New Shenmue 3 developer update gives us a peek at the game in action

A new Shenmue 3 developer diary has finally hit for Kickstarter backers, and as seen above the game is indeed being made! Yeah yeah, I know, there was little doubt that the game is happening but I still have this suspicion that Yu Suzuki’s plan is to run off to a remote island with a luxury car. The latest video tells little but shows quite a bit. We see a developer working on a QTE arcade machine displaying Playstation buttons and arrows. We then see Ryo pushing something and then the player accessing the iconic in-game diary. A peek at a small village is given and the room appears to be littered with concept drawings of NPCs.

During a dialogue meeting, somebody is paging through the Japanese Shenmue 2 guide book and we see more NPC drawings on a white board. Quest test play shows off a messy room covered in dirt and debris. Ryo is seen from behind opening a cabinet and it is noted that all characters are tentative and are from older resources – so don’t judge the back of Ryo’s head! We then go to a meeting with Yu Suzuki where we see him talking with his staff and in the background there is a screen showing off what looks like Ryo outside and then a scene inside a small room with an arcade machine. We again see Ryo outside and a quick shot of a village at dusk with lights lit.

All in all, not much is revealed but it is very exciting to see the game being made! What did you think of this peek at Shenmue 3?

Shenmue III PC pre-orders open on December 15, new footage soon

Shenmue3While most of us hardcore Shenmue III fans already put up our money when Yu Suzuki launched his Kickstarter, it seems there are quite a few people demanding for the studio to put up pre-orders for the game. Yu Suzuki stated in the latest Famitsu magazine that Shenmue III PC pre-orders will open up in a few days.

“Development is entering the final stage headed towards full-scale production. Early in the new year, I think we’ll be able to show you things such as new videos.

“We will continue progressing with development so that our backers and those who experience the world of Shenmue for the first time can do so with pleasure.

“Also, at noon on December 15, we will start pre-order sales for the PC version of Shenmue III, which received a lot of requests.Those interested in Shenmue III, please check the official website.”

It is interesting considering that the studio hasn’t really put out much Shenmue III in-game footage. What they have shown has never been finalized. It seems that the work on Shenmue III is barely starting, if they are barely entering full-scale production, do you think the studio should be putting up pre-orders without actual in-game screenshots? Let us know in the comments below.

[Via: Gematsu]

Shenmue III music developer diary

A new video developer diary has been posted to the Shenmue III Kickstarter page. This one focuses on Shenmue III music and features a subtitled chat with Yu Suzuki on the subject.

The discussion ranges from Yu Suzuki’s taste in music, his history playing in rock bands that performed Deep Purple and Van Halen style music and covers, setting the tone with music in a video game, and how he directs his audio teams on a project. The video comes off like a nice, natural and unscripted chat with the legendary Sega developer.

Towards the end of the short video, Suzuki previews some of the new songs from the upcoming game.

Shenmue III is still targeted for a December 2017 release for PS4 and PC. Imagine that guys, we’re now just a year away from that target date! Are you excited? Do you think Suzuki and the boys will deliver on time?

SEGA News Bits: Unused Virtua Fighter Characters Discovered

It seems that a new unused Virtua Fighter characters, an alternative design for Akira Yuri and a playable form of Siba (previously known as a cut character from the official game) have been discovered sitting in the game’s code. On this episode of the SEGA News Bits we discuss the discovery, what we think about the newly found content and if SEGA should use these unused Virtua Fighter characters in the future. Let us know what you think of these unused Virtua Fighter characters that have been discovered in the comments below.

Do you like our SEGA News Bits segments? Make sure to share them with like minded people and subscribe to our YouTube channel if you haven’t. We appreciate the support.

SEGA says Shenmue 1 & 2 HD remakes have their full attention

Shenmue_HD_remasters_Sega_comment[1]SEGA Europe’s boss Jurgen Post has recently talked about the possibilities of doing Shenmue 1 & 2 HD remakes and ressured the fanbase that they have been looking into renewing licensing to do the remakes correctly.

This is what SEGA Europe said about the Shenmue 1 & 2 HD remakes:

“There is definitely a desire [to go back to our classic games], Even online, people are constantly talking about products they would like to see come back, and Shenmue 1 and 2  are probably in the top two places. We are looking into it. It is an old IP, it is a beloved IP – and not just by consumers, but also within Sega, we have people saying that if we could do Shenmue 1 and 2 all over again, we’d definitely go for it. The issue is that it is a big game. It is a project from many years ago. If we are to do it, we’d want to do a fantastic conversion to the current platforms, and there are a lot of licences in the game, which were cleared many years ago, so we will need to renegotiate those contracts. We are looking into it. We haven’t given it a green light, but it has our full attention.” – Jurgen Post, President and COO of SEGA Europe

This whole licensing issues from old games have plagued SEGA in the past when they ported over Crazy Taxi on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, omitting the iconic soundtrack due to SEGA not wanting to pay the licenses for the old tracks. This lead fans to getting upset and ever since then SEGA has made an effort to gather all the licenses when remaking or porting games. The last big examples include Castle of Illusions (which, now expiring license is making them pull it from shops) and Jet Set Radio.

What are your thoughts? Does Shenmue 1 & 2 HD remakes seem like a reality now? Jurgen Post has been teasing the return of classic franchises for awhile now, do you really think SEGA Europe actually have something up their sleeves?

[Source: MCVUK]

Peter Moore talks SEGA Dreamcast days in recent IGN Unfiltered Interview

Peter Moore talked about the SEGA Dreamcast days in a Unfiltered interview posted up by IGN. The video is an hour and a half talk about the man’s career and what led him to be EA’s Chief Competition Officer. Some of the games that he said made him smile from the Dreamcast era included Seaman, Samba De Amigo and he even mentions Yu Suzuki’s SEGA-AM2 studio with Shenmue.

Peter Moore worked for the underdog brands which included Reebok, SEGA and later the Xbox division. Peter Moore is a interesting guy and this interview shows it with a few more bits like his son being a SEGA Saturn owner before he worked at SEGA, pitching his ideas to SEGA Japan and the mysteries behind his marketing TV spots. Really makes you miss the days of SEGA hardware, huh?

Shenmue game director returns for Shenmue III

Shenmue game director, Keiji Okayasu was just announced as a new production team member for Shenmue III. This announcement is part of their new Kickstarter update, this time giving us a interview with Keiji Okayashu and what he will bring to Shenmue III. Keiji Okayasu describes his ‘game directing’ role as a sub director role with Yu Suzuki being the main director. This will continue with Shenmue III he has confirmed.

Keiji Okayasu talks about how early he was involved on the Shenmue project, saying he was there when it was still the Virtua Fighter RPG for the SEGA Saturn, which is considered pretty early on since it wasn’t even officially Shenmue at that point. I think if you are a old school Shenmue fan, the above interview is pretty interesting to watch since Keiji Okayasu talks about working with Yu Suzuki and how hard it was understanding what he wanted to do with Shenmue at the time. Got to admit, I love that this is how Yu Suzuki is spending Shenmue III’s Kickstarter money, bringing back old team members that made the first two games. Makes me excited to actually see gameplay of Shenmue III in the near future.

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.

Shenmue 3 update shows off in-game environments

Above is early footage of Shenhua’s house from the upcoming Shenmue 3. The Shenmue 3 Kickstarter also sent out various photos of these environments (which you can see below) giving you a closer look at how far the game’s graphics have come along compared to what they showed previously. The Shenmue Dojo twitter account also did a side by side comparison of Shenua’s house from Shenmue 2 to Shenmue 3 and it seems like everything is where we last left it 15 years ago.

I’m not really sold on the over use of lighting, but its looking rather impressive so far for being this early into development. I really can’t wait to see more updates, so far color me surprise. What do you guys think of Shenmue 3‘s new environments? Let us know in the comments below!

SEGA Games That Are Celebrating Big Anniversaries in 2016

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SEGA has created some highly popular and cult classic series of games that have stuck with people over the years. While most of you guys already know that Sonic the Hedgehog is celebrating his big 25th Anniversary this year, many other games get ignored because they aren’t as relevant as they used to be. Today we will list those mostly ignored video game franchises we all love. Did your favorite game make our list?

Classic Virtua Fighter figures now available for pre-order

FIGURE-016527_08Are you a big fan of the low polygon models used in the original Virtua Fighter? Today is your lucky day because Figma’s classic Akira and Sarah figures are now available to pre-order at AmiAmi. Each figure will cost you 3,560 yen (about $30 usd).

Each figure comes with:

  • Main figure
  • Base
  • Standard expression part
  • Shouting expression part
  • Hand parts

The figures will have a ‘variety of hand parts’ so you can pose them to fit your needs. Not to mention the screaming face. Look at the gallery after the break. According to Figma, they will be making Player 2 variants soon, you can see those figures in the image above. The figures are set to ship this upcoming September, so this is a long pre-order.

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!

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?

The History of Sega Japan R&D, Part 1: The Origins and the 80s

THE ORIGINS

Sega is an interesting company when it comes to their origins. There are companies like Namco, Taito and Konami that started in the 60s with electromechanical games and there are those like Capcom and Square that started in the 80s with video games. Sega is different.

Sega had its roots even earlier with slots and jukeboxes in the 1940s in Hawaii, when they were known as Standard Games. Today, Sega of Japan would rather say that Sega didn’t start until it was moved to Tokyo and renamed to Service Games in 1951. However all that expertise in manufacturing slots and jukeboxes during the Standard Games days really gave Sega the boost they needed when they entered the market to manufacture their very first “Amusement Machine” in 1965, Periscope, which the company still prides itself for as it was their first worldwide commerical success.