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What's the Story With Shenmue?




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Aresef



Joined: 22 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2020 3:00 pm Reply with quote
I actually found the English dubs of 1 and 2 endearing, FWIW. It's like you're watching a foreign film that didn't need an English dub but got one anyway with a bucket of cheese to go with. Corey Marshall was talking on his Twitch stream the other day about how he was actually told that the whole idea was to be as faithful to the Japanese as possible and that necessarily meant including the mannerisms and idioms of Japanese conversation, even if they sound unnatural to English speakers.

Shenmue III was dubbed in Los Angeles but I feel like the cast and writers generally threaded the needle of what a Shenmue dub should sound like.

Even if the anime merely retells and doesn't advance the story of Shenmue, I hope it draws more people into this world.

One point of correction, Shenmue IIx came out in 2002, around the same time as Xbox Live.
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Beatdigga



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2020 3:24 pm Reply with quote
I am hoping against hope that the anime has a proper dub where people talk like normal people. Yakuza got George Takei, Shenmue can get some natural sounding voices.
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Aresef



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2020 4:09 pm Reply with quote
Beatdigga wrote:
I am hoping against hope that the anime has a proper dub where people talk like normal people. Yakuza got George Takei, Shenmue can get some natural sounding voices.


I hope that they do what the intention is to do with the Japanese version and cast the same people who voiced the main roles in Shenmue III. It's way too early for Corey Marshall to have been asked to come back, but it would be weird to hear somebody else voicing him.

I mean, roles less other than that, you know, stunt cast all you want.
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Top Gun



Joined: 28 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2020 4:45 pm Reply with quote
I have zero personal experience with Shenmue, but I did watch a lengthy video by someone who loved the original two games expressing how massively disappointing 3 was. Fans waited more than 15 years for a game that accomplished...pretty much nothing. The plot went nowhere, and the status quo at the end was almost exactly as it was at the beginning. And the gameplay is largely a clunky, archaic relic. I think the most damning statement was Yu Suzuki openly bragging that he doesn't play other games. Shenmue may have essentially created the open-world genre, but it's one that has gone massive evolution in the two decades since, and much of what seemed fresh and exciting in 1999 just doesn't work in 2020. I do feel genuinely bad for those who spent all that time waiting for something so underwhelming.
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Lord Geo



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2020 8:40 pm Reply with quote
Top Gun wrote:
I have zero personal experience with Shenmue, but I did watch a lengthy video by someone who loved the original two games expressing how massively disappointing 3 was. I do feel genuinely bad for those who spent all that time waiting for something so underwhelming.


I've only ever played a bunch of the first game long ago, but you really should look for more than just one person's feeling about this, because there were plenty of people who enjoyed Shenmue III, simply because it was more Shenmue, which is exactly what they wanted. As always, there are always two sides of the coin when it comes to stuff like this, and while some were disappointed that the story didn't really advance much (let alone finish), there were some who got more or less what they wanted/expected.

Shenmue, for all intents & purposes (& for better or worse), is Shenmue. Yu Suzuki has a very specific mindset going into these games, and just because open-world gaming has gone in other directions doesn't mean that Suzuki has to change to accommodate that. While Shenmue does a have an overall plot that fans are invested in, many also associate the games more for their relaxed, "live Ryo's life however you want" attitude, and it seems like Suzuki focused more on the latter with Shenmue III. Maybe he'll focus more on story with the next entry.
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Aresef



Joined: 22 Jun 2005
Posts: 635
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2020 1:25 pm Reply with quote
Top Gun wrote:
I have zero personal experience with Shenmue, but I did watch a lengthy video by someone who loved the original two games expressing how massively disappointing 3 was. Fans waited more than 15 years for a game that accomplished...pretty much nothing. The plot went nowhere, and the status quo at the end was almost exactly as it was at the beginning. And the gameplay is largely a clunky, archaic relic. I think the most damning statement was Yu Suzuki openly bragging that he doesn't play other games. Shenmue may have essentially created the open-world genre, but it's one that has gone massive evolution in the two decades since, and much of what seemed fresh and exciting in 1999 just doesn't work in 2020. I do feel genuinely bad for those who spent all that time waiting for something so underwhelming.


Shenmue III is definitely the weakest of the three games, Shenmue III being the strongest. That being said, it feels like Shenmue and even though it didn't move the story forward as much I would have liked (not to say I was expecting a finale), it's more Shenmue. Without getting into spoilers, I think the status quo does change in the end.

Part of what Shenmue is includes the gameplay. If I wanted to play Yakuza, if I wanted to play GTA, I'd go play those games. Shenmue is supposed to be slow paced. I have my issues with the game's economy and the new food mechanic but ultimately everything about the economy of the game flows somehow into training and building up your moveset. You get a teddy bear or something, that's part of a batch of items you can collect and trade into a pawnshop for a movescroll, that sort of thing.

But it's also clear where they ran out of money, because this infrastructure seems to have been built to account for that third area they didn't get to make. And the runup to fighting the heavy in both Bailu and Niaowu is exactly the same.
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Beatdigga



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2020 3:59 pm Reply with quote
Aresef wrote:


I hope that they do what the intention is to do with the Japanese version and cast the same people who voiced the main roles in Shenmue III. It's way too early for Corey Marshall to have been asked to come back, but it would be weird to hear somebody else voicing him.

I mean, roles less other than that, you know, stunt cast all you want.


Then it’s dead on arrival. No one is sitting through a dub reminiscent of the early 90’s.

And as Shenmue 3’s sales clearly showed, there aren’t enough ironic fans to make this a success.
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Takkun4343



Joined: 19 Jul 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2020 9:10 pm Reply with quote
Top Gun wrote:
I have zero personal experience with Shenmue, but I did watch a lengthy video by someone who loved the original two games expressing how massively disappointing 3 was. Fans waited more than 15 years for a game that accomplished...pretty much nothing. The plot went nowhere, and the status quo at the end was almost exactly as it was at the beginning. And the gameplay is largely a clunky, archaic relic. I think the most damning statement was Yu Suzuki openly bragging that he doesn't play other games. Shenmue may have essentially created the open-world genre, but it's one that has gone massive evolution in the two decades since, and much of what seemed fresh and exciting in 1999 just doesn't work in 2020. I do feel genuinely bad for those who spent all that time waiting for something so underwhelming.

Oh, I remember seeing that video too. Super Eyepatch Wolf's stuff really is great, isn't it?

That said, no matter how disappointing Shenmue 3 was, I'm still looking forward to the anime adaptation, if only for the combination that it's an [adult swim] co-production (thus giving me more incentive to watch it than if it were stand-alone) and that I once toyed with the idea of writing up a hypothetical adaptation after watching SEW's video on the first two Shenmue games.
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