Shenmue and the new generation of gamers

(Chapter 1 | General Series Discussion)

Shenmue and the new generation of gamers

Postby Kiske » Thu Apr 05, 2018 3:40 am

I came across this comment about Shenmue on Twitter and I would like to hear your opinion about it and generally speaking, hear your opinion about where should the limit stand when it comes to remake a game and change some core characteristics of it.

(Let's call the author "Player One")

After beating Shenmue a while ago, I gotta say its worth remastering but not in its current state. It needs a full remake with more to do and an easier time accessing random events.

Current generation of gamers wont have the patience to wait and see if they might trigger something since all that side content is the real meat of the game. The main story stuff is mostly just back n forth running n asking shit.
it can feel tedious and pretty annoying after a while and I honestly felt underwhelmed after realising this. We need to be able to interact with the characters more, have real conversations, hang out with em, do shopping for Ine-San etc etc

Maybe I didnt find everything I could do out of those specifically timed events and the arcade mini games, heard you can do fishing but could never figure out how.

I should be able to feel like I live there, like in the Yakuza games, I should have access to the bakery, buy food from Tom or other places, change Ryo's clothes, stay out past curfew n see what happens, sit down with Fuku-San n Ine-san for dinner n hear them.

Hear them talk about things n ask each other stuff, I sjould be able to fkn spend time with Nozomi god damnit!! Like hang out n shit n get to know the characters. REALLY expand on what Shenmue was trying to do man.
All of it should be optional of course but Im sure others would love it, really learn from the Yakuza games n learn from recent rpg's to improve it.

@Sega please remake Shenmue 1 n 2 n make em the proper life simulators like you were originally going for! Shenmue is amazing god damnit! #SaveShenmueHD



I've always had the feeling that Shenmue, the first episode maybe even more compared to the second one is a game that gives you back only as much as you are willing to give from yourself. What I mean is that Shenmue is in my opinion, one of the few if not the only game that requires from the player to fully soak in its universe to really feel a rewarding gaming experience.

If you accept to become Ryo instead of just controlling Ryo, Shenmue takes a different dimension.

I hear in the quoted comments above that the interaction with NPC isn't deep enough, that you don't get to know them enough. How come I had the exact opposite feeling from the first time I played the game? Is it a matter of mind set?
I remember using the phone a lot, talking to everybody just to hear what they have to say day after day, taking care of the cat because I genuinely cared for the cat. Spare in the Dojo or the parking lot because I wanted to improve my techniques and beat eventually Lan Di. Search for scrolls and new moves was essential and having a job at the docks was never boring because I needed that money to go to Hong Kong.

I can understand people complaining about having to wait in a few occasions for a triggered event, and I could go as far as being okay with the idea of a "time skipping" option in Shenmue HD (if it ever comes out) but fundamentally, I would not be okay with a remake that changes the core of what Shenmue is.
Hang out with Nozomi, like you could do in Yakuza or GTA? No thank you. Ryo doesn't want to hang out with Nozomi. He doesn't have time for romance. He must have his revenge. It's part of what the story is, it's part of Ryo's arc starting in Yokosuka.
Not to mention that there are indeed moments with Nozomi. But you can miss them if you rush through the game, if you don't soak into the story.

Anyway, should Shenmue be considered something apart from "conventional" gaming? An experience?
Should it stay that way even if a remake eventually comes?
What should the marketing be about a product that was not only ahead of times when released but definitely and still today, a different approach to what gaming was and still is?

Sorry for the long messy post.
Those, who follow the path of a warrior, must be ready to die, in order to stand for one's convictions, live for one's convictions, die for one's convictions. That is how I lived my life.

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Re: Shenmue and the new generation of gamers

Postby spud1897 » Thu Apr 05, 2018 5:39 am

It's intriguing given how gaming has changed. Most gamers don't bother with half the stuff they put into games these days and don't like games that challenge or don't hold your hand.

Think the Crash Bandicoot remakes most of us 16bit plus era gamers loved the remake but newer gamers couldn't handle the difficulty.

For me Shenmue HD needs updated controls, time skip and polishing. If it was given the Kiwami treatment then fine.

Market it as an experience, maybe for the side bits make them slightly more prominent but don't detract from the experience. We were blessed when Shenmue came, it broke ground & changed how games were viewed. Now gamers are spoilt and there's a clear difference between the newer gamers and the ones with a more retro heritage.

Push Shenmue as a game for an audience who like to lose themselves in the game, to take there time and enjoy the atmosphere.

Yes there's lots of running about but if you take the time to speak to the NPCs, engage the game and immerse yourself in the story people will enjoy it.

Excuse the bitty post. On a break at work.
One day we will have our revenge.
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Re: Shenmue and the new generation of gamers

Postby ScouseMouse » Thu Apr 05, 2018 12:47 pm

I definitely agree with you OP, apart from a few minor improvements with things like the control of Ryo, I wouldn't want to see anything changed. Maybe little tweaks like it'd be nice if enemies had a life bar like Ryo does (like in Shenmue 2) but fundamentally I'd want it to be exactly the same because as you say it's all about the experience, and you really do get out what you put in.

If you just storm through the game instantly completing all the main story stuff only then you miss SO much, both in terms of actual things to do in the game but also in terms of having a deeper understanding and connection with the characters
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Re: Shenmue and the new generation of gamers

Postby MiTT3NZ » Thu Apr 05, 2018 4:12 pm

Just a remaster. A remake would only make sense if the series was rebooted, which in all honesty is the scenario I would've favoured over a Kickstarted Shenmue III, even if it meant Yu Suzuki wasn't at the helm.

EDIT: I find it funny though that you reckon Ryo doesn't have time to hang out with friends when one of the major points of the game was the arcade.
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Re: Shenmue and the new generation of gamers

Postby Kiske » Thu Apr 05, 2018 5:50 pm

MiTT3NZ wrote:
EDIT: I find it funny though that you reckon Ryo doesn't have time to hang out with friends when one of the major points of the game was the arcade.


I said no time for romance, but it's a fair point. ;)

The interactions with the NPCs in Shenmue are coherent when put in perspective with the story.
In Yakuza or GTA, you can go to the bowling with someone or go out with a girl without that having any impact on the main story, as far as I know.

What you say about the arcades is true though, they are a big part of the time killing. But the choice is up to the player. You can play the Excite QTE to improve your skills for QTEs happening within the main story in the same way you spare with Fuku or alone in the parking lot to become strong enough to beat Lan Di. Utlimately though, I would love to have deeper interactions with NPCs and even more freedom than what Shenmue has to offer. The point is, would it be fair to the original work? Would you like to see every classic movie you loved remade with special effects and additional original scenes?

Shenmue has flaws and there's room for improvement, I don't deny that, but where do you put the limit and based on which criteria?
Those, who follow the path of a warrior, must be ready to die, in order to stand for one's convictions, live for one's convictions, die for one's convictions. That is how I lived my life.

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Re: Shenmue and the new generation of gamers

Postby MiTT3NZ » Thu Apr 05, 2018 9:05 pm

Well that's just it, the interactions as you say are very much in line with the game because it's the product of a certain time. With all the possibilities open now though, Shenmue could be a much better series as games, in my opinion. Hell, I'm sure Suzuki would like to implement the majority of suggestions that fans dream up, but as I say, it'd have to be a reboot.

Personally I'm not that arsed about any negative connotations towards remakes and reboots. I know a lot of people have their gripes about it, but I'm on the other side of that, I enjoy different interpretations. Take Batman for example, a character I've loved since I can remember. I couldn't possibly tell you the number of iterations there are that I've seen or read, and yet I tend to enjoy all different spins on him, from Grant Morrison's Batgod to Adam West's Camp Crusader to Ben Affleck's killing machine...

Look, my view on Shenmue as a series is that they should've continued in the same - or massively similar - style to the original two, or completely rebooted it. I reckon Kowloon in particular was a missed opportunity in terms of atmosphere and gameplay. Obviously I'm glad we're getting the third game, but we shouldn't stick to the rigid mentality of "it should just be whatever Suzuki wanted it to be", just as he shouldn't have to think "nobody likes my new Shenmue III font, I'll change it back again".

A reboot wouldn't take away from the originals, so a remake would work in that scenario. Remastering the first two would stay in line with the actual Shenmue. Any mixing or matching though would definitely take away from the originals, as you rightly say.

It's all what ifs of course and I've no doubt that if SEGA did decide to release a Shenmue I & II HD then they'd merely be remasters due to the sheer amount of work that'd have to go into a remake, so I wouldn't worry about it. And even if there was to be a reboot, it'd come at least a decade after the series concludes, and then the legacy wouldn't be tainted, as it'd be Shenmue for a new generation, with the originals still out there, perhaps even enhancing the mythology of Shenmue both in the fictional setting of the game and the industry itself.
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MiTT3NZ has received a thanks from: Kiske
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