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How much do you like the Shenmue series?

Shenmue

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Poll: Shenmue opinion tracker (34 member(s) have cast votes)

Broadly speaking, do you like the Shenmue series?

  1. Yes! It's one of the best games of all time. (7 votes [20.59%])

    Percentage of vote: 20.59%

  2. Sure. (15 votes [44.12%])

    Percentage of vote: 44.12%

  3. Nope. (12 votes [35.29%])

    Percentage of vote: 35.29%

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#1 Reaperman OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:32 PM

With all the talk about the Shenmue series, between its recent HD re-releases, and the potential for us to see a third game in the future--how do you really feel about the series?

 

The reason I'm asking, and posting this poll, is that I've never liked much of anything about the Shenmue series, but what I hear from others is generally immensely positive.  For years, I figured it was one of those (many) times where I just held the wrong opinion on something.  However, today I posted a status update and was more than a little surprised to see some measure of support for my position.  I'm wondering what portion of those who've experienced Shenmue enjoyed it.  Specifically, is the Shenmue love coming from a vocal minority, or a vast majority?

 

So I've created a 3-choice poll (hopefully correctly) with a negative, a positive, and an extremely positive response.

How do you all feel about the Shenmues?


Edited by Reaperman, Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:16 PM.


#2 Tanooki OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:30 PM

Well I'm with you.  I've tried to like the franchise multiple times with the couple the Dreamcast received and more than one time and different years spread apart.  I don't see the allure other than being a period eye candy treat.  Boring, wonky controls, all around doesn't make a huge amount of sense to even bother with it, but yet it's got this insane rabid fanbase.



#3 Jin OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 13, 2018 9:54 PM

Don't suppose you could add a "I've never played a Shenmue game." option? It's kinda hard to form a solid opinion about something you've never played.

#4 wongojack OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:40 PM

I was surprised by the responses to your status update as well.  I've never really played any of the games in the series for very long, but I suspected they were an overrated, boring snorefest.  The best I can say is that at the time of release there really weren't many games like Shenmue out there on consoles.  This was a time when open-world gaming didn't really exist, and it offered the opportunity to explore in a way that felt new.



#5 Jin OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 14, 2018 2:44 AM

In lieu of a "I've never played a Shenmue game." option I voted for "Sure", since I have watched a number of in depth reviews of the original Shenmue and it looked like a lot of fun. I do enjoy life simulator games like Animal Crossing and Harvest Moon now and then and Shenmue looks to offer a similar sort of relaxing experience, except with classic Sega arcade games to play for when you get bored of doing chores and running errands for townspeople. That sounds like my sort of game. :)

#6 Lord Innit OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 14, 2018 3:03 AM

Voted "sure". I enjoyed my time with them, it was 2001 when I played the first one, and despite the flaws I got drawn into the Shenmue world. Completed the first game and got half way through the second, by which time the Xbox with the likes of Halo and Splinter Cell took over my gaming time.

#7 BydoEmpire OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 14, 2018 4:41 AM

I love the two Shenmue games on the Dreamcast, but imho they're not the running for best games of all times.  I'd put Shenmue 2 in my top 50, maybe, but not top 10 or 20.  I don't know that I'd enjoy as much if I was playing it for the first time now.

 

Yes, there were tedious elements.

Yes, there was some annoying waiting.

Yes, the dialog was ... stiff.

Yes, the actual could have been better.

 

It was still a ton of fun.

 

The atmosphere was great.  I remember running around the shipyard through a flock of pigeons, watching them react and fly out of my way.  It was a beautiful little thing that most people probably never did or noticed, but I was enthralled by the attention to detail.  Great graphics throughout.

 

I enjoyed the story as well.  Cheesy, sure, but I totally got into it.  I liked the characters, for the most part.  I wanted to get Lan Di and I wanted to save the girl.  As much as you can in a video game game, I cared about them.

 

I liked the idea of a fighter/adventure game combination.  It was something different.  I enjoy adventures and I enjoy(ed) fighters, so this was a cool way to bring them together.

 

The difficulty was just right - there were some challenging bits, but I usually knew what to do next and got through it without being frustrated.  It was also meaty enough to feel like good value for the money.

 

There was lots of side stuff (the arcade games, collecting the capsules, etc).

 

Shenmue 2 fixed all the annoying bits of Shenmue 1 and made it bigger and better in every way.



#8 Asaki OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 14, 2018 5:17 AM

I still need to get around to playing them. When I tried playing the first game, I didn't have enough VMU space, so I just spent an hour or so exploring the house.

Now I have a few VMUs, but I haven't really had the itch to get back into it.

#9 dj_convoy OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 14, 2018 5:24 AM

Voted "sure." I'm glad it exists, even if it's not really the kind of thing I have time to play.

I am a big Yu Suzuki fan, so that may color my opinion slightly.

#10 Cafeman OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 14, 2018 5:53 AM

I very much enjoyed both and I replayed S2 on Xbox too. But some of the reasons I like them are tied to that specific time period of early 2000s, and I don't think the series is one of the best ever. I think being a devoted SEGA fan is a requirement to getting the most enjoyment. Every unique SEGA toy capsule I found would bring much satisfaction, like Sonic, Ristar, or the arcade cabinets themselves. Plus, I spent a lot of time enjoying the arcade games, especially Hang On.

The thing is, after playing the quiet and intospective (erm, dull?) adventure quest parts, when a QTE or fight would begin, it seemed 1000 times more exciting than it should have!

I'll be replaying Shenmue 1 and 2 in HD later this year no doubt, and I will play Shenmue 3 as well.

#11 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 14, 2018 6:35 AM

I bought the 1st game on the Dreamcast on day,whilst i completed it and admired it's sheer ambition technical prowess and had a lot of fun with the free style fighting...

There was simply far too much tedium in it,to rate it as a classic.

That bloody fork lift race in particular did my head in.

I picked up the sequel some years later on the Xbox..abandoned it after a few hours.

I've tried to get into the Yakuza games on the PS3 as well,but they seem to suffer the same faults..

The good stuff is drowned out by some of the most tedious content, ever.

#12 Video OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:54 AM

I played it on dreamcast bitd, but for me it was a meh game. It's not bad, it's just not good either. And it certainly wasn't "all that" that many people made it out to be. It's ok, not something I'd pursue, but I wouldn't deny it for a good price either.

#13 Flojomojo ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 14, 2018 9:41 AM

Voted "sure." I'm glad it exists, even if it's not really the kind of thing I have time to play.

I am a big Yu Suzuki fan, so that may color my opinion slightly.

I voted "nope" for the first reason and in spite of the second. 

 

It was during the Dreamcast era that my Yu Suzuki worship began to fade. I loved the bright colorful quick-playing arcade stuff, but Shenmue and Ferrari Challenge lost me because I am dumb with a short attention span. 

 

I wonder what Shenmue could have been with some Miyamoto polish, had Nintendo and Sega decided to partner way back then? Maybe for one thing, it wouldn't be such a snooze. 



#14 Reaperman OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 14, 2018 10:57 AM

What I will say, is that the game has interesting scenery filled with attractive set pieces, and a lot of little details (for better or worse).  That makes the game an interesting enough tech demo for Dreamcast.  

 

That's where it stops for me.  Shenmue is made of a million little ideas that seemingly aren't even supposed to be fun on their own, but are somehow supposed to build together into an experience worth having.  I don't think they do.

 

Possibly the greatest flaw in the game is the main character.  The game implies that it has a purpose for him, but he sure doesn't act like it.  Actually he's kind of worthless.  He wanders around, does stupid jobs, wastes his money on junk--it's basically the movie Clerks without the attempt at humor.  He should really just grow the hell up and move on with his life.  I never could care about the dad they failed to properly introduce, or his stolen macguffin.  Nor could I really deal with the one-dimensional pod people inhabiting every corner just waiting to waste more of my time with dialogue.

 

Without characters or plot, Shenmue is a mini game compilation with an annoying 'virtual world' interface.

I've given Shenmue more than its share of fair chances, due to the high praise.  But every single time--I just don't get it.  I don't see where the fun is.

 

I hope the plot twist in the next one comes when he finally 'jacks out' of the 'shenmatrix'--a low-budget digital purgatory where hong kong puts their hobos, because prison was deemed inhumane.  They did this because they need him to lead his vagrant army to help defend the city against some form of impending doom.  Possibly skeletons riding dragons.  Actually, what I really hope, is that the next game puts the whole series to bed in a way that I stop having to hear about it, and I think there's a good chance I'll get that.


Edited by Reaperman, Sat Jul 14, 2018 11:19 AM.


#15 spacecadet OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 14, 2018 12:29 PM

I voted "nope" but I'm really more of a "meh".

 

I've always thought the cycle of hype, fresh criticism and nostalgia about this game was weird, though. It was so ridiculously overhyped at the time - kind of the "Fable" (the Xbox game) of the Dreamcast, with a lot of promises that couldn't possibly be kept, or that we didn't realize wouldn't work very well or be very fun in a video game. But everybody was very excited for its release.

 

Then it came out and there was a lot of disappointment. People made fun of it for various things - for a while I used to greet my gamer friends with "hey guys, do you know where I could find some sailors?" Some people still liked it but it was considered one of the system's major disappointments for a while after its release - a game that, even if you thought it was decent, didn't come close to living up to the hype.

 

But I don't know what happened; opinion seems to have turned really quickly back to positive. I can't think of many other games where that's happened. I've seen underappreciated games get "discovered" by a wider audience later, but those are usually games that didn't get *enough* pre-release hype, so people just didn't know about them until word of mouth kicked in. But everybody always knew about Shenmue, and most people at the time didn't seem to like it once they actually played it. I don't know if I can think of another game that was overhyped, mostly considered disappointing at release, and then beloved later.

 

I wonder how much of it is just a kind of mob mentality, where some people think they *have* to like it in order to be considered real Dreamcast fans or something. As with anything, I'm sure some people genuinely do, but it seems disproportional to its reaction when the greatest number of people were really actively playing it. 



#16 Cafeman OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 14, 2018 1:08 PM

Let me expound on Shenmue 2 a bit, for those who never played through either or both game. Shenmue 2 picks up the pace a lot compared to S1, and it is bigger, with more VF-style fighting and some exciting QTEs. There are four master fighters, each may remind you of a VF character, who you must defeat (I forget the plot reasons) and they can be tough to beat. After all that, I will never forget the ending, (spoiler warning of course!) Fighting the big final boss on a rooftop and finally defeating him, with slow mo and instant replay kicking in, only for your main adversary to escape. Then ... Ryo has a quiet and introspective walk in the country along a river, with a young lady as his guide. Such a peaceful and beautiful epilogue. And you learn what Shenmue is, and the ending expands the otherwise down-to-earth setting of the game series. Will always remember that journey.

#17 derFunkenstein ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 14, 2018 1:48 PM

Shenmue HD re-releases should be pretty good. I like the series. Best ever? Nah. But pretty good. 

 

I just wish Sega would HD-ify more of its 3D catalog. For instance, everybody knows that Shining Force 3 is a genuine classic, but it hasn't been made available outside of the Saturn at all, to my knowledge, and the second and third installments have not been commercially available outside of Japan. Not to mention that there hasn't been a real Shining Force tactical-RPG produced this millennium. They're just missing out, IMO. It doesn't have to be super-fancy, even. 



#18 roland p OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 14, 2018 1:56 PM

I started with Shenmue 2 since I could find it easily. I think it was one of the best games out there. I loved everything about that game:

- gameplay (mix of exploration, QTE's, fighting, boring stuff like working)

- music (every area has it's own music. night and day have also different music)

- loads of NPC's who have their own path and dialog.

- cutscenes have a great cinematic style.

- attention to detail, there is so much to be seen, and everything has a 'reason' it's there.

 

And there is some stuff you don't even see the first time you play it, like Fangmei's birthday, the duckrace.



#19 80s_Atari_Guy OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 14, 2018 2:04 PM

I have always thought the Shenmue series to be THE most over-rated videogame series, ever.

 

But I also thought the same about the Dreamcast.  :P



#20 keepdreamin OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 14, 2018 2:39 PM

 

Possibly the greatest flaw in the game is the main character.  The game implies that it has a purpose for him, but he sure doesn't act like it.  Actually he's kind of worthless.  He wanders around, does stupid jobs, wastes his money on junk-

 

All that stuff you just listed is how a player chooses to play the game.  You can waste money on capsule toys and arcade games, or get down to business earning money to get Ryo overseas.  It's entirely up to you how much time you want to take, Yu Suzuki left that open to the player to decide.  This is what separated Shenmue apart from other games like Final Fantasy at the time.  The fact is was more grounded in reality.  Ryo can't ride a Chocobo all over the world map willy nilly.  He needs to get to China to chase down his dad's killer, that costs money.  It's the same with the karate.  You can practice, learn the move scrolls and really dig into efficient fighting.  Or be lazy and try to button mash your way.

 

Those complaining about the stiff dialogue, you no longer have to endure the somewhat cardboard English dub if you don't want to.  The HD remasters will include both language tracks.  Shenmue 1 for the DC received a fan patch quite some time ago that puts the Japanese voice acting back in.  That transitions into the PAL release of Shenmue 2 perfectly, because Sega left the voices in Japanese.



#21 Reaperman OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 14, 2018 3:40 PM

All that stuff you just listed is how a player chooses to play the game.  You can waste money on capsule toys and arcade games, or get down to business earning money to get Ryo overseas.  

 

In shenmue, they made a game with a very large number of boring, faffing about mechanics, but sure, I didn't have to do them.  Just like in GTA, I don't have to steal cars.  I could have just walked my imaginary dog all day.  Seriously--which parts were supposed to be the fun parts?  What should I have been doing?  Nobody actually wants to buy duplicate capsule toys--it's what people do when they're starving for entertainment.  Playing that little life sim was actually more boring than any job I've ever held, so unless sega starts paying me to do it, I wouldn't play the HD remakes even if they were given to me.

 

was this a "good part?"

Spoiler

 

 

If anything, though, this poll is showing me that having a negative opinion of Shenmue is actually a legitimate thing to have, so I'm kind of enjoying letting it rip a bit too much.  I know opinions can't technically be wrong, but when it seems like the whole world loves Shenmue as if it's family, you start to wonder about yourself.


Edited by Reaperman, Sat Jul 14, 2018 4:05 PM.


#22 keepdreamin OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 14, 2018 5:43 PM

I don't know what to say, other than I really enjoyed the Shenmue games.  I'd rather play through them over any Resident Evil, Zelda, Final Fantasy, Metal Gear Solid, all series that people go nuts over.  I find those just alright in general.  Shenmue II is especially epic.  Very few games can meet its scale on that level, with the exception of some recent Sony first party studio stuff.  


Edited by keepdreamin, Sat Jul 14, 2018 5:43 PM.


#23 fdurso224 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 14, 2018 5:59 PM

I don't know what to say, other than I really enjoyed the Shenmue games.  I'd rather play through them over any Resident Evil, Zelda, Final Fantasy, Metal Gear Solid, all series that people go nuts over.  I find those just alright in general.  Shenmue II is especially epic.  

I wholeheartedly agree dreamin.  :thumbsup: 

 

I enjoy the Shenmue series as well and looking forward to the third installment.  Shenmue I & II are the reasons why my Dreamcast unit is still hooked up and running. They really left an everlasting impact on me.  :)

 

Anthony..



#24 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 15, 2018 4:07 AM

It's a personal moan for sure but..

When i was playing through Shen Mue, my job involved me driving a fork lift truck, when required.

I hated it, but i was being paid to do it and it was in my job description so it had to be done.

I worked long hours, so used gaming as a form of escapism and a means of being transported to environments so different to those i encountered in real life.

So as soon as i hit that bloody fork lift race section, which you had to pass to progress further with the story, i was fuming.

Sega for myself at that point had been all about fun...

Bright, vibrant colours, catchy music, sit back and enjoy type stuff.

Now they were using the power of the Dreamcast for realism, but at the very real cost of fun.

I didn't want games trying to replicate the dullest aspects of dead end jobs..yer here were Sega doing just that.

#25 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jul 16, 2018 6:54 AM

When the official UK Dreamcast magazine blazed it's apparent world exclusive, on Shenmue, it was proclaimed as being the game that changes EVERYTHING. .

A true, second-generation DC game, NPC's with unique personalities complete with enough speech phrases to make then appear believable human, a scenario 120 times bigger than a Hollywood movie.

But once you got past the stunning technical achievements. .wording changed to reaction-based QTE fights, driving sections, RPG elements, mini-games...

Then DC-UK magazine had an exclusive play of the UK version..

Talk of QTE sequences..free battles much slower and easier than any proper beat'em up...


The In Conclusion box out at the end of the feature proclaimed it did indeed take gaming to a whole new level...there was nothing like Shenmue.

Reality was it was simply a collection of features, dressed up in a lavish game engine, with painstaking attention to detail.

But the 1 thing missing from these lavish press features, was just how much FUN the damn thing was.

It was an ambitious, very expensive production for Sega..

A title to showcase the real power of the Dreamcast at a time Sony were hyping the supposed power of the PS2..

But was it really fun?

.




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