The Troubled History of SHENMUE

After over a decade of extinction the Shenmue saga finally rose from the dead when Shenmue 3 was announced at Sony 2015’s E3 conference to overwhelming applause. Since then the series has gathered mainstream attention and while there are many that adore Shenmue there are just as many who have never heard of the cult classics and are wondering what the fuss is all about.

As far as I’m concerned the Shenmue series should be up there with Metal Gear Solid and Legend of Zelda but it was never straight sailing for Shenmue. Whilst the games provided expansive open-worlds rich with life, culture and interaction fuelled by an emotionally driven storyline issues being confined to limited audiences alongside budgeting issues and numerous delays meant that Shenmue never got the time in the spotlight it really deserved.
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When SHENMUE broke the internet…

For over a decade one game has been more requested than anything. Whenever there was a “Games we want to see”…this game would always be top of the list. Since that cliffhanger ending in 2001 us fans have been waiting for 14 years to complete Ryo Hazuki’s quest to vengeance his father. Every E3 fans would wait for an announcement and every year it never came.

Funding was always the issue. The first game ended being the most expensive game ever at the time and despite being a hit Sega never made any profit from either of first two games. So, understandably Sega have been reluctant to produce a third title and we’ve been stuck in this rut ever since.

The first sign came when series creator Yu Suzuki tweeted that he was at E3 along a picture of a forklift an obvious reference to Ryo’s job in the first game. On 15th June 2015 at Sony’s E3 Conference Yu Suzuki announced what the world had been waiting for…

… and Shenmue 3 broke the internet.

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The SEGA Situation

In case you haven’t heard, for the first time ever, Sega will not be present at this year’s E3 2015 event. As the news spread around the gaming outfit; many were left wondering whether this meant something more? Sega themselves stated the reason was because of their “relocation to Southern California which is occurring at the same time.

It’s no secret that Sega have been struggling for years; focusing more on Japan and mobile gaming leaving only a trickle of games for the home console market.  Which begs the question: “Do they even have anything to show at E3?”

sega e3

For the first time ever; Sega will not be present at the annual E3 gaming Expo.

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The Future of VIRTUA FIGHTER

It’s Virtua Fighter’s 20th anniversary, the granddaddy of all 3D fighting games, which first stormed across our arcades in December 1993 but I’m surprised Sega even remembered to be honest. It’s not like Sega are known for using their vast catalog of franchises these days. VF was a big deal in the 90s but can you still say the series is still going on strong today?

VF 20th

So far all we’ve really got is this snazzy logo. I appreciate VF1-polygon Akira but is this it? Namco will go big on Tekken’s upcoming 20th. Believe that.

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SONIC GENERATIONS DLC?

Well, the game is years 2 years old Nikyle, where to you think it is? Non-existent land. That’s where.

Still waiting for their DLC.

For those who don’t know Sonic Generations revolves around the wonderful concept of rejuvenating levels from past Sonic games offering two distinct styles of gameplay now known as “Classic Sonic” gameplay and “Modern Sonic” gameplay. A wide range of stages from Sonic’s timeline were selected from Green Hill Zone and the infamous Chemical Plant Zone to the more recent Planet Wisp from Sonic Colours.

As Sonic Generations was both a critical and commercial success and I fully expected DLC featuring more extra zones. I almost never buy DLC based on principle but for Generations my money would have been got. Sonic Generations was short games featuring only 9 zones from 9 different games as a result many fan-favorite levels were missed out and certain games from the series were missed out completely; including my personal favorite Sonic 3.

Where was Classic Knuckles?

Where was Classic Knuckles?

I expected DLC to feature levels from these unrepresented games or even just levels that fans wanted that never made the cut.  I even had a bloody list! Hydrocity, Marble, Launch Base, Wacky Workbench, Lost World, Egg Fleet, Rail Canyon, Chun-Nan, even Jade Gully, and I could go on. I even thought of a “Sonic Extra Classics Era Pack” featuring Zones from Sonic CD, Sonic 3 and err..Sonic 3D (for lack of a better game) rounded off with Classic Knuckles as a rival boss.

These levels could have provided a greater challenge for the player like the extra missions in Sonic Generations or the DLC stages in Sonic Unleashed. I personally thought some of the extra missions had better level design and level gimmicks than the main levels themselves. I’m quite surprised that in the end we got…nothing. Sonic 06 and Unleashed, games met with a much worse reception, got DLC content and its very unlike Sega to not cash-in on nostalgia. A missed opportunity if you asked me.

This is an example of what I wanted. This is a mod based of Sonic Adventure’s Emerald Coast. This is really good level designs for but Classic and Modern. Momentum-based platforming, speed hazards and clever uses of the Spin Dash. Much better than the actual Emerald Coast in the 3DS version of the game.

Why DREAMCAST 2 will never happen

Firstly, I’m a old-school Sega fan. I grew up spending many-a-hour on the Sega Megadrive. I then bypassed the Sega Saturn to get to the glorious Sega Dreamcast. I’m saying this because a lot of what I’m going to say about Sega isn’t very nice…but it’s the truth.

Unhappy SonicOne thing I see a lot from Sega fans is for Sega come back into the console market with “Dreamcast 2”. Particular when close to E3. Some people believe that either Microsoft and Nintendo will drop out of the console race; leaving a gap for Sega to exploit. I for one am I’m telling you that this is not going to happen. I’ll go one better and say that Sega returning to the console market would be a terrible decision and that is why that we never happen and here’s why….

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What 3RD-PARTY characters will be in the new SMASH BROS?

A gamer's wet dream.

A gamer’s wet dream.

The new Super Smash Bros for Wii U and 3DS was announced  this week along with the game’s first new third-party character: Megaman! Super Smash Bros Brawl was the first game in the series to feature non-Nintendo characters; those being Solid Snake of Metal Gear Solid fame and Sonic the Hedgehog.

Fans now expect  these two third-party to return along with additional third-party characters such as Megaman and more. However,  Smash Bros producer Masahiro Sakurai has made the statement that this game is still to be considered an all-star collection of Nintendo characters at that any 3rd party character appearance would be a “special situation”. Still, fan speculation is running riot which begs the question. What third-party characters will be in the new roster? Will Sonic and Snake return?

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