Shenmue 3 Kickstarter reveals development progress and future plans

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It’s normal for most Kickstarter campaigns to go silent for a bit following successful funding, mainly because those behind the campaign are now hard at work creating whatever it is you backed. Of course, in the case of Shenmue 3 which raised over $6 million, backers were more eager than usual to hear something new. Thankfully, the radio silence didn’t last too long as backers received an update last night on the development progress and future plans. Better yet, we heard it straight from Yu Suzuki himself!

Round Table: Can Shenmue 3 live up to the hype?

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Its literally been 14 years since Shenmue 2 made its debut and left many unanswered questions. Over the years the Shenmue fanbase has grown since more and more people have gotten a chance to try the franchise, it has reached some level of mysticism. Having this rabid fanbase, all with individual reasons as to why they like the Shenmue franchise waiting for the next evolutionary step can be daunting to a development team.

Can Ys NET and Yu Suzuki make a game that will live up to the hype? That’s this topic on this week’s Round Table.

Shenmue interview from the Japanese ‘Dreamcast Express’ demo disc posted online

Shenmue had a huge marketing budget and part of that budget was used to explain what the game was all about. Shenmue is a unique game and explaining the main draw was a big challenge. SEGA had lots of programs going to promote the game before its release, including the fan favorite What’s Shenmue‘ demo disc (the also the VHS with the same name).

In Japan, SEGA had released discs called ‘Dreamcast Express‘ that were handed out to members of the Sega Partners Club, for free. These discs included demos, interviews and more. They where the Japanese equivalent to the ‘Dream On’ demo discs in UK and the Official Dreamcast Magazine demo discs in the US. The first volume included a special Shenmue interview with Yu Suzuki featuring a ton of unseen footage from the Shenmue series, as well as the main theme played by a live orchestra. Thankfully Shenmue Dojo has just uploaded this video on their YouTube channel and you can see it right above this post. Isn’t the internet great?

Its crazy watching a excited Yu Suzuki talk about working at SEGA for 15 years and then turn around and have to wait 14 years to announce the 3rd installment. It really has been that long!

Round Table: How much did you pledge to Shenmue 3?

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It is hard to grasp that it has been over 14 years since Shenmue 2 came out and left us all with that cliffhanger in the end of the game. There has been a strong fan reaction for a third installment and Yu Suzuki stood at Playstation’s E3 stage to finally give fans what they have been asking for. Ys NET launched their Kickstarter campaign which broke funding records, cementing that fans are willing to give their hard earn cash in order to see a third installment of their favorite franchise. In this week’s Round Table we talk about how much we funded and why. You can let us know how much you funded in the comments below.

Shenmue Gaiden: A fan made visual novel gets announced

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Two Shenmue fanatics (Shensun and Esppiral from Shenmue Dojo) have been working together for a greater part of a year on the fan creation of Shenmue Gaiden, a non-canon Shenmue visual novel. This is the sequel to a fan project that was released a year ago called ‘Shenmue X chapter 1, but the creator suggest this project will be better and by the looks of the promotional artwork he might be on to something.

It is expected for the visual novel to have a demo this year with a release sometime in 2016, the game will have two plot stories that deal with Ryo and Shenhua reaching their destination after their long walk in the forest and a young girl who asks them for help. To read more about the plot and see other in-game screenshots, hit the jump or click here.

Swingin’ Report Show #81: Shenmue 3 Kickstarter Countdown

Join George and Barry as they count down the final hour of the record breaking Shenmue 3 Kickstarter campaign! It has been as wild month, from the game’s E3 Sony stage announcement, to the ups and downs of Awesome Japan’s handling of the campaign. Hear our thoughts on how the Kickstarter was managed, the new tiers, and the recently revealed details of what we can expect in the finished game. Also in this episode, the recent comments from SEGA Games president on the company regaining the trust of gamers.

[Download] [RSS] [iTunes] [Archive]

Shenmue 3 Kickstarter Ends At $6,333,295, 69,320 Backers

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The Shenmue 3 Kickstarter campaign has officially ended, earning a total amount of $6,333,295 with 69,320 backers.

Fourteen years after Shenmue II was released, and following two failed attempts at reviving the franchise (Shenmue Online and Shenmue Gai), Yu Suzuki was welcomed to Sony’s E3 2015 stage to officially announce the beginning of the Kickstarter campaign for Shenmue 3. Breaking the Guinness World Record for the fastest video game to reach $1 million through crowdfunding in one hour and 42 minutes (as well as initially crashing Kickstarter’s site), Shenmue 3 continued to break records by being the second fastest Kickstarter campaign in all categories to raise over $1 million. Less than nine hours later, Shenmue 3 continued to drop jaws around the world when it reached $2 million, its 100% funding goal. Since the announcement, the money has continued to flow in, raising almost $1 million more on its last campaign day.

The game has also become the most funded video game in Kickstarter History, a record previously held by Bloodstained, the third most funded Kickstarter campaign in the “Games” category, and, most impressively, the sixth most funded Kickstarter project of all time.

The Kickstarter campaign should be considered a massive success, and now we can all rest (if only for a little bit), and await a steady flow of Shenmue 3 news until December of 2017!

This is how Shenmue would play if it was a 8-bit Mega Man game

Youtuber and animator Peter Sjöstrand put together the above video combining his love for Mega Man and Shenmue into one ultimate fanboy video. The video features iconic moments and locations like the Rush turning into a forklift, QTEs and even a capsule toy machine boss fight.

As a big Mega Man fan growing up, if Ys NET ever made a retro style Shenmue game, I’d buy the crap out of it.

If you want the best possible version of Shenmue 3, don’t forget to contribute via their Kickstarter. Only 4 days left and its nearing 5 million, half the total it needs to become a ‘truly open world’.

Yu Suzuki’s Twitter Q&A Part 2: Shenmue 3 in-game footage won’t be shown until 2017

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Last time Yu Suzuki was answering fan questions on twitter, I searched his twitter to find all the questions and answers to give them to you. This time, someone on Shenmue Dojo beat me to it. So you can check out the answers questions here or hit the jump for the complete transcript.

Some of the interesting bits includes a sketch of Akira in  High School from the cancelled Virtua Fighter RPG, Saying that we won’t see in-game footage of Shenmue 3 until 2017, and even confirmed that the game will be based on reality, unlike what that Shenmue Online trailer lead us to believe.

Check out the Cook & Becker limited edition Shenmue art print

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We posted a few months ago that Cook & Becker had the first collection of its limited edition SEGA prints up on their shop, consisting of games like Jet Set Radio, Phantasy Star and more. Now they have posted up a limited edition art print of the famous Shenmue.

“I’m so excited that Shenmue 3 is finally happening! I wanted to capture the moment just after Ryo’s father Iwao is killed by Lan Di. In the game the scene stops with Ryo cradling Iwao and screaming “No!”. I wanted to imagine a shot where Ryo is standing just outside the dojo where is father was just killed. It is cold and very early in the morning. Snow is falling. The morning light is still weak and only some of the wood interior is catching light from the outside. Ryo’s pose already hints at him seeking revenge.” – Tom Sweeney, Artist behind the piece

The art piece is available in 24×47 inches and in a smaller 16×31 inches. Each art print is hand numbered and the user has the option of picking the number of their print from 1 to 100. Not only that, the artist, John Sweeney has stated that he would donate his proceeds of the piece to the Shenmue 3 Kickstarter for those of you who purchase a copy before July 17th, so picking up an extra art piece will in fact support the creation of Shenmue 3. Win, win?

Sony’s Shuhei Yoshida says Shenmue 3 IP deal was between SEGA and Yu Suzuki

While Sony announced Shenmue 3 on stage and even admitted that they are involved with some funding for the project, fans are starting to wonder who owns the IP and what Sony had to do with getting the kickstarter going. If Sony’s involved why don’t they just fund the whole thing? According to Playstation President of Worldwide Studios’ Shuhei Yoshida, the deal for the Kickstarter was done by Yu Suzuki and SEGA.
During a interview with Engadget, they asked Yoshida-San the following: ” Why did Sony PlayStation decide to allow that crowdfunding announcement as opposed to funding it?”

“Ah, no, no, no. It’s a very exciting project and there are lots of PlayStation fans asking for it. But it’s a Sega IP and of course Suzuki Yu-san is the creator. So somehow Suzuki-san was able to work out with Sega to allow them to Kickstart the project. And because we liked the project, our third-party relations team struck a deal to help Kickstart the campaign at the E3 conference. That’s great PR.”

Sony has stated that they are willing to help promote the game and have shown that by allowing the Kickstarter to be announced on their stage at E3 in front of millions. Fans have been a bit angry with Sony’s involvement, in my opinion in the end of the day all the money funded by fans and Sony will go into Shenmue 3 to make it a better game, so in the end the consumer wins. No one is forcing anyone to donate to the Kickstarter, you can always wait for the released product. What are your thoughts?

Streets of Rage and Shenmue soundtracks are getting a vinyl release [update]

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I got to say I love records, I have quite the collection and I’m so excited that SEGA has teamed up with a new record label called ‘Data Discs’ to release both the Streets of Rage and Shenmue soundtracks.

Data Discs is calling itself the first record label dedicated to releasing video game soundtracks and its fitting that its first two releases would be two of the most iconic soundtracks of their time. The Streets of Rage soundtrack will be fully remastered with the help of Yuzo Koshiro . Both releases will be pressed on 180 gram vinyl and include a lithographic print with each title.

If you want to pre-order yourself a copy (like I do), you’ll have to wait until May 30th when Data Discs opens its website. The records won’t ship until September and there will be extras for early pre-orders.

[update]

Found out that each release will come in three different colored vinyls, one of the colors will be exclusive to Data Disc website!

Streets of Rage: 

  • 180g translucent red vinyl with black splatter (exclusive to the Data Discs website)
  • 180g translucent red vinyl
  • 180g black virgin vinyl

The Streets of Rage soundtrack will come with traditional OBI strip and 2x lithographs featuring artwork from both the western and Japanese release. Early bird orders will come with five playing cards featuring original character art, and packed with hand-stamped envelope.

Shenmue: 

  • 180g translucent blue vinyl with ‘colour in colour’ effect (exclusive to the Data Discs website)
  • 180g translucent blue vinyl
  • 180g black virgin vinyl

The Shenmue soundtrack will feature one lithograph, spot varnished cover and a OBI strip. You can hear samples of the Shenmue remaster on Data Disc’s soundcloud. I’ve been told they will be priced at £20 (roughly $30 USD), but can’t 100% confirm that.

[Via: Polygon]

Download the Dead or Alive 5 Last Round texture mod for the ultimate Shenmue fight

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Reddit user Esppiral
has posted the following texture modifications for the PC release of Dead or Alive 5 Last Round. Sadly modders haven’t figured out how to swap models (yet?), so the user went in and used a base model and changed the textures to make them look like Shenmue characters. He not only created Ryo (using Jacky as a base model) and Lan Di (using Akira as a base model) but also included the famous dojo.

Download the mods here:

If you bought the game on Steam (or any other service) and want to learn how to install texture mods, hit the jump.

The Weekly Five: How SEGA-AM2 changed video gaming

Welcome to our new video series The Weekly Five, a top five list covering a wide range of SEGA topics. We are celebrating The Year of Developers over at SEGAbits.com, that means that each month throughout the year we will be covering notable notable SEGA developers. This month is all about a developer that is close to my heart, SEGA-AM2. What better way to kick off the new series than to discuss five ways SEGA-AM2 changed video gaming.

Year of the Developers: We celebrate the legacy of SEGA AM2

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SEGA AM2 is just one of those developers that always puts a smile on my face whenever I talk about their games. Not only do they have one of the most vast libraries, but they also revolutionized gaming in general multiple times over the past decades. Let’s look at the developer that popularized sprite-scaling in the 80s, gave us modern 3D with their Virtua series and created one of the most expensive games ever as we walk through their legacy.

Don’t forget to join us all month long while we talk more about SEGA AM2 and all their legendary franchises.