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Shenmue III |OT| The Dream is Real

Komatsu

Member




Developer: Ys Net
Publisher: Deep Silver
Director: Yu Suzuki & Keiji Okayasu
Engine: Unreal Engine 4
Release: November 19, 2019
Platform: PC, Playstation 4
Genre: Action/Adventure



In 1987, following the events of Shenmue II, teenage martial artist Ryo Hazuki has journeyed from Yokosuka, Japan, to the mountains of Guilin, China, in search of his father's killer, Lan Di. There he met Ling Shenhua, a mysterious girl who previously appeared in his dreams. After learning the legend of her village, which foretells a united path between them, Ryo and Shenhua embark on a new journey which reveals their shared destiny. Lan Di returns, with a new antagonist, Niao Sun.

Shenmue III begins in Bailu Village in Guilin. According to the game's Kickstarter page, the second area, Choubu, is "a riverside village with lots of shops, souvenir stores, hotels and temples", and the third area, Baisha, will feature a "siege game reminiscent of the Warring Kingdoms". Ryo will be able to make phone calls to Japan to catch up with characters from previous installments. Shenmue III will not conclude the story, as Suzuki hopes to create further games in the series. [FROM THE WIKI]



WHO IS YU SUZUKI, DESIGNER OF SHENMUE?

Faced with Nintendo's vice-like grip on third parties, Sega would often set their new graduate hires to work on their own projects in order to maintain a steady flow of games for their consoles. Yu Suzuki, who joined the company in 1983, was no exception and he created a game for Sega's SG-1000 console, Champion Boxing, within his very first year. So impressed were Sega's executives that they ported the game to the arcade and promoted him to project manager. His next game, 1985's Hang On, was revolutionary in its use of fast pseudo-3D scaling graphics combined with a sit down motorbike cabinet, and over the next 15 year Suzuki would continue to release game after game which pushed the boundaries of what people thought was possible.

Even from those early days, it is easy to see what would become hallmarks of his career: a desire to push technological boundaries, to do things no one had ever done before, to create an "experience" as much as a game. Being a non-gamer himself, he tends to take inspiration from cinema and real life rather than from other games. 1986's Outrun is a good example. Like Hang On before it, Outrun was a graphically impressive super-scaler game with sit down hydraulic cabinet. Suzuki said wanted to recreate the experience of driving a Ferrari along beautiful roads, one arm on the steering wheel and a pretty girl in the passenger seat. He described it as a driving game rather than a racing game and he got the feel of the game completey right. This design philosophy would also be evident in what would become his magnum opus: Shenmue.

THE DEVELOPMENT OF SHENMUE I & II



Having created the world's first 3D fighting game, Virtua Fighter, in 1993, Suzuki would later have the idea of expanding on the world created for that series and creating a martial arts RPG. In 1996 he and his team at AM2 began work on a Sega Saturn version of the game, but switched development to Sega's next-gen console, the Dreamcast, the next year. It was a hugely ambitious project, the first attempt at creating a 3D open world console game. Suzuki felt that the word "RPG" was not sufficient to accurately convey the type of game he was creating, and so coined his own phrase to describe the genre to which he felt it belonged : FREE (Full Reactive Eyes Entertainment). His team recreated a real life Japanese town, complete with it's own population of NPCs, each with their own daily schedule and spoken dialogue. The passage of time in the game was tied to a real life clock and the weather changed according to real life historical records of the weather at the time. Whereas games of the previous generation of consoles had featured simple polygons wrapped in basic low-resolution texture maps, Shenmue featured expressive, realistic characters models and fully interactive environments, from being able to rifle through the draws in your house to buying cans of cola from the vending machine. The game perfectly encapsulated Suzuki's design philosophy: it pushed technological boundaries, it had never been done before, it was an experience as much as a game.



The game was released in Japan in December 1999, followed by a sequel a couple of years later. It sold pretty well considering the relatively small install base of the Dreamcast, but being the most expensive game ever made up to that point ($47 million according to Suzuki, which included both marketing and development) it was never likely to be able to fully recoup its costs. With the discontinuation of the Dreamcast in March 2001 it could no longer be justified as a first party showcase, and the game faded into relative obscurity after a port of the sequel to the Xbox failed to find an audience.

With the exception of a couple of aborted spin-off games, Sega didn't seem interested in continuing the series and it looked as though fans of the series would never get to find out what happened with Ryo and Shenhua after the cliffhanger at the end of Shenmue 2. That is, until one day at E3 2015...

Kickstarter and Development of Shenmue III

Having just managed to regain their composure after the announcement of the Final Fantasy 7 remake, the Game Trailers' crew were once again thrown into a frenzy by the appearance of Yu Suzuki on Sony's E3 stage. Shenmue III was coming back, this time as a independent kickstarter project. It went on to become the best funded game in kickstarter history, raising over $7 million from over 81,000 backers (after the inclusion of slacker-backers). Additional funding from future publisher Deep Silver provided enough funds to fulfill most left over kickstarter pledges, as well as cover an extra year of development. While an undisclosed amount of extra funds were provided by Suzuki's own company, Ys Net, and the Epic Games Store, the budget is almost certainly only a fraction of the original game. In spite of this, his team of Shenmue veterans and newbies have managed to leverage the power of modern development tools to create a game reportedly equal in scope and attention to detail as the originals. Reactions to the recent backers demo was overwhelmingly positive, and Shenmue fans will finally be able to continue the adventure they paused almost 20 years ago.










There have been no pre-release reviews of the game. This section will be updated once the Review Thread is posted.

CREDITS: Special thanks to Kazza Kazza for writing the "Development" section of the OT. Amazing work!​
 
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BadBurger

Gold Member
Pretty OT, OP.

My copy is supposed to show up this week. Here's hoping USPS doesn't hurl the shit at my front door in the rain like they did the last two physical games I ordered.
 

Kazza

Member
Great work on the OP Komatsu Komatsu !

This whole thing has been amazing for the people who paused a story in a cave 18 years ago...



...whose hopes and prayers for a sequel were finally given the chance to become reality 4 years ago...



...who patiently watched it develop year by year...



...and who can now finally continue their journey...



Savour this moment and have fun everyone (both old fans and new fans alike).
 

kunonabi

Member
My backer copy arrives tomorrow. Im super psyched for it despite some minor quibbles. It's crazy to think this is finally happening after all this time.
 

John Day

Member
Awesome OT! I only played the first one on Dreamcast briefly, so i’m not that atached to the franchise.

But hoping to jump into it soon!
 

ranmafan

Member
I’ve only had a short time to play my copy since I got it yesterday, been busy doing family things plus the trophies in the game haven’t gone up yet and our backer codes haven’t arrived yet for our special content. But what I played so far has been exactly what I hoped for. It’s Shenmue as I wanted it, and it’s great. And I’m quite surprised at the graphics. Much better than I expected, even after seeing all the latest videos and screenshots.

It’s still amazing to actually play Shenmue 3. Now anything’s possible in the video game world.
 

Xaero Gravity

NEXT LEVEL lame™
Greatest topic at the moment in Neogaf !

i really hope so much that Yu Suzuki will make a last and modern Virtua Fighter again, and then Shenmue 4 and maybe 5 too !
Unfortunately I don't see us getting another Shenmue after this one. Something tells me it won't sell very well at all.
 

Hostile_18

Banned
There has to be a sequel and ending surely or this is a waste of time.

I must admit I do get frustrated when beloved franchises that get a second chance at life don't give an ending to an ongoing story (X-Files, Twin Peaks... Shenmue, Soul Reaver). They are lucky enough to get a second chance. They could always feature an ending and if popular enough release a self contained story if renewed/given another release next time.

Some series will perpetually be never finished as they hope a cliff hanger will secure the next release. It's a massive (and IMO *slightly* arrogant) roll of the dice.
 
Unfortunately I don't see us getting another Shenmue after this one. Something tells me it won't sell very well at all.
The team already have the foundations laid to make “more of the same” should a sequel come around. I imagine less of a budget could produce the same quality output. Let’s hope the story gets told.
 

Ma-Yuan

Member
Mine was shipped on the 13th but I didn't get a tracking number in the email . . . isn't here yet . . . :-( Hype level 0 if it doesn't show up . . .

Its really cheap to ship this with no tracking number . . . who knows when and if it will arrive . . .
 
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Thaedolus

Gold Member
I haven't got any info on my EGS code or physical box...it says check the survey for the code, the survey just has the trial version listed...huh?
 

Pejo

Member
Great OP. I'm not here to shit up the OT, but as a backer I just wanted to say how disappointed I am in this project. The EGS/Deep Silver stuff was just a huge disappointment to me personally for a game that was basically revived by the fans.

Now that I've seen multiple gameplay videos, here are my thoughts - If this was a game paid for by Kickstarter by fans, it would be acceptable. There seems to be quite a bit of jank, the graphics are frankly awful, the animations bad. I could overlook this as a passion project that was limited by a budget. However, since the budget was supposedly greatly increased to allow bigger/better things by the Deep Silver publisher deal and the EGS exclusivity deal, why does the game look this poor?

I was so excited for this to exist, but it's just been tainted for me. It took every fiber of my being not to get a refund from the Kickstarter, but I chose the option to wait for a Steam key instead. I do look forward to seeing how the story develops, regardless of any of the issues I have with Yu and team. I hope that any of you that are excited for this really have a great time, and I hope your expectations are met.
 

Azelover

Titanic was called the Ship of Dreams, and it was. It really was.
The game is good. The gameplay is deeper, and it is a fun game. But...

The story is very underwhelming
 

Azelover

Titanic was called the Ship of Dreams, and it was. It really was.
Am ready even though this will likely be a very flawed experience, Should still have some ok time with it.
I didn't find it a flawed experience.. what are you talking about? The characters are a little weird(though charming), the animations are off. But the environments are beautiful, and the gameplay is quite good. For the most part, it's the best Shenmue game yet. There's only one major problem....

the story sucks and the ending is a non-ending worse than 2's
 

Hostile_18

Banned
I didn't find it a flawed experience.. what are you talking about? The characters are a little weird(though charming), the animations are off. But the environments are beautiful, and the gameplay is quite good. For the most part, it's the best Shenmue game yet. There's only one major problem....

the story sucks and the ending is a non-ending worse than 2's

You've finished it already? How long did it take you?

And that sucks RE: the hidden text.
 

Azelover

Titanic was called the Ship of Dreams, and it was. It really was.
You've finished it already? How long did it take you?

And that sucks RE: the hidden text.
Takes around 40 hours. But that can vary a lot from player to player. There are side-quests and a lot of things to do outside the main quest. Very good game imo. Except for the... you know. This is gonna be a controversial game.
 

Hostile_18

Banned
Takes around 40 hours. But that can vary a lot from player to player. There are side-quests and a lot of things to do outside the main quest. Very good game imo. Except for the... you know. This is gonna be a controversial game.

Yeah I'm still really looking forward to it. 40 hours is a very good length. I really want to ask about the arcade games but trying to resist lol.
 

Azelover

Titanic was called the Ship of Dreams, and it was. It really was.
Yeah I'm still really looking forward to it. 40 hours is a very good length. I really want to ask about the arcade games but trying to resist lol.
Yeah, there are many games. You have to eat and make money. And there is an incredible amount of things you can do. There's fishing, you can collect herbs, you can play and win games. Even going through drawers, and exploring that way can get you some things. It's a lot more connected than the previous games.

I'd advise to play the game properly, and slowly. You have options to sort of skip to places, and I find that derails the experience.
 
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