Shenmue IV Will Happen - Here's Why!

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Shenmue IIx
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Yakuza Kiwami 2
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Playing Kiwami 2 right now and yeah, I can’t talk to 90% of the pedestrians, but just seeing the streets full of life makes the cities of Kamurocho and Sotenbori feel 100X more alive than Niaowu. Maybe the game isn’t FREE, but it works to the game’s benefit. Just seeing swarms of people filling the streets gives the game so much authenticity. Though to be fair to Shenmue 3, it seems a similar concession was made but the engine was an issue. Concessions aren’t always bad if they can fulfill other expectations.

I agree opening drawers and holding objects is unique, but personally I don’t feel these things benefited Shenmue 3. They feel like holdovers from when these were exciting things you couldn’t find in other games back in the day; now they just seem quaint and ultimately pointless. I would take more story over more drawers and vases. For all I know these things were trivial to implement, but I’m not persuaded by the idea they’re more important to the Shenmue experience than advancing the plot. To me, they’re things that should be cut if budget is a concern. There’s a reason MOST games don’t include these types of things and it’s because they serve little purpose.
 
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Joined
Nov 13, 2019
I recently played Kiwami 2 too, it's probably the best in the series in creating huge crowds on the streets.
But the effect wears off soon when you see the tricks: people standing still in the same place for the entire game until you reload the area, many NPC clones that spawn together, repetitive animations and so on.
The effect is still great though if you don't pay much attention to the surroundings.

Unfortunately it's not a 1:1 trade.
creating story scenes is way more espensive and time consuming than creating a couple of animations for drawers.
 
Joined
Nov 23, 2019
I agree opening drawers and holding objects is unique, but personally I don’t feel these things benefited Shenmue 3. They feel like holdovers from when these were exciting things you couldn’t find in other games back in the day; now they just seem quaint and ultimately pointless. I would take more story over more drawers and vases.
The thing to remember about the originals is that, at the time, they were the best looking games and represented a massive technical leap forward. The idea behind picking up items and going into first person to look at things was to show off the graphics, not because it was amazing gameplay. Even talking to NPCs, who mostly tell you they can't help you, was designed to show off all the different character models and detailed faces. Shops that serve no function but are highly detailed with unique items and textures. Events that take place during specific windows and can be easily missed. All that stuff is expensive and pointless nowadays, especially in the age of VR; even games that focus on amazing graphics usually find a more exciting way to rub them in our faces.

What Shenmue excels at is getting you invested in its world and characters and making its story moments feel epic and awesome. That shit's timeless.
 
Joined
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Favourite title
Shenmue IIx
Currently playing
Yakuza Kiwami 2
PSN
mjqjazzbar
I agree, but I also wouldn’t want them to completely throw all that stuff away. It’s too hard for me to figure out what they’d keep or dispose of, but I feel it can be done. Like I said, Kiwami 2 might not have a city that’s full of people to interact with and stores to enter, but it provides a convincing enough environment that most people won’t notice these things are missing.

Suzaku, I do agree Kiwami 2 takes many shortcuts, but I think Shenmue 3 does as well and was only hindered by technical issues. The NPCs who stand in the same spot all day are also in Shenmue 3. I can’t even really picture in my head any Niaowu pedestrians. I’m sure the goal was to also have streets teeming with pedestrians, but for some reason this couldn’t be pulled off on the PS4 (some of you say the PC version doesn’t have this issue).

My point is I think Ys Net actually did try to implement many shortcuts and I think they were smart to do so, so I would like to see what they could come up with before assuming a Shenmue without Element X or Y is untrue to Shenmue.
 
Joined
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I think most of these things weren't just to show graphics, but to increase realism and immersion, that was essential for Suzuki intentions.
Grabbing a real physical item 1:1 or talking 1:1 with some people like you do in reality, is something that incredibly increase the connection between the player and the virtual world, something that you don't have in games like Yakuza, Persona etc. (where for example you still grab items by walking on a generic blinking light, to get a .jpg image that is only showed in the inventory, or when you talk with static people with just a text baloon), in most modern games you never get the "suspension of disbelief" because of the lack of these elements, no matter the amount of graphics included.

These aren't luxuries, it's what Shenmue is made of.
 
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Joined
Nov 13, 2019
My point is I think Ys Net actually did try to implement many shortcuts and I think they were smart to do so, so I would like to see what they could come up with before assuming a Shenmue without Element X or Y is untrue to Shenmue.
In fact in my opinion we already took too many shortcuts (especially with npc in Niaowu) for Shenmue because of the kickstarter limitations.
Luckly Suzuki was able to manage resources very well to still make a Shenmue experience even with this kind of limited resources, and I trust him in continue to do so in future, so there no need to think about how to cut the shenmue especience more.

Unless we only got $2-3 million to make S4, we should not have problems.
 
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Joined
Nov 23, 2019
I think most of these things weren't just to show graphics, but to increase realism and immersion, that was essential for Suzuki intentions.
Grabbing a real physical item 1:1 or talking 1:1 with some people like you do in reality, is something that incredibly increase the connection between the player and the virtual world, something that you don't have in games like Yakuza, Persona etc. (where for example you still grab items by walking on a generic blinking light, to get a .jpg image that is only showed in the inventory, or when you talk with static people with just a text baloon), in most modern games you never get the "suspension of disbelief" because of the lack of these elements, despite the amount of graphics included.

These aren't luxuries, it's what Shenmue is made of.
That sounds like a VR game to me. Interacting with items and going into random shops certainly helps the world feel real, but I always assumed that Shenmue was grounded in reality for story purposes; Ryo comes from a small town in Japan and then enters a new and unfamiliar world with magic mirrors and ancient prophecies and supernatural Chinese girls. It's meant as a contrast. Shenmue clearly isn't 100% realistic and so it seems silly to prioritize realism in the gameplay above everything else (meaning more story content and varied locations imo).
 
Joined
Oct 31, 2019
People here are comparing Shenmue to PD or Sonic, they are not the same at all. Sonic has no story and is an iterative series. Shenmue is trying to tell a complete story end to end, I think it makes sense that people can become ex fans if it doesn't turn out. It's like reading a novel, you might like a few chapters but if most of the chapters are bad it's a bad novel. Chapters don't sit in complete isolation of the narrative.

I think the comparison to TV shows is better. In some ways the bad endings of Lost and GOT did sour the rest of the series for many people. I was an avid fan of Lost while it was on the air and watched it every week but a show like that is built off its payoffs to the mysteries it set up. When those mysteries had no payoff it makes you feel like you were duped. I can't say that took away my enjoyment of watching it week to week retroactively per se but if someone were to ask me today is Lost a show worth watching, I'd tell them no. Even Shenmue is such a hard thing to recommend to newcomers because I don't know if it's worth getting into at his point. I feel like I'm here because of sunk cost fallacy at this point.

I've been thinking a lot about this discussion and the way the fanbase is seemingly fractured over what they want from the series. I went back to look at the Metacritic reviews for Shenmue 3 and started reading a bunch of them from across the spectrum. aside from the really extremely biased reviews, there was a common theme I noticed. Whether the review was good, mediocre, or bad, many of them mentioned that Shenmue 3 was what the fans wanted. Even reviews that didn't like the game were somewhat lenient on it saying "well it's not for me but this is what the fans like so at least they're happy".

Obviously we see this is not exactly the case. Shenmue 3 wasn't really what I wanted, it didn't seem to satisfy my expectations for the series. On the other hand, after many discussions on this forum, I can see that it is what a huge number of the Shenmue fans wanted. I said earlier I can't fault anyone for liking Shenmue for what it is, I like it for what I perceive its potential to be. It seems now that most of the fans are more interested in the open world, "FREE", or whatever you want to call it aspects of the game. Those are luxuries to me. Shenmue 3 delivered great icing but no cake. However, who am I to say they're wrong. Suzuki seems to agree with them. Most critics seem to agree as well.

I honestly think I just want something different from Shenmue than what it is. Does that make me an ex-fan? Maybe not, but it does make me feel like the things I like about are a coincidence. They were put there in spite of intentions and won't have any bearing on the future of the series.

So what's the way forward here? Honestly I don't know. I think fans should be asking for what they want out of Shenmue and that seems to be different for different groups of people. I'm of the mindset that S4, if it even comes out, will be bad. So if it makes some people happy then great, but I'll come to the conclusion that Shenmue was never really for me.

However, I do want to know for those comparing Shenmue to other games, or saying the story doesn't matter, if Shenmue were successful and the future of the series wasn't constantly in jeopardy how many Shenmue games would you want? Would you prefer Shenmue was an iterative series like Sonic or Yakuza pumping out as many games as the fans wanted over the years? stretching it out over a thin narrative that's barely an excuse to keep the world going? Or creating new excuses for Ryo to keep fighting thugs for years to come? What is the endgame for you? What does your ideal Shenmue look like in an ideal world.
 
Joined
Aug 8, 2018
Location
France
Currently playing
Motorsport Manager, Rocket League, Supreme Commander FA
People here are comparing Shenmue to PD or Sonic, they are not the same at all. Sonic has no story and is an iterative series. Shenmue is trying to tell a complete story end to end, I think it makes sense that people can become ex fans if it doesn't turn out. It's like reading a novel, you might like a few chapters but if most of the chapters are bad it's a bad novel. Chapters don't sit in complete isolation of the narrative.

I think the comparison to TV shows is better. In some ways the bad endings of Lost and GOT did sour the rest of the series for many people. I was an avid fan of Lost while it was on the air and watched it every week but a show like that is built off its payoffs to the mysteries it set up. When those mysteries had no payoff it makes you feel like you were duped. I can't say that took away my enjoyment of watching it week to week retroactively per se but if someone were to ask me today is Lost a show worth watching, I'd tell them no. Even Shenmue is such a hard thing to recommend to newcomers because I don't know if it's worth getting into at his point. I feel like I'm here because of sunk cost fallacy at this point.

I've been thinking a lot about this discussion and the way the fanbase is seemingly fractured over what they want from the series. I went back to look at the Metacritic reviews for Shenmue 3 and started reading a bunch of them from across the spectrum. aside from the really extremely biased reviews, there was a common theme I noticed. Whether the review was good, mediocre, or bad, many of them mentioned that Shenmue 3 was what the fans wanted. Even reviews that didn't like the game were somewhat lenient on it saying "well it's not for me but this is what the fans like so at least they're happy".

Obviously we see this is not exactly the case. Shenmue 3 wasn't really what I wanted, it didn't seem to satisfy my expectations for the series. On the other hand, after many discussions on this forum, I can see that it is what a huge number of the Shenmue fans wanted. I said earlier I can't fault anyone for liking Shenmue for what it is, I like it for what I perceive its potential to be. It seems now that most of the fans are more interested in the open world, "FREE", or whatever you want to call it aspects of the game. Those are luxuries to me. Shenmue 3 delivered great icing but no cake. However, who am I to say they're wrong. Suzuki seems to agree with them. Most critics seem to agree as well.

I honestly think I just want something different from Shenmue than what it is. Does that make me an ex-fan? Maybe not, but it does make me feel like the things I like about are a coincidence. They were put there in spite of intentions and won't have any bearing on the future of the series.

So what's the way forward here? Honestly I don't know. I think fans should be asking for what they want out of Shenmue and that seems to be different for different groups of people. I'm of the mindset that S4, if it even comes out, will be bad. So if it makes some people happy then great, but I'll come to the conclusion that Shenmue was never really for me.

However, I do want to know for those comparing Shenmue to other games, or saying the story doesn't matter, if Shenmue were successful and the future of the series wasn't constantly in jeopardy how many Shenmue games would you want? Would you prefer Shenmue was an iterative series like Sonic or Yakuza pumping out as many games as the fans wanted over the years? stretching it out over a thin narrative that's barely an excuse to keep the world going? Or creating new excuses for Ryo to keep fighting thugs for years to come? What is the endgame for you? What does your ideal Shenmue look like in an ideal world.
When Spud makes analogy of Shenmue with TV series, I was thinking about Lost as well. I believe Lost started to slowdown the rate of revelations by adding new mysteries, delaying the existing ones and focuses on secondary intrigues since season 3.
At least, it was the perception of a lot of people who broke up with the series since then. Lost was still mainstream all along but it never recovered from its ridiculous peak of social hysteria over season 1 and first half of season 2.

Myself, I LOVED Lost and think it's one of the best TV shows ever made. But I never watched the final seasons...

(Funnily, you can say Lost season 1 and Shenmue 2 have exactly the same end before things turn poorly straight after).
 
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Joined
Oct 31, 2019
Myself, I LOVED Lost and think it's one of the best TV shows ever made. But I never watched the final seasons...
You didn't miss out on much. What made you stop watching the show though if you were loving it so much?

(Funnily, you can say Lost season 1 and Shenmue 2 have exactly the same end before things turn poorly straight after).
I don't get this, can you elaborate? I don't see how they're remotely similar.
 
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You didn't miss out on much. What made you stop watching the show though if you were loving it so much?
The TV scheduling was modified and I didn't feel enough interest to seek ways to watch it regularly as revelations got slower. I'm not too much into TV shows neither since it's very time consuming and waiting one week to watch one or two episodes is tiring.

X-files, which you can say is the direct ancestor of LOST in terms of structure, is also a series I will never see the end.
Like Shenmue 3, people had to wait a decade to continue the main story (although X-files did not pause on a cliffhanger exactly). Comic episodes apart, the first new season was very bad so I decided to never watch the next seasons. Time is precious.

I don't get this, can you elaborate? I don't see how they're remotely similar.
Season 1 ends on a cliffhanger with a mysterious cave suggesting something big might happen, provoking a social hysteria. Yeah it's bare but the similarity is still funny to observe.
 
Joined
Aug 19, 2018
Season 1 ends on a cliffhanger with a mysterious cave suggesting something big might happen, provoking a social hysteria. Yeah it's bare but the similarity is still funny to observe.
That’s not exactly accurate. Season 1 ends with them blowing entrance to the Hatch, which becomes central part of Season 2. There is a cave where they seek refuge earlier in the season which has two decomposed bodies they link to the final scene but I’m not sure if that’s what you are referencing.

I was a huge Lost fan back in the day. I still think first few seasons created some really remarkable TV and it has a beautiful soundtrack, however the later seasons including finale was plain awful. I could give you a huge post but I think this 8 part review covers why the show and creators got it so wrong along with deliberately misleading their audience-

 
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