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

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I don't have the courage to watch the video. Being sat over 48 minutes to listen negative critics from an arguably true fan is probably going to hurt the fan I am myself.

But, half part of me does think Shenmue III is a mediocre game. To me, a good game is always about to give you a wide spectrum of decisions or give you the illusion of it. The former is allowed by the gameplay, the latter by an enthralling atmosphere since I define atmosphere as the art of suggesting possibilities, that everything could happen anytime.

Shenmue I & II had a brillant mix of both. Shenmue III was lackluster in everything.

Finding your path, discussing with folks to get interesting bits, earning the folks' confidence, solving mysteries, finding clues, the combat, the mini-games, exploring to find little secret sides... Most of the time, the gameplay was poorly rewarding, interesting or challenging.

It's still possible to get some satisfaction here and there like but it's very minimal or inconsistent.

Main interest of Shenmue 3 is relying on standard mechanics such grinding, evolving, reflexive skills or organizational skills to get the more money and items as fast as possible.

Actually, the mechanics work very well, the idea of interconnected mini-games and buildings is engaging and it's likely one of the objective upgrades compared to Shenmue I&II. But you cannot rely all your interest on pro-addictive mechanics to make your game truly fascinating. The feel of freedom you get in Shenmue III was too ordinary.

About the atmosphere. Guilin has certainly some charm but it looked too fake and videogamy. Niaowu? A beautiful city made of cardboards. The lack of music direction was critical. I'm not going to talk about the story which was as repetitive as the gameplay itself, definitely downgrading the illusion of possible I was talking before.

Then there is the other part of me. The one who knew how to appreciate the game as itself, an indy game facing massive technical constrains. There is still this inexplicable alchemy that makes you feeling good by living in a living world rather than only exploring it. The feat is not as remarkable as it was in Dreamcast but there's still a satisfying glimpse of that unique emotion. The time I spent on this game and some growing desire to replay it someday is indicative that S3 is not fundamentally bad to my mind.

It's sure I will never ever cherish Shenmue III in my life experience. At best, it's a game you like to spend your time like many games in their own way. It did hurt me too much to have a further meaning.

That said, I'm still happy for two points. The first is that it destroyed very few things in Shenmue lore. The game did not make 1&2 pointless (details apart) and the 4th episode has still room to make something right. The second point is that Suzuki is now back in business after fulfilling one of his dreams. Just for that, I'm happy for the man.
 
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No, I honestly don't. I think people make this whole prize exchange mechanic more convoluted than it really is. It's basically four simple steps:

I). Use your money to buy tokens.
II). Use your tokens to gamble.
III). Use those tokens to buy prizes.
IV). Sell those prizes to the pawnshop for cash.

I know Super Eyepatch Wolf is exaggerating in his video but he makes it sound so much worse than it actually is. Also, most video games are repetitive by nature it's just dependant on what you want to tolerate. So if one can "cheat the system" to improve efficacy then I don't see the issue with it.
Like I’ve said before, they should’ve just put the prize redemption inside the gambling areas. Making you go to another area to redeem awards is annoying. I also never felt the whole item-pawn-economy system was rewarding enough to invest any time in. In a meatier game with more story it might’ve worked, but it seemed like wasted effort to me. A lot of Niaowu just feels like wasted space since I had little interest in shopping.
 
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I agree with a lot of things he said in the video. Hopefully if Shenmue IV gets made it will improve on the many flaws about III. Especially the combat. Ultimately though, I believe the only purpose of Shenmue III was to get Ryo out of that cave and that's it.
 
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So if one can "cheat the system" to improve efficacy then I don't see the issue with it.
Let's also not forget that despite Shenmue II being a masterpiece, it pretty much requires that most people save scum the gambling if they don't want to have an absolutely dismal time making money. There are ways around it, but it's probably less enjoyable than anything about Shenmue III. Also, the betting games in Shenmue II aren't really set up as much in the player's favor as they are in Shenmue III, I feel.


I seriously have no grasp of where the story continues from here.
I think it's truly heartbreaking for someone to be this deficient in vision and foresight. Where did you think it would go after Shenmue II? Okay, well not all of that can go into a single Shenmue game, so push some of it out to another couple sequels.
 
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I made a thread for his original video on Shenmue so given the title I watched this with some trepidation.

Ultimately while I got a lot more out of the experience of Shenmue 3 then he did, I think his criticisms mainly have grounding although some of his complaints especially about the exploration parts, don't quite connect. A couple of points;

- Given his complaints about the original dub, particularly someone that appears to consume a lot of media from Japan you would have thought he would have switched voice acting to Japanese voices, which in my humble opinion makes the games a much superior experience

- I assume some of his criticisms stem from his original playthrough but after the patch you can skip morning cutscenes with Shenhua and bypass scene for paying daily bill for hotel. Also outside of night time conversations with Shenhua who really began their day by going to firepit? Yes it's slow transition, but I assume the load screen is to hide loading in those dialogue conversations when applicable

- On that point, given games like Deadly Premonition 2 or even recently shown off Halo Infinite and their mixed technical shortcomings, I really have to give the game credit for how well it ran on PC. Yes the uncapped framerate on consoles is unfortunate but overall I think they did an admirable job given size of team

- I think his segment on combat is very valid and it's something I know many of us who enjoyed the game had to work around, anticipating the lag and delay with your inputs and factoring that into your fights. I think it largely works fine for 1 v 1 fights. I feel it is in the multi-man encounters does the lack of throw moves and parrying really negatively impact the game

- I am shocked and surprised he didn't critique the games QTE's. It's the only part of the game that still feels broken to me and is inferior to the original in every aspect

- Also count me as someone that enjoyed the Bailu section more than Niaowu. I felt it captured more of that Shenmue spirit than the later sections and I thought the training section with Sun and the cutscene of Ryo training at martial hall under moonlight sky as some of my favourite moments of the game

-I don't think his ending works, because before I feel Lan Di may have a change of heart or at least consider his actions he needs to understand how the Chiyoumen or Tentai has liedto him. However I don't discount the fact there needed to be a more cohesive ending sequence and that's why the Old Castle fails. Still to say that the story of Shenmue 3 is largely inconsequential is not true. Ryo has lost the Phoenix mirror, there's a civil war between two factions of the Chiyoumen and we learn Lan Di was taken into the organization as an orphan. All these element will be a big part of the story moving forward.

-Finally I don't agree with his diagnosis of why Suzuki made Shenmue 3 the way it is. I think Suzuki was in a difficult position to create a game that fans of the original loved but also to iterate and make the game more appealing. Straddling that line is a very difficult proposition especially when working with changing budget, inexperienced and new team and not working on such a large production in some time. While there's plenty to fault I still think what was created was worthwhile of the Shenmue name and I feel if he gets a chance to make Shenmue 4 he can build off the foundations found here.
 
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Joined
Jun 11, 2019
I). Use your money to buy tokens.
II). Use your tokens to gamble.
III). Use those tokens to buy prizes.
IV). Sell those prizes to the pawnshop for cash.
Well for starters, there's 3 extra steps there that are unnecessary. On top of that, it's not just a matter of buying one thing, it's a whole plethora of items to experiment and gamble on. Which are the best things to buy, and which ones get you the most money and at what pawnshops? It's a gigantic waste of time for the player, and it's heart breaking to realize that this bs likely contributed to why we got so little story.

10, 20 years from now no one is going to look back at trading lamps and gems, and long for more lamp and gem trading. It's absolutely useless run-around filler.

I think it's truly heartbreaking for someone to be this deficient in vision and foresight. Where did you think it would go after Shenmue II? Okay, well not all of that can go into a single Shenmue game, so push some of it out to another couple sequels.
Another couple sequels? Where are you getting this idea from? Shenmue 4 isn't confirmed yet, but you somehow believe we're going to get several more installments? In fact, so many installments that Suzuki has the time and resources to waste on one game having literally no story progression? Shenmue 3 being made was a miracle, but nothing happened in it. My inability to grasp what's next comes from the disbelief that somehow in Shenmue 4 everything is going to come together and get the train rolling on a budget, when we've already seen that with a limited budget, no story was able to be told in S3.
 

Vasid

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No, I honestly don't. I think people make this whole prize exchange mechanic more convoluted than it really is. It's basically four simple steps:

I). Use your money to buy tokens.
II). Use your tokens to gamble.
III). Use those tokens to buy prizes.
IV). Sell those prizes to the pawnshop for cash.

I know Super Eyepatch Wolf is exaggerating in his video but he makes it sound so much worse than it actually is. Also, most video games are repetitive by nature it's just dependant on what you want to tolerate. So if one can "cheat the system" to improve efficacy then I don't see the issue with it.
Honestly this really makes me wonder why the gambling wasn't just straight up for money. I know this is how gambling is handled in Japan, and this is also how it was handled in S1... But in Shenmue 2 we got full on cash for cash gambling. I'm pretty sure that's just how China does things and I always thought it was an interesting cultural change from the first game in addition to making the whole making money process much more fun and quick.

So why are we back to this weird Japanese "you're only gambling for stuff because wink wink that makes it okay" stuff?

If I'm wrong and this is how parts of China gamble I'd love to be corrected.
 
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On top of that, it's not just a matter of buying one thing, it's a whole plethora of items to experiment and gamble on. Which are the best things to buy, and which ones get you the most money and at what pawnshops?
It's really, really simple (no guessing); take the number of tokens a prize item costs; divide by ten. You now know the approximate trade-in value for that item at the pawn shop. Congratulations.


Another couple sequels? Where are you getting this idea from? Shenmue 4 isn't confirmed yet, but you somehow believe we're going to get several more installments? In fact, so many installments that Suzuki has the time and resources to waste on one game having literally no story progression? Shenmue 3 being made was a miracle, but nothing happened in it. My inability to grasp what's next comes from the disbelief that somehow in Shenmue 4 everything is going to come together and get the train rolling on a budget, when we've already seen that with a limited budget, no story was able to be told in S3.
No. Two more. This isn't something new. Suzuki has been talking about five games pretty much since he made the concession that he couldn't fit the entirety of Shenmue into two installments. There's a pretty good amount of story in the game. Some day you might sit down and actually play Shenmue III something like the way you'd play the first game, and perhaps at that point you might realize this fact.

The only truly unfortunate thing is that a lot of reactions to Shenmue III are repeating the history of how people reacted to the first game when it was originally released.


If I'm wrong and this is how parts of China gamble I'd love to be corrected.
Spoilers: It's illegal in mainland China, but not totally illegal in Hong Kong.
 
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Well I just wasted 48 minutes of my life watching this video. I suppose it’s better than wasting ones entire life though.

Some valid criticisms, but nothing that hasn’t been said a thousand times before on these forums. Thankfully the posts here contain a lot less hyperbole.
 
Joined
Jul 28, 2018
Let's also not forget that despite Shenmue II being a masterpiece, it pretty much requires that most people save scum the gambling if they don't want to have an absolutely dismal time making money. There are ways around it, but it's probably less enjoyable than anything about Shenmue III. Also, the betting games in Shenmue II aren't really set up as much in the player's favor as they are in Shenmue III, I feel.
Shenmue II had a good story though, and a far more atmospheric world, so having to save scum in that is down to you. Shenmue II makes me want to play it legit because it's good, Shenmue III makes me want to save scum because I don't enjoy the gambling system but more importantly I don't feel like the reward is worth the effort, saving money to meet a main character or saving money to fight one of 3 legendary fighters is better than saving money for a move that you can't even use when you want.
 

spud1897

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The posts here have been generally constructive and well put together.

A definition of a bad game isn't a 68 (might be 67 now) on Metacritic, it's considered average by reviewers. A 7.8 user reviews might be considered high, due to the counter on the review bombing, but that's the score. I think 69 on open critic so we're averaging close to 7/10 which is hardly a disaster. 76% of google users liked the game (4 stars from 160 reviews on there). 4.5 Stars from Amazon UK off of 202 reviews, and you have to buy the game to review it. Amazon.com 4.5 Stars off of 352 reviews. Amazon Japan 4.5 off of 245 reviews, 7/10 IMDB, Gamestop 4.4 stars off of 101 reviews, Bestbuy 4.5 off of 318 reviews, UK playstation store 4.5 stars off of 287 reviews, US Playstation Store 4.5 stars off of 321 reviews.

I'll leave it there but of course one persons opinion varies to the other. But the fact remains that, actually, the wider fanbase seems to have recieved the game well given the user reviews, where you have to buy the game, on some mainline gaming stores. Embracer mentioned in their statement that fans received the game well and given the above I can see why they said that.

The video itself is fine. The title makes me cringe a little bit but its nothing we don't already know and it wont impact much given Shenmue struggled for mass appeal anyway outside of the first game, it's not going to impact the game now. Though I query why wait nearly a year to do the video.

Also think about this for just a moment, there were plenty of articles running around saying that users were inflating the Metacritic score for Shenmue III, where the fact was it was being review bombed by Epic haters and others (which is why I stay away from there).

Couple that to Last of Us 2 and the exact same thing happened, on a much larger scale and the tone is different. Articles saying the game was bombed (it was) not being inflated.
 
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The general consensus has been like that since youtube loudmouths like Jim Sterling, Angry Joe and the rest of the hate = clicks brigade got onto it. As soon as the game went Epic exclusive a match was lit under it which never went out. I can guarantee you that if the game would have just come out as planned then most people would have enjoyed it for what it is. An earnest low budget effort that tries to please everyone but didn't quite make it.

BUT

these guys seem to be generating all the news, but in the real world, they mean very little. Look at the Last of Us 2. A million and one shitty youtube videos when the leaks came out about how much 'the story SUCKS' 'woke SJW agenda!' and 'preorders are being cancelled in droves' when in fact it went on to break all sales records. The most popular youtuber probably influences less than 1% of the game buying public. You would have to have a very soft head to let some bloke on the internet tell you what to play, rather than make your own mind up.

You see these videos like 'Shenmue 3 is a disaster' 'The waterworld of videogames' and 'I wasted my life' around this game when it has a 68 Metacritic. Disaster implies something in the low 30's. Now Days Gone has a 71 which has it's fans. So whoop whoop - a whole 3 point difference. But it's easy to publish videos like '18 years for this?!1?!' and rag on the underdog endlessly knowing that people in your comments will flock to write huh duh Shenmue Sux Yakuza Is Da Best! (Nevermind these same people ignored Yakuza for 10 years until Zero came out, but I digress)

There's clearly a loving and loyal fanbase around Shenmue and while we have to face facts that it'll never be popular and be the butt of many a joke and a clickbaity youtube video, I truly believe we will get 4.

If Deadly Premonition can get a surprise sequel, than any game can.
Sterling and Angry Joe are eternal pessimists. The former makes money by pointing out extremely trivial and obvious flaws and then roasts the given game to oblivion. What makes matters worse is the fact that most of those games are AAA or at least AA, which often prompts backlash from a myriad of fans. When reviewing Breath of the Wild, he roasted the game that the weapon durability system is OTT, and most of the puzzles too devious. Well newsflash mr. Sterling: Zelda games are suppose to be difficult due to the RPG nature of the franchise.
When it comes to Shenmue however, the story is completely different. He absolutely hates the franchise for almost no reason, saying it sucks due to the long progression and the "tedious" backtracking. Unfortunately, his videos generate thousands, if not millions of views from people who never played any of the reviewed games. I am personally grateful, that the Shenmue franchise got a soft reboot with the third installment, but to treat something you do not like as complete garbage is absolutely unacceptable.
 
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Really, youtuber reviewers are really useless.

They just love to nitpick games/movies that have a hatred on the internet.
"A,B and C in this game wasn't the way I wanted it to be so the game sucks."

Also, am I the only one that wasn't disappointed by the S3 ending ?
At very least I trust my own impression of the game much more than parroting the loudest opinion on the internet.
 

HazukiFCBR

"You don't play Shenmue....you live Shenmue!"
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I've said that so many times. Shenmue 3 is a divisive game. Same as The Last Of Us 2, Halo 5. When you have a game wich is so beloved by it's fans, you have to know what's make this game so beloved. If you mess up, you're done. My main criticism took aim at storytelling and dumb characters. Everything else is passable. Nor brilliant or indeed good. Just passable. As him, i don't mean to say to Yu Suzuki how he must have done the game. But i definately can pin point what would make this game way better based of what i love the most about it. It happens to be quite the same of the dude of the video. I my self would try to make a screenplay and animations to make my points. This game is bad cause the core of narrative/story driven games such as Shenmue, are the characters and story. And Shenmue 3 is lacking if it. Why one guy here, "Demons triangle", wishes Ryo to use the Demons triangle move on Landi? Cause that move makes sense!!! We know the move. We learned it! If not the Demon's triangle, why not Double Blow? Or Hind blow? We're aware of the predictive explosion. Even so this is a throw move, a cinematic with it would do it. But no. Loving Shenmue 1&2 as i love, i found myself outstandingly suprise to see us, as hard fans, being ok with this game. The worst part? There's nothing to do with money, as some of us would think.
 
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I will say the ending this guy came up with did sound pretty great, though maybe a bit too dramatic for the series. Not sure. On the surface I liked it. The idea of this move you spend 90% of the game looking for actually serving a narrative purpose and relating to LAN Di seems like very good writing and would’ve definitely been nice.
 
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Stories in games just need to be interesting and encourage the players to continue playing which S3 succeded in these 2.

So S3 story is as good as it should be.


S3 story is plagued by its lazy narrative structure, its bad writing and its complete lack of character developpement.
No, it's not as good as it should be. It's not even good. It's not bad either. It just... Exists.
 
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Also, am I the only one that wasn't disappointed by the S3 ending ?
At very least I trust my own impression of the game much more than parroting the loudest opinion on the internet.
Aside from Lan Di’s goons going down with a single QTE prompt, I thought the ending was one of the few things the game got right narratively (at least based on the events leading up to it).

The ending suggested in this video was terrible compared to what we got. It goes against everything we know about Lan Di’s persona and whilst I’m not against Lan Di eventually showing remorse for his actions (in fact, I hope this is what his arc is eventually leading towards), for it to occur without any significant trigger would be cheap and completely destroy all of the work done to portray Lan Di as a cold and calculated killer with no real pay off.
 
Joined
Sep 29, 2018
I'm not watching it.
Sure, S3 has it's faults. But bottom line first playtrough was serious fun for me with the old feeling of getting close to the ending in the middle of the night, second playtrough also good for the content I missed. In a kind of soft reboot way we got to know the characters and the world and I'm eager for it continue.
If they learn from the criticism they potentially could build an awesome part 4, without having to figure out unreal from scratch.
 
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The localization’s got to go. Rewatching the dialogue in this video is just painful. It’s pitiful.

Aside from Lan Di’s goons going down with a single QTE prompt, I thought the ending was one of the few things the game got right narratively (at least based on the events leading up to it).

The ending suggested in this video was terrible compared to what we got. It goes against everything we know about Lan Di’s persona and whilst I’m not against Lan Di eventually showing remorse for his actions (in fact, I hope this is what his arc is eventually leading towards), for it to occur without any significant trigger would be cheap and completely destroy all of the work done to portray Lan Di as a cold and calculated killer with no real pay off.
at least it elicits some kind of emotional response from the audience after three games of going on a big chase that feels like it’s going nowhere. Like the dude who made the video said, it would’ve given us some needed payoff after enduring 20-30 hours of tedious busy work and given the moves you learn some meaning. I don’t see much positive feedback on the ending in this community or elsewhere, so I can’t say Ys Net succeeded with their ending either.
 
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