This past weekend at Sega's GameJam event, AM2 producer Yu Suzuki demonstrated a playable version of Shenmue II. Said to be nearly 80% complete, Suzuki demonstrated new in-game systems such as 'Command QTE,' and 'Subject Battle.' Though, most of the demonstration specifically showcased how to earn money by means of gambling in mini-games and selling Virtua Fighter figurine sets at pawnshops.
When finished, the world of Shenmue II will be ten times larger than its predecessor. The original game could have approximately 350 people in one specific area, but Shenmue II can have over 1000 people in certain locations. Set in Hong Kong, players will be able to save anywhere in the sequel, and items and saved data can be carried over from the first game. Ryo will take a part-time job in a pawnshop, and therefore items can be purchased and sold to raise money throughout the game. Loading time, particularly when coming in and out of shops, has been significantly reduced. The ever-popular darts mini-game will reappear in Shenmue II, along with a handful of new gambling-style games. Prizes can be won for street fighting in some areas, and the system for learning new fighting techniques has been simplified.
Unfortunately, a release date for Shenmue II has not been set for its release in Japan or North America. As the saying goes, "patience is a virtue" my friend, and this is why we are providing you with 60 screen shots and 7 pieces of art. Expect us to keep you updated on Shenmue II as it approaches completion.