Monday, January 29, 2018

A Visit to Yokosuka After Snow | Photo Gallery

A Visit to Yokosuka After Snow | Image Gallery of Shenmue Locations

One of the many memorable aspects of the first Shenmue game is its depiction of winter. The moment snowflakes begin to lightly drift down from the cloudy sky is a memorizing moment, bringing with it the anticipation that Ryo's hometown will soon be transformed by a cover of snow and ice.

Last week a chance came up to capture some snowy footage as a blizzard passed across Japan. The forecast for the region where Yokosuka is located is underlined in red:
Snow forecast! (Yokosuka is located in Kanagawa prefecture).
Snow is on it's way. (Yokosuka is located in Kanagawa prefecture).
A few days later, snow did indeed fall heavily throughout the region, starting from the later afternoon. The next morning dawned warm and sunny, so I jumped on a train bound for Yokosuka as soon as I could, before the evidence could melt away to nothing.

Note: I have juggled the real-life ordering of the photos a little to match with the kind of scenery Ryo sees as he strolls from his house in Yamanose down to Dobuita Street.

The Hazuki Residence


Actual location: the grounds of Suwadai Shrine.
Actual location: the grounds of Suwadai Shrine.

Become a Patron!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

1999 Shenmue Promo Leaflet | Shenmue Merchandise

SEGA promoted Shenmue heavily in Japan for its release back in 1999, and in this post we look at an item that was part of that promotional effort.

It's an A4-sized shop leaflet that advertises preorders for the then-imminent release of Shenmue Chapter One, as well as information about a promotional campaign.

It features an image of Shenhua on the front side, accompanied by the slogan "1999 - the RPG will be transformed...". At the bottom is the Shenmue logo (the kanji version) beneath which is the scheduled release date.

On the reverse side is an image of Ryo Hazuki, the usual expression of determination on his face. At the top of the page is a sentence that reads: "In a certain bar in Yokosuka sits a single old JukeBox..." At the right, a box that gives information about how to get the Shenmue JukeBox CD through a promotional campaign (see further down in the post for details); and in large hard-to-miss letters are the words "Preorders Now Being Taken at this Store".

At the bottom of the reverse side of the leaflet is a pre-order form that people would fill and hand to the shop.

Become a Patron!

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.

* Follow the Phantom River Stone blog on Twitter and Facebook! *
Become a Patron!

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
Become a Patron!

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.

Become a Patron!

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.

Become a Patron!

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...).
Become a Patron!

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.

Become a Patron!