Records, like rules, were made to be broken. Shenmue 3‘s Kickstarter campaign recently wrapped and upon doing so it set the bar for video-game projects on the crowdfunding platform by pulling in some $6.3 million in pledges. It’s pretty impressive when you consider that just last month the previous record-holder, the Castlevania spiritual successor Bloodstained, raised over $5.5 million in a similar span of time. Both games come from legendary game developers striking out on their own (thanks to risk-averse publishers) and both are more or less the sequels fans have been asking for for years.
There’s a big difference though: the side-scrolling action/role-playing game Bloodstained didn’t make its debut at E3, much less onstage at PlayStation’s media briefing ahead of the show. That gave Shenmue 3‘s open-world RPG a pretty significant head start, helping it reach its original $2 million funding goal in nine hours. And of course, it didn’t stop there. Along the way, an explanatory documentary about the series popped up and the development team took to Twitch to answer any questions you might’ve had.
The developers at Ys Net also revealed physical copies of the game for PlayStation 4, replicas of protagonist Ryo’s leather jacket and plenty of in-game content like additional quests and features as stretch goals. Of course, we got a brief glimpse of what the game looks like at the moment as well.
But how will Shenmue turn out, though? And further to that point, what about Bloodstained? The former isn’t anticipated to ship until December 2017 and the latter’s slated for March of the same year. If they follow the path of another Japan-developed, Kickstarter-funded game, Mighty No. 9, perhaps it won’t take nearly as long to find out — the latter was playable at E3 this year. For now we have to play the waiting game, though.
Reviews • 85
Optical disc, Downloadable
Multiplayer, Voice chat, Video chat, Store, Browser
Accelerometer, Gyroscopic, Camera / optical