Yakuza is not a worthy substitute for Shenmue

(Chapter 1 | General Series Discussion)

Is Yakuza a worthy substitute for Shenmue? (Total votes: 12)

Yes
2
17%
No
10
83%

Yakuza is not a worthy substitute for Shenmue

Postby sutoji » Thu Jul 06, 2017 9:47 am

So I was talking to a friend about what we were currently playing and I had mentioned to him that I just got into the Yakuza series for the first time with Yakuza 1. Told him I found it very compelling. He smiled, saying it was a good substitute for Shenmue. His exact words were "a good substitute for Shenmue." I was triggered.

But all this really got me thinking about certain games, franchises - similar ones, how certain ones succeed, how others...not so much. There are a lot of similarities between Yakuza and Shenmue but they should not be compared and and are still very different. Think about it, same publisher, same overall design concept, at least on the surface. However, one is going strong with a soon to be released 6th main entry in the west and several spinoffs including a prequel. While the other stopped after a second entry and now is only coming back with a third only with the help of Kickstarter and Sony because Sega have a towel over their head.

What are your opinions on these franchises? If you've played both, is Yakuza even a substitute for Shenmue? I think hell no. And why does it seem that only one of these games was destined to move onward, while the other fade away? Was it because Yakuza was released on the more popular PS2, while Shenmue was left with the struggling Dreamcast? Or was it because the Yakuza games are simply more enjoyable? Assuming the success was related to quality, which we know isn't always the case.

And to be honest, it seems Shenmue Dojo generally favors Shenmue obviously. I'm curious to know the opinions of those who have invested a lot of time in both franchises.
User avatar
sutoji
Banned
Banned
 
Joined: June 2017
Location: UK

Re: Yakuza is not a worthy substitute for Shenmue

Postby Telekill » Thu Jul 06, 2017 12:10 pm

I never bothered with the Yakuza series as I felt it was Sega's slap in the face to Shenmue fans on top of the slap in the face we got from them not releasing the second game in N. America on Dreamcast on top of the slap in the face of cancelling the series and giving all the fans a fat middle finger.

Frankly, I hope Sony buys out the Shenmue IP from Sega and finishes the series off on Playstation and PC for the fans. I don't think Sega needs to even bother being affiliate with the series anymore as they obviously don't give a damn about it or the fans and probably never have after the demise of the Dreamcast itself.
Image
User avatar
Telekill
Man Mo Acolyte
Man Mo Acolyte
 
Joined: July 2015
PSN: Telekill
Currently playing: AC Origins

Re: Yakuza is not a worthy substitute for Shenmue

Postby Spaghetti » Thu Jul 06, 2017 1:27 pm

No.

I like Yakuza, and have done for a long, long time (I remember getting hyped when Kenzan was announced ten years ago); but it has absolutely perplexed me how people say "so why do you want another Shenmue?"

They don't scratch the same itch, and most comparisons are really just on the surface level. Those who act like Yakuza is a replacement for Shenmue don't really get why people like Shenmue in the first place.

Spaghetti has received 2 thanks from: Truck_1_0_1_, VukBZ2005
User avatar
Spaghetti
Machine Gun Fist
Machine Gun Fist
 
Joined: November 2015

Re: Yakuza is not a worthy substitute for Shenmue

Postby sand4fish » Thu Jul 06, 2017 1:32 pm

When viewing their main mechanic focus, Yakuza is more of a 3D beat'em up with exploration aspects while Shenmue favors the latter over action. Also the level and money grinding feel of Yakuza makes it more akin to action RPGs than the likes of adventure games. Even though both share Japan as setting and Sega, they are different games in essence so Yakuza can't be in any form some kind of successor to Shenmue. A more fair comparison game to Yakuza is actually River City Ransom, to which I can see the natural evolution of its 2D form into what is now Yakuza.

sand4fish has received 2 thanks from: Truck_1_0_1_, VukBZ2005
User avatar
sand4fish
Dojo Donor
Dojo Donor
 
Joined: November 2013
Favorite title: Shenmue

Re: Yakuza is not a worthy substitute for Shenmue

Postby BlueMue » Thu Jul 06, 2017 4:44 pm

How can it be a worthy substitute if it doesn't continue the saga?
Image
User avatar
BlueMue
"After Burner...Great!"
"After Burner...Great!"
 
Joined: August 2008
Location: Germany
Favorite title: Shenmue II

Re: Yakuza is not a worthy substitute for Shenmue

Postby Yokosuka » Thu Jul 06, 2017 6:07 pm

Yakuza not but, somehow, Shadow Of Destiny is.

Yokosuka has received a thanks from: KiBa
User avatar
Yokosuka
Machine Gun Fist
Machine Gun Fist
 
Joined: August 2014
Location: France
Favorite title: Shenmue II
Currently playing: Rocket League

Re: Yakuza is not a worthy substitute for Shenmue

Postby FlagshipFighter » Fri Jul 07, 2017 8:31 am

Great question OP, even though it's been a debated topic elsewhere and in conversation, I do think it's become more relevant to explore now that we live in a world where Shenmue 3 is actively in development and Yakuza has yielded a lot of success and potential growth as a franchise for SEGA.

When I first heard about Yakuza (fyi: I was young, like in secondary school) it seemed like SEGA were selling out, with all the magazines I used to read mentioning "GTA of the East" and seeing the images/vibe/cover image everything seemed as if it was the antithesis of what Shenmue was about. It looked like a reactionary game (even though it wasn't and was infact the first mature-rated game SEGA ever made) but the focus on japanese gang culture was a huge put-off.

I remember playing Yak3 at a friend's house (using their save file xD) seeing the openworld and trying for the very first time to approach the game like shenmue and it wasn't working out at all: I'd try to talk to NPC's and nothing happened, no in-game time and dynamic weather etc (which is one of the most pivotal/crucial shenmue elements to me, those elements make you approach the game very differently full-stop) and the lack of VO and limited selection of minigames made the game feel very much inferior to shenmue.

A couple of years or so later I played 1/3rd of Yakuza 1
pssst via emulation as I didn't have a PS2, don't tell anyone! I was young and reckless! :p
and in that third of gameplay there were aspects I could appreciate but the combat was unrewarding and repetitive. I have to play the game acknowledging that it was a step down to shenmue, despite being a game that came out many years later. I enjoyed some of the shenmue-esque aspects of the game, but that English VO was atrocious (and not endearing in a way like shenmue or resi 1, just baaaad) and I couldn't handle it anymore. I thought from then Yakuza just wasn't for me.

Then, Shenmue 3 was announced. I had my hands on a PS3 at the time and decided to give Yakuza ANOTHER GO after a GT/EasyAllies video with Huber and Ben really pushing it any saying "look, don't be intimidated by the amount of games, just jump into Yak3 or 4 and watch the flashback cutscenes from the other games and enjoy" so I did that and jumped into Yak3. I took it slow (beat the game in around 9 months) I thought that the game was okay, I liked that it did some unique/unexpected/mundane stuff that was very shenmue-esque but the gameplay felt very limited (finding out later that sega did a poor/budget job of localising it and stripped out basically a third of the game). The story was compelling and there were definitely some cool moments that occur during normal exploration which I liked a lot but pacing out that game was the best thing I could do to avoid feeling burnt out on the game. The combat was much better and versatile compared to the others and I liked the new camera perspective.

I had Yak4 and continued on, and it was here that I felt hooked to the franchise. It felt like a huge step up from 3 in every regard, and I liked the addition of multiple protagonists with different fighting styles helping the game's pace. the story while a bit convoluted at times was really engaging and the side stories were very cool. Yak 5 was the same level of experience but beefier and more polished.

On thing's for sure: If SEGA was around and still making hardware, Yakuza wouldn't exist, whether Shenmue 3, 4, 5 etc ever came out or not, they would have continued to focus on games made for the team demographic and under (like nintendo) for the most part as their mindset was that gaming was for them and it took extreme humility for them to step away from that...

I definitely felt both extremes about yakuza in my life. I ain't no psychologist, but I do wonder to this day if Shenmue 3's announcement made me a little more accepting of the Yakuza series and seeing it for itself without having to scratch every Shenmue itch. Overall Yakuza definitely fulfil's some of those shenmue desires, and has continued deliver that through iteration of each game. I'm looking forward to seeing it grow bigger and better and striving for that Shenmue 1 and 2 originally represented with a certain level of ambition with immersion, but in a different and practical way (as their focus won't be on having real-time clocks/npc interaction and simulation, but evolving the formula of what exists).

I'm glad shenmue exists and is happening, as over the years we've only seen aspects of it's mechanics/vibe between several games (heavy rain, l.a. noire, sleeping dogs etc). To me the passage of time and character/personality the openworld has with the music and focus/interaction on the mundane and minutiae is unprecedented. That's what i look forward to with shenmue 3.

...sorry for the wall of text :(

FlagshipFighter has received a thanks from: VukBZ2005
User avatar
FlagshipFighter
Man Mo Acolyte
Man Mo Acolyte
 
Joined: March 2012
Location: UK
PSN: FlagshipFighter
XBL: FlagshipFighter
Steam: FlagshipFighter
Favorite title: Shenmue IIx

Re: Yakuza is not a worthy substitute for Shenmue

Postby darksniper » Fri Jul 07, 2017 3:19 pm

Yakuza to me is the best series Sega has going since Shenmue. Even though both games are very different on the surface, you can certainly see Shenmue's influence in the Yakuza games. Every time I walk in Club Sega, watch Kiryu put his 100 yen in a Space Harrier machine it just makes me want to play Shenmue even more.

Not to mention the fact that Ryo (Akira) is technically playable in Yakuza through the VF2 and VF5 cabinets respectively.

darksniper has received a thanks from: FlagshipFighter
User avatar
darksniper
Man Mo Acolyte
Man Mo Acolyte
 
Joined: February 2010

Re: Yakuza is not a worthy substitute for Shenmue

Postby OL » Sat Jul 08, 2017 10:57 pm

sutoji wrote:His exact words were "a good substitute for Shenmue." I was triggered.


I think that just means you might be getting "triggered" too easily.
Shenmue might be some life-changing, be-all/end-all experience of interactive entertainment magic for you, but to some people it's just a nice little game where you get to explore the strange and exotic setting of small-town Japan and occasional punch people in the face.
For those people, yeah, Yakuza might be a good substitute, except that you get to punch people in the face a lot more. So maybe it could even be considered a step up. And though the setting is more "bright lights, big city" (usually) than it is small town, it's still exotic and distinctly-Japanese enough that it still manages to scratch that itch.
If that's not the same for you, all good. No one has to have all the same favorites.
I think it's pretty obvious which one has wider appeal though. Shenmue is generally slow-paced and action-lite, while Yakuza is gritty, quick-moving, violent, and features hilarious karaoke minigames. I love Shenmue to death (enough to put down a few hundred for the S3 kickstarter, so don't get me wrong about that), but I think it's pretty obvious why Yakuza has been more successful. And no, I don't think it has much to do with anything as trite as which system it happened to debut on.
Image
User avatar
OL
Yo jes hummilated yoursef
Blueman
 
Joined: May 2003

Re: Yakuza is not a worthy substitute for Shenmue

Postby KiBa » Sat Jul 08, 2017 11:26 pm

Yokosuka wrote: Yakuza not but, somehow, Shadow Of Destiny is.


It think you hit the nail on the head. Remember the Shenmue "Post Mortem" 3 years ago? Yu Suzuki told us about a Sega Saturn prototype he developed called 'The Old Man and the Peach Tree'. It was a period piece set in rural 1950s China, where life was still very traditional, before the Cultural Revolution. The story was simply a young martial artist looking for a Master Ryu to teach him. His investigation leads him to an old man in a distant village who agrees to tell him where to find Master Ryu if he brings him a peach. Eventually, the young man returns with a peach and witnesses the old man skimming stones across a lake. Each time the stone hits the surface, a fish floats to surface. When the young man sees this feat, he finally realizes the old man is Master Ryu.

Shenmue does not strive to be a pure action game. It strives to simulate a place in time, serve as an instructive morality tale, and its offers players a spiritual meditation on life and love and peace. It's cerebral and mysterious. And only then is it an action-adventure. This is quite different from the purpose of the Yakuza series, so it will never quite feel the same, even if some of the gameplay and visuals are similar. Shadow of Memories/Destiny was a special game because it really didn't focus on action at all, but on making the player feel the consequences of time travel and really think about the consequences of human experimentation and fate. In this sense, it too had a more philosophical method and purpose of story-telling compared to Yakuza. Most people play games to enjoy action and laugh at absurdity, so it is no surprise the Yakuza series is so successful compared to Shenmue. Shenmue's ideals are more in line with what might usually be marketed today as an indie game.
Now playing... Kitaro~Theme From Silk Road

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

KiBa has received 2 thanks from: Truck_1_0_1_, VukBZ2005
User avatar
KiBa
Search for Paradise
Dojo Donor
 
Joined: January 2006


Return to Shenmue

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests

Powered by phpBB © 2000-
ShenmueDojo.net