Shenmue 3 Review
A highly anticipated third chapter in Yu Suzuki’s scintillating series is coming later in the year – and we had a hands on experience at this year’s E3
It is evident that YSNet is striving hard to come up with Shenmue 3 with hampering budgetary constraints, not succeeding in living up to their own expectations even. It is a magnificent, aspiring endeavor that I hope will be able to live up to its hype, but nothing that I have encountered so far, bodes well!
• Review Price: £49.99
• Platforms: PS4, PC (Epic Store exclusive)
• Genre: Adventure
• Developer: YS Net
• Release Date: November 19, 2019
I will never be able to forget the very moment when Shenmue 3 is released officially. The unfortunate ambition harbored by Yu Suzuki was finally on the verge of completion. However, fans had to come out with massive contributions and back up this effort with financial support. Now, the time has arrived and we got an opportunity in the shape of E3 2019 to get a hands on experience with the much awaited narrative adventure.Unfortunately, it is not refined at all, probably hampered by crushing budgetary constraints and seems to be belonging to an era long gone. Yu Suzuki clearly has one specific experience in mind for Shenmue 3 and it is one that endeavors to retain all the characteristics of its previous chapters and that is exactly where all the negatives are evident.
Ryo Hazuki is a slow lead character donning a trendy jacket and tightly fitted denim jeans, set out with an aim to avenge the death of his father. The original vision was to come up with Shenmue’s legendary story through multiple games but its chaotic creation, stringent budgetary requirements and comparatively ambiguous game design proved to be huge hurdles.I really appreciate how Shenmue 3 has tried its level best to continue a story that began several years ago despite all the challenges that came its way. But even an experience of just 15 minutes with the game, left me thoroughly disappointed.
The timed demo of Shenmue 3 began with Ryo Hazuki and Shenhua Ling entering a village with an aim to find a scar-faced man known as “The Bookie”. The first dialogue lets you know that this is Shenmue as the dialogues are delivered with a monotonous eeriness as our couple of protagonists exchange expressionless looks with each other. It is quite frustrating and looks quite flimsy. Well, their hair appear to be pretty stylish though!As soon as a plan has been devised, you get to roam around the village with liberty. A shop is situated right in front of you, so I take a step forward and try out the capsule machines placed outside.
Ryo kneels down, in a similar manner as the previous games, twists the dial and scrutinizes the prize that emerges. I got a small sized racket which was not able to impress our protagonist. This is quite a prolonged sequence and it turned out to be fun twenty years ago but in the modern age, it was quite boring to be honest.You may as well chop firewood outside the shop, one of many everyday tasks in Shenmue 3 that have been set up with an aim to give a real life like experience to the players. There were side activities I did not get time to try out such as practicing stances at the Dojo or talking with the villagers.
As I made my way to the river, the local traders offered me an opportunity to compete in Lucky Hit and Turtle Races. I had to press buttons faster than ever for an extended period of time in Turtle Races. There was a point in time when my hands started hurting but at least I was able to save a few bucks.After failing to set the world alight while dealing with the village activities and flirting with the Lucky Hit girl in an awkward manner, I make my way to the Village Dojo. This is where I come across my first Shenmue 3’s ridiculous combat. Similar to the things I encountered earlier, there is a combo system where the appropriate button presses will destroy your opponents, but any feedback to your hits is simply not visible other than a small health bar located in the bottom right corner of the screen.
My foes appeared to be stiff, moved from one side to another weirdly in a bid to fight back and all their moves turned out to be awkwardly designed. In most of the combats, you will come across a super quick time event which reveals a more powerful assault but you will not know from how it appeared. I came out to be the winner, gained precious experience from my sojourn at Dojo and now it was time to come across The Bookie!It was just a matter of a few moments when I joined the other three E3 participants who came face to face with The Bookie’s anger and could not survive.
The scar-faced man pulled off unassailable assaults which resulted into massive drop in my health bar but the combat turned out to be more complicated as he began to ragdoll in an eerie manner on the ground after each combo. This legendary combat seemed more like a farce which is quite disappointing considering the fact that there was so much room for more.I may be criticizing Shenmue 3 a lot but the truth is that it still has got its mojo. Ryo conjures a diary with the press of a key to scour through objectives and review the day’s tasks, creating a palpable sense of progress outside the realms of monotonous menus.
The line delivery is poor, voice acting is flimsy but there are fans out there who are awaiting this same lackluster performance on the whole. But if you are anticipating a huge enhancement in contrast to the previous chapters, then you will certainly be left despondent.
It is evident that YSNet is striving hard to come up with Shenmue 3 with hampering budgetary constraints, not succeeding in living up to their own expectations even. It is a magnificent, aspiring endeavor that I hope will be able to live up to its hype, but nothing that I have encountered so far, bodes well! Fans will certainly fall in love with Ryo Hazuki’s intense pursuit of Longsun Zhao, despite all the poor dialogue delivery, eccentric side shows and weird approach to combat. As far as I am concerned, this seems to be something belonging to several years ago. Keeping fingers crossed for the launch of the game!
Shenmue 3 will be launched for PS4 and PC as an Epic Games Store exclusive on November 19, 2019.