Shenmue III: 7 things you need to know

shenmue iii things to know fighting ring
shenmue iii things to know fighting ring

We got another glimpse at atmospheric action-adventure sequel Shenmue III with a brand new trailer at E3 2019, but what do we know so far about the next stage of Ryo Hazuki’s epic quest for vengeance?

shenmue iii things to know logo

We got another glimpse at atmospheric action-adventure sequel Shenmue III with a brand new trailer at E3 2019, but what do we know so far about the next stage of Ryo Hazuki’s epic quest for vengeance?

1. The setting is as atmospheric as ever

shenmue iii things to know bailu village

One of our favourite things about the Shenmue series is its focus on rich, atmospheric settings crammed with things to do, people to meet, and places to explore. And it looks as though Shenmue III is definitely delivering on that front, as the glimpses we’ve had of its new settings have been pretty stunning.

Picking up just one day after the events of Shenmue II, Ryo begins the next phase of his journey in Bailu Village, a remote village in the mountains of Guilin, China. Home to plenty of villagers, a dojo to train in, shops, and some truly gorgeous countryside to explore, Bailu is a world away from the city streets Ryo is used to. But at least if he gets homesick, he can call some familiar faces back in Japan.

Incidentally, Bailu Village is also the location of the Shenmue tree, which made a brief cameo at the end of Shenmue 2 and gave the series its name.

2. This time, you have a companion

shenmue iii things to know companion

The mysterious Shenhua, who lives in Bailu Village, has had a minor presence in the previous two games, but it’s in Shenmue III that we’ll really get to find out more about her. While Ryo’s usually found adventuring alone, this time Shenhua is accompanying him as they track down the villainous Lan Di together.

3. Lan Di and the Mirrors are back

shenmue iii things to know mirrors

After murdering Ryo’s father Iwao and stealing the mysterious Dragon Mirror from the Hazuki family home, the series’ primary antagonist Lan Di returns in Shenmue III, probably in search of the Dragon Mirror’s twin counterpart, the Phoenix Mirror. Fortunately, this is in Ryo’s hands, and a legend states that if the two mirrors are brought together, a mysterious map will be revealed. Exactly where it leads remains a mystery, but this could well be where Ryo and Shenhua’s quest takes them next.

4. The villagers may know more than they let on

shenmue iii things to know villagers

On arrival in Bailu Village, Ryo is surprised to discover that some villagers are reluctant to answer his questions. This is where the Affinity System comes into play – meaning that Ryo will have to take the time to build up relationships with others if he wants to receive their help. Fortunately, the longer you stay in the village and help out the people around you, the more they’ll come to like you. The same thing applies to Ryo’s relationship with Shenhua, who will become gradually more open and friendly to her new companion over the course of the game.

5. You’re broke, but you can get a job

shenmue iii things to know earn money

Understandably, Ryo has to pay his way while he’s living in Bailu Village. With just a handful of yuan to his name as the game begins, he’ll have to find some creative ways to earn his keep. Gambling on the Lucky Hit minigame is one method, but there’ll be more stable ways to earn an income in the form of part time jobs too.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, of course you can still collect capsule toys. That’s a given.

6. Try out your combat skills for real in the fighting ring

shenmue iii things to know fighting ring

If training in the dojo isn’t thrilling enough for you, you can practice your techniques for real by heading to the Rose Garden in nearby Niaowu, which isn’t quite as pleasant as it sounds. The Rose Garden is actually a fighting ring, where you can pay to take on one or more skilled enemies in a serious battle. You can earn good money for completing these battles, but they’re much more difficult than training at the dojo.

7. There are around 100 technique scrolls to collect

shenmue iii things to know scrolls

Here’s one for the completionists out there – the technique scrolls are back, and this time there are about a hundred of them for Ryo to find and master. Some are old favourites from the previous games, while others are brand new additions to the game. You’ll be able to find some of them around the world, while others will have to be traded or bought from shops and characters along the way. The more moves you know, the easier your fights will become.

So there you have it – 7 things that we know about Shenmue III so far.

After smashing its Kickstarter target in a matter of days, Shenmue III is due to arrive in November this year. You can get your mitts on some extra special goodies (like your very own Dragon and Phoenix Mirror, light box, and more) by pre-ordering the Collector Edition here.

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