Level-Headed Mud Spider
- Jul 27, 2018
I will admit that I may have been too harsh towards the combat system of Shenmue III. However, when the first two games set an extremely high bar, I expected Shenmue III to either match or exceed it. Also, I hold Yu Suzuki to a very high standard since he is one of the forefathers of in-depth combat systems.
You can not convince me that a combat system that is missing thirty-three percent of its moveset, a lack of proper parry or evasion options, a dial-a-combo set, and an inferior Counter Elbow Assault to be a good system. I will give Suzuki credit for allowing me to toggle between enemies and that you can map up to five moves to the trigger button. However, these could have been implemented with the older system as well.
When you base your combat on (in my opinion), the best combat system in gaming Virtua Fighter, anything less is going to feel like a disappointment. So I maintain that while Shenmue III's combat is not as bad as critics make it out to be, it is a downgrade in my eyes.
I genuinely thought the system was on par with the other games in the series. I mean, grappling is deeply missed and I detest recovery items being used mid action but aside from that I thought there was a lot going for it. Ryo is finally moving freely in 3D space instead of the 2.5D plus often times awkward camera positions from the previous games. Though the tutorial is awful and pretty much non-existent, there is parrying and evasive manouvering in S3, but it's just not assigned to a single button and requires more precise timing from the player. It has even has more complex combo strings than previous games as I could pull off 10 hit+ combos without relying on trigger buttons. There is a steep learning curve, but with enough time spent with the system the player will come to realize there are even intricate mechanics like slow-mo dodges and ring out moves. And they are not there just for aesthetics purposes. The slow-mo dodge for example grants Ryo "full armor", meaning his attack can't be interrupted during the slow-mo sequence nor he can die, besides moves that require a long winded animation like the brawling uppercut will speed up and have a 100% hit rate, making this extremely useful specially fighting against multiple opponents. Also, it's during slow-mo that Ryo will have an easier time performing a ring out move which will launch the opponent against an object in the edge of the "arena" like a staircase, railing or wagon, "killing" them on a single blow. This mechanic is more apparent on Rose Garden. There are other little details to the combat like how some movesets in the list are assigned the exact same button commands, just to realize that they are meant to be performed on top of the other in sucession and to used in a combo string. In theory, an expert player could defeat any enemy including bosses without grinding much or relying on recovery items on any difficulty setting in this game. So even if it's true of S1 & S2 having about 30% more moves, it doesn't change the fact those games don't give much incentive to learn most of their moveset as the games get easier and easier the more the player loses, while in S3 you get the choice to play more skillfully to bypass grinding.