While most people are busy thinking about Spider-Man and a new Destiny 2 expansion this week, some of us are still hopelessly obsessed with Shenmue thanks to its recent remaster. If you're still thinking about tracking down sailors and playing games of Lucky Hit, then we have just the show for you.
21st August 2018
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Shenmue 3 finally has a release date, with the third instalment in Yu Suzuki's grand adventure opus arriving on August 27th next year.
That's almost 20 years since the original Shenmue released - that game having come out on the Dreamcast in December 1999 - and 18 years after Shenmue 2, which came out in September 2001.
The announcement came alongside a new look at Shenmue 3, which is being made by a small team at Ys Net comprised of many Sega veterans and headed up by Suzuki himself.
Shenmue 3 will no longer be released in 2018, publisher Deep Silver has confirmed.
It's the news many have been waiting for - Sega is releasing remasters of the first two Shenmue games, and they're coming to PS4, Xbox One and PC later this year.
The re-release of Shenmue 1 and 2 will be available together as a single package and will remain "true to the originals", according to Sega, while offering scalable screen resolutions and PC graphics options, modern or classic control schemes and an updated user interface.
You can also choose between English or Japanese voiceovers, for those who want the option.
Update time in the ongoing Shenmue 3 screenshots saga: Japanese developer Ys Net has released some more Shenmue 3 screenshots, and the faces are as dead-eyed as we've come to expect.
If Yu Suzuki and his team at Ys Net get a decent tailwind, 2018 might just be the year we get to play Shenmue 3, and if our latest look at it is anything to go by it could have been worth the wait.
Retro-bit, a big name in retro clone hardware, has signed a deal with Sega to make accessories for the Mega Drive, Saturn and Dreamcast consoles. Wait - what? Those consoles have been dead and buried for years. Either there's a sudden demand for the original controllers, or...
Last month the developers of Shenmue 3 released a trailer for the game and the faces, well, they came in for a bit of stick.
Now, Ys Net has published a new video showing off the progress it's made with facial animations.
The video comes across as a quickfire response to the vociferous debate sparked by Shenmue 3's gamescom trailer, which divided opinion. It includes a brief look at the face of a mystery grandma who's in the long-awaited sequel. Her face certainly looks more detailed than those in last month's trailer, and there's more to the way it moves and changes shape, too.
This year at Gamescom, I had a remarkable opportunity to sit down and discuss Shenmue 3 with Yu Suzuki himself. As a long-time Sega fan, it was difficult not to be excited by the proposition. After all, during his tenure at Sega, Suzuki and his team at AM2 crafted many of the greatest and most influential arcade games of all time. This was followed with the incredibly ambitious Shenmue - a game I enjoyed so much that it singlehandedly sparked the creation of the DF Retro series.
Are Shenmue 3's characters supposed to look like marionettes? Depending on your answer to that question, you'll either find Shenmue 3's blocky character models to be either endearingly retro or embarrassingly archaic. Either way, you're sure to have some opinion about the first look we've had at Yu Suzuki's long-awaited sequel in many moons.
Clearly the characters don't look as anatomically correct as one expects a semi-realistic crime drama to look in the modern era, but perhaps that dated presentation is part of its charm? After all, Suzuki told us back in 2015 that nostalgia is a central component to this much delayed sequel.
"One of the themes, the main feelings that you get from the game is a feeling of nostalgia," Suzuki said in an interview with Eurogamer. "That's one of the special qualities of Shenmue, and the fact it was one of the first open world games. That theme, that feeling of nostalgia, continues in all the games."
Shenmue 3, the long-awaited return for Yu Suzuki's seminal open world series, now has a publisher, with Deep Silver doing the duties.
In a shocking turn of events, Kickstarted role-playing game threequel Shenmue 3 has been delayed until "the second half of 2018".
Shenmue 3 is going to be skipping this year's E3 - and it's looking increasingly likely it'll also be missing its initial shipping date of December this year.
Shenmue 3 continues to be a real actual thing that may even come out at some point soon, with ys.net updating Kickstarter backers this morning with new screenshots of the work in progress on the game.
Sega continues to dither over the matter of Shenmue remasters, but fans continue to do great work breathing fresh life into the modern-day classics. An all-new video from YouTube channel Dreamcasters' Tube acts as an effective recap of the two previously released games while upgrading in-game cutscenes to 4K60fps.
While we wait in anticipation for more on Shenmue 3, currently being worked on by Yu Suzuki and a team of series veterans at Ys Net, the video works to help players get up to speed or simply as a very welcome burst of nostalgia. It's hard not to feel goosebumps creeping up when watching this artful and concise digest. Its aim is to push up the proceeds for Shenmue 3, which are currently still being collected through the Slacker Backer programme.
It's not the first time Shenmue has been buffed up by fans - one project is recreating the original with HD assets, while another has remade the Hazuki house in Unreal Engine 4. Sega, meanwhile, has said it's looking into remasters of the first two games.
The latest Kickstarter update for backers of Shenmue 3 is the most charming yet, as the adventures of fans lucky enough to head to Japan for a guided tour by series creator Yu Suzuki were chronicled in a short series of photographs.
Sega has said it is "looking into" remasters of the first two Shenmue games.
Shenmue 3 is real - it still feels slightly strange typing that - and our latest update suggests it's shaping up pretty well.
Towards the end of last year Shenmue 3 developer Ys Net created a poll asking Kickstarter Backers whether they were in favour of PayPal backers receiving the same exclusive rewards as those who backed the original Kickstarter campaign. A majority of users voted in favour of these latecomers receiving the same offers, but the developer still chose to rescind its offer to make these exclusive rewards available once again.
Of the 68,533 Kickstarter backers 15,110 responded to the poll. The breakdown came to 30.9 per cent in favour of making the Kickstarter-exclusive rewards available to PayPal Slacker Backers. 26.5 per cent said these exclusive rewards should stay exclusive. And 42.6 per cent said they were fine either way.
It's a strange poll as the final option is inconclusive. If you look at just "Yes, please make the Kickstarter exclusive rewards available on Paypal" or "No, Kickstarter exclusive rewards are for Kickstarter only", then more were in favour of the rewards becoming available again. But when you factor in the "Either is fine with me" option, it arguably gives the developer the deciding call, which it took to deny PayPal backers.
Yu Suzuki has offered his Kickstarter backers a new look at Shenmue 3, offering an update that's an abridged version of a talk the veteran designer recently gave at the Chuapp X 2015 event in China.
Yu Suzuki doesn't have as much time as he used to. For the past five years, the director and designer famous for classic Sega games such as Out Run, Afterburner and Virtua Fighter has been making the daily 90-minute commute to his small office in Ebisu, a district in Tokyo's Shibuya ward, to tinker with ideas and designs. To call his life leisurely would be a stretch, but he's been out of the public eye for much of that time, working on mobile games that never made their way to the west, and on ideas that never made their way to fruition. In June this year, Suzuki made his return to big-name games development in the grandest possible way.
We've all seen the Shenmue 3 Kickstarter pitch, but meanwhile, here's what a diehard Shenmue fan's been cooking up:
Shenmue 3 has become Kickstarter's highest-funded video game project.
Shenmue creator Yu Suzuki has unveiled a new trailer for the series' long-awaited third installment as its crowdfunding campaign enters its final few days.
The Shenmue 3 Kickstarter will conclude this Saturday, 18th July at just before 3am UK time.
More than $4.9m has been raised so far.
Shenmue is one of my favourite game franchises of all time. Ryo Hazuki's journey to avenge his father's death first began back when I was just 11 years old, so it's no exaggeration to say I've been following his story for more than half my life.
Two brothers have pledged $20K to Shenmue 3 in order to spread awareness concerning underprivileged Chinese schools.
Shenmue and its sequel's english language versions starred Corey Marshall as Ryo Hazuki, and it's just been confirmed that Marshall will reprise his role in Shenmue 3.
Shenmue 3's already going gangbusters on Kickstarter, having crept up to just over $3.5 million since its crowdfunding campaign went live last week, but if it's to be the truly open world sequel many fans are hoping for it's still got some way to go.
So, it actually happened. Waking up Tuesday morning, still weary from the long, strange night of surprises that E3's first day of conferences conjured up, it was hard to tell if it had all been but a dream. The Last Guardian is real, and very much tangible - there was enough wonder in the extended gameplay presentation that kicked off Sony's show to keep us all going until its release sometime next year. Final Fantasy 7 was getting the remake so many had been clamouring for, but strangest of all was the news that Shenmue 3 is being ushered into life by Yu Suzuki and a handful of the original development team.
Shenmue 3 has set a Guinness World Record for being the fastest video game to raise $1m in pledges via a crowdfunding platform.
UPDATE: And it's gone. Ryan Nets has pulled his fake Shenmue 3 Indiegogo campaign. Well done everyone!
UPDATE#2: Sony has clarified its role in Shenmue 3 in a recent official stream on the game, and revealed it's helping to bring Yu Suzuki's project to life.
Following its spectacular announcement at Sony's E3 conference, there were questions about what the company's involvement was, and why Shenmue 3 was going to Kickstarter at the same time as appearing on-stage. The $2 million amount announced as a goal on the Kickstarter - which was surpassed within 9 hours - doesn't appear to pertain to the game's entire budget, and instead has been used as proof of interest in the project before other investors dive in.
"Sony and PlayStation is definitely a partner in this game," Sony PlayStation's director of third party production and developer relations Gio Corsi. "It's going be run through third-party production. We're going to help YsNet get the game done. We're going to be partners on it the whole way."
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