Thursday, January 10, 2019

Yu Suzuki's China Interview Report Part One: Shenmue III Details [YouYanShe Publication Group]

Today's post was contributed by yuc02, who has translated a recent Chinese-language article reporting on an interview held with Shenmue III director Yu Suzuki and animation producer Hiroaki Takeuchi at the recent G-Fusion Tour event in Xiamen, China. The report was published on

The article translation is in two parts, with this being Part One.

The translation starts below.

Dialogue with Yu Suzuki On the Birth of Shenmue - Part 1

Original text & images from

“A video game is a reconstruction of reality, but it doesn’t mean that the game will be more addictive the more realistic it is. What interests gamers the most will always be the gameplay.”
On December 16th, following an invitation by WeGame, publication group YouYanShe arrived in Xiamen, and participated in the G-Fusion event along with Shenmue’s creator Yu Suzuki. Aside from the announcement that WeGame will publish the Simplified Chinese version of Shenmue 3, we also chatted with Suzuki-san, and learned many things about Shenmue, Chinese culture and his experiences during the early development years.

Concerning what people wanted to know about the most, which was Shenmue 3, the Simplified Chinese version will be released on the WeGame platform, and the WeGame team will also take care of the localisation and translation of the game. Oasis Games will handle the Chinese PS4 version. Since the Shenmue series has not formally entered the Mainland Chinese market previously, this will be the first time old and new gamers alike will be able to experience the delights of Shenmue via Shenmue 3, with its story set in the background of China.

During the interview after the press conference, we learned some more details on Shenmue 3, including:
  • In 2017, Yu Suzuki said that the gameplay content/mechanics would be 30% new, with 70% similar to Shenmue 1 and 2. After further development efforts, the split is now around 50% new and 50% existing.
  • Apart from graphics improvements over Shenmue 1 and 2, this time a lot of focus will be put on the overall interaction of the different gameplay elements. While Shenmue 1, 2 and 3 are all story-driven adventure games, mini-games, side-quests, daily interactions and so on will also have feedback effects, and will not be completely isolated from the main storyline. This feature has been considered before but could not be realized then due to limitations.
  • More emphasis will be placed on replayability and freedom. The game will feature extra options upon first completion to encourage multiple playthroughs, and satisfy the “hardcore” gamers, although casual gamers should still be able to enjoy the game very much.
  • Fans of the mini games from the previous installments will be glad to hear that most of those will return, including forklift driving, Gashapon [capsule toy machines], Excite QTE etc., as well as new additions.
  • Shenmue 1 and 2 used a simplified version of Yu Suzuki’s Virtua Fighter system for battle mechanics. For Shenmue 3 this is no longer necessary, so the battle mechanics are all-new. Due to Yu Suzuki’s love of the Chinese martial arts, much focus will still be on the realism aspect. AI Assist will be available to help those not so experienced with fighting games.
  • Shenmue 3 will have identical PS4 and PC versions.
To be continued in Part 2, coming soon. Translation by yuc02

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