YMMV: Shenmue

Examples pertaining to Shenmue II can be found here.


  • Awesome Music: Now with its own page.
  • Base Breaker:
    • Our protagonist Ryo himself. He's loved by a good portion of the fandom because he's a such a Badass martial artist who hasn't let anything stop him in his quest to avenge his father's death (and likes to play arcade games, raise kittens and collect toy capsules), but a good portion of players think there's something deeply, deeply wrong with him being so consumed by his quest that he turns down or fails to recognize the affections of beautiful women who pretty much throw themselves at him, who players would gladly abandon their quest for in a heartbeat. It doesn't help that the reason why Ryo's not eager to be romantically involved with women isn't touched upon in the games themselves and only mentioned in guides, and he comes off as more dense than reserved. And then there's the whole "Sailors" thing.
    • The Shenmue III Kickstarter campaign is this in spades. Everything from a lack of a PS4 physical versionnote , not releasing it on other consoles, early images and footage shown, the extent of Sony's involvement (resulting in a wide misconception that they were funding the game's development, which they aren't), the vague stretch goals, the story won't conclude with this entry, lack of PayPal supportnote , and the rewards, which many have complained are too expensive to afford. Many refused to pledge until a PS4 physical version was announced, along with a variety of other reasons. While supporters and detractors feel the campaign was poorly handled, fans who have been waiting 14 years for another Shenmue urged these people to put aside these reasons and pledge for the sake of the game itself, and are just happy to see the game finally be on its way to getting developed.
  • Broken Base:
    • The English voice acting has Shenmue fans all over the place. Some find that it takes away from the experience and would prefer the original dub with subs, some find the first game's to be tolerable while the second game to be horrendous, and some find the English voice acting in both games to be part of the series' charm. It says quite a bit that during the Shenmue III Kickstarter, some fans demanded the game should have no English dub whatsoever, while there was so much demand for Corey Marshall to reprise his role as Ryo that he was sought out and brought on to return for the third installmentnote . There's still an effort to get some of the other English actors with lead roles on board as wellnote .
    • The Console Wars are still alive and well in the minds of many Shenmue gamers. Some prefer the games to be played on the system it was designed for, the Sega Dreamcast, even leading to some contempt for the series appearing on the XBox and PS4note , while others are glad to play them regardless of what console it's on. Many fans on the Shenmue III Kickstarter have even asked for a Dreamcast version of the game with the same engine as the previous two games, although Suzuki says this is not happening.
  • The Chris Carter Effect:
    • Potential fans may have been turned off when hearing the first Shenmue game consisted of the first of what was expected to be SIXTEEN chapters. It turned out that Suzuki didn't intend to do sixteen separate games; Shenmue II covers Chapter 3 through 5 (Hong Kong, Kowloon and Guilin, the chapters in the series divided based on location), and Chapter 2 (the boat ride) didn't make the cut (but was shown entirely off-screen instead). And it's possible that Yu Suzuki tried to hide the fact the game was running on very unrealistic expectations and he possibly said that just for saving face.
    • Even Shenmue III falls victim to this with the announcement that the story would not see its conclusion in the long awaited sequel, with some fans expressing a fourth or even a fifth entry would be too much.
  • Cult Classic: Even to this day there is a large community engaging in requests like asking for the 3rd sequel of the series, asking for the closure of the story arc, asking for the transfer of the series license from Sega to Yu Suzuki, and asking to put Ryo Hazuki back as a playable character in Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed like in the predecessor.
    • As of June 2015, their wish has been granted. Yu Suzuki's Shenmue III Kickstarter met its $2,000,000 goal in less than a day, and broke the record for becoming the highest-funded video game on the site.
  • Drinking Game: Take a shot every time Ryo says "I see"... On second thought, don't; you're too assured to get alcohol poisoning if you do.
  • Fandom Rivalry: With Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, Koji Igarashi's Castlevania Spiritual Successor, which recently broke the record for the highest funded game on Kickstarter. In the closing hours of the Shenmue III campaign when the game was nearing $5 million, many fans made it clear they were going after the record set by Bloodstained. When they succeeded, several fans and critics expressed bitterness and some have even gone out of their way to undermine Shenmue's success altogether. And then there's those from both sides who wonder why this is even the case since we have two fantastic games to look forward to, both of which were successfully funded, broke records, and are at the helm of two highly respected game developers.
  • Internet Backdraft:
    • One of the major criticisms of the Shenmue III Kickstarter campaign came when, after the game had reached its $2 million goal, a Sony representative claimed they would help finance the game, at least in terms of marketing and publishing. This small detail was overlooked, and adding the fact that other financial backers could not be mentioned due to contractual obligations, led to a widespread misconception with fans asking where their pledge money would go or why they were pledging to begin with if Sony had the means of funding the game entirely (which they're not). This led Suzuki to apologize for not being upfront with fans, assuring them that while Sony and Shibuya Productions are helping to finance the game, the fans' pledge money would only go toward game development and the companies wouldn't see a cent of it.
    • The Shenmue III Kickstarter Twitch stream featuring Awesome Japan - the company running the campaign - and Yu Suzuki did not go well at all. This was due to the poor quality of the camera equipment, poor sound, and one of the English presenters who took a lackadaisical approach to the entire interview and halted it himself despite more questions being sent in by viewers. Granted, very important information was obtained during the interview but most people who clicked the Youtube equivalent only read the comments rather than watching the video itself. Awesome Japan also apologized for the incident.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Ryo. More so in the second game thanks to the introduction of a much larger female cast, many fans have set him up with almost all of them. While some claim Nozomi is Ryo's true girl, some would prefer him to be paired with the hot and feisty Joy, think that Izumi is a better match for him, or that Shenhua really is the girl of his dreams. Some also see Fangmei as too cute to refuse, and even think he and Xiuying would make a great couple. Naturally, there are those who would pair Ryo with Guizhang or Ren, or a forklift. Or sailors. And even Lan Di and the great Chai.
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • Moe: Nozomi.
  • Most Annoying Sound: "There's no power in your arms."
  • Narm Charm: The dubbing. Oh my God. One famous example is the hilarious delivery of "FATHER!" in the first game's beginning. And there's something lovable about Tom and Goro.
  • Older Than They Think: Aside from Shenmue popularizing Quick Time Events, which dates all the way back to Dragon's Lair as indicated on the main page, the game is also often credited for being the first console RPG game to have NPCs that are all fully voiced, when many games prior relied on dialogue through text boxes. Sega had actually achieved this before on the Saturn with Panzer Dragoon Saga.
  • Shallow Parody: Compare the number of smartass jokes "about that day" and "looking for sailors," to the percentage of the game that revolves around either of those things.
  • Sidetracked by the Gold Saucer: "I am Ryo Hazuki. I will avenge my father's death... Right after I play with this kitten! And drink this soda! And play with these toys!"
  • So Bad, It's Good: The English dub. Fans of Metal Wolf Chaos or Baten Kaitos will recognize it as pooling from the same small set of native English speaking VAs in Japan.
  • That One Boss: Pedro Warren, The Brute of the Mad Angels and the final enemy in the first game's 70-man fight. Fighting him one-on-one is bad enough, and worse when he's fighting alongside other gang members in the beginning, which can easily overwhelm you. His appearance also makes Gui Zhang suddenly disappear from the fight, and if you lose, you have to do the whole thing all over again.
  • That One Level: The sneaking section in the harbor where Ryo has to locate Old Warehouse #8 without alerting the guards. Thankfully, should the player repeatedly fail this section, the homeless man will provide them with a layout of the area along with the guards' patrol routes. But for those unaccustomed to stealth-based gameplay, along with the fact that Ryo carries a flashlight he can inadvertently shine on the guards, some considered this the most difficult section of the game.
  • True Art: The first Shenmue won the Excellence Prize for Interactive Art at the 2000 Japan Media Arts Festival. Very few people know this, so not many people realize how important this game is. To put it on perspective, that same year Vagabond won the prize for the best manga in that festival!