Shenmue 3 - More Than a Nostalgia Game (Topic)

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Shenmue 3 - More Than a Nostalgia Game


Once upon a time, Shenmue was the most expensive game of its time. So expensive that when it fell short of sales expectations, the Dreamcast died. We saw the sequel on the Xbox, but even then it became clear that the series had died, leaving an unfinished story.

For this reason, the existence of the third game, which will be released this year, is a miracle. After 20 years of hard work and fanatical patience, Ryo Hazuki's story continues. Series father Yu Suzuki is again at the helm of the project, and the story will begin exactly where it ended in the second part. Following the trail of his father's killer, Ryo finds himself in a Chinese village.

The game has raised $ 7 million on Kickstarter, showing hungry fans want to see the end of this story. One of the authors of PC Gamer is talking about what Shenmue 3 will be like. We've translated the main thing for you.


Shenmue 3 begins in Bailu Village, which is in stark contrast to the streets of Japanese suburbs in the first game and Hong Kong in the second. The village is located deep in the fog-shrouded mountains of Guilin, China, in a region that Yu Suzuki himself visited during his research on the project. According to the classics, developers strive to create detailed worlds and this can be seen in the third part. Further we will find ourselves in more urbanized locations, but most of the plot will take place in Bailu.

As in the first game, all characters will have their own daily routine, routine, home and personality. It was a pretty good decision that made Yokusuki look harmonious compared to the indifferent bustle of Hong Kong, which was supposed to create a more immersive environment. Through these characters you will learn everything about the culture and history of this place. However, unlike playing on the Dreamcast, not all of them will happily share information.


So, Ryo is trying to find out something from the locals about Lan Di, but no one even speaks to him. This is a prime example of the Affinity system, which requires you to get to know people and build a good reputation with them before you can learn anything. And since Shenmue is a detective-centric game, it should contribute to a deeper immersion. It also makes sense from a historical point of view, because the inhabitants of an isolated village would hardly trust a stranger.


Ryo accompanies Shenhua, who appeared in his visions in the first two games. She and Ryo are united by some kind of mystical spiritual connection, which they plan to reveal much deeper in the third part. She will be useful in conversations, in her company the villagers are more willing to contact you.

Fight Club

In addition to detective work, Ryo will often fight. In the first game, the battles were based on the Virtual Fighter series from the same Yu Suzuki. Shenmue III has the same chunky arcade animation, but with smoother transitions between movements. The battles are also backed up by the RPG pumping system. Ryo can take part in several mini-games that increase his basic skills: attack power and endurance. By pumping them, you will soon unlock the third characteristic of kung fu, which will give access to more complex and advanced fighting techniques.

Training is based on your reaction and agility. So, in the Horse Stance mini-game, Ryo stands in the most uncomfortable position, and in order to hold it, you must quickly and rhythmically press certain buttons. If you don't have time - failure, if you have time - a new skill.


You can practice striking on dummies, or, if you want more difficulty, on humans. The local dojo has a lot of opponents to spar on. You can also visit the Rosary, a local fighting club located in a beautiful and decorated temple. You will have to pay for a battle with an experienced opponent, but if you win, you will not only be able to improve your fighting skills, but also earn extra money by winning your opponent's money. This is an optional activity, but definitely worth giving it a try.

There are also other simple RPG elements here. For example, Ryo's running directly depends on his stamina, which you can pump. You can restore it with food. By the way, cooking will become a mandatory tradition before an important battle.

In past games, you could train and develop skills, but they did not have the clear feedback that is here. Here, Rio's growth follows a clear progression, which makes pumping more interesting.


Rio himself is serious, forgetful and prone to asking bizarre questions. It was important for Suzuki to preserve this aspect of his personality, as the fans love the hero for that. At the same time, we are promised his growth as a character. In the first two games, he was driven by futile attempts at revenge. People around him all the time try to convey to him that revenge does not make any sense, but he brushes off any arguments. Hopefully, in the third part, at least something will reach him.

Also, fans will be pleased to know that Corey Marshall, the voice of Rio's English voice acting, will return to his role again, as will the composer of the entire series Masahiro Yoshimoto, and designer Kenji Miyawaki. Suzuki also hired the architect Manabu Takimoto to recreate all the buildings in the game as detailed as possible, as in the first two parts of the series.


One thing is clear - a lot of love is put into Shenmue 3, and it warms the soul that the original creators, who were responsible for all the best in the first two games, were involved in this. And so they come back to finish what they started.

It is also tempting that the game is not going to follow the trend of a huge open world and will feel like the original first part. The camera controls have been tweaked but are generally the same as in the 1999 game. You can still switch to the first person camera and interact with boxes or other items in order to find secrets. And of course, the arcade elements, QTE and a bunch of side activities are back.


New Earth

This material will evoke a warm feeling among fans of the series, however I believe that this game is more than nostalgia. Deeper combat, RPG elements and the Affinity system are examples of Suzuki's advancement, and I'm sure there are still new systems waiting to be discovered. It has been confirmed that Ryo will still be able to get a job and make money, but developer Ys Net has kept the details of this aspect of the game under wraps.

Now it is still difficult to say whether Shenmue 3 will reach the level of its predecessors, but if the game comes out as weird and soulful, it will be a success. I never thought that I would live to see the day when the story of Rio will continue, let alone that had to wait 20 years. You will definitely need to celebrate. Suziki loves her game, and it shows. In the meantime, we are waiting for November, when Shenmue 3 comes out, now is the perfect time to re-master the remasters of Shenmue 1 and 2.


The Topic of Article: Shenmue 3 - More Than a Nostalgia Game.
Author: Jake Pinkman