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Shenmue III - 70 on Metacritic

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This isn't a surprise tbh because owning the original 2 games I knew that if the third game was anything like them it wouldn't be received as well today because the industry has moved on and improved on all aspects it introduced the only reason to really get the game would be to continue the story. Gameplay wise after open world games began to arrive with the likes of GTA3 and so it became hard to go back and play the original Shenmue games because the likes of the former rectified a number of issues Shenmue had with the main one being adding sandbox mechanics so you have things to actually do in the game world.



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Here's the thing, though. Shenmue had its fans back then (myself included) but by being released on a dying system, it couldn't sell as well as some would have liked.

The sequel wasn't even released in America until the original Xbox--another low selling system. I couldn't even get my hands on it until I got an Xbox 360 (backwards compatiblity). By '07, it was already dated.

They're trying to sell a game in 2019 that wasn't a huge success in the first place and then alienated people who liked the first because the sequel was exclusive to hardware that didn't sell all that well. And, from the sound of things, the game hasn't really evolved much in 20 years.

It's good that we have a Shenmue 3. I personally don't think I'll ever be playing it. I wonder if there's even a future for this franchise after this one.



Twitter: @d21lewis  --I'll add you if you add me!!

d21lewis said:
Here's the thing, though. Shenmue had its fans back then (myself included) but by being released on a dying system, it couldn't sell as well as some would have liked.

The sequel wasn't even released in America until the original Xbox--another low selling system. I couldn't even get my hands on it until I got an Xbox 360 (backwards compatiblity). By '07, it was already dated.

They're trying to sell a game in 2019 that wasn't a huge success in the first place and then alienated people who liked the first because the sequel was exclusive to hardware that didn't sell all that well. And, from the sound of things, the game hasn't really evolved much in 20 years.

It's good that we have a Shenmue 3. I personally don't think I'll ever be playing it. I wonder if there's even a future for this franchise after this one.

I recall the estimate for Shenmue was that they banked on it so much to sell units that at the time of release every DC owner would have had to buy the game twice for it to cover its costs.

Unless the game radically has changed from the original I don't see much of a future unless dedicated fans continue to crowd fund them but then the whole Epic fiasco may have hurt that prospect. The original game was like an introduction to the concept of open world games that was new back in the time of the DC but in today's industry we're in an open world golden era and have the likes of GOW, BOTW, HZD, GTAV, RDR2, Nier:A, XBC, Astral Chain, DQXI, MHW etc... The series is facing strong competition in this area to the point where even having the best story in history won't do it any favours in standing out.



So far the fans are thoroughly satisfied with it, user reviews are great on both Metacritic and PlayStation Store. Critics just can’t handle the fact that Yu Suzuki purposefully made the game outdated so that it wouldn’t feel incongruent with the first two Shenmue games. It’s a game for the existing fanbase, not a game designed to create new fans. I wish more companies realized that satisfying your existing fanbase is more important than trying to create new fans. The Star Wars sequel trilogy is a prime example of what can go wrong when you focus on winning new fans while ignoring the wishes of your existing fanbase. Another great example, within gaming, is Dead Space 3, EA tried to create new fans by moving away from survival horror, but it flopped and ended up killing a great franchise. 

Last edited by shikamaru317 - on 21 November 2019

I played Shenmue 2 15 years ago and Its incredible to actually be able to play Shenmue 3 after all this time. Its an honest continuation of the journey and thats all fans ever wanted.



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Wyrdness said:
d21lewis said:
Here's the thing, though. Shenmue had its fans back then (myself included) but by being released on a dying system, it couldn't sell as well as some would have liked.

The sequel wasn't even released in America until the original Xbox--another low selling system. I couldn't even get my hands on it until I got an Xbox 360 (backwards compatiblity). By '07, it was already dated.

They're trying to sell a game in 2019 that wasn't a huge success in the first place and then alienated people who liked the first because the sequel was exclusive to hardware that didn't sell all that well. And, from the sound of things, the game hasn't really evolved much in 20 years.

It's good that we have a Shenmue 3. I personally don't think I'll ever be playing it. I wonder if there's even a future for this franchise after this one.

I recall the estimate for Shenmue was that they banked on it so much to sell units that at the time of release every DC owner would have had to buy the game twice for it to cover its costs.

Unless the game radically has changed from the original I don't see much of a future unless dedicated fans continue to crowd fund them but then the whole Epic fiasco may have hurt that prospect. The original game was like an introduction to the concept of open world games that was new back in the time of the DC but in today's industry we're in an open world golden era and have the likes of GOW, BOTW, HZD, GTAV, RDR2, Nier:A, XBC, Astral Chain, DQXI, MHW etc... The series is facing strong competition in this area to the point where even having the best story in history won't do it any favours in standing out.

To be fair you hit the nail in the head there. Even then, Ocarina and later MM conveyed the open world setting better. Shenmue was one of, if not the best looking game in the industry at the time of its release, something that helped hide some of its flaws. It no longer has that advantage today because of its low budget. However for what Ive seen Shenmue 3 is fan service and it seems to accomplish that. It is unlikely we will see Shenmue 4 though .



shikamaru317 said:

So far the fans are thoroughly satisfied with it, user reviews are great on both Metacritic and PlayStation Store. Critics just can’t handle the fact that Yu Suzuki purposefully made the game outdated so that it wouldn’t feel incongruent with the first two Shenmue games. It’s a game for the existing fanbase, not a game designed to create new fans. I wish more companies realized that satisfying your existing fanbase is more important than trying to create new fans. The Star Wars sequel trilogy is a prime example of what can go wrong when you focus on winning new fans while ignoring the wishes of your existing fanbase. Another great example, within gaming, is Dead Space 3, EA tried to create new fans by moving away from survival horror, but it flopped and ended up killing a great franchise. 

I think there are opportunities for franchises to take new steps and look into different avenues and go away from the formula while finding great success.

One of the examples is BotW. 3D Zelda, for the most part, maintained a simple, but well-executed and well-regarded, formula prior to BotW. BotW completely went away from its traditional conventions and is the best-selling game in the franchise, while also highly regarded. Sure, some traditional Zelda fans were not too pleased with some of the features left behind (like the conventional elemental dungeons) or some newly added ons (like the disposable and breakable weapons), but it didn't deter from others appreciating BotW from wanting to try something completely new from the formula.

I guess, in the end, fans of Shenmue don't want anything like that at this time. It appears that this new installment is what they are looking for. It appears quirky, a bit archaic, but has the charm of the games (and fans) its meant to connect with.



I'm all for pleasing the main fanbase but that has to be a very small demographic.
You have to
A.) Play the original on Dreamcast
B.) Be one of those who actually enjoyed it
C.) Followed up your Dreamcast purchase with an Xbox or import the sequel
D.) Not die in the past 20 years
E.) Be one of those who tried the rerelease and enjoyed it.

I personally doubt the game gets 500,000 in sales. From what I've heard, it's already getting a price cut.



Twitter: @d21lewis  --I'll add you if you add me!!

I'll patiently await the steam release, shenmue is automatically god tier to me.



Random_Matt said:
I'll patiently await the steam release, shenmue is automatically god tier to me.

I wonder what gives that away 🙃