The original Shenmue was released in North America in 2000 for the Dreamcast, a system that video gamers loved passionately and video game makers largely passed on, because Sega. Those who played it were blown away by the relative free-roaming exploration, the cinematic action and the gashapon machines that exchanged coins for virtual Sega toys. The game cost $47 million to make, and it showed.
It also opens with a lengthy unskippable cutscene, so enjoy that. Well, most of that.
The second game missed the North American Dreamcast, arriving instead on the original Xbox in 2002 in late 2002, confusing that system’s core audience by not being a football game or Halo.
And now, after being announced and cancelled at least twice over the past decade and change, creator Yu Suzuki has the rights from Sega, some help from Sony, and Shenmue III is on the way. Now all we need is re-releases of the original two and we’ll be all set.
The First Five is the first five minutes of a game with light commentary. Once the five minutes are up, so are we.