More on Shenmue II

[04.17.01] » Yu Suzuki shows off the second volume of his epic at Sega's Game Jam.

   As part of the events at Sega's Game Jam this weekend in Japan, AM2's Yu Suzuki was on hand to take the latest build of Shenmue II through its paces.

   While the game is currently 80% complete, Suzuki claimed the finished product would be ten times larger than the first game and the cast would include three times as many characters, or about 1000. Along with the host of improvements to the game engine outlined in our preview, the game's creator showed off some smaller changes to Shenmue's diverse gameplay.

   Suzuki revealed a few of the minigames to be included in the sequel, including the ever-popular barroom darts and what looked like a back-alley version of Pachinko. As before, Ryo can win money and prizes in these games, but now his large collection of trinkets can be sold at pawnshops -- complete collections will even yield a higher price.

   The Dragon's Lair-ish Quick Time Events of the first game have been revamped for the sequel. Instead of single, timed button presses the special events are now closer to a call-and-response rhythm game. When a QTE begins the full Dreamcast D-pad and button layout appear on the screen and players much match the sequences as they appear.

   Load times have also been improved for Shenmue II. The sequel uses a dynamic loading system which will begin to cache the next environment when Ryo nears a door or portal. If the player steps through, the new area will appear with no need for loading.

   Shenmue II is tentatively scheduled for a November 2001 release in North America.

[source] » DCIGN   Heard a hot news tip? Tell the Agency
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