Is anyone playing Shenmue for the first time?

  • Hi all. I am wondering if anyone is playing Shenmue/Shenmue 2 for the first time now that it's out on modern consoles/steam and can give an objective opinion on whether it "holds up."
    I am well aware of the historical significance of these games and they are the backbone of one of my favorite series of all time (Yakuza.) But when I watch the trailers and streams, I cannot help but to feel that they are clearly a dated product of times past. My finger has hovered over the purchase button since they were released a few days ago, but with so little time to game and so many games to play, I'm just not sure.
    I was hoping to hear some objective insight from someone for whom these games do not have powerfully nostalgic and sentimental meaning. I guess the main question I want to know is, are you having fun?

  • I'm playing them for the first time, and though I am only a few hours in, I would say that I am enjoying it. I always enjoy games that have an interactive town with NPCs that have schedules and stuff like that, so it really is a perfect fit for me. Control-wise it isn't great, but it's bearable.

    It ultimately comes down to whether or not you are okay with slow pacing. This is definitely a game where you take your time and the story progresses very slowly, and it is not nearly as action-packed as Yakuza is. If you are able to get past that, then I say go for it.

  • I played for a few hours on Dreamcast back in 2000 or so, and it never hooked me. I'm giving it another shot now though. Just loaded it onto the ps4

  • I only played Shenmue 1 it for 2 hours, and i'm already loving it. I love the slowness and somewhat relaxing vibes of the game, not to mention the attention to detail in the game world makes it very immersive for me. The fact that i can interact with drawers and such in Ryo's home just boggles my mind, no other game has this level of work put into the little details.

    The dialogue and voice acting is dated for sure, but after the first hour they just clicks to me better and bothers me way less. I might actually enjoy them, just because of their silliness. They definitely hurt the seriousness of the revenge story though.

    The game has been pretty grounded so far despite the problem above, and i really like it. It feels like the game won't throw action scenes at you randomly just to entertain, rather it makes you take in the slowness and embrace it.

    All of this might change later on though, i'm still pretty early in the game.

  • I know that my opinion isn't really being asked for here(I've been a huge Shenmue fan since day one) but I think the other post do a good job trying to set what type of mindset you should have going in to get the most enjoyment out of this game. As others have said this is a slow pace game, a big part of the game is just kinda looking around, enjoying all the small little details and immersing yourself in this game world . The voice acting and writing is awkward, however for myself and others it crosses into that territory of being so bad its good, or in this case charming.

    I don't think there's a one to one for if you like Yakuza you'll like Shenmue. While they share some of the same DNA they are two very different games. If you're unsure if you'll enjoy Shenmue or if time is limited there's no harm in waiting for a sale or till you have more time. Or if you're just kinda interested in the story they actually made a Shenmue movie which is basically just all the major cut scenes and some game-play footage of some of the fights, pretty sure you can find it on Youtube.

  • I literally spent the first day in game completely inside the house opening drawers and closets, taking things off the walls and looking behind them, and listening to cassette tapes.

  • I'm not gonna lie, most of what has been said here sounds amazing. I may knock out Yakuza Kiwami 2 first since its out in four days and then turn to this. Please update me as you progress if any opinions change or get stronger!

  • Got to the point where I could save in Shenmue 1 after trying to watch the first cutscene about 6 times only to be interupted by other stuff.

  • @themarcv seeing that you don't think there's as much of a direct comparison with Yakuza games I'd like to get your input (or others as well) about some aspects, as I'm lukewarm about the franchise with some aspects I love and others I despise.

    In terms of story I never really enjoyed Yakuza's all that much not because of the plot itself but I found the presentation to be tiresome and going through the actual plot events not being exciting (going from one boring fight to the next one), I have no idea how that is handled in Shenmue but if what I mentioned before makes sense I would like to hear about how it may compare.

    On the flip side I adore the random little events with people in the game world and from what I understand Shenmue has some of that, but again I wonder how it may compare.

    I know that I'm throwing some pretty unspecific questions here but my feelings on Yakuza are kinda weird and I can't help but be interested on Shenmue as a franchise that is clearly as dear to so many.

  • @bard91

    Well I think when comparing the two game's stories Shenmue's is much more grounded then Yakuza. The vast majority of the game you are gathering information trying to figure out the who/why of your fathers murder. Story beats mostly resolve around getting new clues or information from different characters. These beats sometimes lead to fights/QTE but not always. Personally I find Shenmue's story to be pretty easy to follow, where sometimes with Yakuza I can kinda get lost in the sea of the different families/names.

    That all being said the Yakuza games pacing is much faster, your getting into fights much more frequently and can progress the story along much more quickly then you will in Shenmue, more so if its your first time playing. There will be times in Shenmue 1 where you will be forced to wait till a certain time in game (like waiting for a bus or business to open) and those can be a bit annoying (I'd often listen to cassettes or look at my collection of capsule toys).

    There aren't really any side missions in Shenmue, what it has instead are special events that will be triggered based on what you've done in game. These scenes are pretty interesting and are made to feel special since not everyone is going to meet the criteria to see them. However, I will say that one of the things I love most about Shenmue is the insane amount of detail the devs went through in creating all the NPCs. This stuff isn't really expressed in game but they wrote backstories for every NPC. This information was in a special disc called Shenmue Passport and in the Shenmue strategy guide, since this information isn't presented in game it's really just icing for you to immerse even more into this world and its characters.

    Don't know if that really answered your question, let me know if there's something more specific about these games you'd like to know.

  • Just got my copy today.

    I will be playing it for the first time, excited and worried.

  • I just started playing it. its ok so far apart from terrible control and camera on KB/M. i have not gone far. just roaming around and finding clues. i encounter a QTE event where i press 1 and 3 to beat 2 guys..

  • @b-cell said in Is anyone playing Shenmue for the first time?:

    terrible control and camera on KB/M

    It's bad on controllers too. From the era where 3d movement and camera control standards were still kinda being invented.

    That's just how things used to be!

  • Regarding the controls are you guys using, I think its R2 or RT, to go forward. It's pressure sensitive so if you lightly push it Ryo walks, push down all the way he runs. I mostly use that and then just make slight directional adjustments with the analog stick. But yeah, it can be a little finicky to like first person look at the correct draw sometimes or you'll turn around without meaning to. Hey at least you can control the camera with the right stick, think you had to like hold L2/LT and use the left stick to move it before

  • @themarcv thanks a lot for the answer it is certainly helpful.

    On the one side I like hearing the aspects about story as it does sound a bit more up my alley, but the other aspects not as much, I like side content in games but possibly my biggest pet peeve in games is not being able to make progress when I want to and it kinda seems like that is something that comes with the territory in Shenmue so I could easily imagine it being frustrating for me.

    Jim Sterling actually made a video today which is pretty negative towards the game, and while I wouldn't go to those extents without any experience with the game myself the points he makes do seem to be similar complaints to the ones I may have.

    All in all I'll pass on the game for now, maybe if I see them in a sale in the future and I find myself with time.

  • I hate how you have to go to home at 11 pm always. or you have to wait for someone at 7 pm. that is so annoying. all you have to do in this period is to kill some time.

  • It's not as intolerable as when I played it at launch on the DC, but it is a very slooow paced game. I have gotten next to nowhere in the main story yet, and three days from now I'm going to start Kiwami 2, then Spider-Man, then Fist of the North Star, then Red Dead Redemption 2. So I'll be finishing this sometime in December.

  • Spent an hour playing it in bed with Remote Play Vita, it brings the relaxation to a whole new level lol. I have been having a blast so far with the game, it just keeps getting better for me.

  • I played around 2 hours and spend most of it running in the city looking for the house for the old lady, and when i found the house i discovered that there is a town map with every names on it, i will probably play more today

  • After messing with the game's physics in the forklift sections, now i'm stuck in first person mode while free roaming normally. It's basically plays like LSD Dream Simulator. I don't know how to fix this.

    Update: It just fixed itself, it was cool while it lasted though.