If you were one of the Dreamcast faithful, odds are one of the games in your collection was Shenmue. The expansive adventure game was considered one of the most innovative games of its time. It spawned a sequel, Shenmue II, that ended with a cliffhanger and ever since fans have been waiting for a proper conclusion to the series. So when news came out of a new Shenmue game, a lot of people started getting excited. However this is not the news they were hoping for.
Shenmue Town is the name of the newest entry into the Shenmue world. It's a mobile game that will be hitting Japanesse cell phones later this year as an add-on to the widley popular Mobage-Town social network run by Yahoo Japan. Mobage-Town is a mobile based community where members can exchange messages, chat with other subscribers, blog, and play a vast array of free games.
Not much is know about how the Shenmue world will be integrated into the already present Mobaage-Town, but the game is being called the "third" Shenmue game. Whether or not there will be a storyline that will wrap up the cliffhanger ending of Shenmue II has yet to be announced.
I'm not going to lie, when I first saw this headline, I got really excited and then really disappointed in the span of about 30 seconds. I was one of those that bought the Dreamcast during the holiday season of 1999, and it was amazing! It's still one of my favorite consoles of all time. Even news of a possible 'Dreamcast 2' makes me tingle with delight. But to now see one of the landmark Dreamcast titles pushed into the 'social gaming' market brings a tear to my eye.
I know that social gaming is a big part of the industry moving forward, but I remember playing Shenmue and marveling and the size and scope of it. Everything Shenmue did was big and to hear that the next entry will be for cell phones is disappointing. While Sega did say, earlier this year, that it would consider making a true Shenmue III if a console maker would finance the project, nobody has stepped up yet. So it seems that those looking for a Ryo Hazuki fix will need to look to the Japaneses cell phone gaming market for their needs.
Shenmue Town will be released for Japanese cell phones later this winter.
Source: Industry Gamers