind and sometimes gets stuck behind things (which is actually funny to see).
  • The RNG and grinding involved in completing all the capsule toy sets is boring and unacceptable. And when it comes to getting the rare capsule toys, it is just downright frustrating. It feels like modern gaming loot boxes and they should have made it easier to obtain the rare capsule toys.
  • The side quest for Mr Su’s tales... he is sometimes not in the Sunflower Grove for me.
  • Some of the NPCs in the Verdant Bridge 1910 flashback are reused NPCs with clothing that does not look like 1910s rural China clothing.
  • Niaowu feels like a ghost town. There should be more NPCs walking around.
  • The fade to black seen in many cutscenes in annoying and is clearly hiding the fact that animations are missing from this game.
  • There is too much late pop-in for NPCs on screen. This is especially noticeable in Niaowu.
  • The framerate in this game is inconsistent.
  • Some of the English dub does not match the English subtitles in rare instances.
  • There is no collision animations or mechanics implemented into this game e.g. walking accidently into a wall or chair or table. Ryo robotically stops moving. Other games such as the Yakuza Series have improved on such a mechanic to resemble realism and so should have Shenmue 3.
  • A lot of female NPCs look the same in Niaowu.
  • The time skip feature is not implemented enough in some events of the game where it should have been implemented.
  • I’ve noticed time pauses and doesn’t seem to pass when engaged in a fight/sparring.
  • There is an annoying invisible wall when fighting in many of the fights. Enemies can go past this invisible wall (usually near the edge of the game area) but Ryo cannot, forcing the player to back up until the enemy comes back into interactable range.
  • Random kids and NPCs wave to Ryo in Niaowu. Why?
  • You are unable to run during fights like you could in the original games and therefore unable to perform running moves.
  • The time of day change from day to night occurs at 6.15pm feels overall rushed and the game should have implemented a more gradual day to night time shift.
  • Too many loading screens.
  • The general artistic direction taken for the in-game cutscenes and dialogue exposition between characters feels bad and stiff, whereas the original games had a more natural feel amongst the characters in the cutscenes. There was also no fade to black in the original games during cutscenes.
  • In the end fight against the Chi Yo Men on the bridge with Ren you cannot even turn around to defeat enemies behind you. You are forced to move forward. Movement feels very stiff and unrefined.
Improvement suggestions through a possible patch/for Shenmue 4:

  • When moving the right analogue stick camera, Ryo’s head should tilt in the direction you are looking. This is achieved in other games such as Red Dead Redemption 2 for example. His overall character animation remains stiff even though Ryo tilting his head in response to camera movement was an option in Shenmue 2.
  • The original Shenmue 1 and 2 menu interaction sound effects should return, along with the overall layout of the old Shenmue 1 and 2 main menus.
  • There is no animation when eating food. This is especially annoying when you purchase a drink from a vending machine and do not see the original iconic animation of Ryo drinking the drink along with the awkward sounds he makes as he unrealistically finishes the drink in 2 gulps.
  • A return to the Virtua Fighter fighting style including throw moves is much needed. The new fighting mechanics are ok but not as good as the original 2 games.
  • When receiving the same capsule toy, Ryo should say “this again?” or something along those lines just as he did in 1 and 2. Instead he will ignore the fact he has received the same capsule toy and sometimes even say “this is great”. This is not great Ryo.
  • Ryo should read street and shop signs allowed when zooming in on them just like he did in Shenmue 2.
  • You should be able to strike up random conversation with Shenhua like you could in Shenmue 2 when walking the trails to her home during the end game segment.
  • When you enter stores and choose to shop, your current inventory amount of items should be shown in the shop game menus as to avoid overspending.
  • You should be able to walk away from NPC conversations by pressing O/B like you could in Shenmue 1/2, ending the conversation early midway.
  • During fighting sequences, Y/Triangle should be the dodge button just as it was in the original games.
  • The ability to pause during fights is needed.
  • Niaowu should be larger and expanded upon with more shops and areas to explore just like Shenmue 2’s Hong Kong was. Yu Suzuki said this game would have a larger open world than 2 but it does not.
  • We should have some sort of save file transfer from our Shenmue 1 and 2 HD saves which is compatible with Shenmue 3.
  • Side quest NPCs should be highlighted or marked on some sort of mini map.
  • There should be more martial arts mini games other than just Horse Stance, Rooster Steps and One Inch Punch, and they should be more advanced than simple button presses.
  • QTE title should include the original voice over it did from the arcade cabinets from the previous games.
  • Why do the herbs picked not re-grow?
  • I would have liked more inanimate objects to be zoomed in on by the player and interacted with along with Ryo’s comments on the item/object being inspected. There were only few instances of this during Shenmue 3 and the majority of store items could not be zoomed in on and interacted with and examined via thumb stick rotation like they could in Shenmue 1 and 2.
  • More wandering NPCs to interact with.
  • Some NPCs should guide you to a destination you are searching for just like they could in Shenmue 2.
  • I would have liked to hear more new original music. As well more re-used tracks from Shenmue 1 and 2.
  • I feel Ryo’s skin colour is too pale and white in Shenmue 3, looking more Caucasian as opposed to Japanese. In Shenmue 1 and 2 Ryo had a skin pigmentation tone which resembled actual Japanese people (though his overall look was still non-Japanese looking).
  • Older moves from the previous games such as pitblow and double blow should have their own move scrolls and be able to be assigned to R2 just like the other move scrolls.
  • I would have liked to have seen a restaurant eating feature, as seen in the Yakuza games.
  • There should be an option in the game when starting a new day to return to yesterday’s exact location before Ryo returned for bed the previous day, as seen in Shenmue 2.
  • Niaowu looks very clean. But I would have liked to have seen the buildings look more lived in, dirty and decrepit just like the buildings in Hong Kong/Kowloon.
  • An inclusion of a darts mini-game. Sega does not hold the rights to darts!
  • More cats, and the ability to interact with them i.e. feed them, pet them.
  • There should be a statistics page in the pause menu which keeps track of in-game statistics e.g. how many fish caught etc. I had to keep a manual count.
  • You should be able to assign more than just 5 moves to the move scroll editor.
  • Ryo should be able to interact with his watch like in the original games from the pause menu with a backlight button being available.
  • You should not have to return your fish rod at the end of each fishing spot. You should return it at the end of the day instead. This is very annoying.
  • I would have liked to have re-visited some of the paths Ryo and Shenhua traversed from Langiushan to Bailu as seen in Shenmue 2.
  • A manual time skip feature should be implemented which allows players to skip time to their desired hour of the day.
  • NPCs do not carry umbrellas when it rains. They did in the original games.
  • The training for endurance, Horse Stance, One Inch Punch etc. is boring and repetitive. They should be made to be more fun.

Notable positives that I enjoyed about the Game:


  • Voice acting is generally bad. Which in turn is good. Just like the original games. It is funny when it is not trying to be funny, which makes it funnier.
  • The conversations with Shenhua at her home at night are the best part of the game and gives much needed character relationship building and exploration.
  • The overall music is great.
  • General Shenmue feel in the clunky outdated gameplay is somewhat endearing.
  • Bailu village is good. But I wish it was bigger.
  • Fully voice acted NPCs with multiple lines of dialogue. Impressive.
  • Inclusion of difficulty options is good.
  • Inclusion of a New game + is good.
  • Phone calls with old characters is amazing. I just wish they sounded more like the original voice acting cast and had more dialogue options.
  • I like the training your moves mechanic via sparring. Much faster and simpler than Shenmue 1, and a mechanic which was sorely missing from Shenmue 2.
  • I like how Ren saves Ryo from Lan Di at the end of the game. This should allow for an interesting character development between the two of them, but it is unfortunate we did not see this sooner in Shenmue 3 as the game abruptly ends and is very short.

Thank you for reading.
 

pilman

A mind as clear as a polished mirror
Joined
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Location
Florida
Favourite title
Shenmue II
Currently playing
Yakuza Zero
Hello David, I think I have seen you on the Shenmue 500k group. First want to say thanks for contributing this much towards the game to make it happen, I think you were saving for a BMW at the time if I recall and used the funds towards Shenmue III.

I think a lot of the complaints you bring up are valid and that we as a community definitely acknowledge them. I think Yu Suzuki recognizes some of these issues too if you have read the latest Japanese translated interviews on phantom river stones website.

I think since you played 2 times and 100 percented the game, I am sure you have your reasons for being dissappointed.

I want to give you a more detailed response but getting ready for work so saving this for reference.

I hope that the feeling of not wanting the series to continue is something temporary, because I would feel devastated to see the series finished. I been wanting to do a playthrough from 1-2-3 and it may help. I really recommend that phantom river stone article.

I do believe many things were out of Yu Suzukis control like fangamer and being in contract with Deep Silver, we have no idea what was agreed upon.
 
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spud1897

spud1897

Administrator
Joined
Jul 24, 2018
Location
England
Favourite title
Shenmue II
Currently playing
Destiny 2, Shenmue HD ;)
PSN
spud19870
Thank you for the post. Even though it's not overly positive it's good to see you expand upon what you're talking about, which has been lacking in some posts here. I won't reply to all of it because I will be here for ages but there's a few things I wanted to add/point you in the direction of a topic which you might find interesting based on the above.

The graphics are bad. An overall graphical improvement of the game is needed, from character animations, NPC faces (which convey no emotion and look very still) to inanimate objects. The graphics look like an early PS3/Xbox 360 game. They are not of PS4 quality. Some animations are stiff for sure that's a given. However it doesn't look that bad. Getting something of consistent PS4 quality with the amount of NPC's would have taken a ridiculous amount of resource and I suspect further watered down the game, which is already a little thin on story. I can't see this being patched in.

Ryo’s mouth doesn't move when he enters an area he shouldn't be going to and then backs away saying "maybe I should talk to a few folks around here" etc. This looks very awkward. Agreed but a little nit-picky imo.

When you enter stores and choose to shop, your current inventory amount of items should be shown in the shop game menus as to avoid overspending. Totally agree! This could be patched.

There should be an option in the game when starting a new day to return to yesterday’s exact location before Ryo returned for bed the previous day, as seen in Shenmue 2. Agreed. I missed this.

There should be a statistics page in the pause menu which keeps track of in-game statistics e.g. how many fish caught etc. I had to keep a manual count. Never really considered it until you mentioned it but I agree.

There should be more martial arts mini games other than just Horse Stance, Rooster Steps and One Inch Punch, and they should be more advanced than simple button presses. I personally enjoyed these, barring Horse Stance. I sense within the budget they would have struggled to do much else. However I would have liked a game where you practice your steps like the dude in Bailu. That would be good and be more than single presses and encourage combos etc.

An inclusion of a darts mini-game. Sega does not hold the rights to darts! YES YES YES!

I would have liked to have re-visited some of the paths Ryo and Shenhua traversed from Langiushan to Bailu as seen in Shenmue 2.
A manual time skip feature should be implemented which allows players to skip time to their desired hour of the day.
Yes to both!

A return to the Virtua Fighter fighting style including throw moves is much needed. The new fighting mechanics are ok but not as good as the original 2 games. This comes down to preference I think, I liked the new system and they were wanting to implement throws but couldn't due to issues with the Mo-Cap. I prefer the older system from the first two and would love an update version but the new system is perfectly enjoyable. The physics aorund hit detection etc need brushing up but could be patched.

We should have some sort of save file transfer from our Shenmue 1 and 2 HD saves which is compatible with Shenmue 3. I can't ever see this happening, it requires too much cross platform work, I know modders are trying to get it going but given they had to focus attention elsewhere it was a necessary sacrifice I feel.

All DLC should have been included to Kickstarter backers who backed over a certain pledge tier or at the very least the DLC should have been included in the Collector’s Edition/Digital Deluxe and not have required a separate purchase. This is unacceptable. While I get your point, by backing doesn't mean we're entitled to these things. It would, however, have been a good PR move to do so.

Dialogue skip is needed. I can't see if you posted about this.

There's some points eg re Shenhua's house that while again I get your point are down to personal preference, not saying it's wrong but I don't seem them as a big issue personally.

My personal view is that, going through my second play now, Bailu is the better/more developed area. It's clear in my mind that Naiwou got cut somewhere in terms of content, given the abrupt./rushed ending. The game as a whole feels like a concept game and lays foundations for Shenmue 4. I do feel some peoples expectations were way too high (not saying yours were but a general statement) but I agree there should have been more focus on story development, something which Yu Suzuki himself admits is an issue.

I do think we will get Shenmue 4, sales matter of course but given III exists and isn't a bad game (7/10 from Yu himself and that's the review average) it is amazing given the budget ($12million all in with marketing I think, check the recent IGN stuff).

I'd like to guide you to this topic here discussing the while story as a whole, it would be interesting to see your thoughts here too! https://www.shenmuedojo.com/forum/i...have-we-learned-in-shenmue-i-ii-and-iii.2566/

Finally (after an essay of my own) welcome to the forums. I do hope that given time you re-capture the Shenmue magic and join us for Shenmue 4 or even stay contributing here!
 
Joined
Nov 27, 2019
We did expect SM3 to be the sequel of SM2 in every single part, but truth is budget and team behind were very different.

Besides the obvious glaring faults of cut content with messy storytelling, I did enjoy it more than any recent games for its relaxing pace and kung fu story, the old master part felt like a karate kid scene! :)

As per your list I got really mad for the last part of Niaowu too. The money grind to get a (the same) scroll, multiple mobs fighting and last battle felt like playing a prototype instead of a final build.

Said this I can't wait for a better and more refined SM4!
 
Joined
Jul 11, 2019
Yeah all I can really say is thanks for your extremely generous contribution towards the development of Shenmue III.

I've really enjoyed the game. I think the game is much better than the story that frames it, hopefully we can get that swung back around 50/50 in Shenmue IV.

It's a tricky one. So many of us wanted different things from Shenmue III that some were inevitably going to be disappointed.

I'm very interested in the patch - is this the first Suzuki game where he's had post launch power to do so? At least it's not being rushed. While I should say to keep your expectations in check, it is good that some of these things can and hopefully will be addressed.
 

Truck_1_0_1_

I Don't Know, but I Have You!
Joined
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Location
Barrie, Ontario, Canada
Favourite title
Shenmue II
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Nothing :(
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I'm not going to totally dismiss the post, as he did a beyond admirable job of detailing EVERYTHING lol and clearly the guy is a superfan (if he really scrapped going after a BMW for the game... incredible classy and unselfish), but as Spud alluded to in a few of the rebuttals, almost every issue he has with the game is a personal, nitpicky issue. More cats and should be able to pet them? Really?

The, "options," you alluded to are on point; there should be options for things such as the minimap, to return to the last place you were the day before (mind you, in Bailu, that was there basically), etc. With those, nobody can argue the validity as they allow for more choice and more open-ended gameplay.

But, "the catfish rally sidequest was terrible." Um, how? And no it wasn't; I got it done with 3 save reloads and in about 30 minutes, real-life time. You, who (obviously) knows Yakuza, knows that the series has always had sidequests that take up 45 minutes of real-life time, to spanning 10 chapters. Secondly, it wasn't hard to catch the fish; its not like you aren't given any direction and you just throw a lure into a void for 5 hours hoping you get each fish, the locations were given (albeit not explicitly) and by experimenting and trying things out (you know, the point of a game that involves trial and error?), you found the best method/region of the location to catch the fish.

It was one of the best setup sidequests, completely doable and not based 100% on luck; everything a sidequest needs, IMO.

And Sega's not trash; eat shit ;)

Anyways, putting off life for helping a game to be made, again, deserves a TON of commendation and thanks a lot for helping out when the time came. Personally, I also thank you for (again), properly writing things out and not shitposting :)
 

gladias9

S3 Mod: Released
Joined
May 30, 2019
Favourite title
Shenmue II
I think your first paragraph describes accurately what us hater fans had an issue with as well.
We go from :love: in Bailu Village to :unsure: in Niaowu just before the final transition to :mad: during the finale.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jul 11, 2019
I just wanted to add, it's not beyond low budget games to have a significant patch upgrade.

Kind of Fighters XIV : SNK's first new fighter in years, new team, new engine, ironically, Deep Silver also published


Also, this game did absolutely terrible sales wise in the UK...but new ones keep coming :)
 
Joined
Jul 27, 2018
Location
France
ultimately, I think Shenmue 3 is a game of compromises.

Changes to the house and area around may be due to a lot of factors, for instance.
(Avoid any unfortunate implications, assets and gameplay constraints...)


I think that the backing amount do not change the validity of one's disapointement.


Depending on each's interest in the shenmue formula,
it is going to have more or less what you want, and I think it's fine.
(For instance, me : "Darts? Like I care. I never could get into those.")

My personal gripes, before even playing the game :
>Earring on shenhua stripping her from a lot of her air of naturalness, imo.
>slight retcons.
>Cutscene composition and using too much fading where fading mostly breaks immersion.
(clean cuts between cameras would have felt better when possible I think.)

And, yes, I can live with most of these and enjoy the overall product we got.
(Because, we got an actual game. Remember, it was a dream, once.)



But, once again, this is definitely a game of compromises.
So, I'm sure that, once a complete edition is out, I will be happy to shout :
I love Shenmue 3, despite its flaws. (And look fondly at some of them.)
 
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