Does the lack of Shenmue 4 change your opinion of Shenmue 3?

Suzuki had all of Niaowu to build her/Li Feng up and the name Niao Sun is never even mentioned. So no, adding another location does not fix that. And, again, we got Niaowu exactly as it was meant to be, unless you mean to suggest that there was even more content that was cut, but again: how? When is Baisha supposed to swoop in and save the day? And why wasn't Niaowu cut instead, if it was such a waste of time?

You meet Lishao Tao and get directed to Yuanda Zhu; it would have been slightly more eventful than S1 where you meet Master Chen and get directed to Lishao Tao and exponentially more eventful than S3 where, apart from Niao Sun getting the Phoenix Mirror (for which we are given zero context), nothing of consequence happens and precious little new information is gleaned.

The four wude represent the underlying philosophy behind Ryo's martial arts training and are key to understanding both how the series presents morality (which, in a story about revenge, is kind of important) and how much Ryo needs to learn. Your other two examples are literally just trivia and have nothing to tether them to the story.

The Chawan signs were a cool bit of world building to demonstrate how martial artists hide/communicate in plain sight and further illustrated how dangerous the world Ryo is entering is, where the wrong placement of a teacup could get you killed. Zhang also points you to the conflict between Ren and Dou Niu, again expanding the cast and making the world feel bigger. The only issue I have with this scene is that Zhang doesn't know where Yuanda Zhu is in this scene, but then knows where he is when we meet him again in Kowloon. But that's a very minor nitpick.

Ya Shenmue 3 doesn't get points for that.

The Wulinshu is where Ryo discovers the Chawan sign and is, again, say it with me: an example of world building. It's bigging up Yuanda Zhu as highly knowledgeable of martial arts history, it shows a huge cast of potential characters, and their masters of different styles. This is how Shenmue 1 and 2 depict martial arts and training, as relationships between memorable characters; something that S3 abandons in favor of minigames.

There is nothing in those kind of cutscenes that would incur costs that weren't already included in the game. What they needed was writing.

Then he should have changed the scope/design, shouldn't he? Hellblade and Sifu had similar budgets.

Suzuki, as the director, surely knew this. And yet look what ended up in Shenmue 3. The biggest/only real QTE sequence in the game is a chase around Niaowu featuring nobodies.

S2 has 2 money gates, which are a fraction of what is costs in S3 and after the second money gate, buying into the fights in Kowloon, Ryo has made 6x the amount you had to earn and then gets to keep it. Which has mysteriously disappeared in S3. They're also the second worst part of the game and I have no idea why Suzuki chose to make that the focus of the long awaited sequel.

*EDIT* And for the zillionth time, Ryo gets his bag stolen and is in a foreign land. His lack of money is part of the story in S2!

It wasn't. Like at all.

If you actually think that, and aren't just being cheeky with your "criticisms" of Shenmue 2, then I have to ask why you even like the series? It's on the strength of that game (and the original) that the series was revived. It's because of S3's failure that it needs to be revived again and may stay that way, which kind of circles back to the point of this thread...
Dude I could ask why you like Shenmue.

You have pissed on S1 and S3 and that’s 66.6% of Shenmue right there. Maybe you only like S2 (which is admittedly the best one) but S1 and S3 are no slouch either.

Shenmue 3 should have had 50% more locations AND 100% more cutscenes. It’s not just Baisha that would have “saved the day” but also having the cutscenes.

But I’ll go as far as to say that even if Niaowu was left as-is, there is no reason why Baisha couldn’t have been extremely cutscene heavy to flesh out the story and characters.

Niaowu could have been where the main story takes a back seat and the focus is more on the “open world” while Baisha could have been a strap yourself in roller coaster ride of non stop action and story.

Plenty of stuff happens in S3…. you SAVE Bailu village from the thugs! You learn way more about Zhao Sunming than you ever leaned in 2. You even learn about Ryos mother. And Niaowu? Niaowu is being terrorized by the Red Snakes and you defeat them… the castle burns down and you fight Lan Di!

It’s not the story content it’s just the execution that is superior in S2.

Why was seeing Lan Di and NOT fighting him better in S2 rather than actually fighting him in 3? Because of the quality and quantity of the cutscenes of 2 that YS couldn’t afford for S3.

Also Ryo getting his money stolen at the beginning of S2 was such a cop out. Just an excuse to engage with the world and earn money. Why would Ryo get money from Ine San and Fuku San at the end of S1 only to lose it all right away at the beginning of S2 before you can realistically use it?
 
I also have to point out the mixed messages from people who claim to like S3 and defend how boring it is, but then salivate at action packed, story driven stuff like this.
I can't see why liking one mood excludes liking the other. Can't you like both RE1 and RE4? Alien and Aliens? FFVII Shinra HQ and Cosmo Canyon,Wutai,Nibelheim?
In my opinion, in Shenmue 2 the same person that finds the Yellow Heads Bld. assault enjoyable can also feel the same with the segment strolling along Shenhua.
I don't think its accurate saying that we defend how boring is S3, many of us don't find it boring at all or maybe not overall.
It's one thing to leave loose ends when a story is complete, it's quite another to have the story set up in a way where you're legitimately questioning if the designer is following the plot. I'm sympathetic to Suzuki because Shenmue has the potential to be an awesome story, but he's talking about 4 leaders of the CYM plus 2 more bosses like he didn't get the chance to make Shenmue 3. I mean, no one expected it to end the series but, like, maybe put some of the awesome sounding stuff in that game? Instead we get claims of enough content for 7 games but he'll settle for 5.
Yes its a different thing, I agree. But because the story isn't finished yet, its really no use to argue if its bad or good until everything its concluded and we can see whats included/left out and why. Very much like a season from a TV series, until its final episode one can't really say the season was good or bad.

I said it before, Im not trying to convince you over enjoying even liking S3. That's on your end and what connections are triggered by the gameplay. I say that it makes no sense the other way around, trying to say those who enjoy it "hey can't you see is bad?".

Shenmue is a walking simulator.

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@iknifaugood

If you do not mind me asking, seeing as how Shenmue III is a AA game, how would you have made Shenmue III if you were Suzuki with twenty million? Would you have made the game similar to Hellblade?
 
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Dude I could ask why you like Shenmue.
Because Shenmue 2 and parts of Shenmue 1 are great. They are as important to the development of gaming as a medium during the sixth generation as almost any other game and a direct precursor to the narrative driven, AAA spectacles that we enjoy today. And the story is very intriguing and full of potential.
Shenmue 3 should have had 50% more locations AND 100% more cutscenes. It’s not just Baisha that would have “saved the day” but also having the cutscenes.
Shenmue 3 has 4 hours of cutscenes. And while that's certainly less than S2's 6.5 hours, it's not that much less considering there are fewer action sequences and fewer locations. The biggest problem is what those cutscenes choose to focus on.
Niaowu could have been where the main story takes a back seat and the focus is more on the “open world”
This alone is misguided. Doubly so when you consider the 18 year wait. That's not the time to make the story take a back seat, that's when you go all in. Mom's spaghetti and all that.
you SAVE Bailu village from the thugs!
But how is that framed? Those thugs are like Saturday morning cartoon villains who stay in the same place for weeks, posing no threat and just kind of waiting for Ryo to get strong enough to beat them...
You learn way more about Zhao Sunming than you ever leaned in 2.
We learn that he wanted to retrieve the mirrors from the Cliff Temple before they fell into the wrong hands and the mirrors were eventually entrusted to him before he died several years later. That's almost verbatim all the new information about Sunming that we learn in S3 and it happens in the last 5 minutes of the game.
And Niaowu? Niaowu is being terrorized by the Red Snakes and you defeat them…
Yes, surely the epic story we were all waiting 18 years for!
the castle burns down and you fight Lan Di!
By far the best part of the game, apart from the BS QTEs that precede it.
It’s not the story content it’s just the execution that is superior in S2.
I actually mostly agree with this. That's why I bring up the 4 wude and the Wulinshu etc. because that's Shenmue's breadcrumb trail; that's how it tells its story. IMO Shenmue is at its best when you and Ryo are on the same page and you're following a trail that makes sense and meeting interesting new characters. I'm hard on S1 because it's glaringly obvious when its spinning its wheels (asking about a black car, waiting for Charlie etc.) because when it's firing on all cylinders (exploring the Hazuki basement, taking on the Mad Angels with Guizhang) it's so much better. S3 is almost all wheel spinning and to hear Suzuki claim he has enough content for 7 games, it really makes me wonder... 7 games of what?
Why was seeing Lan Di and NOT fighting him better in S2 rather than actually fighting him in 3?
I wouldn't say that. Fighting him in S3 is cool, it just shouldn't have been the ending. S3 also has some really well done cutscenes, especially the action sequences, which should be the most difficult.
Also Ryo getting his money stolen at the beginning of S2 was such a cop out. Just an excuse to engage with the world and earn money. Why would Ryo get money from Ine San and Fuku San at the end of S1 only to lose it all right away at the beginning of S2 before you can realistically use it?
It works as both. But at least it is an excuse, which is more than I can say for S3. Also it's the kind of trick that only works once and the series was originally meant to have saves that continue between games, so I don't understand the focus on earning money. Would you like more money gating in Shenmue 4?
 
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I can't see why liking one mood excludes liking the other. Can't you like both RE1 and RE4? Alien and Aliens? FFVII Shinra HQ and Cosmo Canyon,Wutai,Nibelheim?
In my opinion, in Shenmue 2 the same person that finds the Yellow Heads Bld. assault enjoyable can also feel the same with the segment strolling along Shenhua.
I don't think its accurate saying that we defend how boring is S3, many of us don't find it boring at all or maybe not overall.
True, good point. But Shenmue should not be one without the other IMO. And I find the "boring" parts of S3 to be worse than the "boring" parts of S2 because of the lack of characters.
If you do not mind me asking, seeing as how Shenmue III is a AA game, how would you have made Shenmue III if you were Suzuki? Would you have made the game similar to Hellblade?
No, but I think the priorities of S3 are almost all totally wrong. I wrote a thread about how I would "fix" the story to S3 but in terms of scope I would have made it either 2D with anime style cutscenes or much less detailed 3D with only detailed characters in the cutscenes/QTEs. No VO except for cutscenes (think Persona or Yakuza, where there is little/no facial animation for conversations during gameplay). Focus on story, breadcrumb trail, characters, combat, learning moves etc. first and create the world based on that scope, rather than trying to have a big map with nothing to do except minigames. It's hard to really describe it without writing a full GDD and entering pure fanfic territory (because I have no idea where the story is going), but suffice to say I would have made it smaller graphically and in terms of detail but bigger in terms of story, characters, and key "moments". Put it this way: if he has enough content for 7 games and wants 4 leaders plus 2 more, S3 should have introduced us to the four leaders and taken us to game 5 with enough left for one more.
 
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To answer the question at hand - the lack of 4 doesn't change how I view Shenmue 3. A game with flaws but one that captured the Shenmue spirit but one that over stretched what they had. Solid 7/10 game and I maintain to get the game on the scope we did with the budget they had, keep in mind 25% of the Kickstarter was lost to fees and rewards stuff was a miracle. It needed more time and fleshing out.

If you go back to the initial kickstarter and look at the scope of what he was looking to do - it was massive. I guess the issue they had over time was that they needed to scale back and may have done in some aspects but given the Kickstarter promises etc they felt they couldn't?

With hindsight you can see the scope was over-ambitious - perhaps like Suzuki's wish for 2 more games. But time will tell on that.
 
Because Shenmue 2 and parts of Shenmue 1 are great. They are as important to the development of gaming as a medium during the sixth generation as almost any other game and a direct precursor to the narrative driven, AAA spectacles that we enjoy today. And the story is very intriguing and full of potential.

Shenmue 3 has 4 hours of cutscenes. And while that's certainly less than S2's 6.5 hours, it's not that much less considering there are fewer action sequences and fewer locations. The biggest problem is what those cutscenes choose to focus on.

This alone is misguided. Doubly so when you consider the 18 year wait. That's not the time to make the story take a back seat, that's when you go all in. Mom's spaghetti and all that.

But how is that framed? Those thugs are like Saturday morning cartoon villains who stay in the same place for weeks, posing no threat and just kind of waiting for Ryo to get strong enough to beat them...

We learn that he wanted to retrieve the mirrors from the Cliff Temple before they fell into the wrong hands and the mirrors were eventually entrusted to him before he died several years later. That's almost verbatim all the new information about Sunming that we learn in S3 and it happens in the last 5 minutes of the game.

Yes, surely the epic story we were all waiting 18 years for!

By far the best part of the game, apart from the BS QTEs that precede it.

I actually mostly agree with this. That's why I bring up the 4 wude and the Wulinshu etc. because that's Shenmue's breadcrumb trail; that's how it tells its story. IMO Shenmue is at its best when you and Ryo are on the same page and you're following a trail that makes sense and meeting interesting new characters. I'm hard on S1 because it's glaringly obvious when its spinning its wheels (asking about a black car, waiting for Charlie etc.) because when it's firing on all cylinders (exploring the Hazuki basement, taking on the Mad Angels with Guizhang) it's so much better. S3 is almost all wheel spinning and to hear Suzuki claim he has enough content for 7 games, it really makes me wonder... 7 games of what?

I wouldn't say that. Fighting him in S3 is cool, it just shouldn't have been the ending. S3 also has some really well done cutscenes, especially the action sequences, which should be the most difficult.

It works as both. But at least it is an excuse, which is more than I can say for S3. Also it's the kind of trick that only works once and the series was originally meant to have saves that continue between games, so I don't understand the focus on earning money. Would you like more money gating in Shenmue 4?
Parts of Shenmue 1 are great but then you also believe that parts of Shenmue 3 are great as well. You’re basically saying that (taking each game as a whole) you don’t like the Shenmue series only Shenmue 2 in particular.

Shenmue 3 was made on a pitifully small budget of $20M… to put that in perspective Spider-Man 2 had a $380M budget. If YS had been afforded a $380M budget Shenmue 3 would have been just as good (if not better) than S2.

4 hours of cutscenes in S3 vs 6 hours in S2?

Dude, you’re admitting that S3 has over 41% FEWER cutscenes than S2!

What kind of grand sequel can live up to the story of its predecessor having over 40% less cutscene content??

We could have just had mainline story content in a barren world devoid of anything and we would have been just carting Ryos stiff as a 2x4 plank up his ass from one cutscene the next. At that point the “game” should have been just a cutscene movie menu. Hey at least we would have gotten the story right?

As for the lesser villains/thugs being a bit cartoony, that has always been Shenmue. “Nice Taxi ya got here!” “Milks perfect for a school boy!” “You his girlfriend?!” “Shut up he kicked your butt too… that schoolboy!” “Hey you I said hand over all you’re money! Don’t mess with me!”

Fact is we learn more about Zhao in S3 more than in S2. It would have been nice if we learned more but we learned enough to piece together that he likely wasn’t killed by Iwao and his son was abducted/brainwashed by the CYM.

Regarding money, Shenmue has always had money gates, yes they were a bit too high in S3 but Ryo worrying about money has always been a staple of the series… he’ll half of Shenmue 1 is just raising the funds to get to Hong Kong. And losing your money in S2 was totally contrived and annoying. You can’t justify an arbitrary money issue in S2 and then condemn Shenmue 3 for it.

Shenmue 2 was a Olympian and Shenmue 3 was a man without arms or legs and your complaining that he’s not as fast.
 
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To answer the question at hand - the lack of 4 doesn't change how I view Shenmue 3. A game with flaws but one that captured the Shenmue spirit but one that over stretched what they had. Solid 7/10 game and I maintain to get the game on the scope we did with the budget they had, keep in mind 25% of the Kickstarter was lost to fees and rewards stuff was a miracle. It needed more time and fleshing out.

If you go back to the initial kickstarter and look at the scope of what he was looking to do - it was massive. I guess the issue they had over time was that they needed to scale back and may have done in some aspects but given the Kickstarter promises etc they felt they couldn't?

With hindsight you can see the scope was over-ambitious - perhaps like Suzuki's wish for 2 more games. But time will tell on that.
Only problem I have with Shenmue 3 dev is that the stretch goals were completely fictitious nonsense. Should have called them a wishlist.
 
you also believe that parts of Shenmue 3 are great as well
I wouldn't say that anything in S3 rises to the level of greatness.
Shenmue 3 was made on a pitifully small budget of $20M… to put that in perspective Spider-Man 2 had a $380M budget.
To better put that in perspective, the first 3 Uncharted games had a budget of $20M each. It is not a "pitifully small budget" compared to 90% of games that release.
4 hours of cutscenes in S3 vs 6 hours in S2?

Dude, you’re admitting that S3 has over 41% FEWER cutscenes than S2!
And in S2's first 4 hours of cutscenes we make it all the way to the Yellowhead scout. There is far more action, variety, characters, and story in those 4 hours than the entirety of Shenmue 3. And bear in mind that's including all of S2's action sequences, so it's not just story.
What kind of grand sequel can live up to the story of its predecessor having over 40% less cutscene content??
Then he should have made it smaller in scope or just plain shorter and gotten to the point faster.
We could have just had mainline story content in a barren world devoid of anything and we would have been just carting Ryos stiff as a 2x4 plank up his ass from one cutscene the next. At that point the “game” should have been just a cutscene movie menu. Hey at least we would have gotten the story right?
You're acting like games haven't figured this out. Plenty of games with small budgets tell big stories and/or have great action. Shenmue has what it takes to have mass appeal if only it didn't insist on being the most banal version of itself.
As for the lesser villains/thugs being a bit cartoony, that has always been Shenmue. “Nice Taxi ya got here!” “Milks perfect for a school boy!” “You his girlfriend?!” “Shut up he kicked your butt too… that schoolboy!” “Hey you I said hand over all you’re money! Don’t mess with me!”
A bit cartoony, sure, but failure in S2 results in death (or Xiuying bailing your ass out). Yuan chases Ryo with a damn chainsaw. The thugs in S3 beat Ryo and just let him try again as part of the story.
we learned enough to piece together that he likely wasn’t killed by Iwao and his son was abducted/brainwashed by the CYM.
Not necessarily. IMO Iwao not murdering Zhao and Lan Di just being brainwashed is one of the worst ways that backstory can play out. I'm hopeful that Iwao did it but was justified in doing so, so that there's more to be revealed.
Regarding money, Shenmue has always had money gates, yes they were a bit too high in S3 but Ryo worrying about money has always been a staple of the series… he’ll half of Shenmue 1 is just raising the funds to get to Hong Kong.
I don't really want to go back and forth about money in Shenmue (though money in S1 is earned entirely passively, you can't "save" for the ticket). For me the series is a martial arts epic along the lines of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; not Truck Simulator. If you play the games to grind for money, your wish was granted and it didn't work out. Hopefully Suzuki gets the chance to try focusing on the series' actual strengths moving forward.
 
With hindsight you can see the scope was over-ambitious - perhaps like Suzuki's wish for 2 more games. But time will tell on that.
I just can't square hearing Suzuki say he has content for 7 games and 6 CYM leaders--so much story that he wants to potentially cut Ziming to get it done in 5 games, with what we got in S3. If there's that much story to get through then, seriously, what were we doing faffing about in Niaowu? That kind of talk doesn't necessarily alter my perception of S3, but it just leaves me utterly baffled more than anything.
 
True, good point. But Shenmue should not be one without the other IMO.
I agree. They're not autoconclusive chapters. Maybe S3 with the recap option but when getting into the actual game, the recap doesn't pay for all the struggling to get there.
And I find the "boring" parts of S3 to be worse than the "boring" parts of S2 because of the lack of characters.
Ha, curiously enough. I find the "boring" parts of S1 (after many playthroughs, now than Im aware of all the in and outs! Because the first and second playthrough was like any new scene could be triggered during those dead game hours) worse than those in S3 because Im very fond of training, picking herbs, and so on... Shenmue 2 its all round, there's no place for boring imo.
Personally never had a problem with a lack of characters.

I share your views about Shenmue series ongoing with 3D anime style and less detailed scenarios. Even just one or two small but deep areas ala Yokosuka would suffice for S4 to me.
But definetly not signing for 2D and or silent characters!
 
I wouldn't say that anything in S3 rises to the level of greatness.

To better put that in perspective, the first 3 Uncharted games had a budget of $20M each. It is not a "pitifully small budget" compared to 90% of games that release.

And in S2's first 4 hours of cutscenes we make it all the way to the Yellowhead scout. There is far more action, variety, characters, and story in those 4 hours than the entirety of Shenmue 3. And bear in mind that's including all of S2's action sequences, so it's not just story.

Then he should have made it smaller in scope or just plain shorter and gotten to the point faster.

You're acting like games haven't figured this out. Plenty of games with small budgets tell big stories and/or have great action. Shenmue has what it takes to have mass appeal if only it didn't insist on being the most banal version of itself.

A bit cartoony, sure, but failure in S2 results in death (or Xiuying bailing your ass out). Yuan chases Ryo with a damn chainsaw. The thugs in S3 beat Ryo and just let him try again as part of the story.

Not necessarily. IMO Iwao not murdering Zhao and Lan Di just being brainwashed is one of the worst ways that backstory can play out. I'm hopeful that Iwao did it but was justified in doing so, so that there's more to be revealed.

I don't really want to go back and forth about money in Shenmue (though money in S1 is earned entirely passively, you can't "save" for the ticket). For me the series is a martial arts epic along the lines of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; not Truck Simulator. If you play the games to grind for money, your wish was granted and it didn't work out. Hopefully Suzuki gets the chance to try focusing on the series' actual strengths moving forward.
Nothing in S3 was great? The night time chats with Shenhua? The flashback of Iwao at the Shenmue tree at Tenary Spring? The flashbacks of the imperial envoy visit to Bailu? Climbing up the bell tower? The Kung Fu with Bei on the boat? The Niao Sun reveal? The fight with Lan Di as the castle burns?

None of that was great?

After 4 hours of cutscenes in S2 you only make it to the fake blind man. Thats before anything of importance happens in Kowloon.

Dude, a black suit holds a knife to Shenhuas throat in S3. That’s darker than anything we’ve seen in the entire series. Getting chased with a chainsaw is a bit over the top and cartoony as well.

I agree that The CYM killing Zhao and brainwashing his son by framing Iwao for the murder is less interesting than Iwao actually killing Zhao but the story heavily hints toward the former.

Iwao and Zhao are BFFs. CYM are bad, CYM wants the mirrors, Zhao takes the mirrors from Cliff Temple to keep them safe. CYM kill Zhao to get the mirrors but Iwao escapes with the mirrors to Japan and hides them. CYM abduct Zhaos son (their MO) and feed him the lie that Iwao killed his father and task him with getting the mirrors back. It’s that simple.

Yeah the bad guys don’t kill you in S3 and just tell you to work on your Kung Fu but it fits the universe. Otherwise why doesn’t Ryo just get a gun and shoot Lan Di?

And yeah games were a lot cheaper to make back in the PS3 days. Games like uncharted and Arkham could be completed in just 24 months not half a decade like today’s games. The fact that development on Shenmue 4 has yet to be started means that (by definition) it has already missed the PS5 generation and would need to target PS6.
 
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S1 and 2 are super productions and S3 is a indie game done with a KS and with a very small budget and resources.
All are awesome games in their own category, as simply as that.
 
S1 and 2 are super productions and S3 is a indie game done with a KS and with a very small budget and resources.
All are awesome games in their own category, as simply as that.
To use a food metaphor S1 and 2 are a filet mignon and lobster dinner.

S3 is sock soup that Charlie Bucket had to eat with his grandparents.

But I’m not gonna complain about sock soup if that’s literally the best meal that can be provided… better than starving.
 
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I was happy they released Shenmue 3, a HD collection and an anime. I don't think there will ever be 5 games released like Suzuki wants to finish the series, but I got more than I ever expected from a franchise that was meant to have died in 2001.
 
The night time chats with Shenhua?
They were fine but mostly a retread of the conversations in S2. I don't think I learned anything new about Shenhua that I didn't already know going in, but in fairness to S3, this was a bit of an impossible conundrum as the ending to S2 and beginning of S3 split the chapter.
The flashback of Iwao at the Shenmue tree at Tenary Spring?
I can't say I was moved by the slideshow, no. Though it was nice to hear the wonderful OG music again.
The flashbacks of the imperial envoy visit to Bailu?
At this section of the game I remember being excited to learn more about the mirrors, but then they just say that they were made in 1910 and don't really give any more information and that contradicts what Shenhua said in S2 (and she never questions it) as well as what Master Chen says. And the emperor was 4 years old at the time. So this ultimately ended up being one of the most disappointing sections of the game for me.
Climbing up the bell tower?
Basically the same vibe as above, especially with the lack of any mystical elements. Elder Yeh reading the map is pure cringe.
The Kung Fu with Bei on the boat?
This was pretty cool and was one of the earliest scenes they showed off in the trailers. (drunken master Sun had potential but was horribly executed)
The Niao Sun reveal?
She's never even named and the reveal has zero set up or context. It was so weirdly executed.
The fight with Lan Di as the castle burns?
This was cool but it just doesn't work as the ending to the game. I was thoroughly disappointed that this was spoiled in the trailers considering it's the ending (I thought for sure there was more after this).
After 4 hours of cutscenes in S2 you only make it to the fake blind man. Thats before anything of importance happens in Kowloon.
You should play S2 again. This is when you're given the picture of the scout. By this point in Kowloon you've been handcuffed to Ren, interrogated Yang, listened to the cassette tapes, tailed Yuan, rescued Zhang, crossed the planks in the Ghost Hall Bldg, explored 5 star and encountered Yuanda Zhu, fought Dou Niu and been rescued by Xiuying (and learn about Ziming), and you're beginning your journey to the Yellowhead building. What I just described is probably more meaningful content than what's on offer in all of S3.
Dude, a black suit holds a knife to Shenhuas throat in S3. That’s darker than anything we’ve seen in the entire series.
Dou Niu literally holds Wong, a child, over the side of a building, threatening to throw him off.
Getting chased with a chainsaw is a bit over the top and cartoony as well.
It's threatening and high stakes. The sequel is somehow lower stakes. That's the difference. It's cartoonish in its consequences.
I agree that The CYM killing Zhao and brainwashing his son by framing Iwao for the murder is less interesting than Iwao actually killing Zhao but the story heavily hints toward the former.

Iwao and Zhao are BFFs. CYM are bad, CYM wants the mirrors, Zhao takes the mirrors from Cliff Temple to keep them safe. CYM kill Zhao to get the mirrors but Iwao escapes with the mirrors to Japan and hides them. CYM abduct Zhaos son (their MO) and feed him the lie that Iwao killed his father and task him with getting the mirrors back. It’s that simple.
Then why does it need to be 7 games long??!! We've had all the information to piece this together since the opening cutscene of the first game!
Yeah the bad guys don’t kill you in S3 and just tell you to work on your Kung Fu but it fits the universe. Otherwise why doesn’t Ryo just get a gun and shoot Lan Di?
Because they kill you in S2 and you're now in CYM territory. How can the stakes possibly be lower when you're spitting distance from Lan Di and Niao Sun? As for Ryo getting a gun, this may sound like a cop out (and maybe it is) but that's just part of the suspension of disbelief given this genre. Characters in martial arts stories use martial arts, that's just the way it is.
And yeah games were a lot cheaper to make back in the PS3 days. Games like uncharted and Arkham could be completed in just 24 months not half a decade like today’s games.
AAA games are expensive and take a long time to make, which Shenmue is not, which is why it should strive to be more cost effective to produce. But first Suzuki should focus on what he actually wants Shenmue to be.
 
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Came on, play along. Say S3 is great. Just once... A little bit! 🥹 Pl-ease?
Shenmue 3 is great...............................................................................................................................................ly disappointing.
S3 is a indie game done with a KS and with a very small budget and resources.
As an actual game developer, I cannot stress enough how $20M is not a very small budget. Shenmue 3 is firmly a AA game, in line with games like Hellblade, Sifu, Greedfall, Pillars of Eternity etc. Many AA games have budgets in the $5-10M range, so S3 is actually near the high end of that space. S3 also looks great and is very polished (certainly much better than I was expecting), so it's not like Suzuki was working with a team of amateurs.
To use a food metaphor S1 and 2 are a filet mignon and lobster dinner.

S3 is sock soup that Charlie Bucket had to eat with his grandparents.
I agree with that comparison.
 
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Shenmue 3 is great...............................................................................................................................................ly disappointing.

As an actual game developer, I cannot stress enough how $20M is not a very small budget. Shenmue 3 is firmly a AA game, in line with games like Hellblade, Sifu, Greedfall, Pillars of Eternity etc. Many AA games have budgets in the $5-10M range, so S3 is actually near the high end of that space. S3 also looks great and is very polished (certainly much better than I was expecting), so it's not like Suzuki was working with a team of amateurs.

I agree with that comparison.
Hey! Sock soup S3 is all we have what you saying!?!!?

I’m tempted to give you $20M right now just to see how great a Shenmue 4 you could make.

“Oh boy… I’ll make a real banquet with this!” you’d say clutching your $20M

In your S4 you’d start in Suzhou and take 5 steps and a cutscene would play, then another 5 steps and another cutscene would play and so on. 5000 steps and 1000 cutscenes later the credits would roll on your “great narrative epic” and we’d be complaining how your S4 is just a walking sim with zero gameplay. $20M spent on cutscenes with nothing leftover fo make an actual game as the backbone.

Then your S4 would win tons of awards you’d sell your studio for $1 billion and retire on a tropical island laughing that you sold us cupcakes with all frosting and no cake.

As long as YS is making this series and forced to make an actual game with his embarrassing pittance of $20M you’ll eat sock soup and like it!
 
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