Shenmue 3 Gameplay Better Than Shenmue 1/2

Joined
Sep 3, 2018
Favourite title
Shenmue
Currently playing
Strider (2014)
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. Not 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 says 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.

On the first point, I think it's just down to what you prefer. I would rather have less but more meaningful sidequests. While this would require more work, the payoff is worth it. For me anyways, it's why I find so many characters from the first two games so memorable. All that being said, I would be fine with a mixed approach for Shenmue IV.

The shops and items in Shenmue III, in my opinion, tend to offer false choices. Most of the shops are extremely similar and offer items I really don't need. For example, why buy an apple at a fruit stand when I can buy garlic that restores more health? Or why buy a lamp when I can buy a gem and sell it off for more money? Since money is extremely easy to earn in Shenmue III, false choices become apparent very quickly.

I also disagree that items were useless in the first two games. Granted not all of them were useful, but in Shenmue Chapter One: Yokosuka; snacks were used to win prizes, tapes for music, food was for feeding Megumi's kitten, and capsule toys could be traded in Shenmue II for money. Despite all of this, I will concede that the trading system in principle is better than the prior games.

When it comes to training, I like the idea though its pretty shallow. The system is basically about health and damage output. Moves don't evolve like in Shenmue I. What does a level 10 Counter Elbow Assault get me other than more damage and knockdown? And while I like the implementation of authentic Xiaolin training, they don't go beyond their fundamental level. Nor is there not a whole lot of variation.

With fishing, I just found it very shallow in comparison to Final Fantasy XV. It definitely has a scale, but very little depth. The conversations with Shenhua were great, but they fizzled out in Niaowu and I considered them as simply a continuation from Shenmue II.

I do agree with you about the phone calls and the #SaveShenmue building though. To me, this is fanservice done right. And finally, I have made my thoughts clear on the combat system so I won't retread that ground again.

Guess we'll just have to agree to disagree.
 
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ShenSun

ShenSun

Site Staff
Joined
Jul 24, 2018
On the first point, I think it's just down to what you prefer. I would rather have less but more meaningful sidequests. While this would require more work, the payoff is worth it. For me anyways, it's why I find so many characters from the first two games so memorable. All that being said, I would be fine with a mixed approach for Shenmue IV.

The shops and items in Shenmue III in my opinion, tend to offer false choices. Most of the shops are extremely similar and offer items I really don't need. For example, why buy an apple at a fruit stand when I can buy garlic which restores more health? Or why buy a lamp when I can buy a gem and sell it off for more money? Since money is extremely easy to earn in Shenmue III, the false choices become apparent very quickly.

I also disagree that items were useless in the first two games. Granted not all of them were useful, but in Shenmue Chapter One: Yokosuka; snacks were used to win prizes, tapes for music, food was for feeding Megumi's kitten, and capsule toys could be traded in Shenmue II for money. Despite all of this, I will concede that the trading system in principle is better than the prior games.

When it comes to training, I like the idea though its pretty shallow. The system is basically about health and damage output. Moves don't evolve like in Shenmue I. What does a level 10 Counter Elbow Assault get me other than more damage and knockdown? And while I like the implementation of authentic Xiaolin training, they don't go beyond their fundamental level. Nor is there not a whole lot of variation.

With fishing, I just found it very shallow in comparison to Final Fantasy XV. It definitely has scale, but very little depth. The conversations with Shenhua were great, but they fizzled out in Niaowu and I considered them as simply a continuation from Shenmue II.

I do agree with you about the phone calls and the #SaveShenmue building though. To me, this is fanservice done right. And finally, I have made my thoughts clear on the combat system clear so I won't retread that ground again.

Guess we'll just have to agree to disagree.

Yeah. On to Shenmue 4. Hopefully we get the best of both worlds.
 
Joined
Feb 29, 2020
One of the things holding Shenmue 3 back was the current budget vs traditional Japanese development. Traditional Japanese development consists of making partial builds of a game testing it out and then scrapping it and starting over from scratch. That's why the Last Guardian development cycle was so long. Yu Suziki repeated stated they had to make as few iterations as possible with most of the features of the game and didn't have time or budget to do multiple builds .

Parts of Shenmue's gameplay is better than 1 and 2 , and I daresay Yakuza. You really have to buy 90% of the move scrolls to really open up the combat. It is actually quite good, in many ways better than 1 and 2. Unfortunately , because the move scrolls are so costly and price prohibitive, most players dont earn them and quit playing the game after the first Play through , where you have minuscule limited cash. #sad.
 
Joined
Feb 7, 2019
One of the things holding Shenmue 3 back was the current budget vs traditional Japanese development. Traditional Japanese development consists of making partial builds of a game testing it out and then scrapping it and starting over from scratch. That's why the Last Guardian development cycle was so long. Yu Suziki repeated stated they had to make as few iterations as possible with most of the features of the game and didn't have time or budget to do multiple builds .

Parts of Shenmue's gameplay is better than 1 and 2 , and I daresay Yakuza. You really have to buy 90% of the move scrolls to really open up the combat. It is actually quite good, in many ways better than 1 and 2. Unfortunately , because the move scrolls are so costly and price prohibitive, most players dont earn them and quit playing the game after the first Play through , where you have minuscule limited cash. #sad.


Even with all the scrolls, the combat system has glaring issues. Animations for one, makes it stiff and clumsy at many instances.

Hit detection is bad, many times your hit should register but doesn't or sometimes it feels like there's an invisible wall blocking you.

The input system for the combo make it so that it introduce input lag.

It's just not good.
 

spud1897

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England
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Shenmue II
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I agree animations and the hit detection are off.

The input lag isn't horrendous but is there. I found it's down to a little bit of timing (to work the system effectively) but that's not a good thing, but not too bad.

What I found impressive was how some moves link together in combos. There are a few moves that require the same input (A,Y for back elbow (bought scroll) and Avalanche Lance) Press A,Y once and it does the back elbow, time the second input of A,Y again and Ryo moves into the Avalanche Lance elbow seamlessly. The first move is a move from right to left, the second is a move left to right. There are others too but I'd have to play around with the system again to accurately recall them. There's more there than people give it credit for and I think that's also partly due to the fact the tutorial is non-existent. Had they helped users understand it better I think that would have had an impact on how it was viewed.

Also the camera is vastly superior to the first games which on occasion would pan everywhere trying to hone in on Ryo while you get the crap beat out of you.

Also most of the moves mo-cap themselves is fine. Its smooth, looks realistic and runs nicely. It's the hit animations that I find the worst part.

Either way my point being is not that it's objectively bad. Lacking polish and finesse... absolutely. But with refinement it's a solid base but needs tightening and throws adding in.

Just for the record, not a dig, we're highly unlikely to get the VF system back in any future games.
 
Joined
Feb 7, 2019
I agree animations and the hit detection are off.

The input lag isn't horrendous but is there. I found it's down to a little bit of timing (to work the system effectively) but that's not a good thing, but not too bad.

What I found impressive was how some moves link together in combos. There are a few moves that require the same input (A,Y for back elbow (bought scroll) and Avalanche Lance) Press A,Y once and it does the back elbow, time the second input of A,Y again and Ryo moves into the Avalanche Lance elbow seamlessly. The first move is a move from right to left, the second is a move left to right. There are others too but I'd have to play around with the system again to accurately recall them. There's more there than people give it credit for and I think that's also partly due to the fact the tutorial is non-existent. Had they helped users understand it better I think that would have had an impact on how it was viewed.

Also the camera is vastly superior to the first games which on occasion would pan everywhere trying to hone in on Ryo while you get the crap beat out of you.

Also most of the moves mo-cap themselves is fine. Its smooth, looks realistic and runs nicely. It's the hit animations that I find the worst part.

Either way my point being is not that it's objectively bad. Lacking polish and finesse... absolutely. But with refinement it's a solid base but needs tightening and throws adding in.

Just for the record, not a dig, we're highly unlikely to get the VF system back in any future games.



There is indeed some good stuff. In fact I dont say it enough but I like the way some combo input works and I think it's how their combo system should've been working. Basically hold LT then input your combo, which means this way, there's no input lag has the game expect another command when you press regular buttons.

The animations for the moves are decent the problem is how they connect (same for the opponents, which often slide in a weird way to reach you).
 
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