The First Five Minutes Of Shenmue, Finally The Prime Game In A Trilogy

It's been five days since the Shenmue III Kickstarter campaign was announced and it's already approaching the $US3.5 million mark. What kind of game inspires such rapid fundraising? This one.

The original Shenmue was released in North America in 2000 for the Dreamcast, a system that video gamers loved passionately and video game makers largely passed on, because Sega. Those who played it were blown away by the relative free-roaming exploration, the cinematic action and the gashapon machines that exchanged coins for virtual Sega toys. The game cost $US47 million to make, and it showed.

It also opens with a lengthy unskippable cutscene, so enjoy that. Well, most of that.

The second game missed the North American Dreamcast, arriving instead on the original Xbox in 2002 in late 2002, confusing that system's core audience by not being a gridiron game or Halo.

And now, after being announced and cancelled at least twice over the past decade and change, creator Yu Suzuki has the rights from Sega, some help from Sony, and Shenmue III is on the way. Now all we need is re-releases of the original two and we'll be all set.

The First Five is the first five minutes of a game with light commentary. Once the five minutes are up, so are we.


    oh yes please make HD remakes of the first two. I never got the chance to play the second one

    As frustrating as the cliffhanger ending to Shenmue 2 was (especially playing on the DC, knowing that there was no way in hell there was going to be sequel on that console) was anyone really crying out for a sequel before this announcement? Sure Shenmue was a pioneer in open-world RPG/adventuring but the game systems seem so simplistic now compared to modern open-world world RPGs, and the story wasn't really anything that demanded a resolution. I loved the originals, but the probably should remain in the early 2000s.

      I want closure just because but, like you, I feel like the opportunity has been somewhat lost due to how long it has been. In some ways, I think the Yakuza series took the spirit of Shen Mue and modernised it. I just hope they find a way to make Shen Mue feel special and relevant again.

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