Friday, January 19, 2018

Showcasing the Shenmue Guide Map | Video

The Shenmue Sacred Spot Guide Map is a multi-page tourist pamphlet highlighting locations of interest to Shenmue fans around Yokosuka that was a collaborative effort between Yokosuka City and SEGA. It was released last month, as reported here on the blog.

Today's video below is a brief showcase of the physical guide, both to give an overview of its content and also to hopefully convey a sense of its high manufacturing quality which really does justice to the Shenmue images within it.

For anyone fortunate to be visiting the area in person, near the end of the video is some quick information about locations in the Dobuita area from where one can be picked up.

On with the video!

As mentioned in the video, the guide map is also available as a digital (pdf) download from the Yokosuka City website. And if you haven't yet read it, our interview with one of the actual co-creators of the map reveals how the map came to be created.

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Thursday, January 18, 2018

Kickstarter Update #79: Shenmue III Conference at MAGIC 2018

Thanks to the recent press conference for the MAGIC 2018 event, Shenmue fans are looking forward to actual gameplay footage of Shenmue III and "a lot of content" to be shared.

Now a brief Kickstarter Update has been released confirming Yu Suzuki's attendance at the event which will take place in Monaco on February 24th.

The update goes on to state that Yu Suzuki will be holding a Shenmue 3 "conference", with further details to be announced at a later date:
"A conference with Yu Suzuki is planned for the day. Once details have been worked out with participating partners, we will have an update to follow up." 
We'll post up any new information here on the blog when it's announced.

Link to official update: Kickstarter Update #79

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Examining the 3 New Shenmue III Screenshots | MAGIC Press Conference

Examining the 3 New Shenmue III Screenshots

Three fabulous new Shenmue III screenshots have been released at the recent press conference for the MAGIC 2018 event (to be held in Monaco on February 24th) and they have got the community buzzing with their highly-polished appearance.

The press conference took place on January 16th, 2018 at the embassy of Monaco in Paris, France. A photo of the conference in progress is shown here:
The press conference in progress
The press conference in progress (from the official MAGIC Monaco twitter account).

In this post, we'll do our usual comb-through of the images to point out any items of interest to be found.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Sakuragaoka Park in Real Life | Shenmue Realism

Sakuragaoka Park in Real Life

The recent Shenmue "Sacred Spot" Guide Map published by Yokosuka City highlights several real-life places of interest around Yokosuka and Dobuita that feature in, or served as inspiration, to the setting of Shenmue I.

Featured in the guide is a small park called Odakicho Park which is located not too far from Dobuita Street. We present our findings that strongly suggest that it served as inspiration for not just Suzume Park as mentioned in the guide, but for that second well-known park in the game as well.
Odakicho Park is the small park highlighted at the right-hand side of the map of the Dobuita area.
Odakicho Park is the small park highlighted at the right-hand side of the map of the Dobuita area.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Sightings Near Dobuita That Made a Shenmue Fan Look Twice | Photos

Sightings near Dobuita that made a Shenmue fan look twice

Today I'd like to share a few photos that I took recently in the vicinity of Dobuita Street, which gave me cause for a double-take due to their apparent connection to the Shenmue series (even if this turned out not to be the case in reality...).

Thursday, January 4, 2018

IGN Japan Interview with Cédric Biscay | Shenmue III

Cédric Biscay on Shenmue III | IGN Japan Interview

Today's post is a translation of an interview with Shenmue III co-producer, Cédric Biscay, that was recently published in Japanese on the IGN Japan website on the topic of Shenmue III (hence it is an English translation of a Japanese translation of his original comments!).

While for obvious reasons Cédric does not reveal specific details about the game, he has an upbeat message to fans on the state of the in-progress game - having tried out the latest version when he visited the development studio in Japan last month - and also takes the opportunity to encourage SEGA regarding remasters of the first two games in the Shenmue series.

Translation note: Cédric talks about a feeling of "reassurance" on playing the most recent version of Shenmue III. It could also be translated as feeling comfortable, or feeling at ease. To me this is wonderful to hear as it indicates that Shenmue III has the right "vibe"; a feeling of being a Shenmue game.

Date of article: 3 January, 2018.

The interview begins below.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Ancient Game of “Go” Spotted in Shenmue

Did you know that Ryo's father was fond of the game of Go? It is also one of the world's oldest boardgames still played today, and is renowned for its depth of strategy - it was only recently that AI has been able to beat a top human player at Go (a feat accomplished by Google's DeepMind AI).

Today's article was contributed by Shenmue fan and longtime reader of the blog, JCGamer (visit his Twitter channel). Also in the latter part of the post is a response from the Shenmue III team regarding the possibility of a playable version of Go being included in a future Shenmue game.

Message from the Author

"I played Shenmue when it was first released on the Dreamcast here in Canada back in 1999 and it is one of my most fondest Christmas gifts. All these years later after shedding tears of joy over the Shenmue III announcement I am learning Japanese and still playing Shenmue 1 & 2 which I consider to be one of the most unique gaming experiences out there. I consider it something that transcends both games and movies in terms of immersion."
- JCGamer

The Game of Go: Overview

In Shenmue 1 you can spot a 9x9 Goban (Japanese name for a Go board) at the right-hand side of Iwao’s desk.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Yu Suzuki's Keyword for 2018: "Immersion" []

Japanese website has carried out their annual survey, interviewing 107 game creators to ask their resolution for the year ahead and personal direction for 2018. 
"Game Creators' New Year's Resolutions for 2018"
Yu Suzuki has taken part, and his responses are given below.
Yu Suzuki, CEO of YS NET.
Q: What is your keyword & New Year's Resolution for 2018?

YS: "Immersion": focusing all my energy on Shenmue III.

Q: Please give an update on the current status.

YS: Shenhua's face has finally reached a state I am happy with. A difference of just 1 mm can greatly affect one's impression.

Going forward, I'll be refining things like her expressions and hair.

Given the characteristics of physically-based rendering, my feeling has undergone a change: Shenhua should not be "made", but rather "fostered".

This last comment from Yu is an no doubt a reflection of his experience with Unreal Engine, compared to methods of creation of the past. It can also be appreciated that the fine-tuning of her character model is a gradual, on-going process in order to bring it into line with his vision.

Translation by Switch
Source (Japanese):