It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of the stunted ‘series’, so it will be unsurprising that I am delighted Ryo Hazuki will once again be donning his iconic tan jacket in a brand new Shenmue title. Today, Sega Japan marked the end of the abandonment of the series by announcing what its publicity machine is already hyping as the “third instalment” of the series.
Don’t expect a continuation of the story, however, as Shenmue Town is, at present, going to be exclusive to mobile phones via Yahoo’s MobageTown mobile social network. Oh, and it’s currently only planned for a Japanese release. Sorry.
Here’s hoping that Sega Japan is merely dipping its toe in to test the warmth of the industry’s reaction and it will set the ball rolling towards the much-coveted release of Shenmue III. After all, it wouldn’t be the first time Japan has used mobile gaming to gauge public reaction for possible future sequels; we only need to look at games like Mega Man, Street Fighter and Castlevania for evidence of this.
Hopefully Shenmue Town, along with the two previous iterations, will make its way over the pond and onto PSN or Xbox Live Marketplace where, of course, Sega has already begun porting some of its other classic Dreamcast titles. It may only be a glint of hope, but it’s still a step in the right direction towards Shenmue III, and perhaps the saga may justly continue after nearly 10 long years of hoping.