Zero Punctuation: Shenmue

Shenmue

This week, Yahtzee reviews Shenmue.

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Yeah, the fans are probably not going to like that spicy take. :)

I'm in the curious position of someone who owned a Dreamcast and remember loving both the games when they first came out, being so sheltered in videogame world and all. But tried to go back to them a couple of years back and had a really really bad time. Nostalgia glands don't seem to work perhaps. But now am very wary about the 3rd installment as there is the sinking suspicion it will be less modernised and more built to appeal directly to this nostalgia that everybody else seems to have. Oh well, another fuzzy memory thrown to the wind.

(And recently saw a short LP that hammered home how utterly terrible all the voice acting is. It's soooo baaaad. I despise my younger self for not knowing this.)

The sequel has a "skip time" option that really should have been implemented retroactively into the first game.

I kind of wish they had gone the Grim Fandango Remastered route of implementing some improvements (the aforementioned "skip time" and some better controls), and then going "Oh, and if you actually feel like playing the game the old way, here are some achievements for you. Have fun with that."

Also, this game is definitely improved by being played with the Japanese voice acting. It kind of like watching Neon Genesis Evangelion; "Oh, it's cute that you're trying to give this an English voice track, but aside from maybe the main characters it's simply not working."

Is Destrucoid still a thing?

This review kind of makes me want to play the game for all of the reasons that Yahtzee wasn't impressed by it.

I would imagine that the people holding out for a third game are largely people who played the second, and remember all the quality of life improvements such as the ability to skip forward in time, more actual stuff to do, and a faster-paced story.

P.S. Thanks

Ah, good old Destructoid. Don't forget X-Play and GameTrailers. But has anyone noticed Yahtzee doing a lot of "anticipation" of what critics might think of him lately? Like the thing about Shemue not holding up. I'm half expecting him to play Dragon Quest 11, say something about JRPGs, then tack on a joke like "Yahtzee, it's a JRPG, what do you expect?" with a followup of "not ___ for starters."

Silentpony:
Is Destrucoid still a thing?

I thought they owned the Escapist nowadays?

I still have a Dreamcast (haven't played it in years) and I successfully avoided both Shenmue games because I heard they were NOT a non-stop martial arts action extravaganza. Lots and lots of LOOOOOOOONNNNNNGGGG stretches of boring nothingness. Now I can't wait for Yahtzee's livestream of it.

WouldYouKindly13:
Ah, good old Destructoid. Don?t forget X-Play and GameTrailers. But has anyone noticed Yahtzee doing a lot of ?anticipation? of what critics might think of him lately? Like the thing about Shemue not holding up. I?m half expecting him to play Dragon Quest 11, say something about JRPGs, then tack on a joke like ?Yahtzee, it?s a JRPG, what do you expect?? with a followup of ?not ___ for starters.?

I, too, miss Ye Olde G4TV. All video game related programming all the time. Then, little by little, it was replaced with crap like Cheaters until only X-Play and Attack of the Show were left. Then, it was gone.

I remember Shenmue blowing my mind when it was first released on the Dreamcast, but it was pretty rough even then. I can't imagine what it would be like going back to it today.

Quite frankly, the game was missing side quests. Suzuki thought that everyone would enjoy listening to the soundtrack and collecting capsule toys as a legal adult would be enough to spend the stupid amount of free time you have in the game, which it's not. There are some extra events you can trigger if you try hard enough but they're not engaging, just watching an unskippable cutscene and that's pretty much it. Feeding the fucking cat was FUN, because it was something extra in the game that gave you the ability to affect the world around you.

Still, there's such an amazing amount of detail in the game that simply won't translate to modern audiences. I clearly remembering disliking the waiting and the QTEs as a kid and still loving it dearly and playing it constantly to the point where I have an encyclopedic knowledge of it many years later. To this day, I'm not sure why. Maybe it's because the only other games I had to play on the Dreamcast was Sonic Adventure for a long stretch.

Also don't go to Hong Kong in real life and expect to sell any capsule toys for money.

Does Destructoid even make videos anymore? I go to their site regularly but I don't recall seeing any vids they made in a long time. Although I might just not have been paying any attention.

Oooooooh a pot shot a Destructoid. ...wait is Destuctoid still a thing?

Is Yahtzee steering clear from reviewing games covered by other people now? I was hoping for a Tomb Raider or Spider-Man ZP.

One could conceivably forgive the Quicktime Events, 'cause this is the game that arguably invented them [ ... ]

Wait, wot!? Are you serious?

I'm afraid you're going to have to more precisely specify what you mean by, "Quicktime Events" here because, as far as I'm concerned, 1983's Dragon's Lair is the ur-text for games built around Quicktime Events. (And Quicktime didn't show up on the Mac until years after Dragon's Lair came out, so I don't understand why they aren't called Laserdisc Events.)

Yahtzee and Destructoid calling each other out in the same day? Coincidence? I THINK NOT!

I liked Shenmue. It's got a ton of charm with it's hilariously awful voice acting. Though I didn't actually play the game myself, I just watched SGF play the game, which was a lot of fun.

Covarr:
I would imagine that the people holding out for a third game are largely people who played the second, and remember all the quality of life improvements such as the ability to skip forward in time, more actual stuff to do, and a faster-paced story.

P.S. Thanks

No way man, Shenmue 2 was way worse. In 1 Ryo knew everybody and would have little conversations, and they'd tell him what's going on in their lives before he asks them the one thing he wants to know at the moment. In 2 he doesn't actually talk to anyone and everybody only exists to give you directions to the same place in 50 bazillion different ways.

RTR:
Yahtzee and Destructoid calling each other out in the same day? Coincidence? I THINK NOT!

I smell crossovers. Escapist's new owners also own Destructoid.

Johnny Novgorod:
Is Yahtzee steering clear from reviewing games covered by other people now? I was hoping for a Tomb Raider or Spider-Man ZP.

I suspect he started playing Shemue while waiting for those games to release(because for whatever reason nobody puts out big AAA games in the summer, preferring to crowd all the big games into the fall and winter) and since he had the review ready to go, went ahead and posted it. We'll no doubt be seeing Shadow of the Tomb Raider or Spider-Man next week.

Dalisclock:

Johnny Novgorod:
Is Yahtzee steering clear from reviewing games covered by other people now? I was hoping for a Tomb Raider or Spider-Man ZP.

I suspect he started playing Shemue while waiting for those games to release(because for whatever reason nobody puts out big AAA games in the summer, preferring to crowd all the big games into the fall and winter) and since he had the review ready to go, went ahead and posted it. We'll no doubt be seeing Shadow of the Tomb Raider or Spider-Man next week.

Yup, just took a quick look at Yahtzee's Twitter, we're getting a Spider-Man ZP next week.

 

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