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Sunday, October 13, 2019

Yu Suzuki's Research Trip to China Part 3: An Invitation from Yu | Translation

This topic was selected by Phantom River Stone patrons in our monthly poll for a topic choice.

In the early 1990s, Yu Suzuki made a seminal trip to China. His objective was to research and gather material for his upcoming Virtua Fighter 2, and this research also influenced his concept for a "Virtua Fighter RPG" which eventually came to be known as Shenmue.

Previous posts in this series:
  • In Part One, we translated blog posts about the trip by Kazunari Uchida, the person who accompanied Yu Suzuki.
  • In Part Two, we translated Yu Suzuki's own comments about his trip, and how his findings would be useful for the development of the Virtua Fighter series.
This post is a translation of the first of a set of articles documenting the China trip, again written by Kazunari Uchida. They were published in 1994 as a series in the Japanese Beep! MegaDrive Magazine.

The translation begins here.

Yu Suzuki: China Research Trip Journal by Kazunari Uchida

The Genius That is Yu Suzuki

When talking about Yu Suzuki, he is often described as a "programming genius". But wherein does his genius lie?

Is he called a genius due to his creation of hit title after hit title in the 10 years since distinguishing himself with Hang On? Or because the ideas themselves are remarkable? Or is it due to his thorough pursuit of reality that characterize his games, together with the programming methods used in its implementation?

On the other hand, someone who has been called a genius gets unconditionally placed upon a pedestal, and others may have the impression that they are not very approachable. But, in that sense, I feel uncomfortable in labeling the Yu Suzuki I know as a "genius".

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Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Analysis: Examining the Physical Rewards (Part Three) | Shenmue 3

Back in July, the Shenmue 3 team sent out an update that contained in-game screenshots of various backer rewards, which we covered in earlier posts (Part One and Part Two).

In today's post we'll complete the overview (at last!) by examining photos of the physical rewards. As usual, we'll point out any details that can be extracted from the images along the way.

Shenmue Illustration Signed by Yu Suzuki

This signed illustration was part of the $300 "Signed Kickstarter Collector's Edition" reward tier (there was also an unsigned version at the $250 "Kickstarter Collector's Edition" tier).

According to the Kickstarter update, more than 5,000 have been hand-signed by Yu Suzuki himself.

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Sunday, October 6, 2019

Shenmue 3 Trial First Impressions from Yuc02 [Part 2/2]

This is the second part of an article by Shenmue Dojo member and frequent guest poster yuc02 describing his experience and thoughts on the Shenmue 3 Trial.

Part One can be found here.

  • Aurally the demo was also excellent, with new BGM tracks introduced along with old/unreleased ones from Shenmue Online. 
  • Transitioning between areas causes different music tracks to fade in/out, giving the same impression as Shenmue I and II without the loading screens.  There were however some moments of silence if Ryo stops in the middle of the transition area.
  • Sound effects also help to accurately depict the rural environment, which varies depending on time of day (cicadas sounds at night for example) and greatly enhances the atmosphere.

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Friday, October 4, 2019

Shenmue 3 Trial First Impressions from Yuc02 [Part 1/2]

Shenmue Dojo member and frequent guest poster yuc02 has contributed a new article describing his experience and thoughts on the Shenmue 3 Trial. There are two parts in total, with this being Part One. Enjoy!

Shenmue 3 Trial First Impressions (Part One)

Wow, what a month September has been. After the fantastic new trailer from TGS, the trial version of the game has finally been released to Kickstarters and Slacker Backers who have donated at the $100 tier or above. I was fortunate enough to be one of them, and here are my first impressions of the gameplay and environments, as well as opinions on the Epic Games launcher itself.

After the KS announcements 115 and 116, Fangamer promptly sent me the download code via email on the morning of September 27th.
The download code and play guides on the Fangamer site
Following the instructions in update 115, I easily installed and downloaded the trial to my laptop, despite the wait being slightly unbearable (although thankfully not as long as the 18 year wait for S3!).

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