SuperEyePatchWolf: "Shenmue III is a terrible game and I've wasted my life"

Joined
Nov 13, 2019
Even in a scenario where S4 is already in development (with Deep Silver or someone else), it doesn't mean that the fight is over and we can act like irresponsible people.

Right now, we (the fanbase) are preparing a very harsh terrain for shenmue 4, where it would be really difficult for the game to even reach the sales results of Shenmue 3, let alone attract new people to the franchise.

And this damage is our responsibility.
Unless future partners could place a massive marketing campaign to counter all this negativity we created (and for a marketing campaign like that we would need AAA funds, so it's impossible), the damage done in these months/years could be already irreparable.
 

Vasid

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Shenmue
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Something old on my PVM
If I'm the "Karen", why are you the one telling people off like you're their Mummy? :unsure:

I'd never say a video's trash without watching it first, and I certainly don't think watching it's "below me" -- I mainly wanted to post a light-hearted joke about garlic. But now I have watched the video, do I have your permission to post?! Oh pwitty pweez :crying:

SEPW replayed Shenmue recently and found it boring, tedious, had basically no patience for it and nothing positive to say. So for those of us who watched that first video, this one shouldn't come as much of a surprise.

However, in general I think it's a fair video with genuine criticisms, even if the issues outlined didn't have the same negative impact on my own experience. The more "nitpicky" stuff in the first half didn't bother me in the same way.

He presents some of these issues as persistent or worse than they really are, like the fade-to-black during conversations, and making it seem like you have to use a fortune teller and gamble on FBWM to make money efficiently, which isn't true, and not something I did at all. But still, a fair video in general, that clearly comes from someone who, at the very least, used to like Shenmue.

Honestly, they're all criticisms we've covered a thousand times over on here, packaged into a fairly well-made video with an unfortunate, clickbaity title. I agree with a lot of it, and disagree with some of it also. See: the last 8 months of posts on this forum.
If you're not calling the video clickbait and claiming SEPW is a fake fan then you're not who I'm talking about. Again: Only talking about people blindly raging because of the video title. People who dislike the video and are debating it's content are engaging in healthy conversation. People just rushing in the thread to trash the video and the creator without having watched it on the other hand are not.

Not sure why asking people to actually look at the criticism and stay calm is a controversial take, but okay.
 
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Japan
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If Deep Silver are even involved. I could be speaking out of turn here but would Yu Suzuki be interested in working with them again? Would you if it were your game?
I think that Yu will be interested in working with anybody that is willing to work with him. I really don’t think there’ll be many publishers lining up to sign a deal for Shenmue 4.

In the past I’ve been pretty critical of Deep Silver, but looking back at how they handled things, I don’t think they really did too much wrong.

Two of the main issues that I have with them center around their failure to ensure that press were provided with up to date promotional material and the way in which the Epic deal was handled - but I think that YSNet were just as much (if not more) at fault for these things as Deep Silver were.

I think that failing to provide news outlets with up to date screenshots and using old builds of the game for the E3 B-roll footage hurt the game in the build up to release. Deep Silver should have been requesting up to date material from YSNet on a regular basis (especially for events like E3) and that outlets are still to this day using screenshots of Roy from the Kickstarter launch trailer to accompany articles about the game shows what a poor job was done in this regard.

That said, I don’t think all of the blame for this lies with Deep Silver. For all we know, Deep Silver were asking for up to date material regularly and YSNet simply failed to provide it to them.

Even if they weren’t asking, I would have expected somebody at YSNet to be keeping an eye on how Deep Silver were promoting the game and for them to have raised the issue with them at some point. They will have known that the images they saw in magazines and online were taken from old builds and could very easily have put in a call to the publisher (or better still, just made a point of emailing over a few new screenshots every once in a while).

As far as the Epic fiasco is concerned, I’ve said before that I believe that making the deal itself was absolutely the right decision and I still stand by that. Where I think both parties were at fault however was in how the news of that deal was conveyed to the fans and their failure to preempt and plan for the uproar that the announcement would inevitably cause.

If I recall, the official news itself was conveyed in a poorly written Kickstarter update - which again - iirc, is handled by YSNet (or a company working on their behalf). I also think a deal for backer Steam keys could and should have been agreed before the announcement was made in order to soften the blow (I’m told this costs them literally nothing, but I could be mistaken on this).

What may be the biggest failing of all though - and it is one which is entirely on Deep Silver - is the review embargo fiasco.

Trying to embargo reviews until a day after launch day is mind-bogglingly stupid on every level. It tells the world that they are not confident in their product, it pisses off reviewers and ultimately, it doesn’t even prevent the reviewers from posting a review on launch day as they can just pick up a retail copy themselves. Worse still, it forces the reviewer to rush through a game that is designed to be played at a slow pace in order to get the review out on time.

This single decision probably did more damage to the game’s sales and critical reception than all of the other failings combined. Review copies should have been with reviewers two weeks before launch at the very least.

I know they eventually pulled the embargo back to launch day and came up with some ridiculous excuse about how a junior team member had gotten the release date wrong (which would be just as bad - both that they have a junior member dealing with something like this and that one of their team members didn’t know the release date), but I don’t buy this at all.

All that being said, I think Deep Silver got a lot of things right. They put money into the project, they financed several delays, they put out several trailers in multiple languages and promoted them well and they made sure there was a Shenmue presence at all of the big gaming conventions in the months building up to the game’s release (TGS, E3 and Gamescom).

Could they have done more? Perhaps; but considering that the game was never likely to garner a huge return for them I can’t really blame them for being cautious when it came to how much money they sunk into the project.

There may have been things that went on behind the scenes that we don’t know about (Cedric certainly seemed to suggest as much a while back), but from where I’m sitting, Deep Silver did a fairly good job as publisher and I’m not convinced that another publisher would have handled the project any better.
 

spud1897

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Destiny 2, Shenmue HD ;)
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I think that Yu will be interested in working with anybody that is willing to work with him. I really don’t think there’ll be many publishers lining up to sign a deal for Shenmue 4.

In the past I’ve been pretty critical of Deep Silver, but looking back at how they handled things, I don’t think they really did too much wrong.

Two of the main issues that I have with them center around their failure to ensure that press were provided with up to date promotional material and the way in which the Epic deal was handled - but I think that YSNet were just as much (if not more) at fault for these things as Deep Silver were.

I think that failing to provide news outlets with up to date screenshots and using old builds of the game for the E3 B-roll footage hurt the game in the build up to release. Deep Silver should have been requesting up to date material from YSNet on a regular basis (especially for events like E3) and that outlets are still to this day using screenshots of Roy from the Kickstarter launch trailer to accompany articles about the game shows what a poor job was done in this regard.

That said, I don’t think all of the blame for this lies with Deep Silver. For all we know, Deep Silver were asking for up to date material regularly and YSNet simply failed to provide it to them.

Even if they weren’t asking, I would have expected somebody at YSNet to be keeping an eye on how Deep Silver were promoting the game and for them to have raised the issue with them at some point. They will have known that the images they saw in magazines and online were taken from old builds and could very easily have put in a call to the publisher (or better still, just made a point of emailing over a few new screenshots every once in a while).

As far as the Epic fiasco is concerned, I’ve said before that I believe that making the deal itself was absolutely the right decision and I still stand by that. Where I think both parties were at fault however was in how the news of that deal was conveyed to the fans and their failure to preempt and plan for the uproar that the announcement would inevitably cause.

If I recall, the official news itself was conveyed in a poorly written Kickstarter update - which again - iirc, is handled by YSNet (or a company working on their behalf). I also think a deal for backer Steam keys could and should have been agreed before the announcement was made in order to soften the blow (I’m told this costs them literally nothing, but I could be mistaken on this).

What may be the biggest failing of all though - and it is one which is entirely on Deep Silver - is the review embargo fiasco.

Trying to embargo reviews until a day after launch day is mind-bogglingly stupid on every level. It tells the world that they are not confident in their product, it pisses off reviewers and ultimately, it doesn’t even prevent the reviewers from posting a review on launch day as they can just pick up a retail copy themselves. Worse still, it forces the reviewer to rush through a game that is designed to be played at a slow pace in order to get the review out on time.

This single decision probably did more damage to the game’s sales and critical reception than all of the other failings combined. Review copies should have been with reviewers two weeks before launch at the very least.

I know they eventually pulled the embargo back to launch day and came up with some ridiculous excuse about how a junior team member had gotten the release date wrong (which would be just as bad - both that they have a junior member dealing with something like this and that one of their team members didn’t know the release date), but I don’t buy this at all.

All that being said, I think Deep Silver got a lot of things right. They put money into the project, they financed several delays, they put out several trailers in multiple languages and promoted them well and they made sure there was a Shenmue presence at all of the big gaming conventions in the months building up to the game’s release (TGS, E3 and Gamescom).

Could they have done more? Perhaps; but considering that the game was never likely to garner a huge return for them I can’t really blame them for being cautious when it came to how much money they sunk into the project.

There may have been things that went on behind the scenes that we don’t know about (Cedric certainly seemed to suggest as much a while back), but from where I’m sitting, Deep Silver did a fairly good job as publisher and I’m not convinced that another publisher would have handled the project any better.
You raise some interesting points.

If I'm right in my thinking (I'm doing some bits on this ATM) we got the PC Gamer Trailer in 2019 and the Epic logo was at the end. We then go the Kickstarter announcement. I agree it should have been pre-empted given the backlash of previous Epic exclusives. They should have seen that coming a mile off. I agree in terms of recouping the investment it was the right move, even if Cedric seemed to think YSNET didn't see a penny of it.

The review embargo issue was just something we didn't need in the lead-up to release at all. It generated more negative press and while I don't think it would have changed the scores it would have helped to have some positive press.

That said the last few trailers for Shenmue III were really really good and showed off the game in a great light IMO. They certainly got those right. Maybe I'm being a little bit harsh overall but I do think more could have been done but as you say it's a balance isn't it. We also have to be mindful (myself included) that we don't want to scare people off working with the community if they did come on as a publisher, whoever that might be.
 
Joined
Nov 23, 2019
Well I suppose we are very different in this regard then, but I would argue that anybody who is happy for a critic to say whatever they like about a game or movie (regardless of whether or not it is true) simply wants to validate their own preconceptions about the media rather than be given the tools needed to make their own judgement.
You don't think that's overstating it a little? No one is saying "whatever they want" about a game or movie, it's all rooted in some kind of truth unless you get to the bonkers conspiracy stuff (ie: Stanley Kubrick and Room 237).

I think you're right that it is no longer being consumed as a review and is instead serving as either a puff or take-down piece (depending on which way the author is leaning).
It's more of a video essay imo, it starts with a thesis and essentially only argues that point for the duration. I would not watch/read anything that is that long or goes that in depth as a "review" because at a certain point it's impossible to talk about what worked and didn't work without spoiling the whole thing.

To that end, could I not say that 90% of Shenmue 1 was spent asking about sailors and driving around in a forklift and still have it be considered a good take on the game? Could I show clips from the fly episode of Breaking Bad and portray it as an eight season series about two men trying to catch a fly? Those things are present in their respective works, but to overstate their prevalence in such a way wouldn't give my audience an accurate representation.
But he's not misrepresenting things like that, he may have said "BB season 3 was ruined by the episode "The Fly" because it stops everything for a pointless filler episode that breaks all the tension" or something along those lines. Again, overstating the issue perhaps, but not outright lying about the content in the way you suggest.

(EDIT) But this isn't a good comparison because he's saying S3 is terrible, not that it's terrible because a small part of it is terrible and he's not pretending that a small part is actually a big part. He levels valid complaints at every aspect of the game. So if he similarly complained about every episode of season 3 and then determined it was a terrible season, that would be more of an apt comparison.

I believe that Shenmue 3 is still a game laden with choices, but where those choices perhaps fall short is that most of them lack any real meaning. That said, I think it could quite easily be argued that many of the choices found in the original game are guilty of the same crime as ultimately the player ends up at the same conclusion regardless of the choices they make during their playthrough.
It's not a choice if you're forced to go home early. It's not a choice if not training means you basically can't win any fights. It's not a choice if not eating impedes your ability to explore the world and makes you lose fights in 1 hit. Compare that to S1 where you could either go home on time and not be a disappointment to Ine San or continue exploring and get scolded by her, or you could train and improve your moves and engage with the combat system or you might not know how to effectively perform moves during combat...

You actually had me doubting myself for a second there to the point where I had to go back and check, but yes; he completed the game twice. He mentions it at 1:52 in the video (thank the lord for the 'transcript' function on YouTube, as I don't think I could have brought myself to sit through the video a second time and would probably have just agreed with you to save myself the hassle).
I wasn't doubting you, I just didn't remember him saying it and I wasn't about to sit through the video again to check.

As you point out, Mr Yuan is missing and Ryo is in a town that he has never visited before (and thus, doesn't know his way around). Where exactly should Ryo be going if not the town's busiest area?
Sure, he should go there first but why can't he check the entire town? Especially because, as it turns out, the thugs are still there! That's the kind of thing that's maddening as a player because the player and the character are on completely different pages.

Again though, this is something we see in not only the original Shenmue games, but pretty much all open world games -whether modern or old. Ryo doesn't leave the village square until he has the answers that he needs in much the same way that he stays in the Aberdeen area until he has recovered his bag.
Yes and he recovers his bag. It's the first thing he does. He doesn't have to play a game of lucky hit first, or spar with a street fighter or whatever, or wait several days to find it. He's also in Hong Kong, not a tiny rural village that takes 2 minutes to run around. Surely you can see how the story and setting do a far better job of gating the player in a way that makes sense in that instance.

Yu and the team could have allowed the player to ask around in other areas of Bailu, but it would have served as a massive waste of the player's time (something that the game has been heavily criticized for in other areas).
No he couldn't have, because the player would find the thugs without having to go through all the hoops and tutorial stuff first.

... just as we find out about the history of the mirrors, Lan Di's background and Iwao's travels through China all while the objective is "Find Yuan" (technically).
That's just it isn't it? You had to turn to the entire game and I was able to list you things that happen in the first act of S2.

Shenmue 3's story beats are punctuated with just as many informative data drops as the previous entries and I think on face value they are every bit as interesting and meaningful to the story. Where they arguably fal short is in their depth and the manner in which this information is given to the player, but I don't think that I ever felt like it was busy work nor did I ever feel as though the story wasn't progressing (to be clear here, I mean the 'story' of Shenmue 3 rather than the series' overarching plot)
I agree with this to a point but I can't say that I wasn't massively disappointed in Bailu village and the lack of development concerning the Shenmue tree, the mirrors, Iwao's time there, and the poem. What wasn't outright ignored raised several questions and not necessarily in a good way. We went to Bailu Village, a place we never thought we'd see, and not much happened there.

"This happens every single morning" - this is false. There are at least three days that I can recall where Shenhua does not say anything to Ryo as he leaves the house (either because she is leaving with him or has already left). I haven't played Shenmue 3 in 6 months+ so there may very well be more.
If I say "I work every Monday to Friday from 9-5" and you come back with, "no you don't because every three weeks there's a holiday", you are being pedantic. I would barely consider this to be a slight exaggeration.

"You cannot skip it" - this is false. The ability to skip dialogue and cutscenes has been in the game since January.
This was true of my experience and the experience of nearly everyone who waited 20 years to play this game (which is the POV the video adopts) although I agree that he should have mentioned the patch, especially here.

"It does not change" - this is false. There are different variations of this scene and, unlike the 'wake-up' scene, they are not dependent on conversing with Shenhua.
Truthfully I can't say I noticed that anything changed during my play through and if the instances he cited were all the same then that's quite a lot of repetition. This is the most that he "misrepresents" the game and his argument hardly hinges on it. I mean if he pointed out that Shenhua says "have a good day Ryo" and sometimes says "have a great day Ryo" or whatever, do you think that becomes a point in the game's favor? Or if he removed this bit entirely, do you think his argument is weakened all that much?

These are not exaggerations.
Nothing here crosses the line into outright lying, as you appear to be suggesting.

If Plinkett tries to argue that the fight scene is 45 minutes long on the other hand, I can time it and tell him with some surety that he is wrong in much the same way that I can post this link and say that SEPW is wrong when he states that the cutscene does not change.
If Shenhua saying "Hey Ryo! Have a good day. Be Safe." is so appreciably different from "Ryo... See you later" as to invalidate the point he's making then I don't know what to tell you. The overall point being made is that the game constantly interrupts the player for the same pointless cutscene every day. If you're going to tell me that he's misrepresenting the game because sometimes she alters her phrasing slightly then I would say that you're the one pedantically nitpicking.

SEPW doesn't implicitly tell his viewers that everything they're seeing and being told is an accurate representation of the game because the assumption is that that is the case by virtue of it being a review.
You haven't pointed out anything that crosses the line, imo, of misrepresenting the game. At best you've said the fade to blacks aren't a big issue (which does not invalidate the point about the janky conversations) and said that Shenhua changes her phrasing in cutscenes that can be skipped (which does not invalidate the point about the game constantly yanking control away from the player, nor does it change the way most people who waited 20 years to play the game played it). At best you've pointed out that the video isn't absolutely perfect in its arguments, which is obviously true (and true of every video).

I think the biggest problem here is the medium that he chooses to share his thoughts on the game and the impact that that medium has on his narrative. This may be a bit of a generalization (and there are obviously exceptions), but I think that we have been conditioned to associate reading with being informed and watching with being entertained. The primary purpose of a review is to inform and so by making a video he is expected to both inform and entertain - but these two things are often at odds with one another.
I mostly agree but I don't think there's anything necessarily wrong with this. The same way I don't think there's anything wrong with biopics embellishing the lives of their subjects as long as the broad strokes are accurate.

"Most mornings, you'll need to watch or skip a cutscene with Shenhua saying goodbye to Ryo and there is very little variation in these scenes." is a lot less entertaining than "This happens every single morning. You cannot skip it and it doesn't change (I swear these are different recordings)" and so the reviewer is faced with the choice of either compromising the accuracy or the entertainment factor of his review.
No because the point of the review is to articulate how he felt about the game, not describe the game in exacting detail. This is exactly how I played those scenes and if you asked me to recall exactly what Shenhua said during them, I couldn't tell you; but I could tell you that I remember being interrupted by her every morning to say goodbye to Ryo. That's the "truth" of it. We're not robots here, I don't need him to be 100% accurate when he's only being 90% accurate to make a broader point that's true.

Analytics show that his negative Shenmue video is overwhelmingly more successful than his impartial one, so he likely knows that the more negative he is, the more viewers he stands to gain and this in turn effectively makes that earlier choice for him.
How would he know this before posting the video? And if you're talking about how analytics are reinforcing the negative opinion, then you'll have to wait to see if he chooses to capitalize on that with another negative video. He has plenty of positive videos though, so I don't see how you could make that claim one way or the other.

I understand that he doesn't like the game, why he doesn't like the game and why he put this video together in the way that he did, but I also think that by misrepresenting the game and misleading his audience (both through implication and in some cases, lies), he has failed to make a good review.
I don't see how you can say that without refuting the underlying points he is making. Do you think the conversations are actually good? Or the fighting system? Food system? Story? etc. If not, then all it would take is him cutting out some clips and throwaway lines for you to have no issue with this video.

I also think that at some point he made a conscious choice to aim to make a good video rather than a good review. In that sense, I think most would agree that he succeeded (although as funny as it was in places, there is something about the way that this guy emotes that I really can't stand).
I agree with this but I don't put as much stock in being "a good review" as you do. I also agree that his faux-sincerity "serious actor" affectation is annoying. I don't begrudge Lindsay Ellis' Game of Thrones review because she generalizes because the overall point being made is sound. Similarly, I don't think Mauler's Last Jedi review is strengthened by the fact that he picks apart nearly every scene in the movie. In many ways I think the Plinkett reviews have changed online criticism for the better and for the worse; some people take the wrong lessons from it in an attempt to be similarly popular.
 
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Vasid

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Shenmue
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Something old on my PVM
I agree in terms of recouping the investment it was the right move, even if Cedric seemed to think YSNET didn't see a penny of it.
It should be noted that even if they didn't get a ton of money from the EGS thing YS Net still makes more money off every sale of the game. I'm an aspiring indie developer who's been studying the storefronts a lot as I decide how to release my game and EGS offers a great storefront in that they have a really nice revenue share with the developer that's much more fair than Steam's. Also they wave the licensing fees for games developed with Unreal (though that may be less relevant now that Unreal has announced that developers can make up to 1m dollars without them having to pay royalties).

I mean I get that people don't like how EGS gets kernel access to your PC, but as far as I'm aware they've never been caught doing anything malicious with that (because if they did their store would be a ghost town no matter how many free games they give away). I really wish Steam die-hards wouldn't hate on every game that goes EGS exclusive for launch because as a developer the advantages to EGS are really clear.

All of that said they really should have worked out their plan to work with Epic before the Kickstarter since that did offend a lot of people.
 
Joined
Feb 7, 2019
Well Shenmue 3 reached 68 in meta (it lost one point just recently), and in a 1/10 scale, 7 means good.

Honest criticism is essential, and we already did our part in this.
But with S3 we saw lots of hate since 2015, starting with "sony already paid, they are stealing our money" and it continued at any new screenshot and trailer reveal.
Despite for example from publisher clearly state that all footage was "a work in progress", people instead decided ti spread false informations saying that those were all final results.

These people have a responsibility for the damage they are doing since 2015, and that reflected directly even on actual sales.


No, in the scale of Metacritic, 67 is average. Same for 68. It means "Mixed or Average". It doesnt mean 7 and it doesnt mean good.
 
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
Well Shenmue 3 reached 68 in meta (it lost one point just recently), and in a 1/10 scale, 7 means good.
Not it does not, the gaussian distribution mean is not at 5, videogame score mean is around 70s (at least in metacritic and varies a bit year by year) .

That is like the customer support rating of 1 to 5 saying a 3 is a normal score because its the middle point, people that gets 3s get fired.
 
Joined
Nov 13, 2019
No, in the scale of Metacritic, 67 is average. Same for 68. It means "Mixed or Average". It doesnt mean 7 and it doesnt mean good.
Mmm, I just checked for Days Gone that has a 71 meta, and it still says "Mixed or average reviews".
I checked another game with 85 meta and it says "Generally favorable reviews" (lol), so I would not give too much importance to their definitions of metascore.

The universal definition of 1/10 scale has always been

5/10 average
6/10 above average
7/10 good
8/10 very good
9/10 excellent
 
Joined
Jun 11, 2019
Right now, we (the fanbase) are preparing a very harsh terrain for shenmue 4, where it would be really difficult for the game to even reach the sales results of Shenmue 3, let alone attract new people to the franchise.

And this damage is our responsibility.
Unless future partners could place a massive marketing campaign to counter all this negativity we created (and for a marketing campaign like that we would need AAA funds, so it's impossible), the damage done in these months/years could be already irreparable.
I don't think a "positive vibes only" attitude is going to help sell a game.

The success of the S3 kickstarter was a once in a life time opportunity and it was blown, imo. S3 being of good quality was absolutely imperative. We did not get a good product and the negativity stems from the product itself, not because the masses have targeted us. This isn't a gang or a team, it's a product. Just like all the other games on the market, it's a product to be bought and enjoyed.

I think the only thing that can turn around the perception of S4 is positive changes seen during development. People need to see that S4 will be better and that alone is what can change how people view the series. If Ys Net continues the secrecy and hides the game (S4) ike they did with S3 then the stigma will remain. Honesty and transparency are a must for S4.

Me saying S3 is a great game doesn't fool anyone and it doesn't move copies. Although it's uncomfortable for me to say it because Shenmue is my favorite series, I am completely confident in saying S3 sucks and I feel no obligation to hide it.
 

tvshtr

Lightly Seared on the Reality Grill
Joined
Dec 10, 2019
It hurts, but that's what it is, hopefully it can do some good.
Initially for me the issue was with the reality context, my own Shenmue I experience was a part of a wider Sega Dreamcast experience, I bought the console for it. The Immersion, brought by the state-of-the-art graphics and exploration. Among other things.
Shen 3 had none of it, then add to it the criticism from the video [ fights are the ones important for me ] and it was just a big bowl of hurt that I could not swallow.
I understand why they did some of the stuff the way they did, it's cited in the video, they failed with the execution though, mostly in trying to move it towards new user base.
I'm still hopeful, they can build upon what they have, we'll see what they'll take from all the critiques.
 

Vasid

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Shenmue
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Something old on my PVM
Pretty sure if when I was a student I came home to my parents with a 67% on something (in the lettered grading system a D) and said "well it's an average score" they'd have some strong responses. That said I personally think people place far too much importance on Meta scores and reviews in general. I mean The Outer Worlds has a higher Metacritic score than Fallout New Vegas, is it a better game? Nope.

The big problem with Metacritic is reviews can be (and often are) manipulated by either industry pressure (if I review this game poorly maybe I won't get access to the studio's next game or the publisher's game catalog etc.) or other factors such as reviewers not being the best people to play games as they tend to rush through them to meet deadlines (something that has likely hurt Shenmue's review scores since the series started).
 
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You don't think that's overstating it a little? No one is saying "whatever they want" about a game or movie, it's all rooted in some kind of truth unless you get to the bonkers conspiracy stuff (ie: Stanley Kubrick and Room 237).
As I mentioned in a previous response, although his criticism comes from a place of truth, that truth does not extend to everything he says. For example, him stating that there are weird black dips to black in the opening moments of the game is true. Suggesting that these strange dips punctuate every conversation in the game is not. I’m genuinely curious where you draw the line here, because I think for most people it’s a pretty black and white issue.
But he's not misrepresenting things like that, he may have said "BB season 3 was ruined by the episode "The Fly" because it stops everything for a pointless filler episode that breaks all the tension" or something along those lines. Again, overstating the issue perhaps, but not outright lying about the content in the way you suggest.
I think he is very much misrepresenting things like that (although I confess to exaggerating my hypothetical to make that point). If we take my last example, suggesting that something that happens in 3/4 conversations (although technically it could be argued that it is a single conversation broken up by black dips) happens in each of the hundreds of other conversations throughout the game when it does not is akin to suggesting that something that happens in one episode happens in the other 83.
It's not a choice if you're forced to go home early. It's not a choice if not training means you basically can't win any fights. It's not a choice if not eating impedes your ability to explore the world and makes you lose fights in 1 hit. Compare that to S1 where you could either go home on time and not be a disappointment to Ine San or continue exploring and get scolded by her, or you could train and improve your moves and engage with the combat system or you might not know how to effectively perform moves during combat...
In what way is a scolding from Ine-san meaningful? I could stay out every night and get the same scene over and over again and nothing changes. After the cutscene plays out, Ine-san still treats me the same way afterwards and there’s nothing that Ryo can do to fundamentally change their relationship. It is completely superficial (although iirc, you might also get a scene with Fuku-san if you do it a few times).

I could argue that in that regard, the interactions with Shenhua are a lot more meaningful. Aside from learning more about both characters, there is a noticeable change in the way that Shenhua behaves around Ryo the more you interact with her. These might be restricted to a few cutscenes and some additional dialogue options, but it is a fixed change. It’s not something that just goes away if you come home on time the next night and never comes up again.

You can always choose to go straight to bed too, so I don’t think the player is forced to interact with her if they don’t want to.
Sure, he should go there first but why can't he check the entire town? Especially because, as it turns out, the thugs are still there! That's the kind of thing that's maddening as a player because the player and the character are on completely different pages.
We don’t know that the thugs are just sitting there waiting and I think it is far more likely that, in terms of the narrative, they have returned to the village having previously been chased off (we encounter the thugs on our second or third day).
Yes and he recovers his bag. It's the first thing he does. He doesn't have to play a game of lucky hit first, or spar with a street fighter or whatever, or wait several days to find it. He's also in Hong Kong, not a tiny rural village that takes 2 minutes to run around. Surely you can see how the story and setting do a far better job of gating the player in a way that makes sense in that instance.
I’m not arguing that Shenmue 2 doesn’t have a stronger narrative, but it still follows a similar structure. The nonsense with the bookey is there to introduce the character to the game’s new combat and training systems which I think was needed in some way. Could Ryo have been beaten by the thugs and then sent to the dojo to train? Probably - but I’m sure this would have probably drawn just as much criticism and I really don’t see an issue with easing the player into the new mechanics in this way.
No he couldn't have, because the player would find the thugs without having to go through all the hoops and tutorial stuff first.
You again seem to be under the impression that the two thugs are just standing around in the same place for two or three days straight. Why is it so hard to believe that the thugs have returned having previously been chased off by the guards?
That's just it isn't it? You had to turn to the entire game and I was able to list you things that happen in the first act of S2.
I thought it was quite clear that that comment was meant to be a little tongue in cheek, but let’s not pretend Shenmue 2 was filled to the brim with stuff like this.

Only one of the three things you mentioned takes place while the objective is to find Lishao Tao (the four wude) whilst the other two are introduced after the objective has shifted to finding Zhu.

Shenmue 2 certainly has more stuff like this (ie, substance), but I don’t think Shenmue 3 is too far behind.

I agree with this to a point but I can't say that I wasn't massively disappointed in Bailu village and the lack of development concerning the Shenmue tree, the mirrors, Iwao's time there, and the poem. What wasn't outright ignored raised several questions and not necessarily in a good way. We went to Bailu Village, a place we never thought we'd see, and not much happened there.
Agreed. It would have been nice if Ryo has asked some of the questions that we were probably all screaming at our televisions and I found it incredibly unrealistic that he had so little to say or ask when faced with some of the revelations throughout the game.

If I say "I work every Monday to Friday from 9-5" and you come back with, "no you don't because every three weeks there's a holiday", you are being pedantic. I would barely consider this to be a slight exaggeration.
If you say ‘I have to work every single day of the year’ and I point out that with weekends and holidays it’s probably more like two thirds of it, I think that is a fair correction.
I mean if he pointed out that Shenhua says "have a good day Ryo" and sometimes says "have a great day Ryo" or whatever, do you think that becomes a point in the game's favor? Or if he removed this bit entirely, do you think his argument is weakened all that much?
I don’t think it weakens his argument, but I do think that it paints the game in a better, more accurate light. The way that section of the video is cut together makes it seem as though the player is constantly being bombarded with cutscenes and that there is absolutely no variety and I don’t think either of those things is true.
If Shenhua saying "Hey Ryo! Have a good day. Be Safe." is so appreciably different from "Ryo... See you later" as to invalidate the point he's making then I don't know what to tell you. The overall point being made is that the game constantly interrupts the player for the same pointless cutscene every day. If you're going to tell me that he's misrepresenting the game because sometimes she alters her phrasing slightly then I would say that you're the one pedantically nitpicking.
As I just said, it’s not necessarily about the point being made and more about allowing the viewer to judge for themselves whether or not that point is valid. By failing to provide them with an accurate representation he is depriving them of the tools they need to make that assessment and forcing them to accept his point of view as being correct.
You haven't pointed out anything that crosses the line, imo, of misrepresenting the game. At best you've said the fade to blacks aren't a big issue (which does not invalidate the point about the janky conversations) and said that Shenhua changes her phrasing in cutscenes that can be skipped (which does not invalidate the point about the game constantly yanking control away from the player, nor does it change the way most people who waited 20 years to play the game played it). At best you've pointed out that the video isn't absolutely perfect in its arguments, which is obviously true (and true of every video).
Again, it seems that we have reached a point where our differing ideas as to what a review should and should not do make it difficult for us to continue with this line of discussion, so I think I’ll have to agree to disagree with you on this one.

For the record though, I didn’t say that the fade to blacks weren’t a big issue (I think it’s a terrible and bizarre design choice), but that they were only found at the very beginning of the game rather than in ‘every conversation’ as the review implies. Again, your opinion that as this happens once it’s okay to suggest that it happens throughout the entirety of the game makes it very difficult to continue this discussion without going round in circles.
No because the point of the review is to articulate how he felt about the game, not describe the game in exacting detail. This is exactly how I played those scenes and if you asked me to recall exactly what Shenhua said during them, I couldn't tell you; but I could tell you that I remember being interrupted by her every morning to say goodbye to Ryo. That's the "truth" of it. We're not robots here, I don't need him to be 100% accurate when he's only being 90% accurate to make a broader point that's true.
Yes, he needs to articulate how he feels about the game and to do that he should give examples. I think it should go without saying that those examples should be true.
How would he know this before posting the video? And if you're talking about how analytics are reinforcing the negative opinion, then you'll have to wait to see if he chooses to capitalize on that with another negative video. He has plenty of positive videos though, so I don't see how you could make that claim one way or the other.
Well looking at his channel, his two most popular videos are negative in tone, as are a lot of his other popular videos. A quick search for Shenmue videos on YouTube shows that videos bashing the series typically do fairly well and garner plenty of interaction and so I think that it’s a safe bet. That he seemingly hated the game is obviously going to have him leaning towards the negative side by default anyway.
I don't see how you can say that without refuting the underlying points he is making. Do you think the conversations are actually good? Or the fighting system? Food system? Story? etc. If not, then all it would take is him cutting out some clips and throwaway lines for you to have no issue with this video.
I don’t think any of those things are ‘good’, but I also don’t think the conversations are made up entirely of nonsensical dialogue and cutscenes repeating over and over again constantly throughout the game. I don’t think that the food system has the player constantly running backwards and forwards across the map and I strongly disagree that the game’s story is nothing but filler and that Ryo and Lan Di finish the game in exactly the same place in their arcs at which they started it.

You are absolutely right that him removing or correcting the misleading lines would remove the issues that I have with the video. This whole discussion began with me bemoaning the inaccuracies present in this video and pretty much every post during our conversation has been making that same point in one shape or form.

I’d disagree with your assessment that they are nothing more than throwaway lines though.
 

bcdcdude

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The whole kerfuffle about Metacritic and Shenmue III getting "mixed reviews" was very much the reason why I highlighted some quotes in my post the other day. There is this bizarre obsession with numbers that I get to a point, but think that many people put too much weight into it. Some of the 6/10 reviews, when you read into the text, comes across as more positive than you would assume for such a score.

I think in this day and age of instant gratification and instant need for news etc, too many people are missing the point of Metacritic. What's the point in linking all those reviews if all you're going to take away from it is "It got mixed reviews" and "It got X number, so it must be shite". In the broadest sense, yes the reviews are mixed, but look beyond the surface and the S3 reviews are more positive than people are willing to admit.
 
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I gave his video a watch. I don't know why I did because every other video of his annoys me; mostly for his delivery.

Anyway, he's really over-egging a lot of stuff to prove his point. I'll agree to some of his points about the combat, but I never once felt "not in control" of Ryo, and I definitely felt like my own skill at the battle system got better alongside Ryo's strength.

His whole bit about the wine and saving cash and all that was a load of pish though. I always wonder, when folk complain about that part of the game, what they were doing up till that point? When I was asked to save 2000 yuan (then 5000) I already had a big chunk of money on me because I'd been picking herbs and selling item sets etc. Barely touched gambling to be honest!

I don't want to plug my own video again so I won't link to it, but a lot of this style of criticism comes down to the expectation of what all games should play like, and the sad fact is that a lot of the big successful games nowadays are essentially aping movies; they almost play themselves sometimes and require very little "agency" of the player.

Give me Shenmue 3's small, sumptuous world of overlapping systems over Uncharted/AssCreed's cinematic ambitions anyday.

In fact, now that I think about it Shenmue 3 has a lot in common with Breath of the Wild in how simple but deep their world's are. Both games really captured my attention because they were so fun to just exist and mess around in.
 
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By the way if anyone wants a laugh you should see some of the comments I've been getting on my month's old review video since this Super Eyepatch Wolf one went live. Some folk are *mental*
This is my favorite one:
"In china we often laugh at this terrible inaccurate depiction of our culture and martial arts by the fool of japan yu suzuki, only westerns with no clue support his ideas, the clown of a man appears to have learned human interaction from watching abominations of cinema such as the works of adam Sandler and only used this knowledge alone while living in his basement to craft his unholy trash of game series known as shenmue... if he thinks this is how real chinese people talk and act, he must be stopped."
 
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Mmm, I just checked for Days Gone that has a 71 meta, and it still says "Mixed or average reviews".
I checked another game with 85 meta and it says "Generally favorable reviews" (lol), so I would not give too much importance to their definitions of metascore.

The universal definition of 1/10 scale has always been

5/10 average
6/10 above average
7/10 good
8/10 very good
9/10 excellent
That would depend on the distribution of the population sample follows a mean that is actually at 5. When most of the samples are at 7 the manings change.
 
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