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The Shameful Media Coverage of Shenmue III

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Gamespot's thing just seems like a case of misinterpretation. Some people might now believe there'll be an Xbox One version, but that's not the biggest problem in the world really.

Ben Parfitt stretching Suzuki's answers to fit that portrayal angle is so incredibly forced. Just completely unjustified.
There's nothing inherently wrong or objectionable about characters being cute or sexy. And Shenmue has historically been quite reverent of its characters. Really barking up the wrong tree with that.

The rest of the article similarly comes across as picking out what could be construed as negative, framing it that way, and ignoring anything that doesn't fit the mold.
He was asked how things are going with the character models since the original prototypes and said that they're going well and that they've since hired Shenhua's character modeler and she's now looking cuter. He was also asked if he could give hints about some of the new cast. He went on to describe some and mentioned that one was a woman that's "extremely beautiful and sexy, but also cruel". That's all he said. Like I mentioned above, I don't see how either are in any way controversial.

The MCV article was written by Ben Parfitt who most probably know from his...interesting DMC article



http://www.mcvuk.com/news/read/capcom-almost-halves-dmc-sales-expectations/0110372
I remember him having something to do with some dumb Hitman thing.

But he's not all bad.
 

Spaghetti

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Gamespot's thing just seems like a case of misinterpretation. Some people might now believe there'll be an Xbox One version, but that's not the biggest problem in the world really.

Ben Parfitt stretching Suzuki's answers to fit that portrayal angle is so incredibly forced. Just completely unjustified.
There's nothing inherently wrong or objectionable about characters being cute or sexy. And Shenmue has historically been quite reverent of its characters. Really barking up the wrong tree with that.

The rest of the article similarly comes across as picking out what could be construed as negative, framing it that way, and ignoring anything that doesn't fit the mold, in an attempt to wring some juicy controversy out of nothing. Just absolute garbage.
mmhm. i would say the closest shenmue has come to sexualisation of characters would be how joy or niao sun are dressed, but even then i could say many identifying things about those characters without even mentioning how they look.

i mean, we haven't even met niao sun in the games yet and we already know she's manipulative, cunning, and cruel, regardless of the fact she may or may not use her sexuality as a weapon.
 

SonyToo!™

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Urg those article headlines are terrible, but given the sorry state of games journalism (and the web in general) it doesn't surprise me as they've become little more than AAA shills, while everything else is open to clickbait yellow journalism.

To them Shenmue is an easy target where they can stoke kickstarter fears as well as use it as an outlet for anti Sony sentiments and sexism

I'd long theorised that western game journalism became cold, xenophobic, and at its absolute worst, racist towards eastern developed games after last generation. Its great/super-sad to now actually start being vindicated in such an extreme, distasteful idea.

Essentially, with the X360 era game journalists went from needing translators and flights to Japan to get the skinny on the biggest up and coming games to just popping down the freeway to people at western studios that would become drinking buddies/community manager position interviewers. Its also why the incredibly heavy Microsoft/Xbox leaning existed across the board until the PS4 really started taking down names. Relationships with asian developers slowly diminished and people put on those games for preview/review were usually the token resident weeaboo.

Most journos arent aware of it most of the time, but it colours their coverage of stuff from the far east in a way that results in more 'dehumanising' articles. Jason Schreiers "Is the artist on Dragon's Crown a 13-year old?" Kotaku article was a staunch example of this as well as other shit articles about Kamiya and so forth. No way to treat veteran legends that have shipped amazing games over the decades, but theyre no longer your only source of gaming news. They're off in that wacky land that "doesn't even really play console games now anyway." So whats slightly harsher ribbing gonna result in anyway? Famitsu gets all the juicy cuts anyway, fuck 'em eh, lads?

Yu Suzuki became this easy target because he doesnt have those western PR connections that Inafune and co do that smooth the landscape for him time and time again. Shenmue was already this easy target for sneering laughter, so now you have a rolling budget target and potential revival failure to FUD all day long about.

This man gets it, even though imo the Japanese aren't totally blameless with their often totally lackluster PR (we've all seen Jim Sterling's Fuck Konami videos)

I think it's safe to say that this gen is in many way much worse that the last, with the further consolidation of the AAA industry and publishers betting even more on the success of only a handful of new AAA titles the control they have on gaming sites increases.

If you look at the big picture, PR propaganda, memes and FUD has had a massive impact this gen with backlash and FUD against MS and Nintendo the big losers compared to Sony who have being masters of the art on just about every level, although the fact there seems to be negligible criticism from the press towards Sony is very worrying when even last gen all 3 consoles were criticised for their failings in equal measure, someone who didn't visit forums/ YT would have no idea of the PS4's online issues (PSN, wifi).
 

Alex_Mexico

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No. It's taken out of context. He talks about working with Shenhua's original designer to improve her character model. He says she's looking much "cuter" as a way of conveying how much better her model looks in the game. He clearly did not mean to say he's pulling a Kojima and making them more erotic looking.

That's good to know, thanks. I didn't want to give them any clicks.
 

Spaghetti

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Nov 4, 2013
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I'm in two minds about posting this, but I've just had a look at Ben Parfitt's Twitter and seen this:

Yep, definitely deferring to the judgement of an angry group of forum fanboys on this one

While I'm not personally of the mind that there's any kind of conscious xenophobia in games journalism when it comes to Eastern games, dismissing any kind of criticism of his article as coming from "an angry group of forum fanboys" is frustratingly ignorant.

His article is a mouthpiece for a view on East VS West representations of women, which I would be perfectly fine with in a separate article, but using Shenmue 3 to piggyback that opinion when-

A.) Shenmue and Shenmue II are actually very non-sexual in general (Ryo literally thinks exclusively about revenge and martial arts to the point where it's actually a joke for fans of the series)

B.) Both Shenmue games have a lot of women as central or supporting characters that aren't just pegged as love interests

C.) The article entirely ignores this quote from the Dualshockers interview that directly states Yu Suzuki's creative intent
"Since you asked about romance, for the game I’m drawing inspiration more from old movies than from new ones, like Casablanca and Roman Holiday, and their idea of pure and platonic love. This is what I want to portray."

-is disingenuous, and again painting an image of Yu Suzuki and Shenmue that just isn't honest.

I'll admit when I saw Yu talking about illustrating the "differences in how men and women think" something at the back of my mind went "oh no". He later elaborated on this later in a way that put my fears to rest. I'm paraphrasing but it went something like:

"Ren shows off and tries to look cool, all the while Shenhua is thinking he's an idiot"

It's a rejection of male machismo in that example. That and the other examples I cited above put my fears to rest.

I dunno. I never used to get this let down by games journalism. It feels very personal with Shenmue 3 though. Not because I'm a backer, not even particularly because I'm a fan either. While it is rough to see something you've wanted for 14 years get picked at for no real good reasons, I feel more disappointed in the fact that the information networks of the gaming world are so incredibly shoddy and prone to bad or malicious writing.

It's my "Forget it Jake, it's Chinatown" moment.
 

Game4life

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Jul 1, 2014
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As for the racism bit , that MCV article did seem very racist to me.

He picks titles like DOA..etc to show how Japan is backwards wrt representation of women and how the West is better. conveniently ignoring Japanese titles that have very strong female characters that aren't objectified.

And also how the biggest mobile game right now in the US is plastering Kate Upton literally everywhere in a "non-sexualized" manner /s.


Am not saying east or west devs are better , but lets not pretend stuff like this is exclusive only to Eastern developed games. Also writing that article about women in video games for just mentioning Shenhua as "cute" is retarded on so many levels.

I find accusations of misogyny from American Press funny considering the amount of titillation that is prevalent in most forms of American media. I mean it used to be a huge problem even in gaming sites. I remember IGN had this IGN babe of the week shit. Does any one else remember that?
 

djtiesto

is beloved, despite what anyone might say
Jul 26, 2004
28,047
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I'd long theorised that western game journalism became cold, xenophobic, and at its absolute worst, racist towards eastern developed games after last generation. Its great/super-sad to now actually start being vindicated in such an extreme, distasteful idea.

Essentially, with the X360 era game journalists went from needing translators and flights to Japan to get the skinny on the biggest up and coming games to just popping down the freeway to people at western studios that would become drinking buddies/community manager position interviewers. Its also why the incredibly heavy Microsoft/Xbox leaning existed across the board until the PS4 really started taking down names. Relationships with asian developers slowly diminished and people put on those games for preview/review were usually the token resident weeaboo.

Most journos arent aware of it most of the time, but it colours their coverage of stuff from the far east in a way that results in more 'dehumanising' articles. Jason Schreiers "Is the artist on Dragon's Crown a 13-year old?" Kotaku article was a staunch example of this as well as other shit articles about Kamiya and so forth. No way to treat veteran legends that have shipped amazing games over the decades, but theyre no longer your only source of gaming news. They're off in that wacky land that "doesn't even really play console games now anyway." So whats slightly harsher ribbing gonna result in anyway? Famitsu gets all the juicy cuts anyway, fuck 'em eh, lads?

Yu Suzuki became this easy target because he doesnt have those western PR connections that Inafune and co do that smooth the landscape for him time and time again. Shenmue was already this easy target for sneering laughter, so now you have a rolling budget target and potential revival failure to FUD all day long about.

Great post, it's definitely something I've noticed last generation, around 2008 or so. It's why, as a fan of Japanese gaming, I rarely rely on the western press (exception: USGamer, who seems to give pretty fair coverage to the games) on impressions of modern Japanese games, and instead turn to fan impressions and/or my own instinct.

I also feel that last gen, a lot of the games press had their gaming skill atrophy, and thus anything that requires a modicum of effort to master instantly got shunned - all the while short, easily digestable cinematic shooters and even shorter indie walking sims got so much praise.
 

Shenmue

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Jul 23, 2015
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Just listened to RebelFM from 3 weeks ago (yeah I'm way behind on my podcasts). In it Arthur Gies (of course who else?) portrays Yu as "whining about not getting enough money" when referring to the interview that everybody, including his buddy Ben Kuchera, wrote about.

How the hell do you get "whining about not getting enough money" from that interview? Fuck that guy.

I don't even know why I still listen to RebelFM.
 

petran79

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Sep 17, 2012
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Great post, it's definitely something I've noticed last generation, around 2008 or so. It's why, as a fan of Japanese gaming, I rarely rely on the western press (exception: USGamer, who seems to give pretty fair coverage to the games) on impressions of modern Japanese games, and instead turn to fan impressions and/or my own instinct.

I also feel that last gen, a lot of the games press had their gaming skill atrophy, and thus anything that requires a modicum of effort to master instantly got shunned - all the while short, easily digestable cinematic shooters and even shorter indie walking sims got so much praise.

Not only the gaming skill but the writing skill as well.
I miss the days of old magazines where games journalists and editors were more passionate about the games they were writing and would never go into such reactions to prove their point.

Eg I remember a magazine where a guy would actually finish difficult point and click adventure games by himself before writing down a full review. That type of journalism is ready to go extinct.
 

prwxv3

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I am not looking forward to people mocking the game when first real gameplay is revealed.
 

Spaghetti

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Just listened to RebelFM from 3 weeks ago (yeah I'm way behind on my podcasts). In it Arthur Gies (of course who else?) portrays Yu as "whining about not getting enough money" when referring to the interview that everybody, including his buddy Ben Kuchera, wrote about.

How the hell do you get "whining about not getting enough money" from that interview? Fuck that guy.

I don't even know why I still listen to RebelFM.
where's the poster who tried to claim kuchera's article was satire? either gies isn't able to identify satire within the publication he works for, or that really is polygon's official position on the matter like we said it was. it's a clear obfuscation of the facts, and the source quotes. polygon, one angle, etc.

I am not looking forward to people mocking the game when first real gameplay is revealed.
depends what they show, and when. it sounds like 2017 is when we'll see the gameplay. it'll be very awkward if shenmue is mocked for things other games are lauded for.
 

border

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where's the poster who tried to claim kuchera's article was satire? either gies isn't able to identify satire within the publication he works for, or that really is polygon's official position on the matter like we said it was. it's a clear obfuscation of the facts, and the source quotes. polygon, one angle, etc.


I said that "Why Won't The Fans Support Shenmue?" was meant to mock the game's ever-expanding goals and the weirdly serious and panicky nature of its fan community. I'm not sure if I would call it satire, but it's most definitely sarcasm. "Tragically, Shenmue only made 6.6 million, three times its initial goal...."
 

Spaghetti

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I said that "Why Won't The Fans Support Shenmue?" was meant to mock the game's ever-expanding goals and the weirdly serious and panicky nature of its fan community. I'm not sure if I would call it satire, but it's most definitely sarcasm. "Tragically, Shenmue only made 6.6 million, three times its initial goal...."
Where are these people Kuchera is supposedly mocking? As a regular on the Shenmue threads here, and a lurker on the Shenmue Dojo, I don't see any huge swell of people lamenting that people aren't donating enough. We've all accepted $6.5 million is more or less the final crowd funding total.

Not even in the middle of the Kickstarter did I see any vast swathe of pledge-shaming. Nothing that warranted Kuchera's weird, ranty, article anyway, it's just a big case of:


Polygon's position is dumb and overwhelmingly petty for a what is meant to be a professional publication. It reads like an angry livejournal. Their contributors are drinking their own Kool Aid on this too, judging by what Gies said.
 

FranXico

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SonyToo!™;182622512 said:
If you look at the big picture, PR propaganda, memes and FUD has had a massive impact this gen with backlash and FUD against MS and Nintendo the big losers compared to Sony who have being masters of the art on just about every level, although the fact there seems to be negligible criticism from the press towards Sony is very worrying when even last gen all 3 consoles were criticised for their failings in equal measure, someone who didn't visit forums/ YT would have no idea of the PS4's online issues (PSN, wifi).

This is not true at all.
 

Ghost_Messiah

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I said that "Why Won't The Fans Support Shenmue?" was meant to mock the game's ever-expanding goals and the weirdly serious and panicky nature of its fan community. I'm not sure if I would call it satire, but it's most definitely sarcasm. "Tragically, Shenmue only made 6.6 million, three times its initial goal...."

Yeah I think you might actually be on to something here. Something you've shed light upon that I didn't realise before. I mean look at this:

The game's budget may be variable, but without knowing how much money the team has raised in total, it's hard to know how badly we've all failed Shenmue 3. Our shame, like the game's goals, is ephemeral and hard to describe in concrete terms.

Another poster said the article is "hilarious" and I can see why now. That is actually genuinely hilarious. I think he was writing the article intentionally trying to anger fans - but hey that's what Kuchera does best.

Reading back over the article again - it just can't be serious.
 

Spaghetti

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Yeah I think you might actually be on to something here. Something you've shed light upon that I didn't realise before. I mean look at this:



Another poster said the article is "hilarious" and I can see why now. That is actually genuinely hilarious. I think he was writing the article intentionally trying to anger fans - but hey that's what Kuchera does best.

Reading back over the article again - it just can't be serious.
We all know it isn't serious serious. The real question is- why? What's the purpose of the article? What genuine benefit is there to attempting to rile people up besides a few extra clicks? What does it do for Polygon's credibility? What does it do for Kuchera's stock as a writer?

It's a soapbox post without a point. "Fuck this thing" Why? "Because".
 

Shenmue

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We all know it isn't serious serious. The real question is- why? What's the purpose of the article? What genuine benefit is there to attempting to rile people up besides a few extra clicks? What does it do for Polygon's credibility? What does it do for Kuchera's stock as a writer?

It's a soapbox post without a point. "Fuck this thing" Why? "Because".

His stock as a writer is literally as low as it possibly get, so I guess he doesn't really care since he knows he's never going to be known as a respected journalist so why not just get clicks?

Kinda like an actor who has no talent and realizes he/she can't cut it in Hollywood so he/she goes and does porn for the money.
 

Spaghetti

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His stock as a writer is literally as low as it possibly get, so I guess he doesn't really care since he knows he's never going to be known as a respected journalist so why not just get clicks?

Kinda like an actor who has no talent and realizes he/she can't cut it in Hollywood so he/she goes and does porn for the money.
Ultimately, who knows how Kuchera feels about his position as an alleged journalist, or even just as the enthusiast press?

It just blows my mind how writers have so little regard for fact-checked news segments, or well reasoned, well justified, and well thought out opinion pieces in video games journalism. It just stands out amongst all other journalism factions as overwhelmingly poor.

It's frequently lazy, has the most bizarre contempt for its readership- which it treats like a hive mind despite obvious evidence to the contrary, and often descends into the weirdest sets of events that rivals fiction in its ridiculousness.

Just as an example:

When Polygon did that article about the porn potential for the Sonic Boom cast (which felt like a gross-out poor man's version of the AV Club's review of all the Mario Kart 8 characters), the writer took to Twitter to gloat about how mad it made GAF when totally missing the point about why people hated it (because it was an incredibly gross, weird, pointless article), and then doing the weirdest 180 when someone said the writer was kink shaming and actually forced an apology over it because of that caveat.

It's a farce worthy of the Coen brothers.
 

Danlord

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I'm just pre-empting a possible headline right now, given that there has been some Shenmue III screenshots, so I am expecting a couple of articles that are going to suggest "Is Shenmue III already suffering from development problems?" or something to that effect. The only reason why I say this is because new screenshots were revealed, and 2 featured an animated pose from UE4's Matinee project and the test environment.
For Shenmue, they're being used as character tests because it shows the protagonist and someone else in a fighting pose, which will be part of the actual game, but we know what some of the games media are like. So perhaps I'll just use this post as a reserve.
 

Maligna

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Really, the only games media I trust now are the GameTrailers crew.

I wish I could block out the rest of this noise. Shenmue III, and especially Yu Suzuki deserve better.
 

boredandlazy

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Just listened to RebelFM from 3 weeks ago (yeah I'm way behind on my podcasts). In it Arthur Gies (of course who else?) portrays Yu as "whining about not getting enough money" when referring to the interview that everybody, including his buddy Ben Kuchera, wrote about.

How the hell do you get "whining about not getting enough money" from that interview? Fuck that guy.

I don't even know why I still listen to RebelFM.
Gies is just pissed it isn't on Xbox. I know that's potentially oversimplifying things but I wouldn't be surprised if it boiled down to that.
 

potatohead

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Nothing proves someone more right than when Arthur Gies the bigoted rage nerd bitches and moans about a certifiable professional who actually works hard making games.

The guy is just a plain fanboy and troll. Fine example of how a "games journalist" is often no better than a random internet poster.
 

IrishNinja

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i haven't taken ben & co serious since at least their defense of the original XBONE setup, everything ive seen since then has been a shitshow

i can't imagine wanting to know Gies thoughts on literally anything
 
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