Saturday, June 24, 2017

Guizhang Promo Clip Voiced by Eric Kelso

Guizhang has a message for Ryo!

Presenting the third and final promo clip voiced specially for the blog by Eric Kelso, voice of Ren, Guizhang and Fuku-san in the Shenmue games. 

The interview with Eric can be found here.


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Eric Kelso Answers Your Questions! | Interview with the Voice Actor for Ren, Guizhang & Fuku-san


The characters of Fukuhara-san, Guizhang and Ren are certainly some of the most memorable characters in the first two Shenmue games.

I had the pleasure of interviewing the actor behind the English-language voices of all three of these Shenmue characters, voice talent Eric Kelso.

Guizhang, Ren, Fuku-san, Nagashima
As well as voicing [from left] Guizhang, Ren and Fuku-san, Eric also voiced a number of minor characters in Shenmue. One of his other lesser-known characters is Nagashima, one of the pair of thugs that Ryo runs into on Dobuita Street.
Questions for Eric were gathered beforehand from all over the Shenmue community, including through blogs, fan sites, Facebook and Twitter. Although not every question could be covered, the majority of them were able to be asked. The name of the person / people who suggested the question is noted above alongside each question.

The full interview transcription starts below. As you will see, Eric is a fan of the Shenmue series and very supportive of the fan community, and it was a really fun interview to do.

Plus, following the transcript, listen to an audio compilation of a selection of Eric's answers from the interview.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Eric Kelso Interview Coming Soon | Fuku-san Promo Clip

Presenting a second teaser for our upcoming interview, again voiced by Eric himself - the Fuku-san edition!

The interview with voice talent Eric Kelso (Ren / Guizhang / Fuku-san in Shenmue) will be posted up on phantomriverstone.com within the next few days.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Eric Kelso Interview Coming Soon | Ren Promo Clip

I had a fantastic interview session with voice talent Eric Kelso, who plays Ren, Guizhang, Fuku-san in Shenmue.

We covered a good number of the questions gathered from everyone's submissions earlier, which I'm really happy about. The transcript is being worked on and should be posted up here on the blog within the next few days.

In the meantime, check out this awesome promo / teaser in the voice of Ren that Eric specially recorded for us!



Sunday, June 11, 2017

Submit Questions for our Interview with Eric Kelso [now closed]


Eric Kelso Interview: Submit Your Questions!

Phantom River Stone is excited to announce that we have lined up a special interview this week with one of the English voice actors from Shenmue I and II: Mr. Eric Kelso.

Eric is a long-term resident of Tokyo, and has an extensive career in narration and voice acting, as you can see from his profile page. And, as anyone who has contacted or met him will know, he is a huge supporter of the Shenmue fan community.

Eric played several major voices in the Shenmue games, including most famously Guizhang, Ren of Heavens and Fuku-san. He also voiced several other smaller roles in the game, including Nagashima, the junior one of the thugs that Ryo bumps into when walking through Dobuita.


Some of the Shenmue characters voiced by Eric Kelso


What questions would you like to ask Eric?

Any question or topic is fine, although the interview will mainly be centered around Shenmue. For example: his experience recording for Shenmue I & II, current-day interactions with the other voice actors, thoughts or hopes about Shenmue III, his career, other voice-recording work done for arcade games etc... Unique or fresh questions are especially welcome.

The interview is scheduled for this coming Thursday June 15th, so get submitting! Leave your questions in the comments below. We will try to ask as many of your questions as possible in the interview.

Question submissions are now closed. Thank you for everyone who participated! The interview will be coming soon.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Sealed What's Shenmue | Ebay Merchandise

About What's Shenmue


"What's Shenmue" is the name of a Shenmue demo that was distributed prior to the release of the full game in 1999. (Note, this is not to be confused with the promotional video tape of the same name that introduced various features of the game).

What's Shenmue screenshots

This special demo was not for sale, but could be obtained in Japan prior to the release of Shenmue when purchasing a Dreamcast console or Dreamcast software from shops.

There is also a "Famitsu" edition (which is now very rarely seen) that was given away to a limited number of Famitsu Weekly magazine readers, which is identical in content but has an orange front cover slip rather than a blue one.

Sealed What's Shenmue on Retro Import Gamer


Although there used copies of What's Shenmue are not uncommon to find listed on Ebay, sealed copies are harder to come by and demand a much higher price.

Current asking prices for a sealed blue-cover What's Shenmue fall in the £50 to £83 range on Ebay, once shipping has been added in - almost all originate from Japan. (I did find one listed cheaper than this at around £30, but upon inspection the reason became apparent - it had a crack in the front of the case..).

However our blog sponsor, Retro Import Gamer, has come to the rescue by offering a sealed What's Shenmue in excellent condition for £24.75 which includes free postage (if you are within the UK).

Blog readers interested in picking it up, check the following link for details:
Sealed What's Shenmue at Retro Import Gamer

What's Shenmue at Retro Import Gamer
A piece of history: note the original sticker advertising the re-scheduled Shenmue release date in Japan
(28th October, 1999) . The eventual release date was December of that year.
Or see what other Shenmue & Dreamcast items Retro Import Gamer has available at the moment:

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Kickstarter Update #68: Shenmue III Rescheduled for 2018

Yu Suzuki announces a change in release date for Shenmue III

Yu Suzuki announced today that the release date of Shenmue III has been moved back to the second half of 2018. For me, this did not come as a great surprise, given the recent announcement that the team would not be participating in E3 this year in order to focus on development.

In Yu Suzuki's Words...


Although the official English captions in the video do accurately reflect Yu Suzuki's meaning, here is my slightly fuller translation of his explanation for the need for a reschedule (the areas in blue are omitted from the official translation):

My Translation:

Yu Suzuki: "By taking advantage of new technologies, we have discovered new possibilities and things we couldn't express in the previous games, and so the plan for Shenmue III has grown to be both bigger and more engaging than originally planned. We do, however, need more time to deliver this 'bigger and better' Shenmue to you" .

Official Caption:

Yu Suzuki: "By utilizing new technologies we have been able to discover new possibilities and expressions. In many ways, the game has become bigger and more beautiful than I initially expected. We do, however, need more time to deliver the game to you".
When you listen to the video, you may notice Yu uses the words "power-up" to express the enhanced plan for Shenmue III!

Yu finishes by letting us know that more information about the rescheduling will be coming in the June Kickstarter Update (which should be at the end of the month if the usual schedule is followed).

Why a Delay is a Good Thing


I believe this decision is for the best. Although a delay means we fans will need to wait a little longer to see the finished product, in my eyes the decision is a positive thing in the long term, taking into account the following:

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

The Streets of Shenmue: Street Addresses | Shenmue Realism

The Streets of Shenmue: Street Addresses


The authentic feel to Shenmue's streets comes, as always, from Yu Suzuki's meticulous attention to detail.

Over a series of posts we'll look at the way the streets are portrayed in the first game accurately reflect real life, starting with those relating to street addresses in Japan.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Results of Famitsu Poll: Action-Adventure Game Top 20 [June 2017]


Action-Adventure Game Top 20

The results of the recent Famitsu Online Poll for the category of Best Action-Adventure Game have just been published in the Weekly Famitsu magazine.

The poll questions were in Japanese but was open to anybody, and votes could be made for any game on any type of hardware. Polls are being run for a total of 11 categories, with the Action-Adventure Game category being the most fitting for the Shenmue games.

I don't think it is giving away too much to reveal that Shenmue has rated superbly!

I picked up a copy from my local convenience store today and have translated the most interesting parts, so let's look at the detailed results to see exactly how high a rank Shenmue reached.

Also watch for the bonus surprise at the end!