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.
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.
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.
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.
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