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Shenmue II (US) V0.991 (Sep 14, 2001 prototype): from its cancellation to its discovery

Contrary to popular belief, Shenmue 2 has not been canceled in the United States  because of the Xbox version, Microsoft did not "buy" its exclusivity on American soil.  Sega of America  had simply felt that it was too late to take him out on this territory.

Lucky for us, Sega Europe took the risk of releasing it. We were on the verge of suffering the same fate as the  Americans. Without this SOE decision, Shenmue 2 would have remained confined to Japan and would never have been able to have a variation on  Classic Xbox.

Microsoft  was actually interested in the game because the localization work was already done and therefore there was only one port of the canceled US DC version to do!

Be careful, the sources differ on the subject.

My tribute to Shenmue on video (trailer)

Shenmue 2 mirror phoenix.jpg

The license, a question of revenge

Born from the prolific imagination of the very eminent Yu Suzuki , Shenmue has  marked the spirits by its incredible beauty, its realism and its bewitching atmosphere. Shenmue is not an ordinary game but a real life experience in its own right. One can only applaud such a technical and artistic achievement, a monument of the Dreamcast, a major title in the history of video games.

It was in 1994 that Yu Suzuki and his team decided to design an RPG in the world of Virtua Fighter , Sega's flagship fighting game. The hero was to be called  Akira , and the game, then baptized  Virtua Fighter RPG , was planned on  Saturn

In 1998, the project finally got the word out again. We learn that it is no longer an RPG  Virtua Fighter and that it took the name of " Project Berkley ". A few months after this meager information,  Sega announces that it was only a code name and that the project is large. Baptized  Shenmue , it is now scheduled for the  Dreamcast .

The game is based on the FREE system  for Full Reactive Eyes Entertainment, "hobby for fully reactive eyes". The player will be able to watch everything, see everything and practically do everything. It incorporated a QTE system, the Quick Time Event, of manipulations which are displayed on the screen and which must be carried out as quickly as possible. Mini-games will be present such as Space Harrier or Hang On , which will be possible to test in  an arcade for a handful of yen. The Magic Weather (management by algorithms of the flow of time, weather and seasons) will generate the weather forecast at random. The development team relied on real weather data to simulate it. the climate of Yokusaka , where the adventure began in 1986.

In the early 2000s, the Shenmue franchise  was the most expensive in the gaming industry. Astronomical figures then reported a budget of $ 50 million. Unheard of for the time. As Frédérick Raynal ( Agartha's dad) told me,  they nicknamed it " Shame Mue " internally, because of its indecent development cost. He will be dethroned 10 years later by a certain ...  Grand Theft Auto 4 .

Unreleased Dreamcast Shenmue 2 us version beta.jpg

Asset Shenmue 2 early alpha

Shenmue 2 early alpha

Asset Shenmue 2 early alpha