One of the best things about the world we live in today is that people can have a direct impact on the media they consume. Kickstarter is a fine example of how, with enough support, anything is possible. Shenmue has been a beloved game franchise for many since its release in 1999 when it helped shape the way open world video games were made.
Now, with the help of nearly 70,000 backers on Kickstarter, Shenmue 3 is nearly here and we have all the details on it so far.
Kickstarter works sometimes!
Shenmue 3 managed to raise over $6 million to get the game created, one of the most backed games in history. Can it live up to the hype? We will have to wait and see.
What is Shenmue?
Shenmue 1, 2, and 3 tell the story of Ryo, a young man in 1980s Japan, on a quest to avenge his father's death. Shenmue 3 carries on the storyline in 1987, where Ryo has tracked his father's killer into the mountains of China.
In a small village, he meets a girl whose apparent destiny is intertwined with Ryo's. Together they go on the journey of self-discovery, with Kung Fu thrown in for good measure.
What kind of gameplay will it have?
Shenmue had gameplay mechanics that were ahead of its time. Open-world games like Grand Theft Auto owe a lot to the Shenmue games — it was one of the first to have free roaming areas — as well as games that use quick time events (QTE) like Tomb Raider.
Shenmue 3 will use a lot of these same mechanics, as well as the mini-games from the previous two titles. The mini-games are some of the best parts of the Shenmue series, since Ryo can play arcade games and race around in assorted vehicles. The main game will feature a lot of one-on-one fighting, much like Street Fighter would, but in a larger storyline.
So Shenmue 3 is likely to have Beat 'em ups, QTE's, and mini-games, all woven into an open world environment. That is a lot of mechanics for just one game, so let's see how well they pull it off.
We recently had some gameplay footage released from IGN Japan and you can see that the fighting is set-pieces. There seems to be training mini-games, which is a clever way of letting you level your character abilities ahead of actual combat.
The game is slower than I thought, though this is a training sequence and likely early on. The set-piece idea does slow the game down though, making it a more cinematic experience.
What platforms will Shenmue 3 be available on?
With the initial release being funded by Kickstarter there are limitations on what consoles it will be available on. Shenmue 3 will be available for PlayStation 4 in both digital, and physical release, with a special Kickstarter backer front cover. It will also be available for PC for those backers as well.
When and where can I get it?
Shenmue 3, at one point, announced a delay on the release date for the game. Citing the need for "...more refinement before being truly finished." It always sucks when a release is pushed back, especially after waiting nearly two decades for it, but we would all rather have a great game that was late, than a mediocre game on time right.
While the Kickstarter backers may get their copy a little earlier, you can already pre-order it at Amazon for $50 for the digital or physical copy of the game that is set to release on Nov. 19, 2019.
Kickstarter works sometimes!
Shenmue 3 managed to raise over $6 million to get the game created, one of the most backs games in history. Can it live up to the hype? We will have to wait and see.
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