This first one from Jack Clough is a long one about convincing Sega to not only make Shenmue III, but to make it for the Dreamcast!
Hello Gagaman. Like the majority of people who owned or own a Dreamcast, I currently own two working PAL and a new NTSC US dreamcast (which I bought as I was reminded that eventually all Dreamcasts will die and that scared me, triggered by using a UK plug with my pink Hello Kitty dreamcast resulting in it's smoky demise, annoyingly finding her original plug with step-down convertor shortly afterwards, I'm still grieving. Anyway I digress), most are obsessed with with the Shenmue series. This was the first game I had an emotionally bound with, and it plagues me that the series never got a conclusion, it left me a hollow shell. The only way I can explain this situation to anyone who isn't acquainted with Shenmue is to imagine reading the first two of Tolkein's Lord Of The Rings and then discovering that The Return Of The King will never get published.
I understand why Shenmue 3 is unlikely to be made. The Dreamcast was an period where SEGA allowed their creativity flow, which led to exciting games however it with hindsight was damaging financially. Shenmue was a prime example of this as the ambition of the games is equalled by none, however the extraordinary costs and the poor sales means it's near impossible to for SEGA to rationally back a second sequel.
There are also obstacles for developing on a current system. It has been a decade since the release of the sequel fans expectations would be hard to match. Remember the mixed response with Nights: Journey of Dreams on the Wii, SEGA's attempts to cater for fans of the original and a new audience essentially left the game in limbo. Gaming has changed a lot over the years and Shenmue's intrinsic style would be alien to modern gamers. However if they changed the mechanics of the game it would ultimately disappoint Shenmue's loyal fan base who've been praying for a finale and this would leave them with a bitter taste.
When SEGA pulled out of the hardware market, fans scattered across the platforms, aligning themselves with different companies. I personally went with Nintendo, my second love of games, they felt familiar. It's impossible to please all Shenmue fan boys, like with another Suzuki series Virtua Fighter which became a PlayStation 2 exclusive if you didn't own one you had to purchase one especially or, like me, do without.
You could argue they should release across multiple formats, but this leads to another issue. Shenmue was an astounding feat in technology, and no matter how hard a developer tries with a multi-format release it will not push the machines to the limit, and as a GameCube owner I know that at least one will get an inferior port.
That was the first part, it continued on to another e-mail:
My solution, prematurely sending email means I'll cut to the chase, is that Yu Suzuki should finally resolve this series by releasing the third Shenmue on the Dreamcast.
This may sound odd, but as you know there is a thriving dreamcast community and independent games from companies like redspot games are intermittently released. This means there is a market there and I assume SEGA still have the original Shenmue game engine so it should be relatively easy, they wouldn't have to (and I wouldn't want them to) create a game with updated graphics and gameplay to suit the contemporary gaming audience as this would essentially be a love letter to the fans, much in the same way as SEGAGAGA (although wouldn't it be nice if SEGA aided the current translation for SGGG that could be included with Shenmue III). As most of the Dreamcast community are now adults now, and judging by the prices that these limited run of independent games go for on ebay, SEGA could charge more to cover financial costs, no amount would stop me (I've recently bought the limited edition Border Down with mousemat for just over £120 and I've only recently got into scrolling shooters, which by the way I think is one of my favorite shooters).
I think that it be nice to have the Shenmue series from beginning to end on SEGA's last console, although this could be me just being selfish as the only console I play these days is the Dreamcast, I had an XBox 360 briefly (bought one, broke, bought another then sold it after about a month when I got bored) and I've got a Wii but again I've lost interest in it.
The reason I'm contacting you is because I need your help to get this idea out there. I personally have bugger all internet presence, I'm not on any social network site, forum or anything like that. I read your blogs and watch your videos on Dreamcast junkyard and I know you have a passion for the Dreamcast, I very much enjoyed your top 100. But not only do you have the passion, you also have a following and you know others within the community.
I apologise for the rushed nature of this second part of my email. Since your an illustrator I hope you enjoy this photo of part of my art installation on my emotional connections to three video games consoles I have owned.
I'll be honest: I had no idea how to reply to this e-mail. Either way if you're reading this Jack I hope you don't take offense to this but I don't think the likely hood of this ever happening is all that great. I'd love to see a Shenmue III like most people would, but I think it's hard enough to sell them on the idea of simply porting the first two to XBLA/PSN, let alone have them produce a new one on hardware they haven't supporting for almost a decade for £120. Blimey.
Four days ago I got this from Tris Bates:
"I didn't realize that the Phoenix mirror was a real thing in china , check out these
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If only Ryo had knew he could pick them up on eBay."
..and finally here's one I got just yesterday from 'Lewis':
"you are my hero
thank you for the junkyard, just thank you"
Well isn't that nice? Except I think people are starting to forget that Tomleecee is the man to thank for this blogs' existence.
There are some perks to being e-mailed by fans of the blog though, I must say. I'll back to that in a future article.