Shenmue 3 – The Review – Game Sack


(Game Sack Theme) – Hello and welcome to Game Sack. (mumbles) No, this isn’t right, hold on. Hello and welcome to Game Sack. Yes, Shenmue 3 is finally here and it’s available to
play, and yes, it is real. I’ve been waiting 17 years for this. In fact, there’s been more time since Shenmue 2 and 3’s release date, than there was between
Shenmue 1 and the late ’80s, when the series takes place. I’m a huge Shenmue fan. I’ve played through parts one
and two many many times each. They’re some of my favorite games ever. And thanks to a KickStarter campaign that raised over six million dollars, Shenmue 3 was finally
able to enter development. So, does it live up? Is it worth your time? Well, that’s what I’m here to tell you. Also, I’m wearing a Shenmue 3 shirt, so that totally qualifies
me to review the game. Let’s go. (Bob’s Pizza Theme from Shenmue) Shenmue 3 is finally here. will you look at that? That’s just amazing! This game is available on
Windows and the PlayStation 4. As a console gamer, it should
come as absolutely no surprise that I’m playing the PS4 version. It is worth mentioning
that for the PC version they abruptly switched from
Steam to the Epic Games Store, likely because a large
amount of money was involved. People didn’t like that at all and I can definitely understand that. But it didn’t affect me as
a console gamer thankfully so this is the version I’m talking about. It’s also worth mentioning
that I completely avoided any and all things about this game leading up to its release. I muted the words “Shenmue” and the like everywhere I could on social media. I didn’t look at art or
watch trailers or play demos. As a huge Shenmue fan, I
wanted to go into this fresh. (slow dreamy music) Anyway, the game begins mere
seconds after Shenmue 2 ends. You now tag around with Shenhua, who was the girl you tagged around with on disc four of Shenmue 2. She has since changed her clothes. You, however, have not. Nor should you ever
despite being able to do so later in the game. You’re Ryo Hazuki, you’re
meant to wear a white shirt and a leather jacket and
blue jeans and nothing else. Gone is any of the supernatural stuff they seemed to be building up
to at the end of Shenmue 2. You spend the first half of the
game or so in Bailu Village, which is where you were on your way to in disc four of Shenmue 2, but you never got to see it then. The village is actually
pretty big with lots of paths that veer off into other areas. There are lots of people to talk to and, of course, things to buy and sell. One thing that this
village has in abundance are women who are older
than you who really, really wanna, well, how shall
we say, jump your bones. – Hey! – What is it, handsome? – I’m looking for a shop
that sells steamed buns. – If you’re hungry, why didn’t you say so? Come over to my place and I’ll
feed you until you’re full. – Actually, I– – [Joe] I mean, come on, Ryo, you’re not exactly going
steady with anyone. – No, no. – [Joe] The gameplay is
mostly classic Shenmue, asking people where this
person or that location is, then working your way there. Once you get there you find out that you need to go find
someone or something else. In fact, this game suffers from the “Just one more thing” syndrome, if there is such a thing. Have you ever talked
to someone in real life who just keeps going right when you think the conversation is done? Well, this game is kind of similar. Just when you think you’ve
accomplished a goal, the game throws just one more thing before that goal is actually
achieved and you can move on. Sure, Shenmue 1 and 2
did this a lot as well, but part 3 here really takes
it to a whole new level. As a result, it feels like the
game is very slow to start, but it eventually does pick up… a bit. Like the previous games, you need to make sure to sleep at night. But new to this one are
the eating mechanics. That’s right, you’ve gotta eat. Your energy is constantly
draining over time and if it gets too low,
you can’t even run. It’ll never drain completely
empty on its own though. To counter this, you
need to buy lots of food to restore your HP. Certain foods will restore more HP so make sure you get the
most bang for your buck because earning money isn’t easy. That’s right, you have jobs here, too! At first, all you can
really do is chop wood. This is fun and easy. – Oops! Mm-hmm. Oops! – [Joe] I like how music
from After Burner plays when you really start to do well. – Good! Yes! Mm-hmm. – [Joe] However, you
can only make maybe $70 if you do amazingly well. Just about every activity
in the game has a timer that you can see in the
upper right of the screen as it winds down. Eventually there are other jobs, the best of which is the forklift driving. This isn’t all day like
it was in Shenmue 1 and the route is super short, but you can make 320 bucks per stint. (Tomato Convenience Store theme) There’s also gambling and
games that you can play. Like Turtle racing. Yeah, super fun! The good news is that Lucky Hit is back. The physics feel very
different than Lucky Hit from Shenmue 2, but it’s still quite good. But it’s a lot harder to
do well this time around because there are fewer
winnable slots at the bottom. Quick Time Events are back and
you’ve gotta be really fast. Fortunately, you’re able
to redo them right away if you fail, so even if
you’re a slow old person you should be totally fine. There’s also a leveling-up
aspect to this game. The previous entries kind
of had something similar where you could level up your moves but this goes way beyond that. Each new move you get should be mastered by sparring with someone. This is generally pretty easy. Once a move is mastered,
your attack level goes up. You can also do simple yet
very repetitive exercises with practice dummies. These take absolutely forever, but will level up your endurance, giving you a longer life bar. And you absolutely want
the longer life bar, especially since it’s always draining. Both of these traits level
up your overall kung fu level which will help you beat enemies. If you wanna waste your time,
there are games you can play. These range from very simple
wack-a-mole type things to this weird new car game where you try to outrun the police. There are plenty of new
games to play as well. Even the QTE games make a reappearance. Sadly, there are no actual
Sega arcade games in here. I don’t know why, I mean,
there’s Space Harrier posters all over the place, and Excite QTE has Sega label all over it. And they even tease us
with Virtua Fighter! The closest thing to an actual videogame is this weird egg/duck/Virtua
Fighter thing, which only consists of
one match per machine. What really sucks though, is
that there’s no darts game! I mean, I’m glad that Lucky
Hit is back, but no darts? That was one of my favorites
from the first two games! Ah well, at least there are ways to waste your time if you want. Okay, so we talked about most
of the basics of Shenmue 3, however in 2000 Shenmue’s graphics were sure a sight to behold
and every character was voiced. Does Shenmue 3 blow you
away in the similar fashion? Also, how are the controls,
the story, and the pacing? Will it keep you glued to the TV or does it just drag on and on? Well, let’s check out
the rest of Shenmue 3. (slow dramatic music) Where the hell’d the disc go? Oh, yeah, I already put it in there at the beginning of the episode. I’m an idiot. How did this get back over here? Oh well. In the first two games,
you moved with the D-pad and ran by pressing the R-trigger. Here, the controls have been changed. You can no longer move
with the D-pad at all, but the R-trigger still makes you run. You steer with the left analog stick and can change the camera
with the right analog stick which can also change your
direction if you’re running. Basically, like a third-person shooter. It feels pretty natural. The fighting has been
completely changed around. Again, you can no longer use the D-pad which, as you can imagine isn’t a good way to play a fighting game. Here, though, you barely need it as there are no Street Fighter-style special moves to pull off. The analog stick basically just aims you, and the right stick will select your foe if you’re fighting more
than one at a time. You basically just have button sequences that you need to remember. You can assign these to the
R2 button and pull them off with just a press, and select between then with the L1 and R1 buttons. L2 blocks. I recommend stepping
away from your opponent if you’re not attacking. Once you get used to it, it’s
pretty easy to win fights. There are a couple of bosses in the game where even if you deplete
their life bar, you lose. You’re supposed to lose at these fights. That’s because the story wants
you to find a super-magic way to beat them, even though you clearly have no problem
winning, but whatever. (grunts) – [Ryo] What was that? – Okay, I think I can
recall some things now. – [Joe] Speaking of the story, this part is kind of disappointing. Most of the game is spent worrying about Shenhua’s missing father. Barely any attention at all is given to Ryo’s story
of avenging his father. In fact, there’s really not
much story going on here at all. There really aren’t any big reveals here. In fact, most of it we already know. Shenhua herself is completely useless except for one single point in the game. The previous game really built her up like maybe she has some sort
of special abilities and perhaps she probably does, but they’re barely utilized here. Still, when the story
parts do actually happen, it’s pretty awesome. They really padded this game out to make it as long as they could. That’s why this game suffers from the “Just one more thing” syndrome that I mentioned earlier. It often feels like I’m not really getting anywhere in the game. In fact, I figured that
this game was so low-budget compared to the first
one, that the entire game was gonna take place in Bailu Village and just drag on and on. (dramatic music)
(bangs) Thankfully that’s not the case, and eventually you get to
the Chinese city of Niaowu. This place is pretty
big and it makes me feel as if I’m wandering around
Wan Chai from Shenmue 2. It’s probably not as big as
Wan Chai, but it’s close. Maybe it feels that way because there are so many stairs here. So many stairs. These are here to slow
your progress a bit, so that the game can
load, at least I imagine. The inventory management has
been completely overhauled. It’s pretty simple once
you get used to it, but there is one downfall. If you buy an absolutely delicious cola from a vending machine, you
no longer get to watch Ryo enjoying the refreshing beverage. All that happens when you use the drink is that you get some hit points back. Boring! As I said before, earning
money can take a while and there are a couple
of very expensive items that you’ll need to buy. I feel that the prices
are probably so high in order to pad the length of the game. That way you spend more time
workin’ to get that money. When this happens, the
game really pushes you to visit a fortune teller so that you can win big at gambling. – Bet on the number you get
and you’re bound to win! – [Joe] Yeah, there’s just
one huge problem with that. In order to gamble,
you need to buy tokens, then you gamble with the
tokens instead of money. Then you need to take
the tokens that you win to the Prize Exchange to exchange them for a small selection of different prizes. Then you need to take
those prizes to a pawn shop to sell them for money. This is needlessly complicated. Honestly, the forklift is the
fastest way to earn money. Still, as long as you’re
not an impatient gamer, this is a very peaceful if
sometimes repetitive game. – [Ryo] Dried herbs and nothing else. (slow dark music) This design. – [Joe] Shenmue 3 runs
on the Unreal 4 Engine, which absolutely sucks compared
to the Unreal 7 Engine. I say that for the benefit of you watching from the future trying
to brush up on the series right before Shenmue 4 comes out in 2037. Anyway, I’ve gotta say,
this game looks gorgeous. Maybe that’s just me being used to the original graphics
from the year 2000, but this just trounces them,
of course, you’d expect that. There is a ton of rich color here and detailed objects are everywhere. They did pretty well for having a budget that was actually lower
than the original game. At first, I thought Ryo
looked kind of weird. And well, maybe he does. I think his eyes are perhaps
a bit too close together compared to the original model. Other than that though he
looks like Ryo and he’s fine. His clothes look way
better now, obviously. Some of the oddities of the original games are still present here though. People will often suddenly
fade in from non-existence, especially once you get to Niaowu. There’s also a lot fewer
people wandering around compared to the first two games, and some of the ones that
are you can’t even talk to. Oh, and sometimes the camera
will snap to a new position for no reason several
times during a conversation and it feels weird. The draw distance is very good, however the detail distance is not. You’ll see things like
foliage and other details drawing in as you approach. This problem is exacerbated
once you get to Niaowu. Sadly, the frame rate isn’t locked at all. In Bailu Village it often
runs at 60 frames per second but drops a bit when
there’s too much going on. Usually the frame rate is
pretty good here, though. Once again, since Niaowu
is much more complex, the frame rate takes
a pretty big hit here. It rarely runs at 60. I found that if you’re running
on a PlayStation 4 Pro, if you turn off supersampling
and turn Boost Mode on, it can help a bit. At least I think it does? It still drops plenty of frames though. Still, the takeaway is that this game is pretty good-looking all around despite having rather simple geometry in a lot of its polygon models. The music is absolutely awesome
and I’d expect nothing less. A lot of it is from Shenmue 1 or 2, and there’s lots of
new stuff here as well. (slow dreamy music) Even some stuff that
was originally composed for the first two games but
never used, is in use here. However, the music doesn’t loop properly, so there’s a big ol’ gap of silence before any given track restarts. Sometimes the music even forgets to play and you’re just running around listening to only the
environmental sound effects and your footsteps. (foot steps) I assume this is a bug that
will be fixed in the future, long after everyone’s
already beaten the game, at least I hope it will be fixed. Everything is voiced
and I’m happy to report there’s still a lot of that
trade mark stilted dialog. – You know, it’s rude to turn down a lady, but you’re good looking, so
I’ll let you off the hook today. – Uh, hi. – [Joe] But it seems like they
got much better voice actors for the majority of the NPCs. – Hi there. – I’ve heard about you. You’re Shenhua’s friend, aren’t you? – [Joe] Sadly, a lot of
the returning characters have been recast, but not all of them. For example, you can call
some of the old characters from the first two games on the phone and they sound nothing like they used to. – [Tom] China? Why so far from home? – [Joe] Yeah, that is not Tom. (Dragon Street (night) music) One thing that’s very, very, very annoying is that you can’t skip through the dialog. I can read a lot faster than I can listen and sometimes I don’t wanna hear the same old thing again and again. What’s weird, though, is that sometimes you can skip the dialog, but
only with certain characters, and if you load a save you can’t
skip through them any more. Maybe this is another bug? I’m glad I beat the game
before they fixed it. Actually, I’m not. All in all, it probably took
me around 20 hours or so to beat the game, which feels longer than either of the first two games. I’m only guessing here, as
there’s no playtime counter on the game’s save files that I know of. Still, this game is
longer than the first two with less substance. And it seems that there might
be some DLC in the future. I hate that but, yeah, I’ll buy it. I can’t resist. So, is this game worth playing through? Hell yeah it is, at least for me. But let’s be real here,
this isn’t as good, as either Shenmue 1 or 2. As a result, I’m kind of disappointed. We waited so long for this. Yes, I’m happy that I’m
playing it, it’s a great game, but I want more story. Aside from that, it’s still
very, very much “Shenmue.” With the first two games,
I started replaying them immediately once I beat them, just because I missed playing them. So will I play through Shenmue 3 again? Well, yes, I already am. (slow traditional music) (swooshes) – Who exactly are these people? – So, that’s my take on Shenmue 3. I feel that this game expects
you to be very familiar with the first two games
before starting this one. However, if you’re not,
there’s a digest movie, that you can watch from the title screen to help catch you up to speed. Also, this is a great
excuse to take your time and play through Shenmue 1 and 2 HD, which is readily available on any platform that you can get Shenmue 3 on. When it comes down to it, Shenmue 3 just didn’t do much for me
as the first two games did. But I still found it very endearing and totally worth my time. I recommend it if you like to
play through relaxing games, and yes, I am glad it exists. I just hope that Shenmue 4
focuses more on the story if it’s ever gonna be made. Anyway, what are you
guys think of Shenmue 3? Let me know. In the meantime, thank you
for watching Game Sack. (Game Sack Credits Theme) (slow traditional music) I believe I may have
had too many Jet Colas. Perhaps this would be a
good time to relieve myself. (slow traditional music) (piddles)
Oops. (piddles)
That’s it. (piddles)
Mm-hmm. (piddles)
Ai-yaah! (piddles)
Perfect! (energetic After Burner music) (piddles)
Yes! (piddles)
Ahh! (slow traditional music)

100 thoughts on “Shenmue 3 – The Review – Game Sack

  1. Never played a Shenmue game, but I still backed this game to help support Shenmue fans. Sorry to hear it didn't exactly live up to expectations.

  2. Well, I'm sold. I'll pick this up in January or whenever I finish my most recent playthrough of 1 & 2

  3. if this game is no sucess it shows how people are jaded. its so relaxed to play, no stress, enjoy the sound and atmosphere and this is special these days

  4. As far as the game being rough around the edges (such as graphically), blame all the CHEAPOS who either gave nothing or not enough for the Kickstarter. For a game 18 years in the making, only around 70,000 backers worldwide contributed, and 70% of the total gave $60 or less. Sheesh, regardless of your economic background, $60 is the average cost of ONE brand new game. The Kickstarter should have well exceeded all the stretch goals & beyond. As a result, the game was vastly underfunded, even with the additional monetary support from Epic Games, Sony helping with the marketing, etc. We should all consider ourselves lucky that the game turned out as well it did with the severely limited budget relative to the first two games.

  5. I'm actually kinda glad that there's gonna be DLC. Cause I want Shenmue 4 and if I can help make that happen by buying new content for Shenmue 3, I'll do that without hesitation. Hopefully Shenmue 4 will be even bigger and better than this one. Most of all, hopefully it will move the story forward in more drastic ways. Shenmue 3 is a great foundation that they can start building on.

  6. Yeah, such a great game sadly I don't have time to play video games at all but I have to say I played back then in my childhood the *hit out of 1 and 2.
    I still wanna play it though, watch that video first impression ist good ,maybe I watch some gameplay walk through.

  7. the font for the title Shenmue III on the shirt looks x10 better than on the game box, that one is terrible..

  8. I no longer have beef with the epic store. It's lightweight. They give away great games for free. The only issue i have is I like to keep my collective games together on each service (same with xbox and PS). So I am holding out for BL3 and Shenmue 3 until they hit steam. I will be buying games off of the epic store to support the cause and the simple lightweight software. My Beef has faded. Sucks they made me have to stall out keeping my collections together. Yes I know I am weird. I am happy you liked it. I cannot wait to play this damn game. We all waited far to long. Thankfully the yakuza's have filled my hole in the mean time… you know what i mean >:(

  9. Yo dawn I herd u like games so I put a game in ur game so you can play games while u play a game.

  10. I have only played the first one a bit, but I couldn't get into it. It was too slow and the controls were really bad, so I stopped playing. I understand why other people like the series though, and it's cool to see a third entry after all these years.

  11. This looks really bad. I feel like you're a bit biased in saying it's worth playing since almost everything you said was negative. It's full of padding and still only manages to be 20 hours? And again, it just looks bad, the controls look bad, the story sounds bad. Why should people definitely play it again?

  12. For me the graphics is great to almost excellent if there are no frame drops or some bad looking graphics in some angles. The voice acting in my opinion is little to no improvement.

  13. Let us be grateful that we have the 3rd Shenmue! Shenmue IV until IX we are ready! Bring us more Shenmue and release Shenmue 4 next year Yu!

  14. Love the review but you could easily get rich with collecting and selling herbs!

  15. I really liked it, but I had curbed my expectations greatly before it came out. I knew it would never be as good as Shenmue 2, but I'm happy it exists. I thought there was gonna be a third area though. Kinda feel the story just stops dead rather than finishes. And speaking of story, I don't think there is that much left. I wonder if Yu Suzuki talking up more games is less about how much of the tale is left to tell and more about what's feasible to put in a game with the reduced budgets

  16. Easily a top ten of best skits. Great to hear a Shenmue Review from a fan who understands the game mechanics of the series. A niche review for a niche game.

  17. I never liked the first 2 games and seeing this makes me want to stay away even more.

  18. Honestly this is the only Shenmue III review I ever wanted to see considering how much you went on and on about the series over the years. The announcement reaction video, the MLiG cameo and of course on Game Sack. So this is a culmination of all those moments and I am kind of sad to hear you are disappointing considering your fandom. Still, thanks for the honesty. At least as someone who played the first two games to death I know I can count on what you have to say.

  19. Shenmue 3 should have been VR like Half Life 3 VR. It is sad to see the lack of ambitions in old BOOMER developers.

  20. I played Shenmue I and II quite a few times, from what I hear shenmue III didn't worth the wait, but I'd still buy it. Is not that previous games were any different, remembered I spent hours talking to people pointlessly, and checking objects here and there, I spent many tries on Shenmue 2 carrying the books without dropping them to get the daily secret move if you did well.

  21. Does anyone know what the deal with the Shenmue 3 dlc is?
    I know there are two arcane technique scrolls and a jacket reskin for the $250 backer tier but evidently pre-ordering it gave a blazing kick arcane technique scroll, is that the same as one of the two scrolls from the slacker backer campaign? And what does the dlc season pass include?

  22. very disappointed…they could put atleast the first virtua fighter in the arcade…very lot of grinding in training and earn money…they got so many in kickstarter and this is what they made?

  23. I just started the game a day ago, and cautiously watched this review with its promise of very minor spoilers. Glad you enjoyed it even though so e disappointment. So far, I have a big smile on my face, still in Bailu village. I truly hope there is DLC. It would be awesome if a new arcade room popped up, with Sega games in it, for example. What's the chances of that occurring?

    Anyway, concerning S3 … I was won over at hearing the first strains of the Chinese music.

  24. Instead of padding out the game with useless dialog they could have, you know finish the story.

    I had to see how it ends before I bought it and it's a worse cliffhanger than Shenmue 2.

    No thanks.

  25. Is it weird that I'm sad over them not doing 2 sets of graphics for this? One that's updated and one that makes it look like the two on Dreamcast? Dragon Quest XI did something like this and I really wish this game did it… there's just something wrong about the way it looks, but in fairness that's probably just the giant gap in time from 2 to 3 more than anything else.

  26. This is the reason Half-Life 3 will never come out. You think you want it; but you don't.

  27. Sounds like Shenmue 3 is a chore to play. I'd rather do actual chores, like dishes and dusting.

  28. Okay, the end "relief" mini game was hilarious. I absolutely love when a new Game Sack comes out

  29. “As long as you are not an impatient gamer…”
    Ah man, guess I’m out. Great review though!

  30. I have avoided all Shenmue 3 related content in preparation for finally getting to play it after I finish with finals for this semester. BUT, for the 'Sack, exceptions are made. In general, I don't trust metacritic scores at all, but Shenmue 3 is a special case. For Shenmue 3 to be a game fans (people who backed it on Kickstarter) want, it has to be a game that contemporary "games journalists" don't want.

  31. I bought the Shenmue games to support the series and fans who had been waiting so long. However my presumption was that they'd wrap the story up… which judging by this fine review isn't quite the case. I hope the fans can get some closure because as a Mega Man Legends fan… I know what it's like to have game series leave stories unfinished. Thanks Joe!

  32. Being the Sega Fanboy that you (we all) are, this is a very awaited and memorable episode. Congratulations for being such a loyal and caring Sega fan for so long, this is your reward

  33. Great review, I'm still playing the game at leisure speed because I don't want to finish it so soon.

  34. I have a feeling that since the game is set in china all the arcade machines are bootlegs.
    Hence the egg virtua fighter.

  35. good game, with little substance. it gets tiring at times, really tiring. part one and 2 where slightly tiring after playing the remakes with the new controls but are still great. the best way is to play 1 and 2 on a real dreamcast.

  36. Noice!! Also I picked up my first model 1 genesis yesterday, its a good weekend!

  37. That old bag flirting with Ryo disturbed me so much, I had to put down the controller and take a break.

  38. I tried to get into this series. I like slow games but this series is in it's own category of sloww nothingness.

  39. Anyone else traumatised watching Joe pee on them and then getting max points? 😲

    Hilarious, but traumatic 😝

  40. Saw Joe wearing a Shenmue III t-shirt in the "Games that never left the Arcade 5" episode and wondered what his thoughts were on it now that it's out. Go back to home page after the video and now here it is!

  41. Whoa, really! After 17 fucking years they present us a halfbaked not finished story of Shenmue with no conclusion. Some fandoms just like to eat shit. And there will still be DLC for the fools to buy.

  42. I beat shenmue 3 twice! Best way to make money is to fight at the rose and garden, you can make an average 17k from tokens.

  43. wtf, you said drop distance is good but you also said ppl pop in from non-existance…
    That IIIIIIIIIIIIIIS draw distance lol

  44. I was waiting for your review… and unlike this sequel, it didn’t disappoint. You did the series justice with a video like this.

    With that said, I agree with your take: I like this installment, but its easily the worst in the series.

  45. I only ever got the chance to own Shenmue 1 but the game kept on crashing so I could never get far :(.

  46. This game and both the others just look bad. The character style is hideous. I've always thought this and I'm not alone. I'm sure it's a good enough game but it lost a huge chunk of its potential audience immediately with its art style. You, know, those of us who play so many games sometimes we're stuck judging a book by its cover, even if we shouldn't. I can see the appeal and I'm not trashing the game, its just my opinion on the way it looks.

  47. i was pretty hyped for this, i enjoyed shenmue 2, but i probably won't be picking this one up

  48. just never connected to the original or 2..this one will not be my cup of tea either..but happy for those who waited so long for it.

  49. Shenmue 3 has disappointingly bad sales unfortunately. Should have gotten rid of the crapy voice acting, maybe improved the animations & got the rights from sega to add classic arcade games & sega branded capsule toys 🤷🏾‍♂️. Also would have been nice if the combat was based on virtua fighter 5fs

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