Shenmue 3 Gameplay Better Than Shenmue 1/2

ShenSun

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Shenmue 3 has alot of issues that hold it back from reaching its potential. The most notable being the story, the character development, padding and various unpolished areas.

However, where Shenmue 3 excels in is the gameplay department. There's so much to do in bailu and niaowu compared to the first two entries that at times it can be a little overwhelming, in a good way.

In both areas of the game you get the following
  • Tons of side quests
  • Shops
  • Dojo (sparing)
  • Horse stance, one inch dummy, etc
  • Fishing
  • SaveShenmue building
  • Capsule toys
  • Wood chopping
  • Telephone calls to old characters
  • Chobu Chan hunt
  • Deep Converations with shenhua in the evening
  • Herb collecting
  • Gambling
  • Luckey hit
  • Temples
  • Forklifts
  • Fighting Arenas
  • Prize exchanges
  • Leveling up system
  • Clothes (changing outfits)
  • Side story (Zhang)
  • Merry Cruise
  • Arcades
  • etc etc
I find myself continously booting up the game just to have a quick run around to engage with these activites and to speak to the npcs. There is always something to do.

This is also the main reason why i really like the game and believe it has built a solid foundation for Shenmue 4 to be great if it addresses the former issues.
 
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Yeah, to me there is a lot to like in Shenmue III. I actually think in someways it is an evolution of the series. If they take that stuff and give it an epic story for IV then I'll be pretty impressed as a whole. I feel like they got (most) of the gameplay right in Shenmue III and even built on top of stuff they were already building with 1 and 2. In terms of some NPC interactions. I think the stuff with Shenhua is an evolution of what they were doing with Fang Mei in II.

I mean sure, I would still take the VF engine any day of the week over the current fighting engine, but with that said I don't think the current fighting engine is bad either...just needs more work and polish. But I felt like everything else felt like almost a natural evolution of Shenmue II in terms of gameplay.

I think I've come around even on its story woes a lot more lately. Yes, it is still slightly disappointing that the story didn't advance further and there are certain character developments that could have been handled better but I still don't think it's terrible. It lays enough seeds for what could be a potentially epic part IV. At worse, it feels like filler, at it's best, it does show a whole other side to Ryo that we haven't seen before through his conversations with Shenhua and it does ultimately setup for what could be a really thrilling Part IV.

But I'm with you. I think in some ways the gameplay feels like Shenmue realised in a way it probably couldn't have been back when due to limitations.
 
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S3 is good in the gameplay department but not on par with S1 or 2 imho. I liked fishing and wood chopping and also liked the idea of duck catching even though the execution was poor (ridiculously short time frames for the qtes) but forklift driving and lucky hit were much better in the original games. And Yu Suzuki 80s games beat anything S3 has to offer in terms of mini games any day, hands down.

Also qtes are poorly implemented in S3. Cheap looking Icons popping up, generic sound effects and again, ridiculous time frames which make it almost impossible to beat a qte scene on the first attempt sometimes.

The number one reason why S3 can't compare to the original games is the fighting system, however. Which is not to say that S3 was bad in the department. I would even go as far as saying I enjoyed the fighting in S3 but the originals are just so much better in that regard.
 
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spud1897

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The quality of the side content is decent. I find it much more enjoyable than the previous 2 entries personally.

I'm more than happy killing time in Bailu playing lucky hit and arcade games. I find it the most relaxing place in the series
 

spud1897

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You can argue indeed that Shenmue III has more side content. But it's a matter of quantity over quality here.
What's he saying is the side content (mini-games etc) is better. It's not about the amount as such.

The quality of the mini games is good for me, I'd argue more varied than the first 2 installments which I appreciate. Add that to a (hopefully) quality story in Shenmue 4 and I doubt anyone will be complaining
 
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I'm a bit critical of the game as a whole, but I agree with you in this one: Shenmue III has the better gameplay of the whole saga.

It's not better in every way (some minigames are not that well implemented, the fighting is arguably a bit worse, and it lacks darts), but overall it wins by the sheer amount of options and their integration.

Personally, though, I have to admit I have always thought, even during the old games, that Shenmue I&II minigames could and should have been much more fun than what they were. I am a fan of the saga for reasons other than pure fun.
 
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If we're talking specifically about side-content...

Wood-chopping > box-moving
Whack-a-mole > QTE Title and Excite QTE
Fishing and herb collecting > all types of gambling and arcade games, in my humble opinion, as they're natural extensions of the world.

Every version of Lucky Hit is average :whistle: Darts is the only mini-game I missed.

But if we're talking mandatory stuff, I agree that the combat needs work, and forklift driving was much better in S1, probably because it is a big part of the game and not just another side activity.
 
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Lucky Hit is fine, but it really doesnt need to be on every block of Bailu and Niaowu. That’s where it starts to get a bit ridiculous. Smart Ball is the superior Lucky Hit now, but they also kind of went heavy on the copy/paste button with Smart Ball.

Whack a Mole is the best of the QTE arcade games. Very satisfying. Wish it had an endless mode. Wood chopping and herb gathering are great. If they bring tons of items back next time, it would be cool to have completion lists so it feels like collecting items actually has more of a point.
 
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What's he saying is the side content (mini-games etc) is better. It's not about the amount as such.

The quality of the mini games is good for me, I'd argue more varied than the first 2 installments which I appreciate. Add that to a (hopefully) quality story in Shenmue 4 and I doubt anyone will be complaining


For the mini-games, yes.
For the side story and quests ? Not really (Nothing on the level of Shenmue I and II side events in III).
For the fighting system ? Not really either.

But I agree though, some of the arcade mini games are better.
 
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Shenmue 3 is the most fun and addictive of the series but the involved satisfaction is too ordinary to make such a claim in my opinion.

Even if you take S3 for what it is - i.e. a game that focus heavily on side content - most of the mini games feel over-simplistic and no one has the deepness of Duck Racing.
Fishing could have been THE minigame but sadly the gameplay is tedious (controls and tactics). So it's not like the gap with S1 & S2 is mindblowing.

By the way, plenty of games are looseley conveying the same type of emotion with the concept of "being free to do what you want and have fun of it". As modern human beings, it's difficult to be totally enthralled despite the Shenmue's touch making the difference.

At the opposite, it's much harder to find adventures games that succeed in being imaginative all along like Shenmue 1 & 2 where gameplay could not only be fun sometimes but memorable for itself.

Everything related with the main quest in Shenmmue 3 is a step, if not a jump backward: combat, puzzles, drawer exploration, learning a move from a master, QTEs.

There is way less nice concept variations between the quests.
Too few moments are challenging your brain as kindly as infiltration in S1&2, finding the mirror in Hazuki's residence or even the first persion view of free battle in Bevery Hills port.
Free investigation is no longer required to trigger a secret quest - which becomes de facto a crude side quest.

Overall, there's no so much the synergy between world and gameplay that allowed the player to clean walls inside a temple without being left confused.
It's hard to top the brillance of the Xiuying leaf challenge or the barber QTE anyway, although Face Off and the Telephone are worth a legendary status.

So Shenmue 3 is fun but you have to bear the chore of the main quest in-between. I give the point to the smart balance of Shenmue 2 gameplay.
 
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Sput Vas Normandy

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I'ts funny how everybody agrees that has the best gameplay of the series but still it's with difference the most bullshited game of the series. Thought this was a game after all.


Fishing could have been THE minigame but sadly the gameplay is tedious (controls and tactics). So it's not like the gap with S1 & S2 is mindblowing.
It was great! If they turn that into a real game I'd buy it.
 
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I fundamentally disagree with this assertion for several reasons. First of all, it's based on the premise that "more is better" when I would prefer a more minimalist experience. Second of all, much of what you listed is either:

A). Something that is continuing from the prior games.
B). Gameplay was implemented better in the prior two games.
C). Content that is ultimately shallow.

For example, the forklift minigame, in my opinion, is better in the first game because of the variety and the events that transpire in-between. In Shenmue III, you simply just follow the same generic route without variation.

Another example would be the majority of the sidequests in Shenmue III are generic fetch quests. The reasons why sidequests in Shenmue II like Fangmei's birthday, catching leaves, or airing out books worked was because they dovetailed neatly with the narrative. For the sidequests that didn't enhance the narrative, they had more depth to them. Personally, I can still go back and be absorbed by the seventy man battle and games like Space Harrier, Hang-on, and Afterburner than anything Shenmue III offered.

Basically, I would have enjoyed Shenmue III's gameplay more if it had a tighter more in-depth focus that makes sense. To use a fighting game analogy, this assertion is like saying Marvel vs Capcom 2 is better than Guilty Gear Accent Core simply because it has more characters. When Guilty Gear Accent Core has a deeper combat system and a balanced roster with fewer characters.

Finally, the reason why Metal Gear Solid V's gameplay worked was that it focused on one goal: giving the player the freedom to complete any mission how they want. Shenmue III, in my opinion, does not have this kind of focus. For a Shenmue IV, I hope Suzuki will give us a tighter experience overall. Which ironically, was what Shenmue III was originally supposed to be.
 
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I didn’t think it was bad. I enjoyed it more than the fishing in RDR2. I think it was just a bit basic but I don’t want complicated mini games in Shenmue or another open world game.
 
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ShenSun

ShenSun

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I agree and disagree with most of you too be honest. I'll go over my list in a bit more detail

I like the side quests much more in Shenmue 3 as there's more of them, they involve a large range of characters and most of them are hilarious in a good way. It does need some tweaking, but I wanna see more of that in Shenmue 4. Shenmue 1 and 2 have very minimal side quests and unless you know exactly what to do, you'll miss them. You could say they are deeper side quest and that's a fair point, but to be frank i think it takes too much effort to do them. Hopefully Shenmue 4 have a mixture of both. The only side story in Shenmue 3 similar to Shenmue 2 is the zhang DLC. Maybe there needs to be a distinction between side quests and side stories in Shenmue 4.

Shops in Shenmue 3 are much better because everything you buy has a purpose. In Shenmue 1 and 2, you just buy stuff and store it with no real value to the actual game

The Dojo/training in Shenmue 3 is much better because it is a fleshed out system and you can level up your moves, spar, have practice fights, practice horse stance and practice your one inch punch. This is much better than sparing in an empty car park or the hazuki dojo

Fishing is unique to Shenmue 3 so I can't really compare it to anything. Its a welcome addition though and I enjoyed it alot as another way to make money. For some reason I really like the Fish NPC vendor in Bailu. Very funny man (in the english dub)

SaveShenmue Building is an awesome additional piece of content. No really necessary but i enjoy spending time in here seeing all the fans and what we've accomplished.

Capsule toys are far better in Shenmue 1 and 2 because they have all the Sega characters. Still I enjoyed the process of collecting them in Shenmue 3 and it was out of ysnet's hands to use Sega characters, so i can't really fault them for that.

Wood chopping - Awesome stuff. Love it. It looks awkward as h3ll, but there's something very soothing about cutting wood on a sunny afternoon at Mr Tao's whilst he's cheering you on. That along with that lovely soft soundtrack. Magical stuff.

Telephone calls in Shenmue 3 are absolutely phenomenal - They are really in depth and flesh out Ryo's relationships with past NPCS. I really enjoyed them. I like them in Shenmue 1, but they were very basic and repetitive. In Shenmue 4, it would be awesome if we could have frequent phone calls like Shenmue 1, but with the same quality as Shenmue 3. It's probably a bit too much to ask tbh and the resources and time are best spent elsewhere.

Chobu Chan hunt - Unique to Shenmue 3, so nothing to compare it to. A fun distraction though.

Conversations with Shenhua in Shenmue 3 is awesome but its also awesome in Shenmue 2, so awesome stuff for both games.

Herb collecting is unique to Shenmue 3 which is an absolute joy

Gambling is somewhat similar to Shenmue 2 although id say Shenmue 2 executes it better. The games felt more tight and i miss arm wrestling and darts. It's also easier to directly make money in Shenmue 2. I cant fault ysnet for the money making method in Shenmue 3 though, that's down to legal issues.

Arcade and mini games i prefer much more in Shenmue 3. There's tons of them and i know this is a very unpopular opinion but i never really enjoy space harrier and hang on etc, even as a teenager. To be honest, im fed up of them. I prefer the mechanical fun fair type games. That's probably why i miss darts and arm wrestling. Gimme more of these mechanical games in the sequel. Loved the Cruise ship aswell. It shouldn't have been dlc, but it was fun and another great additional bit of content.

Forklifting is much better in Shenmue 1 as it serves a purpose and is apart of the story. Its clearly just tacked on as a side job in Shenmue 3, but that's fine, it shouldn't even be there but was put in as a side job / fan service to make some extra bucks. That's cool. I wish the warehouse was expanding a bit more but its not the main focus, so im cool with it. Hopefully it can be expanded a little in the sequel, but whatever, im good either way.

Prize exchanges in Shenmue 3 were so great. Loved it. I collected so much stuff and it forced me to interact with the environment and economy very frequently. Previous Shenmue games never had this.

Changing clothes is another great addition and collecting the various outfits is a pleasure. For some reason, i enjoy having Ryo run around in his t shirt with no jacket in Bailu. It adds to the experience in a bizarre way. I dunno how to explain it. When he's in Niaowu, the jacket goes straight back on. Dunno if it was just me who felt like this. Yeah i don't know how to explain it so i'll move on lol

Collecting move scrolls is much better in Shenmue 3 as you have to actually practice and learn them. In Shenmue 1/2 you just buy them in a shop and instantly master them.

The fighting system is a tricky one for me. I like both Shenmue 1/2 and 3's fighting systems for different reasons. I'll try and explain it. Shenmue 1's fighting system is ok. The camera sucks, its clunky and very spammy. The fighting itself is solid enough as it's based on VF, but the AI is so stupid that you can just spam with no real effort. It's also not very fluent. I also don't like that there's a dedicated counter button which again you can spam. It has throws though, so that's cool. Shenmue 2's fighting system is a great improvement. The camera is better, it feels more fluent/tight and this is probably the gold standard out of the 3 games. Everything just nicely clicks together and it feels great. Shenmue 3 is similar to Shenmue 1 for me. Its good but its very flawed. If you spend time with the fighting in Shenmue 3, you can get really good at it and its alot more deeper than most people think. The issue is the animations need massive work and its annoying that sometimes you hit the opponent but it doesn't register. The hit detection is all over the place. One thing i do like is It will punish you massively if you don't fight properly or train up your moves as you reach the higher ranks, which is a welcomed addition. Throws aren't there either which is a shame. I like how you have to manually dodge though as it requires precise timing. Its something i enjoy when i play fighting games in general. I think we have a solid foundation for a new fighting engine which can be drastically improved in Shenmue 4 much like it was from Shenmue 1 to Shenmue 2. Obviously we can't use the virtual fighter engine anymore as that belongs to SEGA, But I think if they improved the animations, the hit detection, add throws, possibly have a counter button but don't allow it too spammy, and allow you to freely move and run, then we could be on to a potential winner. But yeah, overall, Shenmue 2 has the best fighting engine, but I can't fault ysnet for this too much in Shenmue 3 given the situation with everything.

Fighting arenas i like in both Shenmue 2 and 3. They are different but they serve similar purposes. Fun stuff in both games.

Ii think each game does certain things better and worse than each other. Ideally in the sequel we 'd have all of the features from all the Shenmues and have them super polished. Hopefully we get that.

But yeah, the combination of everything in Shenmue 3 makes the gameplay very enjoyable for me. Shenmue 1, there's not much to do outside of the arcade and most of your time is just spent waiting around. Interacting with the npcs is awesome though and fleshes out the world. Shenmue 2 has additional content, but outside of the arcade games/ minigames/gambling, all the other activities are very limited..... but what is there is very polished and I think its complimented by the pacing of the game's story. Shenmue 3 incorporates tons of stuff which gives you loads of options to play the game. Some of it is clunky and needs work, some of it is really good. The choice and options of all these activities is what makes it the winner in the gameplay department for me. It's held back though by the pacing and padding of the story. I think its very easy to overlook the good gameplay because of the frustration some may encounter when trying to progress the story.

Those are my thoughts anyway.
 
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It was great! If they turn that into a real game I'd buy it.
There's plenty of fishing games already on the market. How many of them do you own and play? Shenmue 3's fishing minigame has the depth of what you'd find in a free mobile game.

Am I missing something? Does fishing change when you take on the tournaments or something? Or is it just the music and the scenery that people liked so much? There seems like a bit of hyperbole on this board regarding the fishing and I'm trying to figure out where it's coming from.
 

spud1897

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There's plenty of fishing games already on the market. How many of them do you own and play? Shenmue 3's fishing minigame has the depth of what you'd find in a free mobile game.

Am I missing something? Does fishing change when you take on the tournaments or something? Or is it just the music and the scenery that people liked so much? There seems like a bit of hyperbole on this board regarding the fishing and I'm trying to figure out where it's coming from.
I vaguely remember Yu Suzuki saying the fishing in Shenmue III would be akin to a mobile fishing game. I'm sure it was in an interview somewhere. I'll see if I can't dig it out next time I'm on the PC.

It doesn't change for the tournaments either. I think people just find it enjoyable because its relaxing (I'm on the fence with the fishing, I'd take it or leave it). That's not hyperbole
 

Sonoshee

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Am I missing something? Does fishing change when you take on the tournaments or something? Or is it just the music and the scenery that people liked so much? There seems like a bit of hyperbole on this board regarding the fishing and I'm trying to figure out where it's coming from.

I know it's a shocker for you, but not everyone is going to hate everything you do about the game.
I find the fishing theraputic and relaxing - it's as straight forward as that.
 
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