Well, I've devoted a few of my columns in the past to discussing the Sega "hit" SHENMUE, and with Sega's recent announcement, I figured I'd do it again. Earlier this week, Sega announced that it had plans to develop SHENMUE ONLINE, a MMORPG set in the SHENMUE universe. While part of me wanted to jump up and down for joy that a new title in one of my favorite game series was being made, another part of me questioned why.
Now, I love SHENMUE, but there is no doubt in my mind that it has not enjoyed the success that many thought it would. I'm not sure why sales have been lackluster, but I know that it has not sold very well on the Dreamcast or Xbox. Yet we're going to have an online PC game released, something gamers will have to pay monthly to play. While it has only been announced for Asian markets as of now, I'm sure there are plans to bring it overseas. Is this the right idea? For the small amount of true SHENMUE fans, we'll love it. Slap the title SHENMUE on just about anything and I'd buy it without thinking twice. But are there enough fans? Sega must definitely think so.
Honestly, I would have rather heard an announcement on the status of SHENMUE 3 (supposedly the final installment in the "main" series), I'll be eagerly anticipating the PC game. TR
I'll say that SHENMUE ONLINE does little for me. I mean the game is cool but good Lord, I can only search so many cabinets and finish so many odd jobs. Troy is a Shenmue whore though, so he's expected to be all over it.
Does this really peak my interest in MMORPGs? To be honest, a game genre that I believe would vault me firmly into the nerd category in order to play it well doesn't really appeal. Maybe I just don't want to lose my life, or maybe I just have an adverse feeling about dropping a lot of time and money into an online world and online people when there's a lot of real ones around me who are every bit as compelling (if not more so).
Madden will have its own online leagues that are player created and full of features... Sega is working on another SHINING FORCE game... Atlus has revealed a Nintendo DS game that lets players perform surgery in a sci-fi world and will use the stylus and voice-recognition... Sony will use Blu-Ray discs for the PlayStation 3... Nintendo has announced a new WARIOWARE game that will require the tilting of the Game Boy...
Gamers' Thumb is our weekly Video Game column.