> Well, it's almost here. With all the man-hours, money, and hype
attached to this game, I sincerely hope it becomes a best seller for Sega.
Suzuki's efforts need to be rewarded to ensure future creativity.
I've played the Japanese version and can't wait to get my greedy hands
on something I can understand. If all goes well, the American Shenmue
will be in my Uberconsole within days... BTW, feast
your eyes on those juicy in-game pix below!
> With over 500 characters, thousands of rooms and a real-time environment,
promises to usher in a new genre known as FREE. The gameplay is multi-faceted
and easy to get into. Walking will be accomplished by pressing Up
(forward), Left, Right and Down (backward) in order to move in those directions.
Running is accomplished by pressing the L button. Your viewpoint
can be changed while running (with the analog-stick) so that you don't
miss anything important. Stopping is accomplished by releasing the
D-pad or by moving close to an object, in which case you'll automatically
slow to a stop. Talking to others is done by pressing the A button.
Sometimes, people will initiate conversations with you or they will just
plain blow you off. Conversations are presented in context, instead
of the same speech every time you meet.
> Other than moving, talking and viewing, various events take place in
the Shenmue world. One method of earning the money
you'll need is to gamble in one of several different games. Certain
mini-games will occur which have no direct affect on your adventure.
For instance, you may have to help a store owner hang a new sign on the
wall. Another way to earn money is to take part time jobs which pay
based on your level of performance. Various items can be interacted
with like a tape player, which is obviously used to hear cassette tapes.
> Quick Time Events (QTE) are when you're presented with a situation which
requires a quick reaction in order to advance. These are similar
to what happens at certain points in Sega's Die
Hard Arcade for Saturn, except there are usually
a series of button presses required to complete the sequence.
> Quick Time Battles are somewhat like the QTEs, but you have a large arsenal
of martial arts moves at your disposal. The views in this mode are
said to be incredible while the speed and choreography are unmatched.
This isn't Virtua
Fighter, but exciting movie quality action is promised.
Remember one thing... Shenmue is real-time go where you want
when you want...
> At the recent TGS, Yu Suzuki announced that Shenmue
will be split into two parts, both at a price which is below the average
DC game. The first part, "Shenmue Chapter 1: Yokosuka"
is due in October 1999 in Japan. "Shenmue Chapter 2: Mainland China"
is yet to receive a concrete release date.
> Shenmue will include an arcade, which you can visit, featuring
playable versions of classic Sega arcade games like Out
Run, After Burner, Space Harrier and Super
Hang-On (hurray). There's only one drawback of sorts -- the
game is played in real-time, so all the time you spend on retro arcade
games is taken away from the tasks at hand...
> Shenmue (aka Project Berkley and Virtua
Fighter RPG) is Yu Suzuki's dream for the Uberconsole.
Mr. Suzuki, the lead programmer of Sega's famed AM2
development team, began this project in 1994, while the hardware necessary
to implement this game only became available last year. His main focus
from the start was to make a game that was playable for ages 5 and up and
involved enough to keep adults interested. Also, Mr. Suzuki aims to introduce
a new genre: FREE (Free Reactive Eyes Entertainment).
> One of the facets of Shenmue is the fact that there will
be no movies in the game. Everything you see will be real-time polygon
generated to produce enormously detailed game graphics. This also includes
real-time, changing weather conditions. You will have complete freedom
to move about wherever, whenever you want. Adding to the realism, everyone
and everything will be on its own time line.
> Within a cast of 500 characters, the hero is Ryo Hazuki and the heroine,
Rei Shenhua. Even though Shenmue has over 1,200 rooms to
explore freely, it isn't necessary to do so in order to advance. Talking
to the many characters isn't the only thing you'll do as there are plenty
of animals to encounter throughout your quest.
> The gameplay will include Quick Timer Events, which require a fast reaction
to your situation. Also, it will be necessary to earn money by working
and gambling. The fighting sequences will extensively use Chinese martial
arts moves as well as street fighting ones. Overall, Mr. Suzuki aims to
create the most realistic adventure/RPG (FREE) title to date.
> Trust me, this game's importability is quite low, considering all the
talking involved. There will be action and adventure for sure, but knowing
where to be and at what time is crucial. At any rate, Shenmue
is definitely coming to America so hold your horses already... One
last thing... the pictures below are the game! Not a CG intro or cut-scene!
> Dreamcast has ushered in a new level of hardware and creativity,
while Shenmue is poised to usher in a new level of gameplay
and fun... With exclusive, original titles like this, there will
be no excuse not to own the Uberconsole...