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.

Backer-Exclusive Cases

These are mock-ups of the slipcases for the physical versions on PC and PS4:

They closely resemble the designs in the reward illustrations from the original Kickstarter campaign, with the addition of the Shenmue III logo. Also, from the photo it appears the main game case will be inserted from the top, whereas the illustration showed the case inserted from the side:
Reward illustrations from the Kickstarter campaign

Backer-Exclusive T-Shirts

A Shenmue 3 t-shirt was part of several reward tiers, including a $30 Slacker Backer tier, and two separate editions have been made: one for Kickstarter backers and one for Slacker Backers.

Art Book

A printed art book, curated by Yu Suzuki, is a reward at the $175 tier and above. The update states that the art book pictures are now finalized and "ready for the printers."

A stack of paper clipped together appears to show the art book's cover design, featuring Ryo and Shenhua. Another page nearby shows the familiar shape of the Hazuki family crest.

A layout sketch can also be seen on the tablet. Although blurry, the top sketch shows a figure at the left (Shenhua?) and on the right the word "アップ" is written, meaning a close-up - perhaps referring to a section of the image to be shown separately in more detail.

The laptop screen in this photo is also of interest, showing a menu screen with Shenhua and various options including "Recap Movie".

Players of the Shenmue III Trial version will recognize this as an extended version of the menu screen seen in the trial.

Vintage Grab Bag - Project Berkley

The unique elements at the $1,000 reward tier are one of 3 random pieces of Shenmue merch from the days of Shenmue's original promotion at the end of the 1990s (a Shenmue T-shirt, a Shenmue CD case or a boxed Shenhua figurine) plus a Shenmue digital wristwatch and a hand-drawn illustration by Kenji Miyawaki.

The update announcements also states that the items will be sent in a "special bag" - as can be seen in orange at the back.

Related link:

Crystal Memories

This reward was part of the $2,500 tier package, where the Kickstarter page indicates that 6 backers selected it. It was also available as a statue-only reward on the Slacker Backer for $1,900.

It is described as a "laser-engraved crystal sculpture of Ryo and Shenhua" with an LED light that illuminates the art.

Temple of the Blooming Flower

This is one of the most creative of all the rewards! The reward description reads:
"Get a Chinese character of your choice to represent yourself, drawn in ornate calligraphy. Find your character displayed at the Temple of the Blooming Flower and get a special Technique Scroll."
 As can be seen in the photo below, a single kanji character of the backers choice (in the cases here: 偉=greatness, 善=virtue and 愛=love) has been weaved into a colorful illustration by replacing the usual ink brush strokes with exotic birds and flowers.

That brings us to the end of the physical reward images, and wraps up our overview of the rewards. One aspect that struck me most was how closely the final rewards matched up to the original reward illustrations - clearly a lot of preparation had already been put into their design before the Kickstarter campaign was launched.

If you've pledged for any of these rewards, leave a comment with your thoughts below!
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