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Shenmue 3: How Receptive Will Young American Gamers Be?

It's the elephant in the room that nobody wants to talk about.

It's hardly a secret that the video game industry is drastically different now than it was in Shenmue's heyday. In fact, one could say we've seen almost a complete reversal.

Japanese games dominated the market not long ago and despite a few remaining blockbusters, that simply isn't the case anymore. When I was a teenager, it didn't really matter if you were intrigued by Japanese culture; if you wanted to play video games, you didn't have much choice. Well, you didn't have much choice with console software; Western developers made bigger splashes sooner on PC.

But these days, we have all kinds of choices. Younger individuals just getting involved in the hobby have no reason whatsoever to indulge in highly Japanese-centric games unless they're interested. They can just keep buying Western-made products that - let's face it - probably appeal more to them. We all know that projects like Shenmue 3 and the Final Fantasy VII Remake will thrive on nostalgia, and the former title set the all-time Kickstarter record ($6.4 million) for games. A great sign, right?

Perhaps. But one has to wonder how consumers under the age of 30 are going to respond, and I also wonder how critics will respond. There are lingering trends in Japanese games that are simply seen as outdated and amateurish these days (and a lot of times, such analyses aren't wrong). If Shenmue 3 retains those old and cherished, yet widely frowned upon, aspects of yesteryear, what will the reviews look like? And is it fair to say that the only way the uninitiated - those who have never heard of the franchise - are going to consider a purchase is if scores are crazy high?

I think all of these questions are worth asking.

Related Game(s): Shenmue 3

Tags: shenmue 3, shenmue iii, shenmue sequel

7/21/2015 9:43:48 PM Ben Dutka

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Legacy Comment System (9 posts)

Tuesday, July 21, 2015 @ 11:22:26 PM

I played this game when I was relatively young and I enjoyed it a lot and I mean a lot. I am still under the age of 30 but I wouldn't put myself under the category of most American gamers.

If most of the aforementioned gamers are able to be a little more open minded and enjoy something other than shooting themselves online then they might enjoy Shenmue 3 but I think that's asking too much...

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Wednesday, July 22, 2015 @ 12:25:56 AM

I want to say no to the main question, even if they update it so everything you do isn't a huge chore what's there to keep non-fans interested?

It was awesome because of its freedom and graphics. Now every game has that.

You bet I'm getting it, but I wonder what we're actually looking at here. They could just be making minor changes but doing the game basically the same like a B or C grade game. We know it won't have AAA quality as it did back in the day.

I'm curious to find out.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2015 @ 1:52:38 AM

I think it is going to struggle, while the sandbox structure of games is pretty much becoming mandatory for AAA titles, Shenmue was never a sandbox game. The games environment felt so much more alive with its calendar and time system. In GTA timing means nothing, it's just ans indication for the weather but in Shenmue there are schedules, shops open and close and to meet specific people,you have to arrive at a certain time of the day. Each NPC has a daily schedule, that's how,much attention to detail really is in this game.

However, I still wouldn't say Shenmue is a slow paced game, should players get impatient, they can progress with the story at their own free will. But I think most of Shenmue's charm is in exploring the towns and feasting on all the little details, many being interactive.

I put $185 into the Shenmue 3 KickStarter, it's the most I've ever played for a game and iis Worth it. To finally have the saga continue, is simply amazing. Shenmue offers a story which is only going to grow, I loved the peaceful tone of the previous two games, considering the main motive of Ryo is revenge. But the structure of the game requires you to ask around for clues and the more you do the more people you meet and personal investment you get caught up in. Shenmue is a wonderful experience and will be worth the wait.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2015 @ 8:44:07 AM

Shenmue takes place in Japan but never had the trappings of traditional Japanese games; it was actually pretty western in its gameplay.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2015 @ 11:26:32 AM

Who cares? Why does every game need to appeal to teens? That's what is happening in Hollywood right now, and what do we get from it? One weak cookie-cutter comic book-sourced piece of dreck after another, planned through the end of the decade and beyond!

I can enjoy an adolescent movie/game/book as much as anyone, but after a certain point you want something different. Let the kids have their games. Give the older crowd something, as well--something which does not require ultra-violence, pornography, and obscenities to be "mature". I can't wait for the new Shenmue!

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Wednesday, July 22, 2015 @ 7:33:05 PM

You're clearly talking about Marvel movies which actually cater to a wide population, not just teens. Now Transformers, another story.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2015 @ 7:41:53 PM

Well from someone who didn't grow up playing any one of the previous titles (27 now), I can honestly say, "I don't get what the fuss is about". But that's only because I have no history with the title. Previews might change my mind before the game releases, but I know for a fact I will not purchase it day one.

Never was part of the japanese gaming craze during my youth which I never noticed at the time although I played Metal Gear and Resident Evil.

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Banky A
Thursday, July 23, 2015 @ 12:36:10 AM

Young Americans gamers will get some Raw Unadulterated Jap culture deep inside em'.

Then, they will all become weaboo. 100%

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Saturday, July 25, 2015 @ 4:31:17 AM

yeah thats a really good question i think it'll be more of the older guys buying just cos of the era that its from lets be honest here.

happy gaming

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