"Unlike Shenmue II it won't use the Virtua engine."

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"Unlike Shenmue II it won't use the Virtua engine."

Postby DoubleO_Ren » Thu Aug 24, 2017 3:42 pm

The fighting engine in Shenmue III is being built from scratch, and unlike Shenmue II it won't use the Virtua engine.

This is very, very worrying. About 60% of Shenmue's charm was how inticrite and unique the fighting system was
I hope it doesn't go in a sleeping dogs/uncharted/arkham like system. That could potentially kill the game for me.

Please someone make me feel better and explain how they can make the fighting like Virtua Fighter without it being like Virtua Fighter?
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Re: "Unlike Shenmue II it won't use the Virtua engine."

Postby ShenSun » Thu Aug 24, 2017 3:46 pm

Wait until you see the engine in action before you worry.
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Re: "Unlike Shenmue II it won't use the Virtua engine."

Postby Spaghetti » Thu Aug 24, 2017 3:49 pm

There are quite a few posts in a few other threads about this, but I guess a dedicated thread couldn't hurt even if it does start off a bit panicky.

Gimme a minute so I can dig out my other posts or maybe write up a condensed version.

Either way, the full context of what Yu has said about this sounds fine to me personally. He's justified changes on a technical and overall direction level IMO. Important we don't just take one line from an interview and then shut the book on everything else, or stopping attempts to understand the decision.

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Re: "Unlike Shenmue II it won't use the Virtua engine."

Postby Spaghetti » Thu Aug 24, 2017 3:55 pm

A'ight, my take:

R.E combat.

Yu has said for a while Shenmue III's controls would be simplified-

- but before people start losing their shit, that's not synonymous with dumbing down the gameplay. In fact, Yu has talked about other complexities like strategy, physics and environment interactions, breaking up groups of enemies into more manageable pockets, etc. It seems like Yu will be asking players to fight more with their heads rather than their fingers, if you get my meaning.

He's also said before that the stretch goals for combat were basically things done in the older games but will be revised and made more sophisticated with modern technology, so it's not like an enormous departure in some respects.

Yu has elaborated on his position recently, with that maybe a fighting game engine in an adventure game is not a perfect fit, and he definitely has a point. There's room for the storytelling to come across more in the fights, feeling more like Ryo is a martial arts savant by pulling off elaborate moves and cinematic feats with simpler controls, that you don't really get when you're just cheesing Chai in the YOU Arcade with Crawl Cyclone.

And let's be real, there's a real sense of enjoyment in stuff like dodging and countering against enemies in the original games, but that's rarely ever more than two button presses. Having fun with Shenmue's combat does not exclusively rest on your ability to pull off Demon's Triangle every time.


Like I said with the example of cheesing the Chai fight; there's a disconnect between Ryo being good at martial arts in the story and the player being good at the game (or at least knowing how to win).

Again, I love Shenmue's combat and I spent a lot of time with it pulling off the harder moves, but in terms of looking good, and feeling like this great martial artist, that always came from the simpler stuff like dodging attacks, counters, and the occasional flashy harder move thrown in.

More often than not you're trying and failing to pull off those complex button presses before you finally get it right, and I think Yu wants to pull back on some of those more gamey behaviors and think more "what would I do if I was this character" when overwhelmed by enemies, and that's maybe also why stuff like the environment, physics, and splitting enemies into smaller groups are going to be integral parts of III's combat.

Like, if you wanted a fighting game you'd play one, not an adventure game.


If we were just told it was changing with no more information or justification that'd be a little concerning, but as it stands, I can kinda see it in my mind's eye and imagine what it'll be like, or thereabouts.

And we also have to remember the past. Shenmue's fighting engine was a simplified version of VF (seriously some of the timings and button presses are much more forgiving and easy to remember), and yet had plenty of depth if you cared to look for it.

Shenmue in general was designed for simplicity, as Yu imagined it as a game even kids can play (just look at the footage of him being excited seeing a kid enjoying the game at TGS pre-release. Also as someone who played Shenmue as a kid, I can attest to its simplicity), so it's not this huge departure to keep that at its core. Just don't assume simplicity means lowest common denominator.


Shenmue_Legend wrote:
Ideally, the fighting system should be so good that you can make the fights look like the ones during cut scenes.


This is, I think, Yu's train of thought on the matter.

But where he's diverging from most of us is that the player must be really skilled to get to that point, and I personally believe he's right considering his justification about Shenmue ultimately being an adventure game.

I know we'll replay the games over and over and put in the countless hours to get really good at more complex fighting moves, but what about the people who just play it through once? Asking them to get as good as a player at a fighting game might be a turn off, because it's maybe not really what they bought into the game for.

They could be a quick thinker who is good at other types of games, but maybe their capacity for button presses and memorisation of moves is lacking. I know there's been some talk already in this thread about it maybe "making the fighting for dumb people", but other things Yu has said indicate using your head more in combat and providing a challenge other than just being quick on the gamepad. Does that really sound like he's making it for stupid people? It sort of sounds like the opposite in some respects.

And y'know, Yu has talked about having a strong interest in making the game challenging for players who found elements of the original games easy. Scaling difficulty has secretly been one of Yu's major legacies in gaming. The basic and intermediate combat controls may be simple for most players, but what's to say there isn't something further for players with more skill?

Ultimately, Yu wants the player to feel good. It's a video game, and that's what video games are largely for. He knows this, and has been practicing this methodology for basically his entire career. You can even see this in something like After Burner with how the game would sort of lock on to enemies unbeknownst to the player so they could feel like they're good at the game. I can't really blame him for following the core pillars of how he makes video games.


We'll see how it all works out.

Even unrelated to the simplification, stretch goals like AI Battling look set to clear up an issue with Shenmue's combat regardless of the change to a new engine; a better, dynamic lock-on system of sorts. Gives me reassurance Yu has his head on straight and isn't just changing things for the sake of it.


Sorry for the text wall.

Generally we should wait to see, or even play it. But all the same, I think it's probably the right decision on lots of levels to reinvent Shenmue's combat in the same spirit of how the original was developed, while aiming for greater player satisfaction and better storytelling.

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Re: "Unlike Shenmue II it won't use the Virtua engine."

Postby jasonorme666 » Thu Aug 24, 2017 4:04 pm

I think the old fighting system would age Shenmue 3 terribly.
I'd welcome a new system, look at the Batman Arkham games, the way you chain, block and counter attack is stunning to watch and flows beautifully.
It would be perfect for a martial arts themed game.

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Re: "Unlike Shenmue II it won't use the Virtua engine."

Postby Spaghetti » Thu Aug 24, 2017 4:08 pm

The Arkham combat is interesting, because you can kinda see the genesis of that kind of fighting with Shenmue's counter system.

But I'm not sure it'll be like that anyway. I think Yu has something new in store for us.

You're right about age though, and that's a crucial factor. So much of that engine might have to be rewritten just to accommodate modern technology a whole rebuild could have been on the cards regardless.

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Re: "Unlike Shenmue II it won't use the Virtua engine."

Postby Shenmue_Legend » Thu Aug 24, 2017 4:12 pm

jasonorme666 wrote: I think the old fighting system would age Shenmue 3 terribly.
I'd welcome a new system, look at the Batman Arkham games, the way you chain, block and counter attack is stunning to watch and flows beautifully.
It would be perfect for a martial arts themed game.


What? No, no, no, NO! They should stay as far away as possible from that awful system. One button to attack and one button to counter? It is beyond terrible. Shenmue I and II still have the best fighting system out of any adventure type game, it is definetly better than the Batman Arkham series. Having said that though, it seems like no game has quite got the art of combat down quite right. They're still far away from reaching the pinnacle.

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Re: "Unlike Shenmue II it won't use the Virtua engine."

Postby DoubleO_Ren » Thu Aug 24, 2017 4:16 pm

I appreciate the reply man, thank you.

After reading all that it really sounds like Arkham and Sleeping Dogs like combat, yeah the combat in Sleeping Dogs is pretty but Shenmue had you feeling tense. It made you want to learn moves and practise so you can get better and utilize those moves in combat to make it easier. Catering to the Kyle Hilliard's (See Game Informer Shenmue/II Let's Play) of gamers sounds like a mistake, the people that just want to beat the bad guy instantaneously without any skill or training. Yes games should be fun but part of the thrill, part of that fun is that feeling you get when you put in the work, trained learned some combo's and use it to beat that difficult boss finally, that's all part of the fun. It gives you an amazing feeling of accomplishment and let's you feel more immersed in the world especially when it's not a retry and you have to find those bad guys again as a result of your failure and Shenmue is all about that kind of immersion.

The best way to cater to the Kyle Hilliards is scaling difficulty. If you suck, the game drops down in difficulty and button mashing can work. If you're awesome the game will level up and more complex combinations and dodging will be required. The "cinematic and smooth" fighting is your reward for the time you put into the game. That was a perfect system so anyone can play. I don't want Uncharted cinematic predetermined animations, this is what's killing gaming. Older games may not have looked very cinematic but they made you feel like you were doing things yourself, using your own skill rather than "Press A to win".

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Re: "Unlike Shenmue II it won't use the Virtua engine."

Postby Spaghetti » Thu Aug 24, 2017 4:27 pm

As always, wait and see.

Yu has talked about deepening the RPG mechanics, and how learning moves through the story and earning them in the world (by money or other means, IDK) will play a part in progressing to (and I think these are his own words) beating a powerful boss.

Even ignoring what he's said about strategy and maybe a more cerebral approach to combat, that still doesn't sound like a giant win button.

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Re: "Unlike Shenmue II it won't use the Virtua engine."

Postby shredingskin » Thu Aug 24, 2017 4:40 pm

I think when he talked about ragdoll reactions he pretty much talked about "always hitting" or different moves depending on how far the enemies were, so it does reminds me of the arkham type of gameplay. I'm not really sad about that, seems like a good fit (Shenmue also had some sort of lock on characters, but a lot of the times you'll just do kicks/punches that land nowhere).

The thing that is kinda bugging me, is that a lot of the questions he vaguely answered are the same ones that were vaguely answered when the kickstarter was still live.

What is the new QTE stuff, how will the new scrolls work (or the new fighting system for that matter), no more move list and replace it by a skill tree, no movie digest but "maybe some flashbacks around in the game", those seem kinda questions that should already be kinda final for a game that has left pre production.

Most of the stuff we know about gameplay is basically extrapolating with the older shenmues, and nothing very concrete (well, the strategy part, using different main characters for certain parts and that shenhua datesim-like era kinda concrete I guess).
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Re: "Unlike Shenmue II it won't use the Virtua engine."

Postby DoubleO_Ren » Thu Aug 24, 2017 4:43 pm

Spaghetti wrote: As always, wait and see.

Yu has talked about deepening the RPG mechanics, and how learning moves through the story and earning them in the world (by money or other means, IDK) will play a part in progressing to (and I think these are his own words) beating a powerful boss.

Even ignoring what he's said about strategy and maybe a more cerebral approach to combat, that still doesn't sound like a giant win button.

You think he's just not allowed to use the VF engine? I don't mind a new system but a big part of Shenmue was how the combat system was, Suzuki-San has to be very careful here. I'd still like to press down, forward punch and kick to do the iron palm or forward, forward punch to do the elbow assault. If elbow assault is button mashing square 5 times to and it shows up at the end of the button mashing punch combo i'll be very upset. But let's wait and see.
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Re: "Unlike Shenmue II it won't use the Virtua engine."

Postby shredingskin » Thu Aug 24, 2017 4:48 pm

It's not some sort of modular plugin, they would have to write everything again.
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Re: "Unlike Shenmue II it won't use the Virtua engine."

Postby Spaghetti » Thu Aug 24, 2017 4:50 pm

shredingskin wrote: I think when he talked about ragdoll reactions he pretty much talked about "always hitting" or different moves depending on how far the enemies were, so it does reminds me of the arkham type of gameplay. I'm not really sad about that, seems like a good fit (Shenmue also had some sort of lock on characters, but a lot of the times you'll just do kicks/punches that land nowhere).

The thing that is kinda bugging me, is that a lot of the questions he vaguely answered are the same ones that were vaguely answered when the kickstarter was still live.

What is the new QTE stuff, how will the new scrolls work (or the new fighting system for that matter), no more move list and replace it by a skill tree, no movie digest but "maybe some flashbacks around in the game", those seem kinda questions that should already be kinda final for a game that has left pre production.

Most of the stuff we know about gameplay is basically extrapolating with the older shenmues, and nothing very concrete (well, the strategy part, using different main characters for certain parts and that shenhua datesim-like era kinda concrete I guess).

I think a lot of your questions can kind of come under the umbrella of the game still being in Alpha and subject to change in many ways, so it's not wise to start talking specifics. We got some tidbits on the new QTEs recently, and an elaboration at least on Yu's design philosophy for the new combat. That'll probably be it until YSnet are ready to talk/show more.

I can definitely see the new combat being geared towards quicker hits though, I mean:

Image

I know the gif is sped up a little, but Ryo is still faster here than he's been before. Even for a cutscene. It kind of works, y'know? I feel more of the angry, impatient young man Ryo is.
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Re: "Unlike Shenmue II it won't use the Virtua engine."

Postby ShenmueTree » Thu Aug 24, 2017 4:58 pm

Unless the new fighting system is "Press X to Win" or basically just more QTE's , I'll be fine with it most likely.
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Re: "Unlike Shenmue II it won't use the Virtua engine."

Postby Spaghetti » Thu Aug 24, 2017 5:06 pm

DoubleO_Ren wrote:You think he's just not allowed to use the VF engine? I don't mind a new system but a big part of Shenmue was how the combat system was, Suzuki-San has to be very careful here. I'd still like to press down, forward punch and kick to do the iron palm or forward, forward punch to do the elbow assault. If elbow assault is button mashing square 5 times to and it shows up at the end of the button mashing punch combo i'll be very upset. But let's wait and see.

I don't think we'll ever know the specifics of what Yu is and isn't allowed to use, but I have to imagine if we didn't hit the improved FREE Battle stretch goal the combat could have been on the old engine. Although... that'd be more of a curse than a blessing IMO. The engine would probably get very little renovation (because if they had the time and money to do that, why not just do a total rewrite like they are now?), and unfortunately it'd be showing its age pretty considerably.

Yu has briefly mentioned old moves, so maybe they'll make it in under similar button presses... but even if they don't it'd hardly be the first time (command changes from Shenmue to Shenmue II, anyone?).

Personally, I'd like to see the modular element to the movelist return for III, which it seems it might going by how Yu has talked about skills developing through the skill tree into more refined techniques. Being able to switch out moves or even styles that change Ryo's whole movelist might be very cool. I kind of imagined they were going in that direction with the Martial Arts Mastery stretch goals, but I'll wait to see if they follow through on something as extensive as creating multiple variations of Ryo's movelist.

It sounds a bit like how Yakuza handles their multiple combat styles now that I think about it, but only on paper as a design idea. The execution itself is likely to have a Yu Suzuki twist none of us are thinking of.

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