Shenmue III is finally out after years and years of waiting. Things are very similar to how they used to be, but there are still lots of new things to keep in mind. With that said, check out these tips that’ll get you up to speed on everything you need to know.
Level up your kung fu
New to Shenmue III is the fact that you need to level Ryo up to increase his health. There aren’t many mandatory fights in the game, but the second one can very likely give you a rough time if you’re not prepared. Before tackling it, consider mastering all the scrolls you have on hand in addition to putting some time in training your one-inch punch and horse stance skills, which will level up your kung fu.
Always block and dodge
Even if Shenmue III doesn’t have a dodge button like its predecessors, you can still dodge anything your foes throw at you. Just tap the stick in the direction you want to move and Ryo will execute a quick step move, which will get him out of harm’s way. The combat here feels more like a boxing game than series veterans will be used to, so stay on your toes.
Additionally, Ryo can now block. However, his block is worse than his opponent’s. He can only block a few hits before his guard breaks. So, instead of trying to tank hits, simply hold the block button and focus on dodging when you’re not attacking. That way, you’ll take less damage if you happen to mess up. You can also slow down time and get in an extra-powerful hit if you manage to dodge an attack at the last second.
Stock up on food
Ryo has to eat now. It seems like a pain at first, but it’s not too much of a problem once you get used to it. However, before you’re used to it, it can be easy to forget to bring some food. Never fear, though, as it’s cheap and easy to find. At the beginning of Shenmue III, hitting up either general store will get you the best items. There are cheap items that heal 300, 600, and 900 HP. These will be your go-to in terms of eating. Keep in mind that, if Ryo’s health is low, it’ll deplete faster if you run, so try to hold off on running until you’ve eaten something. It’s also worth mentioning that Ryo’s health drops constantly.
Once you get to the second area and lose access to your familiar general stores, it can take a bit to figure out where to shop for your regular items. When this happens, just track down a pharmacy and you’ll be as good as gold. You can also purchase an item that can refill half of your health in combat, but it’s very expensive, so you might not want to buy any.
Item sets have multiple pages
It took me an embarrassingly long time to figure this out. Whenever you’re looking at the list of item sets you need to get scrolls or to sell, just hit the triggers to move to a different page. You’re going to want to keep an eye out for certain items whenever you’re able to purchase them, as that’ll make it easier to slowly build up the sets as the game goes on.
Watch out for Chobu-chan
Once you reach Shenmue III‘s second area, you’ll notice that shop cards are now listed on your menu. What’s a shop card? Well, once you get off the ferry, Ryo takes note of a flyer that says to find Chobu-chan, but the game refuses to elaborate. At this point, you gain access to a whole host of new scrolls that you can obtain by completing a set of shop cards.
Each shop card has the name of a shop on it and a picture of the proprietor. Simply go to the store and scour it to find a Chobu-chan figurine while looking in first-person. Doing so will net you a card. Bearing that in mind, this is easier said than done, as Chobu-chan is often camouflaged or just plain hard to find.
Finish fishing events ASAP
The general pace of Shenmue III may be lax, but the fishing events don’t mess around. If you miss the start of one or don’t finish some really quickly, you’ll miss them entirely. For instance, I wasn’t even able to catch the second fish in the stamp challenge before the event completely ended. I really wanted that special jacket too.
The notebook also has multiple tabs
This is another thing that took me a while to notice. All major story events are put down in the topmost notebook tab, but there are ones below it. These contain side quest info, maps, and even phone numbers. Not that you need to use that last one, as they’re used automatically if you go to call people. I don’t miss that rotary phone one bit.
Prize counters have different stuff
If you don’t check them out, you might not know, but all of Shenmue III‘s prize counters have different items. You only have one in Bailu, but later, there’ll be a few different ones. These also contain some very cool, high-value items, such as new items of clothing. Although, new jackets are very, very pricey.
Call your friends multiple times
The people you can call have different things to say if you call them multiple times, so this is totally worth doing if you care to hear more from the characters. It might be kind of annoying to have to use a phone card each and every time, yes. But once you’re able to buy phone cards, you’ll likely be drowning in money anyway due to how many tokens you can net by playing Lucky Hit at the special casino in the second area. You can also talk to Shenhua every night before bed, as she generally has new things to say every night.
And there you have it. A bunch of tips to aid you in very, very slowly finding your father’s killer and learning more about the mirrors. As always, if you have anything to add, make sure to leave a comment chastising me for failing to include a thing.