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Baloo
06-24-2015, 11:05 PM
With all of the hub-bub surrounding the announcement of Shenmue III, I decided to start playing the first Shenmue game. It seems to be a really "love-it-or-hate-it" kind of game. What do you guys think? I'm only one day in. Is the story good enough for me to keep playing? Or should I just quit wasting my time on the capsule machines and play something else? For what it's worth, I don't mind it so far. But what am I in for?

Please don't spoil the game for me by the way.

Jeckidy
06-24-2015, 11:23 PM
It had a nice atmosphere but didn't leave a big impression on me enough to try the sequel or even follow the whole Shenmue III thing. Worth playing once, at least.

QuickSciFi
06-24-2015, 11:37 PM
It is the best game experience you will ever have. Then onto part II on the Xbox.

It's a must.

EclecticGroove
06-24-2015, 11:40 PM
You are spot on with the love it or hate it thing. I loved it, but it's not for everyone, and much of what was groundbreaking at the time is far less so now.
The story is laid out in the beginning, it's just a matter of finding the pieces and advancing in the game. The story, in terms of the greater plot, doesn't really advance much until part II.

The game had a pretty ambitious setup with lots of games planned out. Shenmue 1 and much of part 2 really show how long term the game was really aiming to be, so it was a slow burn.

I assume part 3 will be much more condensed. That slow pace is something some people will be frustrated with, but others enjoyed it.

Lan Di
06-25-2015, 12:54 AM
Baloo, I highly recommend you play both Shenmue 1 & 2. The mainstream gamer wants to shoot stuff up and see nonstop blood. Games like GTA and Yakuza have that covered. Shenmue is nothing like that. Shenmue is a story-based cinematic fighting RPG. No game in the history of mankind can claim that.

j_factor
06-25-2015, 01:03 AM
Shenmue is an absolute must play IMO.

By the way, you don't have to ever buy anything from a capsule machine if you don't want to.

Chakan
06-25-2015, 01:47 AM
RYU'S FATHER DIES BY THE TIME THE GAME IS OVER!

Shenmue is worth playing. There's a lot of skippable content if you don't enjoy the small talk, collecting items, playing arcade games, or other things. That's up to you, I guess.

Shenmue II is an even better game, imo. The climax section of the game is more exhilarating and the epilogue chapter leaves you wanting more. I remember finishing both games with an audience of people that were enthralled with it.

bultje112
06-25-2015, 06:21 AM
It is the best game experience you will ever have. Then onto part II on the Xbox.

It's a must.

yes except play shenmue 2 on the dreamcast, which looks better, has japanese voices and above all you can use your shenmue 1 savefile. otherwise I agree. best gaming experience ever. although shenmue 2 has aged better perhaps in terms of gameplay

Gogogadget
06-25-2015, 07:52 AM
I find it to be an okay game, but Shenmue II is far superior.

QuickSciFi
06-25-2015, 09:02 AM
yes except play shenmue 2 on the dreamcast, which looks better, has japanese voices and above all you can use your shenmue 1 savefile. otherwise I agree. best gaming experience ever. although shenmue 2 has aged better perhaps in terms of gameplay

Yes. Except play it on the Xbox. Which is the definitive version.

EclecticGroove
06-25-2015, 10:54 AM
Yes. Except play it on the Xbox. Which is the definitive version.

Eh, I see no real reason to play it on one vs the other in terms of what's presented. The port was kind of half assed, so there's more than a few places where the DC version actually outshines the oXbox version.

And you also have the potential to import the part 1 save file on the DC as well.

the Xbox port SHOULD have been the definitive in every way... but they just didn't put enough time and effort into it to make it that way.

Baloo
06-27-2015, 05:43 PM
I'm disappointed: This might be the first time Sega-16 really let me down on a game recommendation. I got up to Disc 3 and looking for a job in the harbor district before I finally gave up on the game. Shenmue, while the world is really fun to explore and there is an obscene amount of things to do, amazing graphics for the time, and a lot of people to talk to and detail to nuance, has seemingly forgot the gameplay. I thought the game would pick up, the story would get more interesting, or there would be more focus on the fighting aspect of the game. But Ryo Hazuki simply wasn't a likeable character, his reactions to his family and the people in town were stilted and awkward. He's just not an interesting hero to me. Great design with the jacket and blue jeans, but there's just so much time wasting in the game. Nozomi is the weirdest love interest for a character ever as Ryo just blankly stares at her when she says anything.

And they simply forgot the game. There's too much of doing stuff that's not fun, the plot doesn't advance. Some of the stuff I didn't mind early on, but as it got more cryptic to figure out what to do next and just exploring random crap in a hidden basement in your house, or talking to the same people over and over again to attempt to advance the plot. Why not focus more on the fighting aspect while developing the plot?

What broke the camel's back in terms of story was when Ryo loses the money to go to Hong Kong to the scam Asia Travel Company, and doesn't even bother to tell Fuku-San. What a jerk. How come the Police are really never mentioned at all in this game?

Watched the rest of the cutscenes in the movie and sad to say, I won't be bothering with Part II. The last part of the game I didn't play didn't advance the plot at all as I watched Ryu waste time fighting through endless amounts of lowlifes and punks. I really liked the concept and the open world they designed, but Shenmue just wasn't fun. Yu Suzuki has great vision, but Shenmue plays like a game half-finished.

EclecticGroove
06-27-2015, 06:18 PM
I'm disappointed: This might be the first time Sega-16 really let me down on a game recommendation. I got up to Disc 3 and looking for a job in the harbor district before I finally gave up on the game. Shenmue, while the world is really fun to explore and there is an obscene amount of things to do, amazing graphics for the time, and a lot of people to talk to and detail to nuance, has seemingly forgot the gameplay. I thought the game would pick up, the story would get more interesting, or there would be more focus on the fighting aspect of the game. But Ryo Hazuki simply wasn't a likeable character, his reactions to his family and the people in town were stilted and awkward. He's just not an interesting hero to me. Great design with the jacket and blue jeans, but there's just so much time wasting in the game. Nozomi is the weirdest love interest for a character ever as Ryo just blankly stares at her when she says anything.

And they simply forgot the game. There's too much of doing stuff that's not fun, the plot doesn't advance. Some of the stuff I didn't mind early on, but as it got more cryptic to figure out what to do next and just exploring random crap in a hidden basement in your house, or talking to the same people over and over again to attempt to advance the plot. Why not focus more on the fighting aspect while developing the plot?

What broke the camel's back in terms of story was when Ryo loses the money to go to Hong Kong to the scam Asia Travel Company, and doesn't even bother to tell Fuku-San. What a jerk. How come the Police are really never mentioned at all in this game?

Watched the rest of the cutscenes in the movie and sad to say, I won't be bothering with Part II. The last part of the game I didn't play didn't advance the plot at all as I watched Ryu waste time fighting through endless amounts of lowlifes and punks. I really liked the concept and the open world they designed, but Shenmue just wasn't fun. Yu Suzuki has great vision, but Shenmue plays like a game half-finished.

Part of the issue with the game is that it was initially set to be a pretty long episodic story. It's far more like Myst than Virtua fighter or Golden Axe.

It's a very slow moving story for part 1 and much of part 2. I don't even remember how many games were initially outlined... but it was quite a few. I doubt we will ever get more than this part 3 to finish it up.

Although if they still leave it unfinished after this part 3 they are just asking for trouble.

Benjamin
06-27-2015, 09:25 PM
shenmue sux

We haters are out there. I did a "Shenmue sucks" post (http://www.sega-16.com/forum/showthread.php?30010-Shenmue-III-is-happening-For-Real-Kickstarter&p=718941&viewfull=1#post718941) in the Shenmue III thread and, yeah, everything you say is spot on. It's amazing how dull and devoid of action "Virtua Fighter RPG" is, and the hokey Hong Kong plot and dialogue are just not interesting enough to carry the game through its many, many faults. Suzuki's biggest mistake was a misguided aim for realism, and that simply does not work in what is to be a story-based game. When fans of the game fondly remember the point where you get a job working as a forklift operator, you know something's wrong.

EclecticGroove
06-27-2015, 10:39 PM
We haters are out there. I did a "Shenmue sucks" post (http://www.sega-16.com/forum/showthread.php?30010-Shenmue-III-is-happening-For-Real-Kickstarter&p=718941&viewfull=1#post718941) in the Shenmue III thread and, yeah, everything you say is spot on. It's amazing how dull and devoid of action "Virtua Fighter RPG" is, and the hokey Hong Kong plot and dialogue are just not interesting enough to carry the game through its many, many faults. Suzuki's biggest mistake was a misguided aim for realism, and that simply does not work in what is to be a story-based game. When fans of the game fondly remember the point where you get a job working as a forklift operator, you know something's wrong.

To be fair, the realism at the time was simply amazing.

Since the later years of the 360/PS3, let alone more powerful PC's, the "realism" in the game is pretty much silly. But back when it first came out it was pretty groundbreaking. Especially in terms of some of the specific details.

It's absolutely a slow paced game however. The story won't jump out at you, you're not going to have action packed chases through bustling streets, or even fights very often. The second game is where more of the action picks up, but it's still a slow pace.

The games are much more about taking your time, living your life day by day to explore around you, learn a bit... or just goof off, and then repeat. The time limit before you get the bad end is pretty lenient so you'd have to spend a lot of time goofing off before you'd need to worry about it.

Really they are games that don't hold up very well for replay sadly. The gameplay is slow, the control is more than a little awkward, the animations are stiff, the US voice acting is terrible, and when compared to many of the newer open world games, the "realism" presented in the game is incredibly limited.

But still, at the time, I remember being in awe of just how good the game looked, and how much there was to it. I can still play them now, but they are certainly not the epitome of awesome anymore. I can only hope that part 3 takes good advantage of all that's been done since part 2 was released. Although I still don't mind the slower pace.

16-bit
06-27-2015, 10:46 PM
I really enjoyed my first playthough of the game. There's a lot of really cool ideas in both I and II, but they are really rough around the edged and I probably won't play them again. Before I back the kickstarter I want to see how well they can modernize, QTEs are boring now, and the voice acting needs a ton of work.

I'll buy 3 if its good.

WarmSignal
06-28-2015, 12:08 AM
It blew me away when it first came out, and I did another run through maybe 5 or so year back and still thought it was great. Not sure how it still holds up, but I want to go back and play it again before III. It's an adventure game mostly, not an action game. It's supposed to be a realistic experience, not an over-the-top fantasy, and that's what I always liked about it.

Baloo
06-28-2015, 01:11 AM
It blew me away when it first came out, and I did another run through maybe 5 or so year back and still thought it was great. Not sure how it still holds up, but I want to go back and play it again before III. It's an adventure game mostly, not an action game. It's supposed to be a realistic experience, not an over-the-top fantasy, and that's what I always liked about it.

And that's not the knock against the game. Like I said, I didn't mind doing some of the more mundane stuff. I liked playing darts, or putting my money in the capsule toy machine, or riding the bus, or using the pay phone. They were all neat things. But there's no main gameplay. There aren't enough Quick-Time Events in the game. There aren't enough fights for the insane amount of moves. Nobody thought about putting in say, a boxing gym to play that stuff out in? Why not make it more like Pokemon and have Ryo enter a tournament? There is literally so much to this world that could have been thrown in for Ryo to do on side-missions that could have made it really fun to run around and do the random stuff while you advanced the plot. But they focused much too much on doing the random stuff, talking to people over and over again, that they forgot to focus the game on a core experience.

And all other things aside, the plot is severely lacking, and this is what I think hurts Shenmue the most. There are plenty of RPGs out there that have for the most part, fairly unimpressive gameplay. But Shenmue reminded me a lot of the way Panzer Dragoon Saga was set up as far as RPGs go. An immersive, explorative, otherworldly experience. But the plot points in Panzer Dragoon Saga were great. They made you want to keep playing, to want to know what happens next. And it's self-contained.

Here's the difference with Shenmue. The voice acting is comically bad and inexpressive, and the hero of the story is an 18-year old punk who watches his own father die in front of him, and the rest of the town acts oblivious. The characters don't move the plot along, or even really develop the main character, or any of the side characters. They try to do that with the cat side-mission but Nozomi is such a stunted and terrible character and Ryo so bland and inexpressive that it's not interesting. Nozomi could have disappeared for all I care during the game and I wouldn't have cared, because Ryo acts oblivious. We don't even know their connection. And they didn't even flesh out any of the other characters that really could have made a difference in Ryo's life. Yamagshi-San could have been a great character to help balance Ryo's life in the game. But they leave him to the wayside. Ine-San and Fuku-San are treated basically with contempt by Ryo. What the heck? The characters are written so poorly in the game that it's comical.

And I think a large part of the reason for that is that Shenmue was developed with too broad of a scale in mind, too long of a story. A game shouldn't be 15-hours long and be totally inconsequential to the story, and only there to learn how to play it. Shenmue plays like a tech demo. All of the plot points that happen in Shenmue literally could be completed in 15 minutes. We still don't know who Lan Di is, why he killed Ryo's father, who he's working for, what his agenda is, who wrote the letter. None of the major plot points are fleshed out at all. Instead we get Ryo chasing down plot points that don't exist, beating up totally inconsequential thugs in bars and at his job who have absolutely no information for him. What is the point?

Shenmue really had the fleshings out to be an excellent game, but boy they just dropped the ball on the bigger stuff and focused too much on the small-stuff and the big picture concepts of video games, and it became a tech demo for the Dreamcast. And now here we are in 2015, and the 3rd installation has to be crowd-funded to MAYBE finish the story of a game series that has already had two installations in it. That to me, makes very little sense. You have to do it in a self-containing way. I think about it in terms of Star Wars, a saga planned out from the beginning. But George Lucas wrote it in mind that if the first movie flopped, it still worked, the story still could continue. If Star Wars was only Episode IV, it still works, it's an entertaining movie even if a lot of things aren't answered. Even if they ended up making Empire and not been able to make Return of the Jedi it still works, even if we are left on a cliffhanger. But planning out a saga doesn't work at all if the first installation of a game has literally no plot development at all. The games should have been self-contained to at least some degree to keep an interest level.

Just my 2 cents. Sorry for the long wall of text, but I'm a bit burned up at how much time I put into Shenmue for nothing to happen at all.

j_factor
06-28-2015, 05:28 AM
But there's no main gameplay. There aren't enough Quick-Time Events in the game. There aren't enough fights for the insane amount of moves. Nobody thought about putting in say, a boxing gym to play that stuff out in?

Shenmue is a game that's primarily about talking to people, especially talking to the right person at the right time, along with some mild detective work. That's the main gameplay. The fighting scenes and QTEs are secondary. Shenmue takes cues from games like The Last Express, Conquests of the Longbow, Snatcher, Broken Sword, JB Harold Murder Club, The Colonel's Bequest, Policenauts, and Sega's own The Space Bar. It's more The Longest Journey than God of War.

EclecticGroove
06-28-2015, 11:51 AM
And that's not the knock against the game. Like I said, I didn't mind doing some of the more mundane stuff. I liked playing darts, or putting my money in the capsule toy machine, or riding the bus, or using the pay phone. They were all neat things. But there's no main gameplay. There aren't enough Quick-Time Events in the game. There aren't enough fights for the insane amount of moves. Nobody thought about putting in say, a boxing gym to play that stuff out in? Why not make it more like Pokemon and have Ryo enter a tournament? There is literally so much to this world that could have been thrown in for Ryo to do on side-missions that could have made it really fun to run around and do the random stuff while you advanced the plot. But they focused much too much on doing the random stuff, talking to people over and over again, that they forgot to focus the game on a core experience.

And all other things aside, the plot is severely lacking, and this is what I think hurts Shenmue the most. There are plenty of RPGs out there that have for the most part, fairly unimpressive gameplay. But Shenmue reminded me a lot of the way Panzer Dragoon Saga was set up as far as RPGs go. An immersive, explorative, otherworldly experience. But the plot points in Panzer Dragoon Saga were great. They made you want to keep playing, to want to know what happens next. And it's self-contained.

Here's the difference with Shenmue. The voice acting is comically bad and inexpressive, and the hero of the story is an 18-year old punk who watches his own father die in front of him, and the rest of the town acts oblivious. The characters don't move the plot along, or even really develop the main character, or any of the side characters. They try to do that with the cat side-mission but Nozomi is such a stunted and terrible character and Ryo so bland and inexpressive that it's not interesting. Nozomi could have disappeared for all I care during the game and I wouldn't have cared, because Ryo acts oblivious. We don't even know their connection. And they didn't even flesh out any of the other characters that really could have made a difference in Ryo's life. Yamagshi-San could have been a great character to help balance Ryo's life in the game. But they leave him to the wayside. Ine-San and Fuku-San are treated basically with contempt by Ryo. What the heck? The characters are written so poorly in the game that it's comical.

And I think a large part of the reason for that is that Shenmue was developed with too broad of a scale in mind, too long of a story. A game shouldn't be 15-hours long and be totally inconsequential to the story, and only there to learn how to play it. Shenmue plays like a tech demo. All of the plot points that happen in Shenmue literally could be completed in 15 minutes. We still don't know who Lan Di is, why he killed Ryo's father, who he's working for, what his agenda is, who wrote the letter. None of the major plot points are fleshed out at all. Instead we get Ryo chasing down plot points that don't exist, beating up totally inconsequential thugs in bars and at his job who have absolutely no information for him. What is the point?

Shenmue really had the fleshings out to be an excellent game, but boy they just dropped the ball on the bigger stuff and focused too much on the small-stuff and the big picture concepts of video games, and it became a tech demo for the Dreamcast. And now here we are in 2015, and the 3rd installation has to be crowd-funded to MAYBE finish the story of a game series that has already had two installations in it. That to me, makes very little sense. You have to do it in a self-containing way. I think about it in terms of Star Wars, a saga planned out from the beginning. But George Lucas wrote it in mind that if the first movie flopped, it still worked, the story still could continue. If Star Wars was only Episode IV, it still works, it's an entertaining movie even if a lot of things aren't answered. Even if they ended up making Empire and not been able to make Return of the Jedi it still works, even if we are left on a cliffhanger. But planning out a saga doesn't work at all if the first installation of a game has literally no plot development at all. The games should have been self-contained to at least some degree to keep an interest level.

Just my 2 cents. Sorry for the long wall of text, but I'm a bit burned up at how much time I put into Shenmue for nothing to happen at all.


I have to agree with most of that. But you do have to remember that when it was first released we were promised a grand epic scale story spread out over a bunch of games. When the first one came out, the Dreamcast was still alive and kicking, and the second game was already set to be released a bit later.

You had the passport thing up and running for the game at the time as well.
Shenmue part 1 was very much a prologue. In the initial concept of the game, which in hindsight was absolutely flawed, it was the first small step for Ryo into a bigger world where he grows up and learns more about himself as well as what happened with his dad.

The second game resolves several of the issues you had with the game. There's people to spar with and more relevant plot details are uncovered. It's still slow, and the voice acting still sucks. But it's where the story in the game really does begin to move.

I can only hope the third game does much better. I imagine something like one of the Yakuza games re-tooled to fit the story. It's a modern open world sandbox game that has a decent fighting mechanic built in. Just get decent, and fitting, voice actors and a good chunk of the work is already done.

That'd be especially important if they wanted to re-do part 1+2 as well.

Dirt Ball Gamer
06-28-2015, 02:51 PM
I own 1 & 2 on DC but I'm embarrassed to admit I haven't beat either one. I played them both quite a bit bitd and enjoyed them but never finished. I'm gonna take another run at them and try to take em out this time. I'm ADD as heck in games and i think i was more interested in all the coin machines and mini games and that slowed me down enough that I eventually moved onto a different game. I'm more disciplined now so I should be able to take em out.

fahlim003
06-29-2015, 12:09 AM
Please don't spoil the game for me by the way.

Too late. I already told you it was boring. You lose, Baroo.

Baloo
06-29-2015, 12:25 AM
Too late. I already told you it was boring. You lose, Baroo.

I should have taken your advice! Hahaha.

Chakan
06-29-2015, 12:36 AM
The second game truly pays off for the investment. If you didn't enjoy the first and are nearly done with it, I suppose it's just probably not something you're going to like.

À chacun son goût At least you can say you tried.

RPGbandit
06-29-2015, 11:06 AM
the first one was an absolute awesome game first time you play it. the second one was an absolute epic for the Dreamcast. the Xbox version in my opinion is trash they change the soundtrack and took garbage.

if you get to the second one which you're going to definitely want to have on hand after you beat the first, I had to wait until the overseas release for the part 2 Shenmue bought it from small hip smart store the day it came out for 40 bucks

OverDrone
06-29-2015, 01:32 PM
Count me as one of the guys that doesn't think it stands as a classic game.

Sure, I got it on release BITD, and at first I was as blown away as everyone else probably was. But my interest waned part way through - mostly due to all the Capcom arcade ports that flooded the system at the time, but also because I think in the end it genuinely wasn't that compelling as a game. My then girlfriend liked it though.

So naturally I don't get the OTT reactions seen when the news about Shenmue III came to light. That sort of reaction is reserved for when 2D SOR4 is announced.