Shenmue: A Slow Pace Story

You like that Shenmue is a Slow Pace Story?

  • Yeah, i agree with you. I love that Shenmue is a slow pace story

    Votes: 15 100.0%
  • No, i don't like this way

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    15

Hiki

その者、東の遠つ国より 海を渡りて現れり
Joined
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Shenmue: A Slow Pace Story

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I had the idea for this thread when i thought about Shenmue III, that people had mixed feelings about the game, specialy about the story progress, some people think that Shenmue III is filler, some even think that the game only have 20 minutes of story and that nothing important happened and much more, i respect different opinions i just don't agree with this, i want to reflect here about the pacing of the story, about what Shenmue is for me, and what i feel about this things. Everything i will write here is not a fact, is just my opinion.

I decided to put this thread in the Shenmue IV part , i decided this because i will talk about all the games and the future of the story.

First i want to say again that what happened with Yu Suzuki is really sad, one time he even said... "If i continued to do a chapter per game i would not complete Shenmue in my lifetime." This for me means that his original idea was to make 11 games or something like this, this means for me that his original idea was to make one chapter and one location per game. First chapter in Yokosuka (In Japan even the name of the game is Shenmue Chapter One: Yokosuka), one chapter in a boat, one chapter in Hong Kong/Kowloon, one in a train, one chapter in Guilin, one chapter in Niaowu and so on...


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Yu Suzuki only did like this with the first game. The main plot of the first game is to learn where is Lan Di, is to find him. Ryo spend the entire game finding more clues about Lan Di and searching for him and he didn't even saw Lan Di in the end of the game, sure we have other things in the story like the parts with the mirrors, Nozomi, Guizhang, Mark, Tom, Shenhua, The Mad Angels and other characters, but the main plot of the game is to find where is Lan Di and he didn't even saw Lan Di in the end, so we can say that the main story didn't advance a lot in the first game, it was a slow pace, just the beginning of the story, the first game have a slow pace and i love this in the first game.



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I remember that for Shenmue II he said that he decided to put just one part of chapter 5 in the game, chapter 5 is the Guilin chapter, this part that he chose to put in the game was the part with Ryo meeting Shenhua in Guilin, another thing i remember is that Yu Suzuki decided to advance more the story like this because he was sure that he would not have another opportunity to make another Shenmue game at that time, something like this so he decided to advance more the story this way.

In this case i think it was a beautiful decision because the Guilin part fits so wonderful in the final moments in the game, the Guilin part in Shenmue II is perfect and unforgetabble to me, but is still really sad that he had to compromise his original idea and vision. In Shenmue II Ryo spend quite some time to find Lishao Tao/Xiuying, and he spend even more time in the game searching for Yuanda Zhu. I think we can even say that the main plot of the second game is to find Yuanda Zhu and of course searching for Lan Di.


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Shenmue II for me have fast pace moments, the story advance more fast but some moments are slow pace too, after all Ryo did in Shenmue II he only saw Lan Di in a helicopter. They just looked at each other and that was it, this was the only moment between Ryo and Lan Di in the game, so again in my opinion this is a slow pace.



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For Shenmue III Yu Suzuki decided to make the story more slow pace again like he did in the first game, the main plot of the game is to find Yushen Yuan, Shenhua's father, the story of the game have other things too like the conversations with Shenhua and strengthening the bond with her, training with Master Sun, Red Snakes, meeting new characters and seeing Ren again, training with Grandmaster Bei, Niao Sun, fighting Lan Di for the first time and more but the main plot was to find Yushen Yuan. Ryo and Shenhua spend the entire game searching for him, in this case they found her father, Ryo saved him in the final moments of the game.



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For me the Shenmue games are like detective games. In all the Shenmue games the players need to search for more clues, we do that by asking NPCs, this way we can fill the notebook little by little and the story will progress this way, Shenmue Games for me
really are like detective games and i love this so much, is one part of the essence of Shenmue for me and i really hope this continue
in Shenmue IV and V.

In my opinion Shenmue games are not the type of games that everybody will enjoy, it is a slow story and in a lot of parts with a slow pace, about the gameplay the Shenmue games are about Ryo Hazuki asking NPCs and trying to find clues about the things he wants to know, i love that Shenmue games are like this, is one of the unique and special things in the Shenmue series for me.


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Shenmue for me is not just about Ryo wanting to kill Lan Di, it is about Ryo's journey, it is about the people he meet and what he learns from them, is about Ryo growing as a martial artist and as a character, is about Ryo trying to find a path in his life, is about Ryo saving the world, something like this because i think in the next games he will destroy the Chi You Men and save everyone.

What is the most important in Shenmue in my opinion is not the destination, what is the most important is the journey, and Ryo's journey is a slow journey, a journey where we see Ryo meeting characters, making new friends/bonds, learning and developing little by little as a martial artist and as a character, and all this is not filler to me, it is wonderful in my opinion to see Ryo's Journey this way. When Yu Suzuki complete this beautiful saga i think i will appreaciate even more the whole Ryo's Journey.

Shenmue is inspiring me to create a story with a Shenmue vibe/feeling, my story is a slow pace story like Shenmue so i really don't want to cut things in my story, i dont wan't to make my story fast pace all the time just to finish quickly, so i think is really sad what happened with Yu Suzuki, he even had to cut Baisha in Shenmue III, this was sad.


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I really think if Shenmue III had been released for Dreamcast or Playstation 2 more people would have been more accepted with the slow pace and slow progression in the game, but this didn't happened, a lot of people waited a lot of years for this game, some people even waited 18 years for this game so they wanted to see the story advance more fast, i understand that people feel this way, i really do but in my opinion Shenmue is a slow pace story.

Some time before Shenmue III release Yu Suzuki in a interview said that Shenmue III will get us to 40% of Ryo's Story, so for me it really seems that his vision for Shenmue is that it really is a slow pace story, and i really love this in the Shenmue story, i don't have problems with slow pace in games, i love this type of games.


I love that Shenmue I is slow pace and i can really feel Yokosuka, i love that the entire game is in Yokosuka, i can really feel the city, the characters, the animals, the weather, everything, is like i'm there in that world. I love that in Shenmue II we learn little by little the Four Wude, i love that the training with Xiuying is slow pace, i love that the ending parts in Guilin have a slow pace and i can really feel Guilin and the moments between Ryo and Shenhua.


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I love that Shenmue III have a slow pace and i can really feel Ryo and Shenhua streghtning the bonds and being more closer, i love that the training with Master Sun is slow and i can really feel Ryo learning little by little, so when he finally defeat Yanlang is a wonderful moment to me, same thing when Ryo won the fight against Longqi Ge. I love that Bailu Village is slow pace and i can really feel the village and the characters, i love that Ryo lost to Lan Di but showed that he improved a bit, so when the time comes and Ryo win the final fight against Lan Di the moment will be more special and beautiful to me.

But we live in a world that prefers GTA and other games where everything is fast all the time, where everything happens fast all the time, big explosions all the time, fights all the time, violence all the time, guns all the time and much more, i like this types of game too but for me Shenmue is different and with a slow pace and i love that, i love that Shenmue is a slow pace story.

In a perfect world where Yu Suzuki have lots of chances to make games he would probably end Shenmue in Shenmue VI or something. Shenmue III got us to only 40% of the story, this for me is prove enough that Shenmue is a slow pace story. Only 40% of the story so i really think Yu Suzuki don't want to finish Shenmue in Shenmue IV, is his story and i really think he don't want to rush and cut a lot of things in his story, i really think he don't want to cut a lot of places and characters of this wonderful saga.

In my opinion Yu Suzuki will only end in Shenmue IV if he is desparate and certain that he will never have more opportunities to make more Shenmue games.

Imagine for a moment that Shenmue is your story, a story with many chapters, a story with many locations and characters, a story that you created with a lot of love and is important to you, would you want to cut a lot of things just to finish quickly?


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There is a lot of things to happen in the story in my opinion, a lot of places to go like Baisha that was cut in Shenmue III, Ryo will probably need to go to Luoyang and there we will probably know more about Shenhua, the Shenmue tree and other things, in Shenmue II we can see a flashback with Shenhua's parents, we can see another Shenmue Tree, we can see that the place is not Bailu Village, i really think Ryo need to go to Luoyang or other place to learn more about the Shenmue tree and more about Shenhua.

In Men Cun Ryo will probably discover the truth about what happenned between Iwao and Sunming Zhao, the forbbiden city i don't know what will happen there but it will be another nice location for the story.

In the next part of the story we will probably see and learn more about the other leaders of the Chi You Men, Ryo will probably train with a Shaolin Master, Xiuying will probably come back and see Ziming again and much more, i really think it will be better if this things are not rushed and i imagine that Yu Suzuki don't want to rush his story, Yu Suzuki knows the whole story, he knows when and how will be the best way to end i'm just making theories with the informations he gave us over the years.


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If Yu Suzuki ends Shenmue in IV he will probably have to cut a lot of characters, places and parts of the story, i just hope that if this happens he release the Legend Of Akira original books/scripts for the fans, this way i think we can see more about his vision, this way i think we will see all the characters and locations that he had to cut in the games. In the anime if he have a chance he can put this parts too.

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I don't know 100% if Yu Suzuki vision was to create a slow pace story, i don't know if for him Shenmue is a slow pace story, only Yu Suzuki can answer this questions, but thinking about everything that he said so far and the ways that he did Shenmue, Shenmue II and Shenmue III i really think his vision for the Shenmue story is that it is a slow pace story.



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A story that what is important is the journey, a story that what is the most important is seeing Ryo travelling, meeting people, learning with them and growing little by little, growing as a martial artist and as a character and living this journey and this for me is not filler, this for me is beautiful, it is beautiful for me seeing this wonderful journey, and when i finally see the moment where he is similar to Akira Yuki i really think i'm gonna cry so much, i feel that i'm gonna cry so much in the end of Ryo's journey.

It is difficult for Yu Suzuki to have opportunities to make more games and finish the saga, so i really think it will be better if he decides to end in Shenmue V, with Shenmue IV advacing a lot in the story and reaching the 70% of Ryo's journey, something like this and Shenmue V the final parts/ending of the story. I really have a feeling that in the current situation he will decide to finish in Shenmue V, i hope he can make a deal or something like that to develop Shenmue IV and V together, something like this, i hope he can finish the saga in Shenmue V, if he wants of course, this way i think this beautiful saga will end in a nice way.

What do you all think about this? you agree that Shenmue is a slow pace story? you like that Shenmue is a slow pace story or you prefer things happening fast all the time and Ryo defeating Lan Di fast? some people think Shenmue should have ended in Shenmue III, if that had happened the ending would not be good in my opinion.

I respect different opinions i'm just reflecting that i think i have an unpopular opinion, i love with all my heart that Shenmue is a slow pace story, i love with all my heart that we can see Ryo's journey and Ryo developing little by little, this is one of the reasons why i'm okay with Shenmue III, this is one of the reasons why i like Shenmue III, but Yu Suzuki is 62 years old, i don't know when he will decide to retire, so Shenmue will probably end in Shenmue IV or in V in my opinion.

I just know two things, one is that i will always support Yu Suzuki, and the second thing is... LetsGetShenmueIV 😊

I took a lot of days to write all of this, i really wanted to put a lot of my thoughts about what i feel about Shenmue, what Shenmue is for me, that i like the slow pace and more, thanks for everyone that read everything, really means a lot to me.

In this thread we can talk about the whole story of the games, the pacing of the story in the games, what we think will be good in terms of pacing in the next games, the future of Shenmue and much more, thank you.

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LetsGetShenmueIV by Shenmue Forever
 
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I actually was thinking about this in reverse. I think a big part of why Shenmue 3 didn’t live up to its predecessors was it failed to deliver on its big moments.

Like you said Shenmue is a slow story since it’s inception but that typically builds into climactic finale. In the first game you had fight with Gui Zhang, huge 70 man battle and final boss encounter with Chai. Shenmue 2 took that to the next level with whole ascending to top of Yellowhead building, and admittedly while Guilin chapter was huge change in pace it still ends with huge and mysterious revelation with the giant mirrors.

As we know the ending of Shenmue 3 was rushed together but it never hits the same action highs or explosive story revelations as prior games (Lan Di being betrayed by Niao Sun was closest we got but that was under cooked). So while the prior games were also slow it felt even more so here as it didn’t build into a satisfactory conclusion.
 
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Hiki

Hiki

その者、東の遠つ国より 海を渡りて現れり
Joined
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Favourite title
Shenmue
Currently playing
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I actually was thinking about this in reverse. I think a big part of why Shenmue 3 didn’t live up to its predecessors was it failed to deliver on its big moments.

Like you said Shenmue is a slow story since it’s inception but that typically builds into climactic finale. In the first game you had fight with Gui Zhang, huge 70 man battle and final boss encounter with Chai. Shenmue 2 took that to the next level with whole ascending to top of Yellowhead building, and admittedly while Guilin chapter was huge change in pace it still ends with huge and mysterious revelation with the giant mirrors.

As we know the ending of Shenmue 3 was rushed together but it never hits the same action highs or explosive story revelations as prior games (Lan Di being betrayed by Niao Sun was closest we got but that was under cooked). So while the prior games were also slow it felt even more so here as it didn’t build into a satisfactory conclusion.
I agree that the ending was rushed and could have been better but overall i like the ending parts of the game. Yu Suzuki even had to cut Baisha out of the game, i really think he had a lot of problems in the development of Shenmue III.

In one interview one person asked Yu Suzuki what score he would give for Shenmue III, he said... "probably 7.5"

I really think he wanted to do more with the game. I really think Shenmue III didn't turn out exactly the way he really wanted to do and that's sad, everything that happened with Yu Suzuki with this and other things is really sad in my opinion.
 
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Sergeynest

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First of all let me congratulate you Hiki for creating this thread and tacking your time to describe why you love the series so much and its slow paced storytelling.
I do agree with a lot of what you said about how you love Shenmue and its slow paced storytelling and the fact that it is more about the Journey than it is about the destination; of tacking it all in and appreciating every little moment in Ryo's Journey.
Like you I also would like Shenmue to end in 5 and for Yu Suzuki to tell his story as close as possible to what he had originally planned.
But this opinion is from my side as a passionate Shenmue fan; from my realistic side as a 30+ years gamer I think there are a lot of things to take under consideration; things like Yu Suzuki's age and if it would be possible for him to still work in another 2 more games to finish the series. If he could manage to make a deal to finance 2 more games in a row it would be perfect but I cant really see that happening, and considering the fact that we have waited such a long time for Shenmue 3 makes me think that it would better for all of us for him to end the series in Shenmue 4 but managing to make it in a way that it doesnt feel rushed wich I consider will be very hard to do.
I think that a really interesting way to do this would be to pick up on the idea of having Ryo, Ren and Shenhua travel by train to all the important locations that are still left to visit in the story and have some deep conversations between them, like about the story their relationship and planning what to do next or where to go during their Journey between these locations and at the same time having the Chiyoumen trying to stop them.
This could make the story move forward but at the same time still retain that slow paced feeling of the previous titles.
I think that the big drawback would be how Ryo's martial arts progression would feel, at least to the point that he could manage to beat Lan Di if that was ever in the original story.
This would have to be really well done otherwise it will feel underwelming.

Another thing that came into my mind the other day was if in the following years Yu Suzuki died ("Please God No")
and the comunity join together and create the the final game of the series in his honour to finish is legacy.

I would really like for Shenmue Dojo to arrange that interview with Yu Suzuki and to talk openly about this subject and others like the anime and the development of Shenmue 3.

Let us hope for the best, but lately i've been feeling a lot of anxiety; must be because of E3.
 

Sergeynest

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I actually was thinking about this in reverse. I think a big part of why Shenmue 3 didn’t live up to its predecessors was it failed to deliver on its big moments.

Like you said Shenmue is a slow story since it’s inception but that typically builds into climactic finale. In the first game you had fight with Gui Zhang, huge 70 man battle and final boss encounter with Chai. Shenmue 2 took that to the next level with whole ascending to top of Yellowhead building, and admittedly while Guilin chapter was huge change in pace it still ends with huge and mysterious revelation with the giant mirrors.

As we know the ending of Shenmue 3 was rushed together but it never hits the same action highs or explosive story revelations as prior games (Lan Di being betrayed by Niao Sun was closest we got but that was under cooked). So while the prior games were also slow it felt even more so here as it didn’t build into a satisfactory conclusion.
I think that what Yu Suzuki tried to do was to give an ending like Shenmue 1 and 2 at the same time in Shenmue 3.
The kidnapping of Shenhua is very similar to that of Nozomi in Shenmue 1, Ryo strikes a deal with Niao Sun to release Shenhua just like he did with Terry in Shenmue 1 to release Nozomi, Ryo and Ren fights a lot thugs together to reach Lan Di, just like Ryo did with Guizhang to reach Terry in Shenmue 1.
He then fights the Leader of the Red Snakes at the Castle entrance on top of the mountain just like he fought Dou Niu on top of the Yellow Heads building.
The ending with Shenhua's father on the boat is pretty much identical to that with Yuanda Zhu in Ren's hideout.
So I think its pretty evident what he was going for.
Personally i liked it a lot, apart from the stupid side Quest of the stolen objects, the broom stick beating cutscene with the Maiden, and Ryo finding out again that Lan Di's real name is Longsun and that he is Zhao Sunmings son.
If Shenmue 3's ending had a more suprising revelation whithout these anticlimatic moments during its build up it would have been great.
 
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I think that what Yu Suzuki tried to do was to give an ending like Shenmue 1 and 2 at the same time in Shenmue 3.
The kidnapping of Shenhua is very similar to that of Nozomi in Shenmue 1, Ryo strikes a deal with Niao Sun to release Shenhua just like he did with Terry in Shenmue 1 to release Nozomi, Ryo and Ren fights a lot thugs together to reach Lan Di, just like Ryo did with Guizhang to reach Terry in Shenmue 1.
He then fights the Leader of the Red Snakes at the Castle entrance on top of the mountain just like he fought Dou Niu on top of the Yellow Heads building.
The ending with Shenhua's father on the boat is pretty much identical to that with Yuanda Zhu in Ren's hideout.
So I think its pretty evident what he was going for.
Personally i liked it a lot, apart from the stupid side Quest of the stolen objects, the broom stick beating cutscene with the Maiden, and Ryo finding out again that Lan Di's real name is Longsun and that he is Zhao Sunmings son.
If Shenmue 3's ending had a more suprising revelation whithout these anticlimatic moments during its build up it would have been great.
I don’t disagree, I think they had most of the right elements for a serviceable to good conclusion but for a variety of factors weren’t able to stick the landing. Just for example imagine a few tweaks and improvements with regards to the following;

- Imagine completing a range of quests/side quests for Feng Li strengthening Ryo and by extension the players relationship to the character. Making the twist feel more appropriate, it would also give opportunity to flesh out Niao Sun’s character and motivation, so when she double crosses Lan Di we better understand what’s at stake and how the internal war inside the Chiyoumen may impact the immediate story.

- This has been discussed to death but substantive interactions with Mr. Hsu and Shiling so when they decide to join Ryo to journey to the Old Castle we have developed relationships/friendships with them and instead of tonally odd comedic scenes how about put those characters in peril like Joy or Wong in Shenmue 2, so there’s some actual stakes.

- Instead of QTE sequence imagine a series of free battle against Lan Di’s henchman, each becoming more and more difficult testing players skill in free battle only for Ryo to emerge before facing off Lan Di.

I know it’s easy to make these suggestions I’m retrospect and I understand had to rush to put together what we got but with some tweaks I think you could have got a half decent conclusion.
 
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If IV is made, I think it's fine to kick up the pace as a CYM civil war is unfolding and I think the cliff temple should be a game changer in the story. III being about establishing Shenhua and Ryo's relationship, the calm before the storm, and IV being a pay off, could work well.
 
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Hiki

Hiki

その者、東の遠つ国より 海を渡りて現れり
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UPDATE
I did a poll now for the thread.


If IV is made, I think it's fine to kick up the pace as a CYM civil war is unfolding and I think the cliff temple should be a game changer in the story. III being about establishing Shenhua and Ryo's relationship, the calm before the storm, and IV being a pay off, could work well.
This is how i feel about Shenmue III, that it is the calm before the storm, and Shenmue IV will be probablyThe Chi You Men Arc, a arc where we will probably see and learn about all leaders and other members of The Chi You Men, a part where Ryo will probably train with a Shaolin Master, a part that i think will have more revelations about Shenhua, Shenmue Tree and the mirrors and much more.

With slow parts but with fast and intense parts too. Shenmue III for me was similar to Shenmue I in terms of pacing and things like that, and i think Shenmue IV will be similar to Shenmue II about that.

Shenmue IV have the potential to be a intense game, i have a feeling that this will happen.
 
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I love Shenmue for so many reasons it's still my favorite game of all-time and one of the reasons is for it's slower paced moments. I love that One doesn't give you a map or anything it drops you into Ryo's hometown and is like okay go figure it out. I'll never forget the first time I played it when I was 12 back in December 2000 going to the hamburger stand, the guy told me about Tom by the hot dog truck and I was like wtf who's that lol. Going through and meeting the characters and the town and knowing every nook and cranny of it afterwards through subsequent playthroughs was such a rewarding experience.

I'll think 3 will rank the lowest when all is said and done simply because of where I believe the saga is ramping up and going. I'm extremely interested in IV about the cliff temple, more martial arts training, a possible time skip?, If gui Zhang or other characters return, the CYM civil war, Xiuying and her brother possibly appearance, is chai hopefully done for good and so many more possibilities.
 

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I'm going to go off the beaten track with this, but please bear with me, because it makes sesne.

I didn't even realise until years later how slow paced Shenmue actually was. It was so groundbreaking to me at the time, I didn't even realise until the 3rd or 4th playthrough. It's no disgrace to want to play a game, listen to a song or watch a film and want to get some kind of energy from it, but the older I got and the more I expanded my artistic pallete, the more I appreciated the calm and serenity of certain things.

I'm not sure what the tipping point was, but it might have been during the PS3/360 era. I noticed many of the games and films I was enjoying at the time I was becoming increasingly numb to. From a cinematic perspective (and I use the term loosely), when I saw the 3rd Transformers film and the last hour was non-stop action, I realised that there was so much going on, I just couldn't take any of it in and I just stopped caring. Then i'd watch something like an Ozu or Malick movie and although very little happens, the gentle pace meant I could take more of it in.

I have become increasingly worried in recent times in that I have such a poor short term memory and I think a lot of it is to do with the constant barrage of media - both in the arts and the wider world. We are bombarded with non-stop news, flashing lights, the demands of work etc that our brains cannot cope with it. I had my first proper lie in in weeks this morning and I only just realised that the toll on my body and soul were running on fumes.

So to go back to Shenmue, it's a miracle in that where my personal life makes it so that if I don't do something all the time, i'm wasting my day and I get upset, playing the game calms my soul. I do have to be in the mood to play Shenmue these days, so on a bad day, I struggle with it, but when i'm in the mood, I just love taking my time and soaking in all the details. I'm still astonished at how much there is that i've yet to see.

It's also the reason why I struggle with open world games; I don't know if it's OCD or something, but I feel a lot of modern games are disrespectful of my time and my need to see everything burns me out. Shenmue on the other hand; you can go from one end of a village/town to the other in a matter of minutes, so I don't feel as though i'm under pressure. I can take my time doing as little or as much as I want to. Don't get me wrong, I love OTT action games like Bayonetta etc, but where do you draw the line? There's only so much action and noise you can achieve before it becomes tedious and dull.

My first playthrough of Shenmue III was slightly ruined with the duality of wanting to soak up the atmosphere compared to wanting to progress with the story, so there was an uneasy balance. I started a 2nd playthrough and although i've stopped (due to new games coming out I was desperate to play), not having to worry about my stamina meant I could take my time to stop and smell the roses and I feel in love all over again. I am looking forward to going back and cracking on (i'm also half way through another playthrough of Shenmue II)

Shenmue II has the best balance for me; the 3rd disc has just the right amount of action (and most importantly, it didn't feel overwhelming and therefore not numbing) and it is contrasted beautifully with the 4th disc. Disc 4 and the chats with Shenhua at the end of each night in Shenmue III are among my most treasured moments in the series (along with Nozomi's confession in Shenmue I). Some might say there's little to no gameplay, but in 2021, the definition of a game is impossible to answer.

It's a shame that some people don't 'get' Shenmue and that's fine, but when I look at what's popular these days, for me, i'd feel sad if I only ever played COD Warzone, Fortnite etc; these are games that give you the dopamine hit, but when the game is over, what have you achieved? Bragging rights? Big deal. Has it made you better as a person? Has it changed your outlook on the world? Shenmue has done those things for me (along with many other games like Sonic, Panzer Dragoon, Daytona USA, Persona 5). I think that's why the Shenmue fanbase is so passionate, because the series has become somewhat transcendental in that it has allowed us to become better people. Thanks to the series, it confirmed my love for Japanese culture, it has shown that there is beauty in the world and it has allowed me to meet nice people with a shared common interest.

For what it's worth, I wouldn't object to a more action paced Shenmue IV. The story suggests that something big is going to happen, but I have faith that the action will be memorable like Shenmue II and won't be numbing or OTT.

Sorry this is a bit of a jumbled response, but I thought a stream of concisousness response would be appropriate here.
 
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Pokemon GO, Yandere Simulator, SCUM (the latter two are coming up - need a better comp)
People nowadays simply don't cherish the fact that several forgotten gaming gems, such as the Shenmue franchise actually come with their own set of rules. This isn't something massive as Grand Theft Auto, Halo, Battlefield, Call of duty, etc. This is... Shenmue; Virtua Fighter meets Sims type of franchise. What is almost crucial for a franchise to become popular is the marketing strategy the developer and publisher will choose, and what will appeal to a major audience. Back in the late 90s, early 2000s, people's lives were considerably slower-paced and people had more morals than today. This reflects the Shenmue gameplay clearly, as Ryo politely asks questions, does errands for Fuku/Ine san, Shenhua and others, goes back and forth in the same area asking questions crucial for story progression, Purchases store merchandise without shoplifting, stops to have a soda, etc.
While this seemed relaxing and fun for us and for the folks at E3 1998/1999 and 2001, it is unfortunately considered boring and bland for today's gamers. Nowadays it's all about violence, blood, gore, lack of morals, PvP and toxicity. Steam forums and Twitch are overflowing with this kind of crap on a daily basis! Therefore I have decided I will *probably* never become a Twitch streamer, unless I end up financially malnourished.
But yeah, I do have a strange feeling that the fourth part will bring us some well-deserved action into the game once again, just like in the second part. When will it happen? When it's ready.
 
Joined
Aug 20, 2018
When I played Shenmue for the first time I never thought of Shenmue as slow, I was mostly a graphic adventure gamer (the type of games you can be stuck for hours backtracking and talking to everyone in case you missed something or brute force it trying every item on everything that's interactable) and damn if Shenmue didn't feel like a rollercoaster. Hell, it felt like a complete revolution of that genre. You had tons of cinematics, QTEs, hundreds of NPCs with dynamic dialogue, time schedules, it was just mindblowing.

Now you compare Shenmue 1 and 3 as being both slow-paced, but it's not about the pace, but about the content what made S3 fail for me. Let's look at the first actions in Shenmue 1:
- Get your first cutscene setting up the story.
- You get thrown inside your home where you can look up inside pretty much everywhere and find stuff (including actual collectables).
- You can see a bunch of optional flashbacks.
- Go to fuku and state your "mission".
- Meet the cat and feed him.
- Help the old lady.
- Meet yamagishi and go to dobuita, talk to Nozomi, tom and start searching for Chinese people (probably get a QTE with Enoki and learn a move from yamagishi).
- Eventually learn about the 3 blades, which has a couple of routes to take, but end up going to barber and find the old man in the park and start looking for sailors.
- You can go to 3 main places there, even play pool, but basically you can peruse into every bar eventually going to heart beats, have 2 QTEs and find a new goal to search for charlie.
- Again you can branch into Nagai, then getting ambushed near the arcade and start looking for a tatoo artist (probably get into a free fight with Enoki).

Well, I got tired of enumerating, but you get the gist (and all this is just a red herring, since the real quest starts after Ine gives you a letter).

Now let's look at Shenmue 3
- Get abridged cutscene of S2 ending.
- Walk with Shenhua that tells she only cares about finding her father, come across a couple of guys talking about thugs.
- Talk to little girl about Yuan, wait to meet her dad, he talks about thugs. Go to home and talk with Shenhua about thugs.
- Next day go with Shenhua and she shows you the martial arts school and the herb hunting, talk to the woman, that tells you to talk to his husband because thugs, talk to husband and tells you to find bookie.
- Fight bookie (probably need to train) and after beating him he tells you to find the moon flower and sun guy, after winning a bet he tells you the thugs went to sunflower groove.

I looked at walkthroughs for both games, to reach to this point in S3 in the walkthrough it was 1h45m, in the Shenmue 1 walkthrough you are already at disk 2 at that point.

But let's look at what you did in S3, you start searching for Yuan, and start asking about thugs. And that "asking for thugs" is most of Bailu, but also most of Niaowu (but now they're called red snakes).

Even if "look for X" is the goal, the means are handled very differently between games, just look at the 3 blades example, it's memorable, you have a bunch of choices, it gives you context and history about China (and foreshadowing), in Shenmue 3 looking for thugs isn't just memorable, it's pretty stale (and damn if you ask about thugs in the game).

@code l name mentioned that Shenmue 3 didn't nail the big moments, I'd say that Shenmue 3 lacked moments, even minor ones. I do agree with the sentiment that a lot of it had to do with budget constraints, and the ones that were there didn't hit the mark (like finding Iwao's teacher, finding Iwao wish, or muscle guy 1and2 confrontations). In Shenmue 1 just searching the heart beats, entering a closed off alley and getting confronted, that feels like a moment with direct emotional intention, even at the end in S3 I didn't know if I was supposed to take it as a drama or as a comedy.

I do agree that Shenmue is slowerpaced than most modern games, but there should be interesting stuff inbetween, which S3 sadly doesn't have (the only moment I can really think it was well done was reaching/training with Sun, but then they go and do the same gatekeeping in the second act). Look at TLoU, IIRC most of the game was "go to X point", but stuff happens in between, what happens inbetween S3 is asking more for thugs for a large part of the game.

What killed my enthusiasm with S3 is that I felt like the mask of the story being an excuse to travel to a bunch of places slipped off, after all, Shenmue is basically a travel tour of what YS lived while researching for VF, and I'm ok with that, but I'd prefer if the story was strong enough to glue it together.

Seems like YS wants for S4 to be more focused on mini stories and so on, which I like the idea, totally embracing the travelling aspect and letting the story burn in the background, but I don't know if they have the writing/directing chops to pull it off. I'm having similar vibes to Twin Peaks, which was an interesting world while the murder mystery was going on, and used it as a means to inspect the town and it's inhabitants, but the moment that the mystery was resolved the actual appeal of the series degraded and the characters weren't strong enough to keep the momentum going.
 
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Joined
Jul 28, 2018
I think we've reached a point in the overall story where things will naturally pick up pace from here -- the stakes are higher, our main "squad" has been established, and the goal is clear.

Perhaps unfortunately for the return of the series, I believe Shenmue III was always intended to be a reflective, introverted part of Ryo's journey, with a focus on "Every day, to keep training, without neglect". I think Baisha was intended to be the ramp-up towards the end, but sadly we only got the very last bit of it.

I disagree with the idea that Shenmue III barely pushes the story forward compared to the previous games. I think it's lacking fleshed-out characters and meaningful character moments (Niaowu is much worse than Bailu), but I think the pace at which the "main" plot moves ahead is completely in line with previous games. Both I & II move the plot forward at a snail's pace. This isn't even debatable. The difference is I & II do a better job of filling the in between parts with interesting characters and character interactions. You can tell III just didn't have the budget for that, but that's a whole other topic.

I also don't think it's worth dwelling on "what could've been" with Shenmue. I don't even think one chapter per game was Yu's original intention...I'm pretty sure I & II started as one game and was later broken into two because the Yokosuka chapter kept expanding. To me it isn't sad that we won't see the "original vision" because it has constantly changed over the years. As pointed out by Ryan Payton recently, Yu's documents are not so detailed that they explain everything that should happen in every game. I think, over the years, fans have become a little too enamoured with the idea that there's a grand vision, forgetting that these things always change in large-scale projects.
 
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Hiki

Hiki

その者、東の遠つ国より 海を渡りて現れり
Joined
Oct 27, 2019
Favourite title
Shenmue
Currently playing
Jスターズ ビクトリーバーサス (PS3)
I think we've reached a point in the overall story where things will naturally pick up pace from here -- the stakes are higher, our main "squad" has been established, and the goal is clear.

Perhaps unfortunately for the return of the series, I believe Shenmue III was always intended to be a reflective, introverted part of Ryo's journey, with a focus on "Every day, to keep training, without neglect". I think Baisha was intended to be the ramp-up towards the end, but sadly we only got the very last bit of it.

I disagree with the idea that Shenmue III barely pushes the story forward compared to the previous games. I think it's lacking fleshed-out characters and meaningful character moments (Niaowu is much worse than Bailu), but I think the pace at which the "main" plot moves ahead is completely in line with previous games. Both I & II move the plot forward at a snail's pace. This isn't even debatable. The difference is I & II do a better job of filling the in between parts with interesting characters and character interactions. You can tell III just didn't have the budget for that, but that's a whole other topic.

I also don't think it's worth dwelling on "what could've been" with Shenmue. I don't even think one chapter per game was Yu's original intention...I'm pretty sure I & II started as one game and was later broken into two because the Yokosuka chapter kept expanding. To me it isn't sad that we won't see the "original vision" because it has constantly changed over the years. As pointed out by Ryan Payton recently, Yu's documents are not so detailed that they explain everything that should happen in every game. I think, over the years, fans have become a little too enamoured with the idea that there's a grand vision, forgetting that these things always change in large-scale projects.

For me Shenmue III is exactly what you said, a reflective, introverted part of Ryo's journey, with a focus on training and strengthening the bonds with Shenhua, living a peaceful and quiet life in Bailu Village, like a second home for Ryo. For me Shenmue III is the calm before the storm, i really love that Shenmue III is this way, specially Bailu Village, it is one of the reasons why i love this game.

About Yu's original vision i just said what i think is this vision based on what he said about one chapter per game, only Yu Suzuki can say for sure what he planned at that time but i know one thing, i think is sad when he had to cut locations in the games like what happened with Baisha.

I'm not obsessed with his original vision but will be really cool if one day he release The Legend Of Akira scripts for the fans, we will see more details that probably he didn't put it in the games, for example, imagine if we never see Baisha in game format, probably Baisha is in the scripts, it will be great to see more details about locations and characters that he had to cut in the games.


I agree about the pace, that things will naturally pick up pace from here, i think Shenmue IV will be the Chi You Men arc and a lot of things will happen, Shenmue IV have the potential to be a intense game, thanks for the comment orient.


It is really nice to see all the comments, thanks everyone. 😊
 
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Revan

Excuse me...gorgeous
Joined
Jul 29, 2018
Location
UK
Favourite title
Shenmue
Currently playing
Skies of Arcadia
Also, Shenmue 2 is a bloody amazing game (even considered the best in the series by many), and that game made some significant compromises from the original Akira RPG vision. Ryo taking detours in Shanghai, Suzhou, the boat, the train - all this material got cut and we didn't even notice because the material Yu ended up using to assemble a Shenmue 2 was all high-quality stuff.

imagine if we never see Baisha in game format
I could be wrong, but I have a sneaky suspicion that Baisha is going to be a very important location and will definitely show up in Shenmue 4. That's probably why Yu ended up cutting it in Shenmue 3 because he felt he couldn't do it enough justice with the limited budget.
 
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OP
Hiki

Hiki

その者、東の遠つ国より 海を渡りて現れり
Joined
Oct 27, 2019
Favourite title
Shenmue
Currently playing
Jスターズ ビクトリーバーサス (PS3)
Also, Shenmue 2 is a bloody amazing game (even considered the best in the series by many), and that game made some significant compromises from the original Akira RPG vision. Ryo taking detours in Shanghai, Suzhou, the boat, the train - all this material got cut and we didn't even notice because the material Yu ended up using to assemble a Shenmue 2 was all high-quality stuff.


I could be wrong, but I have a sneaky suspicion that Baisha is going to be a very important location and will definitely show up in Shenmue 4. That's probably why Yu ended up cutting it in Shenmue 3 because he felt he couldn't do it enough justice with the limited budget.

Maybe you are right, maybe we will see Baisha in Shenmue IV, or maybe Yu Suzuki will decide to cut Baisha to put a location that will be more important, i don't know, only time will tell.

Yeah, with Shenmue II he made significant compromises from the original Akira RPG vision, he even said that he decided to put just one part of chapter 5 in the game, this part is Ryo meeting Shenhua in Guilin, maybe this was not his original plan but it was a beautiful decision in my opinion, the Guilin part in Shenmue II fits so wonderful in the final moments of the game, it is unforgettable and perfect to me.

So it's okay if some things changed from his original plan in my opinion, but i love Shenmue so much, so it will be really cool for me if one day we can see the parts that he wrote about the boat, Suzhou, Shanghai, the train, Baisha and more.
 
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