Shenmue 3 Improvements/Keeps For Shenmue 4

Joined
Nov 23, 2019
The Good Elements Of Shenmue 3
- The game is prettier than I thought it would be and I don't mind the general aesthetic (but people seem to hate the cartoonish characters)
- Ryo controls slightly better
- It didn't do any damage to the story
- If the combat has to be this way then it's fine (better than I thought it would be)
- Training and leveling up has potential
- Chobu Chan

The Bad Elements Of Shenmue 3
- Bad writing (poorly developed characters, nonexistent threat/tension, poor pacing, very little payoff, repetition etc.)
- Bad VO (in English) and stilted dialogue implementation
- Poor quest design
- Too much grinding and busywork
- Poor music implementation with off putting use of recycled tracks
- Poor HUD and UI
- Stamina and health share the same resource
- I went to Bailu Village and all I got was this stupid T-Shirt (story elements that may only be able to be explained in Bailu are not developed ie: the poem, phantom river stone, and the Shenmue tree)
- QTEs are way too unfair and underwhelming
- The castle section is rushed and anticlimactic
- That ending...
- Some annoying plot inconsistencies
- Bizarre, out of place tonal shifts and physical comedy
- Combat still lacks strategy/skill and impact and can't help but feel like a huge step backwards
- Just not fun to play

Improvements You'd Make
- Start over, adopt an episodic model at a premium price (similar to how FF7 is currently being split across multiple fully priced games), release one chapter at a time, and make the game more accessible to a wider audience with a faster pace, lean into the series' strength with an emphasis on combat, ax some of the extraneous and expensive details (but first get a time machine)
- Honestly, more/better story and less grinding and I'd be happy
 
Joined
Jul 28, 2018
The Good Elements Of Shenmue 3
- Great environments, graphics and detail.
- Mini Games, Arcade, Lucky Hit, Capsule Toys.
- Being able to eat and drink (need to add drinking/eating animation for immersion).
- All characters are voiced.
- Training to level up your combat.
- cutscene animations are nice.
- Jobs were good.

The Bad Elements Of Shenmue 3
- No drinking animation from can machines like in Shenmue 1 & 2.
- Fighting system is too janky.
- Gameplay animations are too stiff.
- Voice acting is pretty bad, needs modernisation, the novelty and nostalgia of the bad voice acting has worn off.
- Character and NPC designs and models need improvement, they need to be as detailed and look as good as the environment.
- The story; it was kinda non existent, no sense of progression.
- Not enough random fights, or story fights.
- No character development for new characters.
- Curfew is too short, should bring it back to 12am, 9pm is far too early.
- Loading screens in random places (like taking off Ryo's shoes to go to Shenhua's living area)
- Learning QTE only story moves, should be able to be done in live combat as well.
- Enemies let you go, instead of killing you, ruining the realness of the story.
- QTE's were too fast and the colour of the arrows were the same as the green face buttons which was confusing.
- Terrible UI and title screen.
- Over abundance of Kickstarter references and fan service, really took away from the immersion. The whole thing should've been in the save shenmue place only.
- Having Shenmue characters as capsule toys and statues was too much.

Improvements You'd Make
1. Fighting system

- Should have smoother animations.
- Ryo would fall down when hit by a big move.
- Return of throw moves and counter grapples.
- Possibly bring back Virtua Fighter System (not essential if improvements are made on this system).
- Bring back the epic GONG sound when you do a big move.

2. Food System
-
Should be able to actually eat at Shenhua's house and it increase your stamina.
- Should be able to sit down in restaurants and eat.
- The stamina and health should be separated and if you have low stamina it should make your attacks do less damage.
- You shouldn't need to eat 50 garlics a day, have a more realistic food system that's based on a real life Martial Artist diet
e.g if you eat junk food your moves are slightly weaker than normal, if you eat healthy food your moves will be slightly stronger than normal, if you balance both your move strength will be the normal for example :
Junk Food = 80% maximum damage, Healthy food = 120% maximum damage, A Balance of both 100% maximum damage.

3. Open World Gameplay
-
More side missions that can help with character development and have the side mission have it's own dedicated dialogue
options so you can ask anyone for advice.
- An option to remove the hud entirely. Including the red highlights for drawers and switches.
- Camera options or original camera option.
- More NPC's walking around to give the cities more life.
- More real time chases (E.G Chasing Ren and the Heavens in SII).
- Random encounter fights that occur from asking the wrong people for help or being in the wrong area.
- A lot more story fights.
- Return of branching paths and multiple ways to complete an objective.

4. Presentation
-
Better designed UI and bring back the old title screen design and music.


All I could think of for now.
 
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Joined
Jan 22, 2020
The Good Elements Of Shenmue 3
- Great environments, graphics and detail.
- Mini Games, Arcade, Lucky Hit, Capsule Toys.
- Being able to eat and drink (need to add drinking/eating animation for immersion).
- All characters are voiced.
- Training to level up your combat.
- cutscene animations are nice.
- Jobs were good.

The Bad Elements Of Shenmue 3
- No drinking animation from can machines like in Shenmue 1 & 2.
- Fighting system is too janky.
- Gameplay animations are too stiff.
- Voice acting is pretty bad, needs modernisation, the novelty and nostalgia of the bad voice acting has worn off.
- Character and NPC designs and models need improvement, they need to be as detailed and look as good as the environment.
- The story; it was kinda non existent, no sense of progression.
- Not enough random fights, or story fights.
- No character development for new characters.
- Curfew is too short, should bring it back to 12am, 9pm is far too early.
- Loading screens in random places (like taking off Ryo's shoes to go to Shenhua's living area)
- Learning QTE only story moves, should be able to be done in live combat as well.
- Enemies let you go, instead of killing you, ruining the realness of the story.
- QTE's were too fast and the colour of the arrows were the same as the green face buttons which was confusing.
- Terrible UI and title screen.
- Over abundance of Kickstarter references and fan service, really took away from the immersion. The whole thing should've been in the save shenmue place only.
- Having Shenmue characters as capsule toys and statues was too much.

Improvements You'd Make
1. Fighting system

- Should have smoother animations.
- Ryo would fall down when hit by a big move.
- Return of throw moves and counter grapples.
- Possibly bring back Virtua Fighter System (not essential if improvements are made on this system).
- Bring back the epic GONG sound when you do a big move.

2. Food System
-
Should be able to actually eat at Shenhua's house and it increase your stamina.
- Should be able to sit down in restaurants and eat.
- The stamina and health should be separated and if you have low stamina it should make your attacks do less damage.
- You shouldn't need to eat 50 garlics a day, have a more realistic food system that's based on a real life Martial Artist diet
e.g if you eat junk food your moves are slightly weaker than normal, if you eat healthy food your moves will be slightly stronger than normal, if you balance both your move strength will be the normal for example :
Junk Food = 80% maximum damage, Healthy food = 120% maximum damage, A Balance of both 100% maximum damage.

3. Open World Gameplay
-
More side missions that can help with character development and have the side mission have it's own dedicated dialogue
options so you can ask anyone for advice.
- An option to remove the hud entirely. Including the red highlights for drawers and switches.
- Camera options or original camera option.
- More NPC's walking around to give the cities more life.
- More real time chases (E.G Chasing Ren and the Heavens in SII).
- Random encounter fights that occur from asking the wrong people for help or being in the wrong area.
- A lot more story fights.
- Return of branching paths and multiple ways to complete an objective.

4. Presentation
-
Better designed UI and bring back the old title screen design and music.


All I could think of for now.
tenor.gif
 
Joined
Jan 5, 2019
First of all let me just say that this Thread should be send to the development team that made Shenmue 3, specially Yu Susuki.
This will be a great guide for the development of Shenmue 4. Knowing what the fans liked, what they didn't like and the what can be improved is the best fan service that they can give us in Shenmue 4.

With that being said, here goes my personal opinion.

The good elements of Shenmue 3.

+ Overhaul game design. Environments, locations, general atmosphere and attention to detail.

+ Gameplay, lots of side activities, jobs, martial training development and progression.

+ Food system gives meaning and purpose to food shops and street vendors.

+ Anime style characters.

+ Relationship with Shenhua in Bailu village.

+ Comic QTE fails.

The Bad elements of Shenmue 3

- Not enough Story about the Mirrors and Iwao's past in Bailu village.

- Poor writting and scripting.

- Heavy focus on grinding.

- Having to earn Skill books to improve martial skills. No experience gain from real fights.

- Identical quests in the main story.

- Mix of realistic and cartoony npc's.

- Lack of Mystical elements in the main story.

- Relationship with side characters.

- No branching QTE's.

Improvements that can be made.

+ Hire a good writter.

+ More Story.

+ Improve Martial Arts fighting system, include throw moves.
Less simplistic and more challenging training mini games.

+ Improve Food System.
Instead of depleating health it should give bonus buffs in combat ( more damage/ more endurance/ quicker reaction in QTE's) when Ryo eats healthy foods and trains regularly.
If he gets hungry or eats unhealthy foods and doesn't train regularly he should gain de-buffs ( Less combat damage/ less endurance / slower reaction in QTE's).

+ Meaningfull relationship with side characters like in Shenmue 1&2.

+More emotional moments like in Shenmue 1&2.

+ Bring back mystical elements. Makes the story more interesting and engaging.

+ Learn moves from more random NPC's in the game, like in Shenmue 1.

I think thats about it, I hope that the Shenmue 3 devs get the chance to read all this posts. It will surely help them in the development of Shenmue 4.
 
Joined
Aug 19, 2018
If they're going to keep the stamina system, compromises will have to be made if we ever get another yellow head building-esque part of the game.

I thought about how that would work in Shenmue 3 and I came up with two options. Fill each floor with soda machines and random pieces of food or disable the stamina system when we reach a 'boss area'. I'd prefer the latter idea.

The stamina system could be a real hype/immersion killer in the future in boss areas. Imagine there being a conveniently placed vegetable stand right next Master Baihu's cage, or a vending machine right next to the balcony leading to the yellow head rooftop.
 
Joined
Sep 1, 2018
Good elements
1. Stunning visuals
2. Training
3. Jobs

Bad elements

They've all pretty much been said but I want to stress that, In Shenmue 3, players are not really rewarded for investigative work.

In shenmue 1 and 2, the player is rewarded for investigative work with incredible cutscenes which have great writing and cinematography... the cutscenes made it all worthwhile. We got this throughout shenmue 1 and 2. The cutscenes would shed light on characters' backstories and so there was character development which would make us emotionally invested in them.

In Shenmue 3, there is no reward. The cutscenes were generally disappointing and anti-climactic. There is a cutscene where Ryo and Shenhua are interrogating a thug and the player is actually given options to choose from when engaging in dialogue with the thug. This was just plain terrible and not the way I want to experience a Shenmue cutscene. This happened way too often in Shenmue 3.

Cutscenes must be used effectively to develop characters as in Shenmue 1 and 2.
This was not done in Shenmue 3 so when broom girl and big guy showed up at the end, I was confused.

If there's ever a shenmue 4, they've got to return to the old formula. The cutscenes have got to be better and must not be interactive.
 
Joined
Dec 19, 2019
The Good Elements Of Shenmue 3
-Open world
-mini games
-controls
-distinct looking npcs
-cutscenes
-Lots of ways to make money compared to previous games.
-A proper new game plus mode
-Graphics
-Soundtracks.
-Battle Rally and chobu chan mini games
-Side quests
-Difficulty setting
-bigger areas compare to previous games.
-A better and more useful notepad.

The Bad Elements Of Shenmue 3
-Combat
-Grinding sections were you have to practice to improve your kung fu.
-Sone hideous looking npcs
-Fast QTEs
-Forced walking sections.

Improvements You'd Make
-A difficulty setting for QTEs.
-Making the combat better
-Improving npc models.
-Make grinding for kong fu less repetitive(by making the mini games get harder whenever you level up)
-Adding the damage stats to the move scrolls.
-Improving mini games.
-Removing the forced walking sections.
 
Joined
Aug 8, 2018
Location
France
Currently playing
Motorsport Manager, Rocket League, Supreme Commander FA
The Great:
Beautiful scenery
Beautiful cheongsams
The Wack'a Mole
Mr Su
The telephone

The Good:
Talking to Shenhua
Being woken by Shenhua
Stalking Shenhua
Make love to Shenhua
Lot of martial moves to experiment
Free tournaments
Confronting the master when you beat all the students and earning his respect
The flashbacks on Bailu bridge
The duck mini game
Forklift
Lan Di and his mysterious associates
Stores are less useless than before
Finding the mascot
The tourist photo wall in the port, nicely evocative
The kickstarter black jacket
The first person point of view for fishing
Investigation in relation with traditional crafts (stonemason, searching for a Buddha)
The idea of investigating a complex martial art
The idea of Ryo trying to figure out the purpose of Sun's training
The idea of associating the drawer exploration with a specific music
The whole concept of Old Castle
Niao Sun taking the leadership in vile manner
The hidden events (mirrors in the shop, talking to Li Feng)
Becoming a VIP and kick some ass
Exploring the drawers the first time in Shenhua's house
The atmosphere when entering the Sun's temple location
The enchanting vibe of the introduction
The dramatic turn when Shenhua is kidnapped
The idea of village tower as cryptic center of mysteries
The children are adorable
The availability of Joel from Awesome Japan

The Bad
I prefer to pass for my mental health

Improvements You'd Make
I just want Yu takes the time to replay his game in one go. I'm sure he will figure out all the problems by himself.
 
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bcdcdude

Dude with tweed :)
Joined
Aug 20, 2018
Location
United Kingdom
Currently playing
Persona 5 Royal / Yakuza 4
PSN
bcdcdude
Steam
bcdcdude
The Good Elements Of Shenmue 3
1) It felt like a Shenmue game which is a miracle. I can't explain why it feels like it, mind.
2) The graphics were rather stunning. It made me want to stop and smell the roses which is something I rarely do in games.
3) The evenings with Shenhua were among my favourite bits of the game. I would love more of that!
4) The phone calls to friends in Shenmue I & II.
5) The fact that it exists.
6) I quite liked finding the Choubu-chan's!
7) The NPC's having personalities of their own is lovely, especially as you know their names.
8) Once I adapted to the games' rhythm, I truly did enjoy it.

The Bad Elements Of Shenmue 3
1) As many others have said, the story was a bit lacking.
2) I hate to say this, but there were times I was a bit bored. It might have been my mood at the time, mind.
3) This was probably unavoidable in most cases, but I couldn't stand hearing the English voices for characters that mean a lot to me like Nozomi.
4) The menu system was rather clunky
5) I got used to the fighting system, but I didn't really feel like I was in control. I would just keep pressing R2 and hope for the best.
6) Collecting capsule toys wasn't fun when you try 40+ times to get one toy.
7) As a completist, I would've liked a better way of finding side quests. I realise that it might break the immersion somewhat, but perhaps there could be a compromise.
8) I don't think the game would be very welcoming to newcomers.

Improvements You'd Make
1) Cap the frame rate
2) Have music changes less jarring
3) Get rid of the stamina system, or at the very least keep it separate from the fighting health bar
4) Bring throws back
5) Less fan service in the future (although I appreciate why there was as much as there was in SIII)
6) Allow conversation skipping right off the bat.
7) A more streamlined menu system with larger fonts.
8) A new Shenmue passport with information on the characters etc.
9) Bring back original voice actors where possible (hi Eric!). I'm happy with Shenhua's voice though.
10) Have a tutorial that actually makes sense. When Shenmue I was released, you had a chunky manual, plus the passport disc explaining things. Shenmue III has a few text boxes...
 

red

Joined
Jul 28, 2018
The Good Elements Of Shenmue 3
-the QTE's were great ( they always put a big smile on my face)
-phone calls to ryo's friends were good.
- kung fu scrolls were more important to the gameplay.
-Niaowu felt exactly like shenmue 2.
- ryo and npc's had more natural body movements.

The Bad Elements Of Shenmue 3
-too much in game references to shenmue.
-opening mission was very slow and repetitive.
-fighting gameplay was Mediocre. shenmue1/2 did it better.
-eating food for health is a bit tedious.
- the story did not develop as much as i hoped.
- seemed to be too much focus on graphics, rather than the story.

Improvements You'd Make ( for shenmue 4 )
- -incorporate phone calls into the plot. ie ryo could ask his friends for tips, advice or help to complete a task.
- more epic Qte events. like in shenmue 2 with ren.
- - add flashbacks or a type of dream, so we can re-establish Ryo's father to the story. maybe he can help ryo with advice or help ryo re-learn kung fu moves (like in the game, star wars fallen jedi). in this type of flashback, you could take ryo back to japan.
- add a walkman, so ryo can buy/listed to music in game.
- have mini games playable from start menu, like in shenmue2.

and lastly, for shenmue 4 i think Ys should take chances and be more experimental with gameplay and missions.
 
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Joined
Nov 13, 2019
The Good
Still keeps the exploration of the first two games largely in tact.
Sidequests are hidden and encourage exploring them
I did enjoy the progression at first, it makes sense too as Ryo still isn't a great fighter
Environments are gorgeous for a low budget game
In terms of moment to moment things while roaming around town, I did kind of enjoy Shenmue 3 more than it's predecessors. Fishing, getting herbs to make money, I dug that
Liked the fanservice, even though going to the Save Shenmue shrine when the kickstarter wrapped up will always be immersion breaking for any game like this
The opening in Bailu Village was some top notch comfy life-sim tier moments.

The Bad
The story didn't move as far as I would've liked, brought up items from our inventory, or go further back as I would have liked. Some segments really felt like they could've been trimmed altogether like that focus on the rich couple or that out of place sidequest in the castle.
Character models can look fine for some and downright ugly for others. Animations also need more work
Didn't feel like there was as much unique music as the first two games
Scrap eating food for health, if anything maybe implement that option more for combat
Gettin real tired of these supposed to lose fights.
Combat itself is just "alright" compared to Shenmue 1/2. I still miss the VF-lite combat from that game.

Improvements to be made
I do like that there's more ways to make money, but maybe they could be more unique than just turtle racing or that bowl game
Ideally I think the menu shouldn't be chosen to be R1
Increase the timing for QTEs to be more forgiving like Shenmue 1/2
Consider implementing more multi-man battles like in Shenmue 2, that bridge part at the end of 3, or like the Yakuza series
Maybe bring back the regenerating health from combat, if only because that Red Snake guy is frustrating the fuck out of me
If we should keep the new combat, I'd like for the animations to be improved and opponents not to block so much. Either that or there should be more options for parrying, unless I missed something.
 

Verderame

I didn't read Hamlet but i do know Hamtaro.
Joined
Jul 30, 2018
-Please have actual stuff happen in the next game. Meaningful dialogues, setpieces, deeper interactions between characters, proper subplots, cutscenes, you know what i'm talking about. Please make it a priority above everything else.









-Drop the inconsistent character designs philosophy please, hire more expert UE4 modelers if you can. Ren, Lan Di and Niao Sun are absolute top tier looking, Ryo and Shenhua are pretty nice, some of the main npcs look good enough overall, the average looking ones are ok for an open world game, but please, the abomination and the Toriyama-ish ones need to go.

-The new combat system can be improved, i would like it less rpg style and more fighting game based, with less dependency on leveling up and more on players' skills. Make it properly responsive, drop the weird move input system, add throws.

-The stamina system did not bother me that much, when you level up enough and make some money it stops being a problem, but there's probably a less intrusive way to integrate food eating and Ryo's phisycal shape into the gameplay loop.

-This is not gameplay related, but still: please, bring back the original logo. Also, have at least a barely decent marketing campaign. Everything about the promotional material of this game was so baffingly ugly and under amateur-level.
Give a random fan with entry level Photoshop skills a bunch of high res artworks and ask him to make a decent looking cover art for you, and it'll be 10000% better than we got for Shenmue 3.

These are all the improvements i would like to see in Shenmue 4.
 
Joined
Aug 29, 2018
Gerenrally I would like a Shenmue 4 to have more believable environments. Niaowu never felt like it could be a real place. I don't need to be collecting things in a Shenmue game. I'd lose the buy/sell store menu system and go back to shelf browsing. Bring back realism.
 
Joined
Feb 9, 2020
Location
UK
Favourite title
Shenmue
Gerenrally I would like a Shenmue 4 to have more believable environments. Niaowu never felt like it could be a real place. I don't need to be collecting things in a Shenmue game. I'd lose the buy/sell store menu system and go back to shelf browsing. Bring back realism.
You mean to tell me that China really doesn't have giant glowing arcades with bulldog(?) heads outside!?
 
Joined
Feb 9, 2020
Location
UK
Favourite title
Shenmue
Do we know if it doesn't, though?
I hope the inaccurate depiction of China was a design choice and not a censorship measure, such as removing the British flags from SII HD.

A realistic post revolution China and general poverty wouldn't have been a good sell in China.
 
Joined
Feb 3, 2019
Location
Sydney Australia
PSN
danmann861
Steam
danielmann861
The Good

-- Bailu. It felt fleshed out. It felt lived in and it had more personality than Niaou did.

-- The look. I actually think the game looks perfectly fine in most regards. I felt it did a good job capturing the Shenmue feel for a modern era. I don't want to say it looked like a "Dreamcast Game" but it managed to capture the same look and feel that the original games had. I think it was a wise move. Going too realistic would have looked weird. I think they captured the look well enough.

-- The feel. The feel of living in this world felt about the same as it did with the Dreamcast games to me. I stand by the fact that this felt like Shenmue through and through. From the daily routine to daily training to learning new moves from the wise old kung fu men to gambling to make money to simply wasting time day to day. This felt like Shenmue through and through to me and its the thing I loved most about the game.

-- Talking to Shenhua. Easily the best thing about the game. I felt the nightly conversations with Shenhua added so much more to Ryo. I felt like I finally got to know Ryo a little more. Even if the things they talked about were mostly trivial and didn't add much to the overall plot. I still felt I got to know Ryo better than the first two games ever did presenting him. I just wish they made that character development more integral to the plot but what do you do? Especially when this stuff was completely optional and could be bypassed by players who just wanted to focus on the main plot. Still, I thought this was the best damn thing about Shenmue III.

-- The fighting. Don't crucify me. Yes, it's not the VF engine. Yes, it has its flaws (we'll get there), but I think as a foundation the fighting wasn't as bad as some here make it out to be. Yes, it's nowhere near the quality of Shenmue II (it never could be considering Shenmue II had years of experience with the VF engine in place), but I kind of enjoyed the fighting in this game. There is a rhythm to it that was fun once you learned it. It's not perfect and like I'll said, I'll get there, but there are things about the fighting system that showed real promise. I felt the foundations were there, it just needs more work. But still, I enjoyed the fighting way more than I expected.

-- Fishing. So relaxing. Simple but fun and addictive.

-- Side Quests. I really enjoyed the addition of more side quests. Some of them were really neat. I particularly enjoyed Mr Sun's tall tales. I also have negative feelings (we'll get there) but for the most part. I liked most of the side quests.

-- The general mood and atmosphere is still here. The thing I always loved about Shenmue was the journey itself. Going from place to place and discovering new land and meeting new people. At the end of the day, Shenmue really is just Yu recounting his own journey across China in making Virtua Fighter and that element was still here. What I loved about Shenmue to begin with was still here. This still feels like a grand martial arts journey across China learning new moves and styles along the way. I've always loved that about Shenmue and that vibe was still here in Shenmue III. I love the discipline of training every day. I love the fact that this game is still presenting martial arts in a somewhat serious manner. It's still the most unique thing I've ever played and still feels grandly personal and I still love it even with its many warts.

The Bad

-- Presentation. I don't think the presentation is entirely terrible, but it's missing a certain grandness. Gone are the wonderful sweeping camera shots from the first two games. The first two games felt cinematic in terms of both music and certain camera pans and shots. SIII just didn't quite live up to that. It felt choppy as a whole. Also, those jarring cuts to black between cut scenes really need to go should there be a Shenmue IV.

-- The fighting. While I enjoyed the fighting, it's not without its weaknesses as well. The lack of throws really hurts. The animations also let it down. During the Lan Di fight, I could not help but think "imagine if this were playing out with the VF engine..imagine the cool shit you could have had Lan Di doing as he evades every attack you try to throw his way." The fighting engine in III just didn't cater for it and it kind of lost its coolness. I almost would have preferred that fight to be a motion captured QTE if need be just so it would have some flair. That's the weakness of the fighting system. You lose the wonderful animation system of the VF engine and in its place is a not particularly captivating rag doll system. Serviceable but it did hurt what should have been an epic moment between Lan Di and Ryo. Also the lack of throws and true counters was sorely missed.

-- The lack of story progression. On the one hand, it doesn't bother me entirely that SIII didn't really move us forward drastically...but on the other hand? I at least expected to get a little more than what we got. Pivotal character development with regards to the plot is what this game misses the mark on the most. Sure, we got to know Ryo a little better through those conversations, but did it really matter to the main plot? Did his near death experience teach him anything? I always thought that III would be the crucial turning point for Ryo where he would begin to realize this whole thing is bigger than just his need for vengeance...but sadly that moment never came.

At its worse, it feels like its rehashing SII a little too much but it lacks the coolness of SII. There's no WUDE moment. There's no Xiuying. There's no Yellow Head building ascension. It lacks those sorts of moments that made SII feel epic. Granted, maybe that is by design but considering the game ends on what should have been an epic build to that first encounter with Lan Di, the events leading up to that fell flat and probably could have been handled better. The ending to the game just feels rushed. It's understandable given circumstances involving the budget and pressure to get the game out, but yeah. It's slightly disappointing. The elements were there to make Shenmue III more epic than it was but something just got lost along the way.


I have other thoughts but I probably should go to bed since it's past 1am in the morning here so I'll finish this all up later.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Feb 3, 2019
Location
Sydney Australia
PSN
danmann861
Steam
danielmann861
To elaborate a little further on why it didn't bother me so much that the story didn't progress all too much. If someone unacquainted were to ask me "what is Shenmue in a nutshell?" I would straight up tell them it's a detective game. At its core, Shenmue is very much a detective game.

It's pretty much the bulk of what you do in all of these games which is why I find the complaints of the gameplay loop baffling. Yes, character development is weak, but the core gameplay is no different to what came before. It is Shenmue through and through in that regard. You go around asking people for clues and you jot them down. Every scrap of info you've received thus far is nothing more than hearsay and conjuncture.

In the first game, Master Chen tells you that the mirrors awaken a dragon that will ravage the earth. In the second game, we're told the mirrors are in fact a key to treasure. Both of these are nothing more than hearsay and conjecture. It's all just pieces of a much larger puzzle. If there is one thing that I do like about Shenmue, it's that aspect. I like the fact that nothing is clear in its story telling. I kinda like that it's all about giving puzzle pieces and asking you to contemplate them. I like the fact that even with III, the bigger picture is still not entirely clear. We're still gathering pieces of the puzzle and the puzzle is still a mystery. Much like any great detective story, it's all about building the bigger picture and to some degree Shenmue III does add a little more to the bigger picture. Ryo is in the role of detective and considering he is getting information from all different sources, it's hard to say what is truth and what isn't.

These games never cheat from diverting from Ryo's perspective. With the exception of Xiuying's flashbacks in II, most of this series plays out through Ryo's eyes. And much like Ryo, the player is equally clueless as to what is really happening.

You have a bunch of clues and tidbits and hearsay, but very little in the way of actual concrete fact. That's why I think I'm forgiving to the story woes (a little) of III. Because in some ways III felt like more of that.

With III, we got a few more pieces. We got further information about Lan Di's father. We now know that his intentions involving the mirror were noble. Which actually maybe shatters one of my original theories...that the mirror corrupted Lan Di's father and Iwao killed him for the greater good. Although, maybe that is still a possibility because again, it's all hearsay and conjecture. We also now know there is a power struggle within the Chi You Men between Niao Sun and Lan Di.

Having said all of that though, I think my disappointment with III lies moreso in the fact that we didn't get as many NEW puzzle pieces as I would have liked. I would have liked to have learned more about Iwao's time in Bailu. I would have maybe liked to have learned more about Iwao and Lan Di's father and their friendship. I would have liked more puzzle pieces. I felt like III should have been a turning point for both Ryo and the series in terms of delivering more about what its already built. In some ways it did do that, in others it lacked completely.

What we got does build on top of my own speculations, but I would have liked just a little bit more to keep me going in terms of the puzzle. I never expected the full picture to be revealed, but a little more would have been nice to have.
 
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Nov 23, 2019
In the first game, Master Chen tells you that the mirrors awaken a dragon that will ravage the earth. In the second game, we're told the mirrors are in fact a key to treasure. Both of these are nothing more than hearsay and conjecture. It's all just pieces of a much larger puzzle. If there is one thing that I do like about Shenmue, it's that aspect. I like the fact that nothing is clear in its story telling. I kinda like that it's all about giving puzzle pieces and asking you to contemplate them. I like the fact that even with III, the bigger picture is still not entirely clear. We're still gathering pieces of the puzzle and the puzzle is still a mystery. Much like any great detective story, it's all about building the bigger picture and to some degree Shenmue III does add a little more to the bigger picture. Ryo is in the role of detective and considering he is getting information from all different sources, it's hard to say what is truth and what isn't.
I agree that the mystery is the beating heart of Shenmue but mysteries live and die on the audience's trust in the author. Lost, for instance, was a show that set up so many mysteries that, by the end, it was clear they would never wrap them all up, so a chunk of the audience abandoned the show by the later seasons. I think a huge divide in the Shenmue fanbase now comes down to trust: if you believe that Suzuki has the goods and there will be a deeper payoff to the mysteries, or that we basically have all the set up we're going to get and now the story just needs to resolve itself (particularly if S4 is to be the last installment).
 
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