Why is Shenmue II better than Shenmue I?

(Chapters 3-6)

Why is Shenmue II better than Shenmue I?

Postby starscream178 » Wed May 31, 2017 3:42 pm

I generally look at this series as a one whole thing, but for fun, what did you enjoy more about shenmue II more than Shenmue I?

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Re: Why is Shenmue II better than Shenmue I?

Postby Monkei » Wed May 31, 2017 3:59 pm

starscream178 wrote:I generally look at this series as a one whole thing, but for fun, what did you enjoy more about shenmue II more than Shenmue I?

great question. shenmue 2 is bigger, more positive. dobuita expands to hong kong and guilin. ryo makes friends in another country, friendships are formed that will last. ryo gets closer to his goal. explores the world.

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Re: Why is Shenmue II better than Shenmue I?

Postby BlueMue » Wed May 31, 2017 6:39 pm

What I'm about to post here might seem a bit biased compared to what I wrote in the topic regarding the first game since it's going to include a lot more stuff. I do like Shenmue II quite a bit better than Shenmue and I think it's well known how often I have been speaking up for it in the past. But there is just so much refinement in Shenmue II that needs to be mentioned so I'm trying to make this my definitive "what's better" post.

As mentioned in the other topic I do feel that the changes in Shenmue II made it more streamlined wich leads to it becoming more (even if only slightly) of what's typical for a video game. Some of the things I'll mention here are very much doing that but I think that they make the overall experience more enjoyable, especially when you replay the game multiple times.

I'm not going into the story or the characters and how they are written. Shenmue II obviously has a lot more to offer in that regard but I think it's unfair to compare the two games here. The first one was only ever intended to be the opening chapter, almost just a prologue of the whole saga so naturally it's not as full and rich yet.

- Much bigger game world
- More NPCs
- More dialogue options
- More things to collect and play with
- More secrets and sidequests to discover
- More gameplay elements that always introduce something new (rock smashing, leaf catching, etc)
- More instances of failure leading to a branching path instead of a retry
- More fights, more QTEs
- QTEs are more varied and inputs better represent fighting actions
- Better cinematography, better action scenes
- Overall more refined graphics and a more vibrant look
- NPCs blink and have more natural looking mouth movements
- Drastically improved sky box
- Larger and more diverse soundtrack (it's extremely hard to say if it's better overall)
- Better Jukebox music (that I can say for sure)
- Money plays a bigger role and comes with lots of ways to earn and spend it
- Costumizable move set (at the expense of having some moves at the same time)
- Improved camera respone for zooming and especially turning
- Faster capsule toy animation
- Enemies have life bars
- Submenus that make the overall menu less cluttered with items
- Shenmue collection easily allows access to fights and minigames
- Maps and leading NPCs (I just wish there was a way to turn off owned maps)
- Cutscene skip option (after clearing the game and also after fails)
- Time skip option
- Save anywhere
- Uninterrupted disc swap

"More" really is the keyword here as Shenmue II simply has more to offer in just about every aspect. Shenmue II simply is a game of a much bigger scope. In order to reach this goal it made some sacrifices in areas that made Shenmue groundbreaking and unique but I feel that this is a good thing for Shenmue aswell. It makes it worth to always go back to it, just for the different feeling between the two games. I really hope I have cleared this up for me now...

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Re: Why is Shenmue II better than Shenmue I?

Postby John Doom » Thu Jun 01, 2017 8:35 am

:D What else is there to say that BlueMue didn't cover? I agree with him, specifically:
BlueMue wrote:[...] As mentioned in the other topic I do feel that the changes in Shenmue II made it more streamlined wich leads to it becoming more (even if only slightly) of what's typical for a video game.
[...]
- More dialogue options
[...]
- More secrets and sidequests to discover
- More gameplay elements that always introduce something new (rock smashing, leaf catching, etc)
[...]
- More fights, more QTEs
[...]
- Money plays a bigger role and comes with lots of ways to earn and spend it
[...]
- Time skip option
- Save anywhere

If possible, I'd like SIII to further develop and improve on these aspects :)

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Re: Why is Shenmue II better than Shenmue I?

Postby Niowiad » Thu Jun 01, 2017 10:18 am

I liked Shenmue II better because it gave me a better sense of adventure as a "stranger in a strange land", compared to the first one, where everything was feeling more like an intimate experience, just not as intriguing.
So it was mainly a matter of locations and storyline for me, I guess.

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Re: Why is Shenmue II better than Shenmue I?

Postby Truck_1_0_1_ » Thu Jun 01, 2017 11:16 am

And Bluemue said it again lol.

'mue II is still, far and away, the greatest game and achievement in gaming, ever, IMO; for a game from 2001, there is a microscopic amount of things that could be improved upon...

...

... and nothing's coming to me off the top of my head, at the moment.

- Arguably the best graphics ever in a game, at the time of release
- Among the best (and most iconic, in many circles) soundtracks ever
- Improvements on everything that was lacking the in the first title (better fight system, wait times, etc.)

I can go on. The whole experience from, "Hong Kong, February, 1986," to the end, is the best in gaming history.

Exposition is fantastic, as more and more of the story is revealed, Xiuying is one of the best video game characters ever conceptualised and I still maintain to this day, that the Yellowhead Building is the best hour (and a bit!) in video game history: it's a wild ride and even my fiancée enjoyed it immensely.

Like in the first game, Five Stars Corp is my favourite part of Shenmue II: the story unfolds significantly and you realise that there is an exponential amount of information and story that you haven't even scratched the surface of: that to me, is excitement AMD enthrallment to the 'nth degree.

And then it all calms down and is amazing, in the form of Guilin: more story is revealed, more wonderful music, you learn a lot about Ryo that you didn't know before and the Phoenix Mirror <3<3<3.

I dare you to find a better work of art from the video game industry, dare you!

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Re: Why is Shenmue II better than Shenmue I?

Postby Monkei » Thu Jun 01, 2017 11:18 am

SIII is far far away? : D did they push it back?

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Re: Why is Shenmue II better than Shenmue I?

Postby DoubleO_Ren » Sat Jun 03, 2017 2:48 am

- Save anywhere

Is it bad of me to say I kinda liked how Shenmue 1 forced you to go home to save, just made it feel more urgent to get home, helped with the immersion. But I do understand why, especially in this fast paced day and age it's not practical for our ADHD, instant gratification Social Media minds.
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Re: Why is Shenmue II better than Shenmue I?

Postby John Doom » Sat Jun 03, 2017 11:59 am

I agree it helped with the immersion and I remember it also made every fight and decision feel much more important. I think the only "problem" with that system is that we're now adults and we have very little free time, so I find more convenient to being able to save as fast as possible :)
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Re: Why is Shenmue II better than Shenmue I?

Postby KiBa » Sun Jun 04, 2017 4:18 pm

Shenmue 1 is my favorite gaming experience ever. With the telephone booths and tape player and everyone in town knowing you, etc, it was incredibly immersive. However, Shenmue 2 lifted me off this little world, and by the time I got to Guilin it was a full-on religious experience that changed my soul forever. So, there's that.
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