For hobbyists who lived through the 16-bit videogame wars, the demise of Sega was arguably one of the most interesting aspects of videogame history. A puny hedgehog that went against the industry juggernaut that is Nintendo, Sega seemed so determined at upgrading its hardware every chance it had, which in my view, had left its fans struggling to catch-up and get cozy with their new pricey toys just as the game libraries started to get interesting for the different Sega console systems.
The Dreamcast, similar to its predecessor, the Sega Saturn, had visionary technological themes embedded on itself. Online access and the client to server gaming experience, at this point, weren't impossible to be grasped at all; just as we see how ubiquitous internet-based gaming is now, more so for mobile devices.
Shenmue was probably one of those visionary games that had led to fully interactive, upscaled gaming experiences, thus inspiring game developers to envision and work on Grand Theft Auto, Assassin's Creed, and other immersive, open (and semi open, non-hallway) games.
Shenmue had its moments and while sometimes I had to roll my eyes when the cutscenes just took too long, there was meticulous care in crafting this game. This can be quite the nightmare for obsessive compulsive people.
As for Shenmue II, I only got hold of this title a few months back and it was made for Microsoft's Xbox 360. I'm just going to assume that it plays smoother than the first one given how far console technology has improved over the years.
I'll be elaborating on its history and perhaps some gameplay moments in another post, but for now, here's a Wiki link on the franchise:
This post is meant to spread the word that a Shenmue III Kickstarter project was initiated a few months back and given certain milestones, the developers are once again probing the market for interested contributors to the project. It seems like they want to push the envelope with their end product by setting new milestones for the project and that apparently costs money.
Contributions can be made through Paypal now since the Kickstarter funding period had long expired:
Here's an interesting excerpt from Shenmue's entry on Wikipedia:
Suzuki plans the Shenmue story to cover eleven chapters over at least four games. Shenmue II was released in 2001 in Japan and Europe and 2002 in North America. Sega cancelled Shenmue III after the first two games failed to recoup their development cost.
In 2012, Sega told Eurogamer that Shenmue was "among its most requested rereleases." In 2013, Complex.com ranked Shenmue #1 on their list of "10 Sega Games Desperate for a Modern Reboot". On June 15, 2015, Suzuki announced a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for Shenmue III during Sony's E3 conference. In just over nine hours, the campaign reached its initial $2 million goal. On July 17, 2015 Shenmue III was officially funded on Kickstarter with 6.3 million USD, becoming the fastest-funded and the highest-funded video game project in Kickstarter history.