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OhFunny
Jun 26, 2013

EXTREMELY PISSED AT THE DNC


It's Star Wars day and Golden Week so clearly the game I should buy from Steam is Final Fantasy XII. The most Star Wars Final Fantasy.

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Orv
May 4, 2011


OhFunny posted:

It's Star Wars day and Golden Week so clearly the game I should buy from Steam is Final Fantasy XII. The most Star Wars Final Fantasy.

I actually sat back and thought about that for a second and yeah, why not.

Orv fucked around with this message at 22:34 on May 4, 2021

Hollandia
Jul 27, 2007

rattus rattus




Grimey Drawer

END ME SCOOB posted:

This is the most interested I've been in a Darksiders game since the original, holy poo poo.
Same and also most interested in a humble monthly for a while.

Scalding Coffee
Jun 26, 2006

You're already dead


I don't know much about Shenmue, but it sounds similar in pacing to Chulip, which is a game where you drag out entire days just to do one thing to advance the plot.

Kchama
Jul 25, 2007

YAP YAP YAP


Like it was definitely impressive at the time but it was when open world games were in their infancy and people were experimenting so it was forgivable on that front

but Shenmue 3 came years later and the creator outright said that he hates the idea of improvement since Shenmue is basically exactly correct as it is was in the DC days (except he did that stupid thing where he watered down the combat to lose any sort of fun it might have and now it's just a button mashing thing where the game basically chooses what attacks you do).

Nyaa
Jan 7, 2010
Like, Nyaa.



Town life sim would be more engaging if the focus is to settle in the village, start a farm, make friends with everyone, and get marry.

Kennel
May 1, 2008

BAWWW-UNH!


Stardew Valley would be better if it started with your grandpa getting killed in front of your eyes, but the rest of the game would play like it does now.

pedro0930
Oct 15, 2012


Belated Enlisted chat:
New F2P FPS. Stand out feature is that you control a customizible squad instead of just one character, though the bots are really dumb and are more like portable potential spawn point/demo charge carrier that you park in the last cleared building so you can keep up the momentum of attack when you die. They also make easy satisfying target for bolt action rifle or MG or AA gun as you mow a whole squad down trying to cross a street with enfilade fire. Different unit type has different potential for customization. For example, you can put a sniper in the communication squad for long range spotting for artillery, attach an engineer so all your squad can build rally point and ammo point, or AT specialist to deal with vehicle.

Speaking of artillery, once you get a certain perk, artillery cool down can get as low as 30 seconds. It becomes a real problem when multiple people, and on both teams (artillery cause friendly fire) start to call artillery, creating a non-stop constant wall of explosion. This is extremely exploitable, very effective, and only prevented from happening because most players are terrible and the meta is still colascing. Similarly problematic is aircraft bombing spawn from the start wiping out entire team. Honestly I haven't been killed by this for the last 30 games so it's very avoidable but losing half your pubbie teammate in the first 20 seconds does kill all momentum for the first wave of attack. Also I've only seen pubbie build AA one out of ten games so good bomber player can just kill everyone on the objective every 2 minutes with impunity (also AA gun has close to 0 chance of killing the plane before it drops its payload, though shooting the good bomber down does prevent the player from flying for a good while depending on how long it takes him to cycle through his squads).

I recommend playing the Moscow scenario and soviet only because 90% of the players are still in T60 and Pz2, and most Pz2 players have no idea where to shoot the T60 to penetrate so you can murder wave after wave of Pz2 and infantry for massive experience.

Maps are unfortunately extremely small. I reckon most maps have less than 300m x 300m play area open at a time. On most "push" type map the frontage is perhaps only 200m wide. Tiny compares to even Battlefield.

Some people mentioned the grinding and having to kit out individual soldiers. I haven't really found it to be too bad compares to WoT or War Thunder. You usually get a new toy after every 10-20 games (the first few levels are significantly quicker and unlocks very impactful squad like engineer). Each game takes about 20-25min. Almost all perks are just nice to have or basically useless, none are good to the point where they'll be able to dictate a play style so don't worry about it if you don't want to. There will be points where your shining new squad will not be fully equipped with medkit, grenade, or even their class weapon, but it becomes a smaller and smaller problem once you start building up your stockpile so you can shift your items around since you can only bring 3 infantry squad and 1 vehicle squad in a game.

pedro0930 fucked around with this message at 23:13 on May 4, 2021

bees x1000
Jun 11, 2020

Love and Anger


Capcom Arcade Stadium is up for Steam preorder (out May 25th) and I did the dumb thing of rebuying the whole lot instead of the smart thing of just grabbing the shmups for $1.99 each.

Hub Cat
Aug 3, 2011

Trunk Lover



Kennel posted:

Stardew Valley would be better if it started with your grandpa getting killed in front of your eyes, but the rest of the game would play like it does now.

Grandpa's lovely bed has a lot to answer for!

Hwurmp
May 20, 2005

I LIKE TO MAKE VAGUE THREATS TO PEOPLE ON THE INTERNET BECAUSE I AM TOUGH GUY. P.S. ASK ME ABOUT THE TIME A GIRL BEAT ME UP IN GRADE SCHOOL. HER NAME WAS SUZIE SHE DREW A BIG WEINER ON MY FOREHEAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You've made your bed...now die in it.

pentyne
Nov 7, 2012

I just couldn't look at your old avatar anymore
Fucking nauseating!


Kchama posted:

but Shenmue 3 came years later and the creator outright said that he hates the idea of improvement since Shenmue is basically exactly correct as it is was in the DC days (except he did that stupid thing where he watered down the combat to lose any sort of fun it might have and now it's just a button mashing thing where the game basically chooses what attacks you do).

I decided to check, and lol Shenmue 3 has less then 500 reviews on steam.

Nier Replicant, a remaster that came out a few weeks ago has 5700 reviews.

The game Hobo Tough Life that came out April 12th has 626 recent reviews.

Great job making an "exactly correct" japanese lifestyle game so boring that it doesn't even crack 1000 reviews on Steam.

Although, it was an Epic Store exclusive, so that may have had an impact.

Orv
May 4, 2011


Shenmue 3 was, IIRC, the first game to do the whole "We're like a month/two weeks/two months/et al out from release, we're going to be EGS exclusive for a year" and that probably tanked its Steam sales harder than anything about it being bad. People were loving wild at the news that they were getting a Shenmue 3 when that went down.

Bloody Hedgehog
Dec 12, 2003

Gotta nuke something


Orv posted:

People were loving wild at the news that they were getting a Shenmue 3 when that went down.

Yeah, all hundred of them.

Mr. Locke
Jul 28, 2010


Bloody Hedgehog posted:

Yeah, all hundred of them.

When Shenmue 3 was announced, a whole lotta people fooled themselves into thinking it was something they wanted.

The Epic Game Store thing knocking the game back a year for many folks probably saved thousands of people the disappointment of actually playing Shenmue 3

Orv
May 4, 2011


Bloody Hedgehog posted:

Yeah, all hundred of them.

No it was way more than that, many people had forgotten the Truth of Shenmue.

bees x1000
Jun 11, 2020

Love and Anger


Shenmue 3 kickstarter had nearly 70k backers.

Sinteres
Mar 26, 2004
Please don't be rude, it upsets me when I'm trying to be smug

Leal posted:

Didn't we have this discussion like 2 days ago about people talking about all they watch is Yakuza LPs cause playing it is a slog and an LP lets them just experience the part that everyone talks up?

I'm sure someone does that with these games and lots of other games, but lots of people sincerely enjoy the Yakuza series. The fight system can definitely become a chore (there were times in 5 in particular where I'd have two street battles within seconds of each other, which drove me nuts), but random battles in any RPG can get boring. I've played 0-5 now all in the time since 0 came out on PC, and I'm starting 6 very soon. None of them are super long games, and I'm not trying to 100% any of them or anything, but I wouldn't have played six of these games in the last three years if they weren't doing something right.

pentyne
Nov 7, 2012

I just couldn't look at your old avatar anymore
Fucking nauseating!


The game sold less then 1/2 of what the remaster did at release according to a gamespy article, about 18k units. Ever published quote mentions that sales don't include the backers, but those people already paid well in advance.

The wiki article for Shenmue 3 even has a section about it going Epic exclusive shortly before launch, and that they had make a bunch of statements promising the initial KS backers who were told it would release on Steam they could still get steam keys.

You'd think for a guy who's dream game trilogy basically flopped because it was released on a poorly selling console would've realized that restricting it to a single digital store would've been repeating the mistakes of the past, but that almost seems to be his fetish by this point.

Edmond Dantes
Sep 12, 2007

Reactor: Online
Sensors: Online
Weapons: Online

ALL SYSTEMS NOMINAL


https://twitter.com/MassivelyOP/status/1389679989113622535

Google Butt
Oct 4, 2005

By looking far out into the 209 we are also looking far back into time, back toward the horizon of the universe, back toward the epoch of the Stockton Slap.




Good

bees x1000
Jun 11, 2020

Love and Anger


*but their revenues are up. Time for more layoffs!



RIP Blizzard. StarCraft Remastered was pretty good tho

Mr. Locke
Jul 28, 2010



That's not shocking. The Blizzard part of A-B have not put out any new games in that timeframe, just some WoW and Hearthstone expansions and two remakes- one ok, one bad. Additionally, HotS has lost it's e-sports league and Overwatch, the newest game on the roster, has been without a meaningful update since April 2020. I mean, 30% down is probably better then most companies would do without a new title in five years.

Of course, Blizzard is also a hallowed-out husk being inhabited by whatever bodies Activision can stuff with it as almost every veteran developer has left the company at this point, so we'll see if Diablo IV/Overwatch 2 can muster up the magic to get people to come back, cause even the WoW and Hearthstone fanbases are only going to stick around for so long, as angry as both have been about the recent additions for those games.

Ghostlight
Sep 25, 2009

maybe for one second you can pause; try to step into another person's perspective, and understand that a watermelon is cursing me





I left because free Hong Kong.

Orv
May 4, 2011


Mr. Locke posted:

That's not shocking. The Blizzard part of A-B have not put out any new games in that timeframe, just some WoW and Hearthstone expansions and two remakes- one ok, one bad. Additionally, HotS has lost it's e-sports league and Overwatch, the newest game on the roster, has been without a meaningful update since April 2020. I mean, 30% down is probably better then most companies would do without a new title in five years.

Of course, Blizzard is also a hallowed-out husk being inhabited by whatever bodies Activision can stuff with it as almost every veteran developer has left the company at this point, so we'll see if Diablo IV/Overwatch 2 can muster up the magic to get people to come back, cause even the WoW and Hearthstone fanbases are only going to stick around for so long, as angry as both have been about the recent additions for those games.

I'm really not a fan of the continuing narrative that old leads leaving a studio means it's inherently poo poo now. A lot of the people people followed over the last thirty years of gaming have put out some real trash fires in the years before they left their respective studios and it's very specifically the old guard of lead devs that are keeping MMOs and GaaS games mired in the bad old days of "Collect 10,000 bear asses every three months."

Granted new blood is not a free pass or an indicator of good ideas either and Blizzard and Activision really just suck rear end as companies lately either way.

Grapplejack
Nov 27, 2007



Shenmue 3 exceeded my wildest expectations because it managed to somehow be Shenmue 3 from 2003 but in 2019 somehow, like the entire dev team fell through a time portal. It had little to no modernization and boy howdy that's just what I wanted

The Kins
Oct 2, 2004


Sector Effector


A lot of Shenmue 1 makes more sense when you realize that there wasn't really any design documents because Yu Suzuki's previous games were smaller, arcade-ier experiences where they could start with a basic concept and "find the fun" through iteration, so with a much larger scope they just spiraled wildly out of control and became a money furnace.

IIRC in the final months of development they had to parachute in Amusement Vision's Toshihiro Nagoshi to be director/producer and tie the ends off of the sausage because they knew Yu Suzuki would actually listen to him. Nagoshi went on to head up the Yakuza series, so that'd be the link between the two franchises there.

Omi no Kami
Feb 19, 2014




If I recall correctly, Yakuza 1 was explicitly the result of Shenmue- I think Nagoshi had left team Shenmue or was planning on leaving, and Sega basically went 'Yo, if you can keep this motherfucker under control long enough to get it across the finish line, we'll give you poo poo.'

(Then Nagoshi made Yakuza, Sega went 'I thought you were going to make a Super Monkey Ball sequel', and Nagoshi went 'This is a Super Monkey Ball sequel.')

Mr. Locke
Jul 28, 2010


Orv posted:

I'm really not a fan of the continuing narrative that old leads leaving a studio means it's inherently poo poo now. A lot of the people people followed over the last thirty years of gaming have put out some real trash fires in the years before they left their respective studios and it's very specifically the old guard of lead devs that are keeping MMOs and GaaS games mired in the bad old days of "Collect 10,000 bear asses every three months."

Granted new blood is not a free pass or an indicator of good ideas either and Blizzard and Activision really just suck rear end as companies lately either way.

Yeah, which is why I said 'we'll see what D4/OW2 look like' and not 'Blizzard is dead and buried.' And if I were to say that, it wouldn't be because the old guard is gone, but because it's just Activision wearing an orc mask like some Scooby Doo villain, and while it's probably just Activision wearing an orc mask, maybe some of the Blizzard culture persists and it'll get to be it's own entity.

With all that said, Blizzard needs to put SOMETHING out sometime soon, because even as far as Blizzard time goes, it's been a while.

Orv
May 4, 2011


Mr. Locke posted:

Yeah, which is why I said 'we'll see what D4/OW2 look like' and not 'Blizzard is dead and buried.' And if I were to say that, it wouldn't be because the old guard is gone, but because it's just Activision wearing an orc mask like some Scooby Doo villain, and while it's probably just Activision wearing an orc mask, maybe some of the Blizzard culture persists and it'll get to be it's own entity.

With all that said, Blizzard needs to put SOMETHING out sometime soon, because even as far as Blizzard time goes, it's been a while.

I'm also not a fan of the whole "Activision is ruining Blizzard!" thing either. It's all capitalism and Blizzard loves unforced errors, or at least they do in the last decade or so and while a chunk of them probably come down from the business side they make plenty of their own on the dev and design side.

But yes ultimately it would be nice if they put out a game that was not massively flawed some time soon.


E: What I'd really like to see is the timeline where Bungie didn't become independent again because their monetization of Destiny 2 has only become worse and more greedy since leaving Activision and that'd be a good outside data point for whether it is actually Activision or just regular ol' hellworld.

Orv fucked around with this message at 05:01 on May 5, 2021

Bloody Hedgehog
Dec 12, 2003

Gotta nuke something


I mean, say what you will about WoW, but even at it's worst it's averaging something like 3 million players per day. Paying a monthly fee. On a 17 year old game. Blizz could just keep pumping out mediocre WoW expansions, and be just fine indefinitely.

Bobby Coatrack - "Oh dang, we're nowhere near as popular as we used to be! What? We're still making metric fucktons of money? Cool."

Mr. Locke
Jul 28, 2010


Orv posted:

I'm also not a fan of the whole "Activision is ruining Blizzard!" thing either. It's all capitalism and Blizzard loves unforced errors, or at least they do in the last decade or so and while a chunk of them probably come down from the business side they make plenty of their own on the dev and design side.

But yes ultimately it would be nice if they put out a game that was not massively flawed some time soon.


E: What I'd really like to see is the timeline where Bungie didn't become independent again because their monetization of Destiny 2 has only become worse and more greedy since leaving Activision and that'd be a good outside data point for whether it is actually Activision or just regular ol' hellworld.

Unfortunately you're just gonna have to suck on THAT narrative because that's The Activision Narrative- absorbed studio gets exploited for short-term gain with little care for long-term survivability or legacy of said studio. Which, I mean, looking at the pulling back of active support of HotS and OW as their pro leagues have floundered, the whole Warcraft 3 Reforged thing, and especially Hearthstone getting run into the ground from 2016-2019 by power creep to drive booster sales from players wanting to stay competitive, only pulling back at all once it was starting to look like Hearthstone might just straight-up die from mismanagement... I mean, that could just be some real bad business from Blizzard, but that's also not exactly sidestepping The Activision Narrative either.

Orv
May 4, 2011


I would genuinely be surprised if it's ever dipped to 3 million. Even in its darkest sub days, back in WoD when they stopped saying them publicly and in BFA's doldrums when it was just dire I'd easily guess they've never really gone below like 5 million at a given time. But yeah, people have been saying WoW is the worst it's ever been and dying since TBC so it'll probably just print money until everything else goes under.


Mr. Locke posted:

Unfortunately you're just gonna have to suck on THAT narrative because that's The Activision Narrative- absorbed studio gets exploited for short-term gain with little care for long-term survivability or legacy of said studio. Which, I mean, looking at the pulling back of active support of HotS and OW as their pro leagues have floundered, the whole Warcraft 3 Reforged thing, and especially Hearthstone getting run into the ground from 2016-2019 by power creep to drive booster sales from players wanting to stay competitive, only pulling back at all once it was starting to look like Hearthstone might just straight-up die from mismanagement... I mean, that could just be some real bad business from Blizzard, but that's also not exactly sidestepping The Activision Narrative either.

I think the reality is that it's very likely both. We've gotten a lot of retrospectives on things like the D3 AH, the creation and early balance of Hearthstone and past WoW blunders that were all very much "We thought this was the right move at the right time for the right playerbase" when very clearly none of that was true. Activision is, absolutely, a greedy tire fire but they also have some level of good business sense and I don't think "systematically annihilate nearly the entire good will of every marketable franchise and IP of your most (critically) popular studio with extremely bad game design" is a working strategy for short or long term gain. It's also been thirteen years since Activision merged with Blizzard and if they were going to crank up profit, drive down costs and pump Blizzard out and leave them in the gutter they would have done it years ago, not allowed Blizzard to blow up their own games for years while barely releasing anything before finally reigning them in.


And to be clear 'reigning them in' does not include firing a shitton of people with crappy rear end severance or none at all so that Bobby loving Kotick can rake in another 200 million. They can do the first without doing the latter, they just also are a nightmare shitshow.


E: Like god whatever in the loving world Blizzard is doing with all of the everything that Overwatch 2 is or isn't or seriously what are they doing over there, if it was all about Activision milking them for every dollar they'd never be allowed to gently caress around with easily their most successful new thing since Hearthstone. Activision has their yearly juggernaut that sells a new world record in video game sales every time they release a new one, Blizzard Time is still a thing we get to joke about. Activision is undoubtedly a capitalist hellscape but Blizzard is perfectly capable of cocking up on their own and burning it all down around their ears.

Orv fucked around with this message at 06:25 on May 5, 2021

Ghostlight
Sep 25, 2009

maybe for one second you can pause; try to step into another person's perspective, and understand that a watermelon is cursing me





Bloody Hedgehog posted:

Bobby Coatrack - "Oh dang, we're nowhere near as popular as we used to be! What? We're still making metric fucktons of money? Cool."
lmbo if you think corporations are okay with only making metric fucktons of money. bobby will be in his office desperately trying to explain how he's going to make the numbers return to going up forever.

Orv
May 4, 2011


Yeah I feel like I should be clear this is not remotely an argument that like, Activision is good or better or literally any of the business decisions that the entire company has made in the last year and a bit are good. This is entirely "Blizzard has been loving things up just fine without corporate ever entering into the picture and even when corporate does stick its hands in it's nothing that any other video game company isn't already doing in the last decade." It all sucks! That video games are a business and do not just magically appear on my hard drive at an appointed time by some Video Game Council is poo poo cause it ruins a bunch of them. But Blizzard has ably proven that they are not the golden boy that they were and they did that all by themselves.

SirSamVimes
Jul 21, 2008

~* Challenge *~




OhFunny posted:

It's Star Wars day and Golden Week so clearly the game I should buy from Steam is Final Fantasy XII. The most Star Wars Final Fantasy.

ffxiv has the empire as an antagonist faction

Commander Keene
Dec 21, 2016

This avatar helped buy Lowtax a new back.



So does FF6.

pentyne
Nov 7, 2012

I just couldn't look at your old avatar anymore
Fucking nauseating!


Shemue 1

Where to begin. So many thoughts, praises, and criticisms swilling around in my head. Let's start with the strongest feelings..


who tf is this person the game keeps showing me?
Meandering: The game that starts off with the dramatic murder of your father never seems to get to the point. Is this a revenge story? A martial artist's journey to greatness? A epic saga to save the world? A maudlin romance? All of these things are present at some point and introduced but lack all sense of purpose because they have the same weight as the scene where you name a cat. The story presents itself one way, then as the game develops if puts no effort into maintaining a sense of importance for any of them. Nozomi, Ryu's supposed love interest, can seem more like an annoying classmate he barely tolerates if you don't find any of the optional scenes with her (pretty easy to do.)


yeah that's a tasty soda
Polished: There are a few problems with the games systems in general, like the camera during the fights constantly flipping directions making inputs different, but in general what is present is done to a very high technical standard. There's no FMV, everything is done in engine, and even for now a lot of the main focus cast have a great amount of detail put into their animations, from hands, to facial expressions, to body movement in general. From a technical development standpoint, they loving nailed it.


way less roving gang of thugs then yakuza
Fickle: weird word to choose, but this best applies to just how easy it is to miss all the optional stuff. These slice of life moments are supposed to be the beating heart of this game, yet absent a walk-through you'd go through and miss well over half of them. These scenes are gated by time, weather, advancing plot triggers, having won the right gatchas, possessing certain story items at certain times. It's as if the game expected you to trigger a main story plot beat, then run all over the town talking to everyone you know and visiting every location while it isn't raining before moving on to the next one.


Ambitious: Pretty much the standard for shooting for the moon and refusing to compromise. Yu had a vision for this game, and you can see from what's there he lacked practical focus for what could otherwise have been revolutionary game concepts that set the standard .
- The gatcha mechanics: with freemium and mtx games now, the whole idea of digital gatcha is a billion dollar industry. People pay $$$ to show off their shiny digital trinkets and it's basically a massive force in the gaming industry today
- Shenmue passport: an online interactive system where players could go to find hints specific to their point in the game, ranking leaderboards for the minigames
- The save file progression across games: Mass Effect made this famous as the idea of taking a single character across an entire trilogy of story and content
- The fully realized town: Yakuza followed up on this, creating a video game franchise where small, but incredibly detailed maps ooze with life and activity to give the idea something is always happening off screen.
- Exploring the game world for the sake of it: Walking simulators have become hugely popular in the last decade, and games like Gone Home kind of embody the idea of what Shenmue was going for, an open world to explore, investigate, and dig into every corner and crack you can find.
- Active day/night cycle with all the NPCs on set schedules, living their lives around you

All that doesn't really matter if the game isn't fun to play. Long story short, it barely is.

- The martial arts training you need to do only helps so much when the combat system is kind of a mess because you can't focus on enemies and the camera shifts so much you can end up facing the other way with your enemies off screen and no idea where they are.

- The early investigation into Hazaki Sr's murder is easily the best part. You walk into this sprawling, detailed Japanese town and people greet you and talk like they've known you your entire life. It very quickly creates the sense that Ryo is part of the community. However, that's as far as it goes, and no connections are made past the "oh hello person who's name I know"

- The mini-games are fine for what they are, late 90s video game, and there's a lot of rewards you can get for getting good at them.

- The gatcha capsules are gatcha capsules.

- All the polish and style in the world don't mean anything when you need to wait 6 hrs in game to meet someone, and your only real options are train, or just put the controller down and wait for the designated time.

This is at best a historical curiosity in how an extremely ambitious creator in the late 90s tried to mash together a ton of ideas that would later become immensely popular and just didn't understand what makes them work. It's completely functional and playable even by modern standards, it's just more of a experience to talk about then a game to enjoy.

Det_no
Oct 24, 2003


So a friend and I were browsing VRChat, which by the way doesn't actually require a VR Headset to play, and we saw that there's this interesting, almost budget E3 event going on for Japanese indie games. It's really neat in a quaint sort of way: You go around visiting booths, watching trailers and interacting with random props scattered around.


Most the games are not released yet but some are! Like this one, that I wishlisted...


... and this one, that I already had wishlisted. Woops.


This one was one of the coolest games I saw. Something like a Cyberpunk Zootopia illustrated in a Vanillaware style? Really cool. Here's the trailer that was playing in the booth too:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SqL2a7NQH84


They got sponsors too! You can find ads like these for games like Nier Replicant, Disgaea 6, Guilty Gear as well as a Hololive/Kizuna AI/Nijisanji event of some sort that's coming up.


Lots of games to see and they are all pretty charming, even if a lot of them only have information in Japanese.

Really charming stuff. Highly recommended if only to mess around and see some games that you'd be hard-pressed to find elsewhere.

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Kchama
Jul 25, 2007

YAP YAP YAP


pentyne posted:

Shemue 1

Where to begin. So many thoughts, praises, and criticisms swilling around in my head. Let's start with the strongest feelings..


who tf is this person the game keeps showing me?
Meandering: The game that starts off with the dramatic murder of your father never seems to get to the point. Is this a revenge story? A martial artist's journey to greatness? A epic saga to save the world? A maudlin romance? All of these things are present at some point and introduced but lack all sense of purpose because they have the same weight as the scene where you name a cat. The story presents itself one way, then as the game develops if puts no effort into maintaining a sense of importance for any of them. Nozomi, Ryu's supposed love interest, can seem more like an annoying classmate he barely tolerates if you don't find any of the optional scenes with her (pretty easy to do.)


yeah that's a tasty soda
Polished: There are a few problems with the games systems in general, like the camera during the fights constantly flipping directions making inputs different, but in general what is present is done to a very high technical standard. There's no FMV, everything is done in engine, and even for now a lot of the main focus cast have a great amount of detail put into their animations, from hands, to facial expressions, to body movement in general. From a technical development standpoint, they loving nailed it.


way less roving gang of thugs then yakuza
Fickle: weird word to choose, but this best applies to just how easy it is to miss all the optional stuff. These slice of life moments are supposed to be the beating heart of this game, yet absent a walk-through you'd go through and miss well over half of them. These scenes are gated by time, weather, advancing plot triggers, having won the right gatchas, possessing certain story items at certain times. It's as if the game expected you to trigger a main story plot beat, then run all over the town talking to everyone you know and visiting every location while it isn't raining before moving on to the next one.


Ambitious: Pretty much the standard for shooting for the moon and refusing to compromise. Yu had a vision for this game, and you can see from what's there he lacked practical focus for what could otherwise have been revolutionary game concepts that set the standard .
- The gatcha mechanics: with freemium and mtx games now, the whole idea of digital gatcha is a billion dollar industry. People pay $$$ to show off their shiny digital trinkets and it's basically a massive force in the gaming industry today
- Shenmue passport: an online interactive system where players could go to find hints specific to their point in the game, ranking leaderboards for the minigames
- The save file progression across games: Mass Effect made this famous as the idea of taking a single character across an entire trilogy of story and content
- The fully realized town: Yakuza followed up on this, creating a video game franchise where small, but incredibly detailed maps ooze with life and activity to give the idea something is always happening off screen.
- Exploring the game world for the sake of it: Walking simulators have become hugely popular in the last decade, and games like Gone Home kind of embody the idea of what Shenmue was going for, an open world to explore, investigate, and dig into every corner and crack you can find.
- Active day/night cycle with all the NPCs on set schedules, living their lives around you

All that doesn't really matter if the game isn't fun to play. Long story short, it barely is.

- The martial arts training you need to do only helps so much when the combat system is kind of a mess because you can't focus on enemies and the camera shifts so much you can end up facing the other way with your enemies off screen and no idea where they are.

- The early investigation into Hazaki Sr's murder is easily the best part. You walk into this sprawling, detailed Japanese town and people greet you and talk like they've known you your entire life. It very quickly creates the sense that Ryo is part of the community. However, that's as far as it goes, and no connections are made past the "oh hello person who's name I know"

- The mini-games are fine for what they are, late 90s video game, and there's a lot of rewards you can get for getting good at them.

- The gatcha capsules are gatcha capsules.

- All the polish and style in the world don't mean anything when you need to wait 6 hrs in game to meet someone, and your only real options are train, or just put the controller down and wait for the designated time.

This is at best a historical curiosity in how an extremely ambitious creator in the late 90s tried to mash together a ton of ideas that would later become immensely popular and just didn't understand what makes them work. It's completely functional and playable even by modern standards, it's just more of a experience to talk about then a game to enjoy.

The best part of Shenmue has always been Ryo showing up in Project X Zone to fight sentient interdimensional computer viruses and JRPG monsters.

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