Is Shenmue III Outdated?
Shenmue III Is Coming Sooner Rather than Later
The Shenmue series has had what one might call an interesting history. In short, the Shenmue series was supposed to be a RPG spinoff of the Virtua Fighter series, but changing thoughts on the matter resulted in it becoming its own thing while still retaining the core characteristics envisioned from the start.
Unfortunately, while the initial Shenmue received an enormous investment of resources that enabled it to become a favorite of the critics, its commercial performance was rather lackluster. As a result, Shenmue III went into a kind of limbo for more than a decade’s time, though it seems clear that said period is now coming to a close. After all, the long-awaited title is set to be released on November 19 of 2019, which is no more than a short while into the future.
What Did We Learn About Shenmue 3 From the E3 Presentation?
Recently, Shenmue III was one of the upcoming titles that were showcased at E3. As a result, interested individuals received a wealth of new information, which should provide them with a fair amount of insight into whether it is right for them or not.
For starters, it seems that Shenmue III won’t share the same battle system as its predecessors. This is something that some previewers have mentioned as a negative because the previous titles used a battle system based on that of the Virtua Fighter series, meaning that it came with a fair amount of depth that was much-appreciated by a lot of players out there. In contrast, while Shenmue III retains much of the same basis, its new battle system is simpler and more straightforward. Something that some interested individuals might consider to be disappointing.
With that said, Shenmue III is rather curious in that it seems to be making a serious effort to present a more fleshed-out world for the player. One of the examples that have been mentioned is traveling from region to region via the use of the bus system. In most titles, players would be able to call a bus as soon as they have arrived at the bus stop, meaning that there is a very intentional choice to prioritize convenience at the cost of verisimilitude.
In contrast, Shenmue III has buses that follow strict schedules, meaning that if interested individuals want to avoid having to wait for the next bus to come in to their chosen bus stop, they are going to need to memorize the bus schedules to time their schedules. Moreover, since the title keeps track of different days of the week, chances are good that interested individuals are going to have to memorize separate schedules for both the weekdays and the weekends as well.
Another example would be the new stamina system that has been introduced in Shenmue III. In short, the player loses stamina under certain circumstances, with examples ranging from running to being hit by enemies. This is a serious issue because a player with low stamina will receive penalties such as no longer being able to run as well as heading into combat with a lower HP, thus making it that much more difficult for them to overcome their enemies.
As a result, interested individuals are going to need to keep a constant eye on their stamina so that they can top it off by taking various actions such as getting some sleep as well as chowing down on their food of choice. Something that won’t come for free, which is why players are going to have to make regular runs to various mini-games in order to get enough money to keep themselves fed.
This is a design choice that seem as though it could split a lot of players out there. On the one hand, this makes the world of Shenmue III seem more realistic than otherwise possible, so much so that it promises to beat out most of the other open world games that can be found out there on the market. On the other hand, well, suffice to say that a sense of verisimilitude may or may not be correlated with a person’s sense of enjoyment from playing a game. As such, it seems reasonable to speculate that people are going to walk away from Shenmue III with very different reactions depending on whether they prioritize immersion over convenience or vice versa.
With that said, there is one last point that should be mentioned, which should come as welcome news for some interested individuals out there. In short, the Shenmue series has always been packed full of detail in order to make it seem more “real” for interested individuals. However, Shenmue III stands out in that more of an effort has been made to tie these elements into its mechanics, which seems to be an intentional choice meant to encourage players to interact with them rather than ignore them. Time will tell whether this proves to be effective or not, but for the time being, it seems like it has promise at the very least.
Is Shenmue III Outdated?
By this point in time, some people might be wondering whether Shenmue III has outdated mechanics. Certainly, it wouldn’t be surprising, seeing as how the series started out in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Unfortunately, this isn’t a question with a simple and straightforward answer.
The crux of the issue is thus. Over time, video game developers have introduced more and more conveniences into their titles, which makes sense because most of those inconveniences don’t actually add anything to a game but instead serve as an artificial barrier to slow players down. For example, forcing players to save at a very limited number of checkpoints doesn’t actually make the game more challenging under most circumstances, meaning that it is better to go for something more liberating.
Some of Shenmue III‘s systems are looking as though they could veer off in this direction if they are not implemented well, but it is important to note that there is also a sizable segment of video game consumers who love this kind of thing. As a result, it won’t be possible to say whether Shenmue III has outdated mechanics or not until we get a better look at them as it continues to approach its release date.