Further gameplay details have recently come to light regarding Sega's upcoming Shenmue 2. Yu Suzuki, the game's producer, intends to implement several alterations into the sequel, hoping to not only mend some flaws with the original gameplay system, but also to incorporate new elements which will enhance the game even further.
One of these new systems, dubbed the "action select system," will give players up to four conversation options when speaking with an NPC. This will allow Ryo to inquire about certain topics, such as information on where to find a job, using a "$" icon. This should come in handy, as more emphasis will be placed on spending and earning money in Shenmue 2 then there was in the first chapter of the saga, as Ryo finds himself all alone in China.
As well, China promises to be a vast city to explore, so players will now be able to purchase maps for each area. These maps, generally sold at the entrance of each new locale, will display the player's exact location within that area. While playing, the map will appear in the bottom-left of the game screen, rather than opening within the menu screen.
Possibly the most useful of the new gameplay implementations is a system which will allow players to speed through time while waiting for an event to occur. Thus, if Ryo is told to meet someone at a precise time, he won't have to simply stand around waiting for hours of game time to pass. The ability to skip straight to the event will cut out much of the dead time which plagued the first title, and will certainly lend to the quicker pace which Suzuki is aiming for.
With these improvements, Shenmue 2 is sure to please fans of the series. No official release date has been set for either North America or Japan, but RPGamer will keep you updated as further details on this title become available.