So far, after Shenmue 3‘s surprise announcement during Sony’s E3 2015 demonstration, news for the long-awaited third installment in Yu Suzuki’s groundbreaking series has generally remained positive. For instance, just a few days ago, Yu-san assuaged fans’ concerns of the potential for misallocated funds, by saying that Sony will not receive any Kickstarter money for the title’s development. In fact, press for the renown game designer’s upcoming release has been so favorable that it has inspired legions of fans to pledge their hard-earned cash in support of the project, which in turn has led Suzuki’s studio Ys Net to add several new stretch goals to the enterprise.
Now, the train of fair fortune keeps chugging forward for Shenmue fans, as it’s been confirmed today that Corey Marshall, the original English voice actor for protagonist Ryo Hazuki in Shenmue 1 & 2, will be returning to Shenmue 3. The news of Marshall’s role reprisal comes from a post on the game’s Kickstarter page, and the announcement also brings word of a special voice message from the actor being added to the $500 and $2000 reward tiers.
Although the prize featuring Marshall’s vocal talents has been a part of the $1000 level for quite some time, the message from Ys Net explains the matter, saying:
“Do not miss this opportunity to get a very special message from Ryo himself. . . . The $1,000 Reward for the Corey Marshall as Ryo Voice Message will include the $500 Reward. The Ryo Voice Message will also be included in the Rewards for $2,000 and up.”
So, if this is being interpreted correctly, then those who pledge upwards of $2000 will possibly be privy to multiple messages from Marshall doing the voice of Ryo. However, it’s unclear exactly what kind of responses fans will receive from the actor. If anything, backers will probably get a personalized re-appropriation of some of Ryo’s in-game one-liners.
Regardless, with only 16 days left for Shenmue 3‘s Kickstarter, Ys Net is definitely excited for the game’s release and for Marshall’s return to the franchise. The studio graciously goes on to say, “We would all like to thank Corey-san for coming back, and especially for all the support he has given to Shenmue over the years.”
With Yu Suzuki and his development team focused on delivering a fresh, high-quality take on the series’ sequel, their promise to refine a lot of the original elements that made Shenmue so great to begin with has no doubt helped the game go on to surpass $3 million in funding. And should the good times continue to roll for the studio, then it’s quite possible that the director might get his wish of eventually producing Shenmue 4.
Shenmue 3 will be released on PC and PlayStation 4 once development is completed.