I can’t even remember when I began to seriously become interested in playing Shenmue, a divisive and unusual game from Sega. It must have been close to a decade ago, though. I learned that it was a game that combined martial arts, narrative, roleplaying elements, a serious but not too gritty tone, and a real world setting – a perfect premise for my tastes.
The problem, as it so often is with videogames, is that it wasn’t exactly convenient to obtain and play. It had only ever been released on the Dreamcast, an old console from an old (but wonderful) era for the medium. I had yet to understand that nothing was a given, so I decided to wait for the game to come to a modern console. While the years passed, I watched the fans and their communities, and was struck by the passion they had for the series – it was intensely special to them. Years after the rest of the gaming community had given up on Shenmue, these fans continued to hope for and speculate about an announcement of a new game in the series. Their wish came true in 2015, with the creator of the series Yu Suzuki announcing a Kickstarter for the third entry. Meanwhile, my own wish was fulfilled in 2018 – remasters of the original games, released for modern systems.