With all of the shiftings in Sega of Japan, many people speculated that ShenMue would not only be the first chapter in the series, but the only chapter. This would've been especially unfortunate since the humongous three GD-ROM game, not even counting the ShenMue Passport GD-ROM, is actually more of a prologue to the incredibly massive story of ShenMue. However, RPGamer has good news, thanks to Official Dreamcast Magazine.
Not only is Shenmue 2 being made, it will be released in North America.
How about one better? Not only is Shenmue 2 being released in North America, it will be released in North America next year.
Peter Moore, a.k.a. the boss of Sega of America, recently went over to Japan to talk about the release schedule for 2001, and Shenmue 2 was his #1 priority.
Shenmue 2, which will contain Chapters 2-5, takes place in China, where Ryu is searching for his father's killer. Considering the game has sixteen chapters scheduled to be made in all, it would not be surprising if the mystery was not solved by the end of Shenmue 2, but then again, who knows what surprises are in store.
Oh, and Sega had one last surprise for us. Those gorgeous graphics are getting a complete upgrade. You read that right. To put this as the source for ODCM put it, "if ShenMue is Virtua Fighter, Shenmue 2 is Virtua Fighter 2 in terms of graphics." For those who do not know about the evolution of some of the earliest 3D fighters, how about comparing Grandia to Grandia II. While Grandia is a sweet game, Grandia II on Dreamcast looks awesome. If you'd like to go compare for yourself, you can check out our Grandia and Grandia II coverage.
With this year not quite over, the list of RPGs confirmed to come out in 2001 is still a rather short list, especially on the next-generation systems. Confirmation of Shenmue 2 at this early point is a sign that 2001 is not just a space odyssey, but an RPG odyssey as well.