Yu Suzuki reflects on one year since the Shenmue 3 Kickstarter was funded

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In the latest Shenmue 3 Kickstarter update, Yu Suzuki shared a special backer exclusive video in which he looked back on one year since the campaign was successfully funded. Those expecting major revelations or exciting new information will be disappointed, but it is nice to see shots of Suzuki and his team discussing the game’s development. A few notable moments in the video include Suzuki stating “Your cheers at the Sony announcement still ring in my ears” and the mention that late last year the team began using Shenmue 2 characters for battle and conversation tests in Unreal Engine 4 – I would personally love to see these development videos someday. Suzuki also stated that the prototype build began development in January and that is has been six months since the project has really taken off. Elements that are beginning to come together include battles and facial expressions and the crew are said to be happy with development thus far. Suzuki ended the video saying he believes it will end up to be a good game, and he once again thanked backers for their support. No date has been decided yet for surveys, which would decide stuff like shipping addresses and shirt sizes and information needed for in-game appearances.

Overall, Shenmue 3 looks to be progressing well. The environments, while not jaw dropping as they were with the Dreamcast originals, look good and it is always nice to see Suzuki smiling and talking about the game’s development. Here’s hoping as time goes on we see more of the game in progress and get a peek at some cutscenes and battles.

The SEGA Five: SEGA Games That Would Thrive in Virtual Reality

SEGAVRWhile not every single gamer is sold on Virtual Reality just yet, mostly due to the fact that it is rather expensive to even get a headset and compatible computer, the people that have experienced it all think its the future of gaming. While this is still open to debate, what I do know is that Virtual Reality has opened the door for older types of genres that SEGA pioneered in their long history to thrive. So today on The SEGA Five we will be discussing five genres that SEGA can revive with the help of Virtual Reality.

Before we get started I just want to say that these ideas are to make the games Virtual Reality compatible and not exclusive. I think this would mean that more gamers will be able to enjoy the games, VR headset or not.  The number of gamers with Virtual Reality headsets is too low to spend money on exclusives right now. So let’s get to it.

SEGA Central reveals SEGA 3D Classics Collection coming to Europe, gives update on Shenmue 1&2 HD

In the latest episode of the Europe-focused SEGA Central video series, SEGA Europe community manager Dan Sheridan answers some viewer mail. To the request for more Japanese games receiving American localization to release in Europe, Dan confirms that one game is indeed coming. Dan’s exact words were: “We have also heard that fans are looking forward to the release of SEGA 3D Classics Collection in Europe, and subject to approval submissions, we’ll have news to share soon. One thing that I can tell you, is that it is coming.”

On the topic of Shenmue and Shenmue 2 receiving HD releases (or “hay-ch dee” as they say), Dan replied: “Of course we would love to release these tomorrow. Of course it’s not as simple as just porting the games to the current platforms, as we would need to ensure that any HD remaster lives up to the quality of the original titles, and with games as immersive as Shenmue 1 and 2 there are further complications from licensed products that were included in the original games. That said, we’d love to do it, and are currently investigating how to make it a reality.”

New Shenmue 3 screens unveiled at Magic Monaco 2016 press conference

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The Monaco Anime Game International Conference kicks off February 27th, and of interest to Shenmue fans is a much anticipated Shenmue 3 presence. As a preview of the event, a press conference was held today which featured new screens and details on the upcoming game. While the details side of things is scant right now, images from the event have hit social media. Twitter user Shenmue Forever posted some cool photos of the panel which features some new screens of the game. The images are kind of hard to see, but thankfully the Magic Monaco Twitter account shared one of the screens (seen above), and another has also found its way online (seen after the break). While the game is still very much in an early state, it’s great to see what feels like what one would see while playing the game. Let’s be honest, nothing is more iconic than the back of Ryo’s head – it is what players see for a majority of the game.

More details from the panel will be shared as we hear them!

Shenmue 3 Update: Kickstarter Rewards to remain exclusive and official site gets a refresh

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Happy 2016! With the new year comes an update on Shenmue 3! While the latest Kickstarter project update doesn’t get into any of the development, the results are in for the survey asking whether or not rewards exclusive to Kickstarter backers should be made available to PayPal backers. Initially, this survey was held on Twitter, which many cited as being unfair since it was open to anybody and not just Kickstarter backers. Thankfully, Ys Net listened and held a new survey exclusive to Kickstarter backers. The survey shows that while the “Yes’s” outweighed the “No’s”, the “No’s” and “Either’s” were to great to be ignored and it has been decided that Kickstarter exclusives will not be made available to PayPal backers.

Watch this fan translated Making of Shenmue Japanese TV special from 1999

During the release of Shenmue, there existed quite a few interviews and TV specials about the game that sadly never received proper translations. Thankfully, with nothing but time on their hands between the release of Shenmue 2 and the announcement of Shenmue 3, several fans have since translated these insightful looks at the making of the game.

Recently, Shenmue Dojo member Switch went above and beyond and translated an hour long “Making of Shenmue” TV special into English, French, Spanish, and German. The special, which can be seen above, is perhaps the longest most in depth look at the game at the time of its release. As an added bonus, it also features a rare look inside SEGA during their final years as a first party developer. Thanks to Ziming of Shenmue Dojo for sending us the special!

SEGA News Bits: SEGA re-releasing legacy games like Shenmue?

SEGA Europe’s marketing director Jon Rooke said in a recent interview that SEGA was looking at opportunities to re-release Legacy titles like Shenmue. On this episode we sit and discuss the possibility of this being just PR talk, we discuss what is a SEGA legacy title and discuss SEGA legacy games we want to see re-released. Let us know what you consider a legacy title and what games you want to see re-released in the comments below!

If you like what you see make sure to subscribe to us on YouTube so you never miss an episode.

Ys Net releases Shenmue 3 progress report on the game’s development, featuring new screens

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As Shenmue 3 enters the third month of post-Kickstarter development, a much welcomed progress report has been posted detailing what the team has been up to and what they plan to work on in the coming months. Most exciting are four screens of the game in-progress showcasing battle tests, a cutscene, and an environment which you can see after the break or at the above link.

Update: SEGA Europe marketing director says they are exploring opportunities for re-releases of legacy titles like Shenmue

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Marketing Week held an interesting interview with SEGA Europe marketing director Jon Rooke. The interview, which centers around the company’s recent changes and a shift in approach, also touches on the Shenmue series. SEGA allowing Yu Suzuki to use the license to make a third game and the Kickstarter campaign proving to be a success “shows that people love [SEGA’s] legacy”, said Rooke. The article adds that Rooke said SEGA is exploring ways to re-release the original two Shenmue titles.

Could it be that much like Valkyria Chronicles performing well on PC, it took the successful backing of Shenmue 3 for SEGA to rethink rereleases of classic titles? It has long been rumored that there are reasons for SEGA holding out on Shenmue and Shenmue II, chief among them being that there are rights issues standing in the way. Whatever the case, it’s good to hear somebody like Jon Rooke speaking publicly about a possibility of a re-release.

Update: The article’s author has shared the exact quote from Jon Rooke on Twitter:
When I asked about Shenmue being remade, I was told: “There are lots of opportunities for legacy titles. We are exploring. We know what fans want as they have a petition.” So it now appears that the quote wasn’t referring to Shenmue specifically, but legacy titles as a whole.

[Source: Marketing Week]

Play Shenmue on Dreamcast in widescreen

ShenmueWidescreenHackWe know that Codebreaker codes change aspects of games, from infinite lives to instant unlockables. But did you know that you can use a code on games to get them to display in ‘anamorphic widescreen’? Assembler Games forum user S4pph4rad decided to release his anamorphic widescreen codes for Shenmue I & II and this lead to quite a few users contributing back.The idea is to have codes for most of the games, if possible.

“Similar to the codes for other platforms, this is anamorphic widescreen so you’re not getting higher resolution. Some additional changes could probably be made like shrinking the HUD too, but this is the simplest solution. Consider these version 1. There’s still some pop-in occasionally near the edges of the screen, but it’s not as bad as when you use an emulator to extend the visible area. That could probably be fixed with deeper analysis into how it decides when something goes out of range.” – S4pph4rad from Assembler Games

You can read all about the process of Anamorphic widescreen over here and if you want to check out more progress on codes for other games check out Assembler Games’ forum thread. This is all a work in progress, of course and the community is submitting codes to other Dreamcast classics.

Hit the jump for the Shenmue I & II widescreen codes!

Yu Suzuki says convincing SEGA to let him do Shenmue III was easy

Shenmue3Yu Suzuki has done a couple of interviews about Shenmue III the other day, one of the more interesting ones was with Dual Shockers one in which they asked him about how hard it was to get the rights for the project which Yu Suzuki said:

” It’s difficult to explain. I am the one who created Shenmue, so Sega allows me to take decisions for the game. They trust me because I know more about the workings of the game more than anyone else. There were no problems. Sega is very helpful and collaborative with me. They hope the best for Shenmue III. I actually still work for Sega as an adviser, so we have a very good relationship.”

Dualshockers also posted a video of Yu Suzuki explaining the “AI Battling” which was a goal during their Kickstarter. Check out that video here. If you’re a big Yu Suzuki fan, I’d suggest you give the interview a read and if you’re Yu Suzuki and you are reading this, how about you answer our emails, bro?

New Project X Zone 2: Brave New World screens and art show off Shenmue’s Ryo Hazuki

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Famitsu has dropped another batch of Project X Zone 2: Brave New World character reveals for the upcoming Bandai Namco Entertainment published SRPG crossover featuring SEGA, Capcom, and Bandai Namco characters. In this latest batch SEGA representation is light, but the inclusion of Shenmue’s Ryo Hazuki is huge. Of course, we knew of Ryo’s inclusion for a few weeks. But in this reveal it is confirmed that Ryo will be a Solo Unit character, meaning he won’t be teamed with another Shenmue character (I was really hoping we’d get Wuying Ren). It has also been confirmed that Ryo’s Japanese voice actor Matsukaze Masaya will be returning to the role. Masaya will also be voicing Ryo in Shenmue 3, which means we’ll get our first listen of Masaya’s return to the role in Project X Zone 2!

Other SEGA characters revealed include two NPCs: The evil rabbit eared Ranmaru from Sakuza Wars: So Long My Love voiced by Asai Kiyomi and Garijanon, voiced by Norio Wakamoto, of Resonance of Fate who will be sharing a cutscene with Segata Sanshiro.

After the break, check out the SEGA character screens and art, and check out all the new images over at Famitsu!

Shenmue’s Ryo Hazuki to appear in Project X Zone 2: Brave New World

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Japanese website Games Talk has let slip that Shenmue‘s Ryo Hazuki will be joining the cast in the SEGA/Capcom/Bandai Namco crossover Project X Zone 2: Brave New World! Ryo appeared in a piece of artwork from the game featuring several other new and already revealed characters. The artwork itself was in a series of screenshots from the Korean localization of the game. It is unknown at this time if Ryo is a solo unit or is a part of a team. Fingers crossed it’s a team, as that would mean an additional Shenmue character (Ren? Goro? The kitten!?).

After the break, check out a few more screens from the Korean version which feature Virtua Fighter characters.

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.