Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Shenmue III Gameplay Footage from E3 2019: Combat, Mini-games & Capsule Toys

The moment many Shenmue fans have been waiting for has arrived! We get our first substantial look at gameplay footage of Shenmue III posted up by IGN Japan, which newly-captured at E3 2019 where the international media is being given hands-on access to a demo of the game, in 15-minute slots.

On watching this footage, it is abundantly clear that there are Shenmue vibes in abundance: from the style of the conversational interactions Ryo has with characters to the return of old favorite games like Lucky Hit; right down to the sound effect that plays on acquiring a capsule toy.

Note that the sound in this footage is English voice-over and sound effects only, but music has been turned off - it will of course be present in the full game. Some of the areas will be familiar from descriptions by the press of the gameplay shown in private screenings of the game at MAGIC 2019 earlier in the year.

Video 1: Amusement Area

After purchasing some tokens, Ryo tries his hand at the Lucky Hit, Roll It On Top and... Turtle Racing!
"When the turtles start racing, if you press the indicated buttons correctly, you can cheer one on. The turtle will flash and speed up a bit. But if you press the wrong buttons, it will slow down! If you cheer as hard as you can, the chances of your turtle winning will be slightly raised. But things won't always go your way, no matter how hard you cheer."

- Yu Suzuki (Famitsu Interview, April 2019)

Note: there are two similar segments of gambling play in this video: the first takes place with overcast skies, while the second is with sunnier weather. At the end of the video is footage of Ryo buying toys at a capsule toy machine.

Video 2: Training and Combat

Ryo visits the mountain-side dojo where he trains in the Horse Stance and the One-Inch Punch, both of which increase his Endurance level. After that he fights with an opponent of around his level.
"You can participate in matches here. There are monks at several levels, so if you beat a monk your rank will increase to match his. So you can test how strong your level is. There are two types of practice: one with a wooden dummy [to increase Endurance level] and the other against a human opponent [to increase Attack level]."

- Yu Suzuki (Famitsu Interview, April 2019)

Video 3: Wood-Chopping

In the village, Ryo visits a store and purchase some food items, and then takes up a job from the shopkeeper, splitting wood.
"With both of his hands gripped onto an axe, Ryo automatically moves in a semicircle. If the player presses the button when Ryo faces the piece of wood, he will succeed in chopping it. Chop multiple pieces of wood in a row, and a cool arcade-like tune starts playing to get you in the mood, but if you miss it starts fading away again. It’s a simple rhythm based mini-game that is fun while it lasts."

IGN article (June 2019)

The article quoted above, by Esra Krabbe, is also well worth reading for his take on the game from playing the demo. Link to IGN article.

As ever, there are a lot of small details that can be observed in the footage, and will be the subject of a separate blog post in the future.

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