The Xbox One is a revelation in itself for many gamers and yet, it has the potential to be so much more. Sega has long thought about releasing Shenmue 3 to the world but hasn’t locked in a definite answer. It would be nothing short of amazing if the release of S3 coincided with the release of the Xbox One. Rewind. Wouldn’t it be even more amazing if S3 was exclusively available only for the Xbox One?! Consoles would move faster than an old man juiced up on prune juice and Vitamin C. Oh the wonderful feelings such a merger would produce.
For those unfamiliar with the Shenmue world, grab the saga and buckle in for the ride. The series has one of the most intricate plot lines and can easily keep gamers playing for over 100+ hours. In a nut shell the main protagonist, Ryo Hazuki, is out to avenge his father’s death after watching him die in a vicious martial arts fight. The antagonist/murderer of Ryo’s father is unknown, though he does work for a Sunming Zhao. Apparently Zhao sent him there in order to secure the mysterious stone dragon mirror. Basically the storyline becomes pretty lively after that point and players have the chance to explore China and Hong Kong; as they search for clues that will ultimately lead to Ryo avenging his father’s death.
What made Shenmue such a popular game, although it sold very little, was its overall appearance and style. It was unlike any other game for its time, with NPCs that actually moved around based on a standard day/night cycle. It boasted a solid storyline that featured lots of nonlinear moments and outstanding voice acting that worked well with beautiful graphics. It’s also the most expensive game series of its time…with an estimated $70-120 million dollar price tag for both projects. Clearly innovation does not come cheap or easy in the land of epic gaming.
Shenmue 3 would make an excellent exclusive xbox One title because it has the ability to utilize everything that makes the new xbox series so popular. Shenmue relies heavily on fun quirky traditional Chinese stall games and side quests in order fill the gap between storyline events. If the Kinect was featured in development, gamers could use their hands to control the mini games, thus giving a more realistic feel. It’s one thing to catch falling cherry leaves with just your two fingers with an xbox controller. It’s a whole different experience when you try to do the exact same task with your actual hand.
Plus the graphics would be absolutely stunning in this day and age. Can you imagine the beauty the dev team can bring…if they made magic back in 2001 on a Sega Dreamcast? The technology of today totally rips 2001’s tools out of the water, making many gamers drool at the possibilities. HD quality cinematic scenes that are driven forward by epic button mashing, it would be better than any dream.
So what’s stopping this beautiful union of futuristic gaming and fun? Sega! They still feel sore about the big Shenmue II flop, since that game only sold 440,000 units, while the first sold close to 1.4 million. Many gamers insist it was a lack of proper advertising that made the second installment a financial failure. Others claim the move from Dreamcast to Sega threw some people off, as everyone didn’t ride the Xbox pony that hard back in the day. Whatever the reason, the awesome Shenmue is waiting in limbo…until something comes along and ignites that old flame.
Hopefully the xbox One will be the catalyst that sparks the great merger, as Shenmue III holds a world of possibilities. The fan base has grown immensely since the second installment and fans are eager for more. New technology like Youtube and Twitter can be used to hype the game into unrealistic proportions. It could be a title that rivals best sellers like Fable and Final Fantasy 10 in terms of storyline and replayability. All Sega has to do is stay true to its roots and keep the formula it’s been using. The concept and execution of Shenmue is flawless, but it needs more mainstream support so it can grow to its full potential.
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