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The new 'What is Shenmue?' video teaches us about jiu-jitsu and duck racing

The Shenmue catch-up cavalcade started in earnest last week with a pair of "What Is Shenmue?" trailers introducing the story and characters. Today Sega dropped a new video showing off the game's plentiful combat, as well as some of the other, less punchy things you'll be able to do as you pursue the man who killed your father. 

As an "up-and coming jiu-jitsu master," Ryo Hazuki takes something of a hands-on approaching to crime-solving, which in practice means arcade-style beatdowns—"Shenmue 1 and 2 uses real jiu-jitsu moves taken from the Virtua Fighter engine at the time," according to the trailer—and quick-time events, in which certain buttons have to be pressed in specific sequences within a tight time limit, or fall off the ledge/get punched in the face/die, as the case might be. More advanced moves will be learned over the course of the game, and your pugilistic skills can be leveled up and transferred to Shenmue 2 when you move from the first game to the second. 

When Ryo isn't kicking ass, he can kick back with arcade games (including some fully-functional Sega classics like Hang-On and Space Harrier), race forklifts or ducks, or just pound some Shenmue equivalent of Bawls if he needs a little pick-me-up. Hey, you can't be out there chasing your dad's killer every single minute of every day forever, right?

Shenmue 1 and 2 are available for pre-purchase on Steam as a bundle for $27/£23/€32, and will be out on August 21. Shenmue 3 recently surpassed $7 million in crowdfunding, but does not yet have a solid release date. 

Andy Chalk
Andy covers the day-to-day happenings in the big, wide world of PC gaming—the stuff we call "news." In his off hours, he wishes he had time to play the 80-hour RPGs and immersive sims he used to love so much.