Shenmue I & II HD |OT| Like a polished mirror

Nov 11, 2018
118
Got Shenmue I & II during the EU January sale. I’m about to start playing them now. Any tips and other stuff I should know/think about?

English or japanese voices?
 
Oct 27, 2017
513
Got Shenmue I & II during the EU January sale. I’m about to start playing them now. Any tips and other stuff I should know/think about?

English or japanese voices?
I played with Japanese because I found the eng dub to be... bad but in a fun way. But Japanese felt so right for this. Other than that all I can advice you on is take your time and enjoy it. Turn off the warp thing that lets you warp from your house because if you use it you will spend more time waiting around and also miss out on some side content / scenes.
 
Dec 29, 2018
184
Belgium
Got Shenmue I & II during the EU January sale. I’m about to start playing them now. Any tips and other stuff I should know/think about?

English or japanese voices?
Don't expect an action game. Take your time to explore the world and just enjoy the atmosphere. Learn how to kill time (play minigames, practice moves, explore to find hidden cutscenes and events).

Definitely Japanese voices. Most of the English voice acting isn't very good.
 
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Dec 2, 2017
1,662
IMO the English dub of the original game is endearing, if awkward. Most of the main cast are alright, even if the NPCs don't get to the same standard. It's cheesy in a good way, but if that's not your bag you can always switch to Japanese.

Japanese all the way for Shenmue II, though. The English version has one particular stand-out performance with a ton of charm (Eric Kelso as Ren), but on the whole you can tell it was a very rushed and cheap production, and it detracts from an otherwise simple but excellently told story.

Without getting into spoilers, things will start picking up for you a little bit further on. Shenmue's climax ramps up pretty quickly past a certain point, and you'll be getting into a lot more fights. Try to figure out the timing of the dodge/parry/counter system before you reach the end, it's very helpful and rewardingly satisfying.

On the whole though, it sounds like you'd really enjoy Shenmue II.
 
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Dec 29, 2018
184
Belgium
IMO the English dub of the original game is endearing, if awkward. Most of the main cast are alright, even if the NPCs don't get to the same standard. It's cheesy in a good way, but if that's not your bag you can always switch to Japanese.
Yeah most of the main characters are ok, but almost all NPCs are pretty bad.
 
Oct 27, 2017
7,832
So after backing without a good reason SM3 I decided to buy the HD collection because I never played this series.
This weekend I started SM1 and arrived at the harbour, now I will have to infiltrate in the Warehouse n°8.
Until now it was quite easy to understand how to go on with the story (thats good), but it does not looks much interesting overall, even the characters for now are not particularly well written...
Sure the whole gameplay is something that must have looked impressive back in the days when it released, it really feels like following Ryo lifes in this little city! And its fun to find every time something new to look at or to do.
I'm really curious to see how the story goes on, because after everything I read I expect that something interesting starts to happen sooner or later.
The fighting looks promising but until now there are really a few of chances to fight someone, so I don't even have time to really master it... sparring is ok, but I would prefer more "action".

EDIT:
I forgot one thing. Playing on PS4 Pro the audio is totally messed up. Voices are too loud and looks like recorded in a closed room, music sounds...strange? I dont know how the original sounded, but I dont believe it was THAT bad... something is wrong here...
Sadly in Shenmue 1 the story isn't going to advance that much, is in the second game where things start to get real. (Although the final 2 hours of the game are amazing)

Shenmue 1 feels better if you consider it as the first half of 1 big game, that kinda works like a tutorial (albeit a large one) for the combat system and the kind of things that you can do in the game, while also working as the introduction for the motivations of Ryo and making his journey feel more "personal" showing us what he has to leave behind in order to purchase his vengeance.

Also, there are lots of terrible gameplay decisions that thankfully were fixed in the second game, which feels more like a focused game than the first game where at times it feels like they just put lots of things together because the devs thoughts that they were cool without thinking if they were going to make the game better.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,929
Sadly in Shenmue 1 the story isn't going to advance that much, is in the second game where things start to get real. (Although the final 2 hours of the game are amazing)

Shenmue 1 feels better if you consider it as the first half of 1 big game, that kinda works like a tutorial (albeit a large one) for the combat system and the kind of things that you can do in the game, while also working as the introduction for the motivations of Ryo and making his journey feel more "personal" showing us what he has to leave behind in order to purchase his vengeance.

Also, there are lots of terrible gameplay decisions that thankfully were fixed in the second game, which feels more like a focused game than the first game where at times it feels like they just put lots of things together because the devs thoughts that they were cool without thinking if they were going to make the game better.
I just got a work in the harbor (well almost, I need to wait 1 day...), I heard this is one boring part but i should also be not far to the end!
I'm pretty curious about 2
 
Oct 27, 2017
7,832
I just got a work in the harbor (well almost, I need to wait 1 day...), I heard this is one boring part but i should also be not far to the end!
I'm pretty curious about 2
The harbor part was my favorite part of the game when I was a child, but as I grew older I realized that is terrible (not for the forklifts mind you, but rather because of the restrictions that the game imposes you in your free time) but the good news is that you probably have like 4-5 hours left before finishing the game, so enjoy the good parts from this section
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,929
The harbor part was my favorite part of the game when I was a child, but as I grew older I realized that is terrible (not for the forklifts mind you, but rather because of the restrictions that the game imposes you in your free time) but the good news is that you probably have like 4-5 hours left before finishing the game, so enjoy the good parts from this section
Nice!
One question... I found in the house the Saturn... is there a way to play it or its just for show?
 
Dec 2, 2017
1,662
[...] I heard this is one boring part [...]
Depending on how receptive you are to the forklift stuff, it could be a drag, but outside of that there are fights/action scenes/martial arts move tutorials pretty much every in-game day while you're progressing the story. People calling that part outright boring are kind of mischaracterising it as just forklifts.
 
Oct 27, 2017
221
Australia
Depending on how receptive you are to the forklift stuff, it could be a drag, but outside of that there are fights/action scenes/martial arts move tutorials pretty much every in-game day while you're progressing the story. People calling that part outright boring are kind of mischaracterising it as just forklifts.
Most people I've seen who dislike this part of the game do so because of the lack of stuff to do at lunch and after shifts, not the forklift job itself. I think it's exacerbated by the fact that so many people do extra days without meaning to, or get stuck completely, due to the poor event flagging in this section.

People who are familiar with the game know of fun and interesting ways to fill the time, but some of these things can be easily missed. Then if you add repeated days on top of that it can become a real drag.
 
Dec 2, 2017
1,662
Most people I've seen who dislike this part of the game do so because of the lack of stuff to do at lunch and after shifts, not the forklift job itself. I think it's exacerbated by the fact that so many people do extra days without meaning to, or get stuck completely, due to the poor event flagging in this section.

People who are familiar with the game know of fun and interesting ways to fill the time, but some of these things can be easily missed. Then if you add repeated days on top of that it can become a real drag.
I feel this hinges on whether they like move training and the activities/shop in the Harbor Lounge (which isn't hard to spot, I would be surprised if players didn't know it was there). There's definitely stuff to do, but obviously if it doesn't tickle their fancy I could get how the downtime would be boring.

Personally, couple tries of beating my high score at darts, and a few capsule toys makes that time pass like nothing.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,261
My personal problem is you're just locked to the habour. Like even if you've gotten all of the scenes for that day you're still stuck there until like 8PM, the only exception being just before the motorbike run. Combine that with how easy it is to have to repeat days and you can get real bored real fast I think. There is stuff to do at the harbour but if you do end up having to repeat days I think you'd still get bored of it after a bit. I love darts, so much so that I don't think I'll ever forget the darts music, but even I'd get bored if I was doing it all the time through multiple repeated days.

The poor event flagging doesn't help. I even missed a flag on my re-playthrough of the remaster. Like I knew where you had to go for the event while working but I'd completely forgotten you needed to talk to someone to get it to appear so I didn't bother and spent my lunch getting capsule toys for the achievement instead. Didn't get the scene during the work day but got a scene after so I thought maybe I was misremembering, but then the next day came and it was the same route... So I had to redo the day over.

Now I'll admit this is rather a unique scenario where I don't think this would happen as easily to a new player since I think the game does tell you to talk to the person(think it was mark). This was more a combination of me having taken a break from the remaster waiting for fixes so I'd forgotten the said dialogue and the fact I did remember the scene I was meant to get so it kind of gave me false confidence that I didn't need to do anything else. However, it's just kind of an example of how easy it is to miss a trigger point during that bit, and how annoying it is when it happens.
 
Oct 30, 2017
1,072
My issues with the forklift area:

1. It's unclear that the 'wrong' route will lock you into a continuous loop where you can never progress the story. This happened to me the first time and it aggravated me to no end. It appears it still happens to people, as I see tons of "when does this damn thing end?" comments.

2. The controls are pretty awkward and there are no physics. It's weird playing a 'realistic' game and watching your forklift slam into people and cats like they're brick walls, with absolutely no feedback. Now, the game came out in 2000 and was packed with content, so I'm sure this is just a hardware/time limitation.

3. The music during the races is an atrocious 15-second rock guitar loop. Yes, I know it comes from some other AM2 title, but it's really bad.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,261
1. It's unclear that the 'wrong' route will lock you into a continuous loop where you can never progress the story. This happened to me the first time and it aggravated me to no end. It appears it still happens to people, as I see tons of "when does this damn thing end?" comments.
.
Yeah, it's really punishing because if you miss one tiny thing for whatever reason then you have to do the entire day again before you can try and figure out what you did wrong, and even then you may not find it so you'll have to do another day again for another attempt.

I guess at least there's walkthroughs these days so a cursory look at those would probably tell you what you missed but stil you're absolutely right that I can see a lot of people not realising that they're missing something.

Like I mentioned above with my example I still got a scene in the evening after I'd missed an important scene so it almost made it seem like I was still progressing. Obviously when I saw the same crate route again I realised what had happened, but anyone who hadn't played before could have just been "Oh they lazily repeated routes lol?" and still thought they were on the right track.
 
Oct 30, 2017
1,072
Yeah, it's really punishing because if you miss one tiny thing for whatever reason then you have to do the entire day again before you can try and figure out what you did wrong, and even then you may not find it so you'll have to do another day again for another attempt.

I guess at least there's walkthroughs these days so a cursory look at those would probably tell you what you missed but stil you're absolutely right that I can see a lot of people not realising that they're missing something.

Like I mentioned above with my example I still got a scene in the evening after I'd missed an important scene so it almost made it seem like I was still progressing. Obviously when I saw the same crate route again I realised what had happened, but anyone who hadn't played before could have just been "Oh they lazily repeated routes lol?" and still thought they were on the right track.
Yeah, I mean, if Mark just said something like, "You went the wrong way, Ryo!" at the end of the day... would've helped.
 
Oct 27, 2017
221
Australia
Yeah, I mean, if Mark just said something like, "You went the wrong way, Ryo!" at the end of the day... would've helped.
This assumes they made the game that way on purpose. I think some of the event triggers in this part of the game -- like having to approach a warehouse from a particular direction -- is just sloppy game design. I don't think they wanted to punish players for not following the routes because that makes no sense. They just didn't account for people taking alternate routes when setting up the event triggers.
 
Oct 27, 2017
7,832
The thing with the harbor part is that in your free time there is not much to do.

- The darts game are not that good (I wish that any of the excite qte were there, or maybe I never found them)
- Training alone by that point of the game doesn't help that much since probably you already understood the mechanics of how moves work (and without an sparring partner is awkward to practice throws)
- Shopping is a terrible minigame that doesn't add anything to the game, where you only do it to win things in the raffle, and even then, it takes so much time to buy one thing that after a while I actually don't bother doing it.
. Gacha is the most decent time waster in that game, but the rates are so terrible that after a while it gets frustrating to get a dozen of dupes of ball b.
- And the conversations are not that good there to be honest, specially since most of the time you are just asking stuff about your current quest, and most of the NPC are scared as fuck of the Mad Angels.

The forklift section is for me the best thing of that area, and only because after awhile is so tedious that you are just going through the motions and don't mind the thing or you can actually impose some challenge to try to reach a certain amount of boxes before the time expires
 
Oct 27, 2017
221
Australia
sibarraz I agree with you, but I still think the harbour has some great moments, including the best QTE in the game, a good sense of mystery surrounding Master Chen, and some cool characters. I don't think it's a bad part of the game -- it just could've been condensed -- or they could've added more to do during the down-time: made the old man a proper sparring partner, added a new arcade machine in the lounge, gave Goro and other NPCs more interesting dialogue, etc.
 
Oct 30, 2017
1,072
This assumes they made the game that way on purpose. I think some of the event triggers in this part of the game -- like having to approach a warehouse from a particular direction -- is just sloppy game design. I don't think they wanted to punish players for not following the routes because that makes no sense. They just didn't account for people taking alternate routes when setting up the event triggers.
You're totally right. I think that's the honest truth, and something some Yu Suzuki/AM2 fanboys don't want to acknowledge (I count myself part of that group). They weren't demigods, just normal folks like the rest of us. I also think it would've added another half-decade of development to account for all the problems we saw in hindsight. At a certain point you've just got to release your damn game. It would've been great to eat sushi and change your outfits, but how much time would that have added to the game, especially one that was pushing a console like the Dreamcast (or even the Saturn)?
 
Nov 4, 2017
1,199
Been 2 months since the last patch on consoles. Have more been deployed to PC since then? Any word on if they're still plugging away at this collection? Not super eager to rebuy this and sit down with the games at the moment, but would be good ta know if the current state of the games is as good as it gonna get or not.
 
Oct 31, 2017
2,863
So I'm finally getting back to Shenmue I after months spent on Spidey, Red Dead, etc. and man it just feels so relaxing. I'm waiting for it to be night in the Old Warehouse district right now and my main complaint is there's no option to sleep until certain times of day.

Other than that this game is incredibly detailed and lively considering what hardware they were working on and everyone has character (though much of that is just the funny English Dub). This is my first time actually playing these and I'm glad that all the spoilers I saw were from the first couple hours or so (sailors and such).

I got the 50 Gacha toy trophy so glad that the missable ones all have to do with story now and I won't have to bother going to those machines anymore lol. The only guide I've used is just a list of missable trophies but no spoilers to solutions to the story or anything.

It's rough around the edges but even for a newcomer the quirky magic is there I think and I hope the second is just as fun. I am surprised there hasn't been more games like this since it though. Like why not have more open world mystery games? Seems like a fun twist on the genre and you could interweave it into other gameplay aspects with modern open worlds.
 
Oct 27, 2017
221
Australia
Like why not have more open world mystery games? Seems like a fun twist on the genre and you could interweave it into other gameplay aspects with modern open worlds.
It's an interesting question. There are lots of open-world games that dabble in investigative gameplay and mystery solving, but hardly any that make it the core of the game. I think the simple answer is developers/publishers are afraid to create open worlds where the player isn't constantly engaged in, or preparing for, combat.

The closest thing, off the top of my head, is Deadly Premonition. Yakuza constantly gets compared to Shenmue but on a fundamental, minute-to-minute basis it's completely different. You can't talk to 99% of NPCs, there is no real exploration to be had, and you fight all the time. For more apt comparisons you really have to look at other genres like adventure games, but none really have the depth of interaction that Shenmue is known for.
 
Dec 29, 2018
184
Belgium
It's an interesting question. There are lots of open-world games that dabble in investigative gameplay and mystery solving, but hardly any that make it the core of the game. I think the simple answer is developers/publishers are afraid to create open worlds where the player isn't constantly engaged in, or preparing for, combat.

The closest thing, off the top of my head, is Deadly Premonition. Yakuza constantly gets compared to Shenmue but on a fundamental, minute-to-minute basis it's completely different. You can't talk to 99% of NPCs, there is no real exploration to be had, and you fight all the time. For more apt comparisons you really have to look at other genres like adventure games, but none really have the depth of interaction that Shenmue is known for.
True, Yakuza really isn't the same type of game as Shenmue. LA Noire is also an open world investigation game, although it isn't really that similar to Shenmue either.
 
Oct 27, 2017
221
Australia
Yeah, LA Noire was the other mainstream game I was thinking of. The crime scene investigations bear some resemblance -- the way you can pick up and examine objects in detail, and interrogating people is a core element -- but yes, in practice, it's nothing like Shenmue. The open-world in LA Noire is absolutely pointless, for starters. Traversing that game is just busy work.
 
Oct 31, 2017
2,863
It's an interesting question. There are lots of open-world games that dabble in investigative gameplay and mystery solving, but hardly any that make it the core of the game. I think the simple answer is developers/publishers are afraid to create open worlds where the player isn't constantly engaged in, or preparing for, combat.

The closest thing, off the top of my head, is Deadly Premonition. Yakuza constantly gets compared to Shenmue but on a fundamental, minute-to-minute basis it's completely different. You can't talk to 99% of NPCs, there is no real exploration to be had, and you fight all the time. For more apt comparisons you really have to look at other genres like adventure games, but none really have the depth of interaction that Shenmue is known for.
Ah that’s true deadly premominitiom is close though I must admit the “guilty pleasure” parts of that game annoy me more than most. I do love the quirky characters and liveliness of the world though (I did platinum it so stuck with it). I think a smaller open world of about Batman Arkham city size but with interactions with citizens would be cool. In fact Spider-Man 2 if it comes on PS5 could add some cool interaction with local citizens and mystery solving but again it wouldn’t be the main part of the game and it would probably just be an excuse to go from one battle to the next
 
Oct 31, 2017
2,863
Yeah, LA Noire was the other mainstream game I was thinking of. The crime scene investigations bear some resemblance -- the way you can pick up and examine objects in detail, and interrogating people is a core element -- but yes, in practice, it's nothing like Shenmue. The open-world in LA Noire is absolutely pointless, for starters. Traversing that game is just busy work.
Yeah I thought I remembered that game having no point to it’s open world. I always had my partner drive and just jumped to missions to get trophies and such. I think you had to go around to landmarks or something? Still though no citizen interaction or side quests

Oh also I’m sneaking into warehouse 8 now. About how far am I through the game?
 
Dec 29, 2018
184
Belgium
Yeah, LA Noire was the other mainstream game I was thinking of. The crime scene investigations bear some resemblance -- the way you can pick up and examine objects in detail, and interrogating people is a core element -- but yes, in practice, it's nothing like Shenmue. The open-world in LA Noire is absolutely pointless, for starters. Traversing that game is just busy work.
Yeah and the main character writes down clues in a notebook which reminded me of Shenmue, but as you say they aren't that similar.
 
Dec 2, 2017
1,662
Nothing has ever scratched that Shenmue itch for me. Believe me, during the dark times when it seemed like the series was gone forever, I tried anything with even a passing resemblance to Shenmue. None really held up as being what I wanted, even if bits and pieces did strongly remind me of the series. I could enjoy them on their own merits, but they'd never be a suitable replacement.
 
Oct 25, 2017
515
It's been 17 years since I last played Shenmue 2 and I can't remember anything about Kowloon. Am I going to miss anything if I just go through the story at this point?
 
Oct 31, 2017
2,863
So first of all I thought 1 dragged a bit towards the end with all the working stuff but it was so fun and quirky and the awkward conversations especially in English dub terribleness were amazing. I loved how lively and packed the world is as well.

Shenmue II though is SUCH an improvement. I can finally just skip the damn clock ahead when I have to wait for something and the mini map and navigation in general is so much better. I never heard much about this one as I just saw the sailor videos of the first. So far I'm just hoping Ryo gets to get with Lishau Tau because there seems to be some real tension there. She just
saved me from the fat dude when the other guy got kidn
 
Oct 31, 2017
2,863
The first part of Shenmue II is my favorite part of the series but starting with the wooden plank QTE section it takes a severe downward turn. The last bossfight if you fail a QTE you restart it! Why do they triple down on that element so much late in the game? Holy cow did I get tired of it.
 
Oct 27, 2017
221
Australia
The first part of Shenmue II is my favorite part of the series but starting with the wooden plank QTE section it takes a severe downward turn. The last bossfight if you fail a QTE you restart it! Why do they triple down on that element so much late in the game? Holy cow did I get tired of it.
I think it's just the old-school arcade design mentality of "the end-game has to be hard and unforgiving". This sort of thinking was still commonplace in 2001.

(Yes, technically it's not the end of the game, but the final chapter isn't supposed to be challenging.)
 
Oct 31, 2017
2,863
I think it's just the old-school arcade design mentality of "the end-game has to be hard and unforgiving". This sort of thinking was still commonplace in 2001.

(Yes, technically it's not the end of the game, but the final chapter isn't supposed to be challenging.)
Yeah true and honestly the fight itself wasn’t difficult i just got annoyed by having to restart with 4 separate QTEs

The epilogue was a bit stretched for me too but that was mainly me thinking the game was over and then it stretched out for another couple hours so more of a mental thing
 
Oct 31, 2017
2,863
I confess, I cheated during the wooden plank QTEs,

I was looking at a decade old FAQ about the QTE order while playing the wooden plank QTEs
I kept looking for QTE guides and totally would have cheated if I could have found one lol

I only ended up using a guide for missable trophies because I like collecting them and didn’t want to play through the whole game again for one or two
 
Oct 30, 2017
1,072
Games in the '90s/early 2000s were generally unfair. Regenerating health and checkpoints every 30 seconds are a fairly modern thing. Anyone remember the INSANELY difficult Shinobi for PS2? Not a single checkpoint...
 
Oct 31, 2017
2,863
Games in the '90s/early 2000s were generally unfair. Regenerating health and checkpoints every 30 seconds are a fairly modern thing. Anyone remember the INSANELY difficult Shinobi for PS2? Not a single checkpoint...
Jedi Power Battles on PS1 was my biggest memory of unforgiving difficulty in a 3d game. Difficulty seemed to take a major step down when 3d hit. Though of course Shinobi and Ninja Gaiden I remember being ridiculous.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,813
So, finally started my replay of Shenmue 2 today (which I was planning anyway, but recent Shenmue 3 hype certainly helped!). I'm up to the Four Wude bit again, and honestly even though I've played the game a few times before I'm still insanely impressed with the scale of 2 compared to 1. Each quarter feels like the size of Dobuita at least, and with tons of enterable buildings with their own characters and music. Its really impressive to think this was running on the Dreamcast back in the day. The biggest improvement I feel in the HD release is the load times - as exploring all these areas is made far more convenient thanks to how quick the game loads.

Gambling has been super helpful in terms of getting money quick, the gambling point behind the Come Over Guest House can net you 500 dollars instantly and the odds are fairly decent (unlike Judge Eyes black jack!) and I've managed to almost complete my Shenmue 1 toy collection (still need to find that Gold Dural though).

Other than that its just been great revisiting the game again, exploring the beautiful environments as the story plays out (unlike 1 I don't know it like the back of my hand, so its more surprising in that regard).

Only things I'm not a fan of is the darts music (still slightly glitched) and arm wrestling (still can't button bash most of them fast enough). But those are super minor issues, otherwise I can tell I'll be having loads of fun with this game all over again.
 
Oct 25, 2017
284
Managed the motorcycle race first time by the skin of my teeth. I'd forgotten how tough it was, especially for my younger self who didn't quite grasped that braking might be important for not ramming into the sides of the road.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,813
And that's Shenmue 2 plat'ed/completed. What a lovely end to the game, not sure I've played any other game that
has the big epic setpiece/boss fight(s) occur 75% through the game, and then has you do a very relaxed world building part as the ending. Granted chapter 4 was basically the beginning of the next big plot point of the game, but still its not something I can recall any other game doing
.

Chapter 4 is so darn nice - its relaxing, got some beautiful scenery and music and is just a nice way to relax and spend an evening. That ending though... well at least we know Shenmue 3 is coming now! Cannot wait for the gameplay trailer in a few days.


As for the port of Shenmue 2, I know especially around launch it had issues, but I feel the port now is pretty darn good. Only sound issues I knowingly encountered were the darts music being a bit odd at points (meh) and the dice sound effect in "Roll on top" going silent if you quickly skip dialogue when placing a bet (easily mitigated or just ignored, not like I played that mini game lots at once). I know other people had issues with the way music sounded but honestly I didn't notice, still sounded great to me. Otherwise the port was wonderful - still looks pretty nice today (especially some of the character models) and the lack of load times really helps explore the larger areas in Hong Kong and Kowloon.