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Yu Suzuki

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Yu Suzuki
Yu Suzuki
Profile
Country Japan
Birthday June 10, 1958
Job Game producer

Yu Suzuki (鈴木 裕, Suzuki Yū) is a Japanese game designer. As director of Sega's AM2 development group, he produced several successful games, including Space Harrier, Hang On, OutRun, Afterburner, Virtua Racing, Virtua Fighter, Virtua Cop, Ferrari F355 Challenge, and Shenmue.

Overview

He spent most of his career with Sega, particularly the Sega AM2 division. Often referred to as Sega's answer to Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto, he has been responsible for the creation of many of Sega's most important games.

During the mid-to-late-1980s, he created Super Scaler arcade games that popularized pseudo-3D gaming with sprite-scaling graphics as well as motion-controlled arcade cabinets, including racing video games such as Hang-On, Out Run and Power Drift as well as third-person rail shooters such as Space Harrier and After Burner. During the early-mid-1990s, he created Sega Model arcade games that popularized and advanced polygonal 3D graphics and gameplay, including Virtua Racing, the Virtua Fighter series of fighting games, the texture-filtered racing game Daytona USA, and the Virtua Cop series of light gun shooters.

In the late 1990s, he created the racing simulation F355 Challenge, and the critically acclaimed Shenmue series for the Dreamcast, which was a major step forward for 3D open world gameplay. During the early-mid-2000s, he create several more arcade hits such as Virtua Fighter 4 and OutRun 2 while working on experimental titles such as the cancelled touchscreen fighting game Psy-Phi, but has been mostly inactive since then.

Career

Suzuki joined Sega in 1983 as a programmer. His and AM2's efforts culminated into the game Hang-On, released in 1985.

Suzuki and AM2 soon followed with the pseudo-3D third-person shooter game Space Harrier in 1985. The game introduced a true analog flight stick for movement,[1] with the ability to register movement in any direction as well as measure the degree of push, which could move the player character at different speeds depending on how far the stick is pushed in a certain direction.[2] It also featured cockpit-shaped video game arcade cabinet that moved in the direction the player moved the joystick. Its success established Suzuki as the leading arcade game designer at the time.[1]

In 1992, they released the 3D Formula 1 racer Virtua Racing, which was considered the most realistic-looking arcade game on the market at the time of its release.

In 1993, Suzuki created Virtua Fighter, the first 3D fighting game. Next Generation, in 1995, stated Virtua Fighter "epitomizes Suzuki's skill of finding the perfect blend of state-of-the-art technology with solid gameplay".[3] Also in 1993, he debuted the Sega Model 2 with Daytona USA, which featured the use of texture mapping with texture filtering, producing graphics that were, according to IGN, "light-years ahead of anything anyone had seen."[4]

In 1994, he created Virtua Fighter 2, which featured filtered, texture-mapped characters. Suzuki noted that the game's texture-mapping technology was limited to the military and cost millions, which his AM2 team acquired and used to create a much cheaper affordable graphics chip for the Model 2 that could be mass-produced. Virtua Fighter 2 was also known for its character animations, which were produced using motion capture technology that had previously never been used by the game industry.[5] The same year, he created Virtua Cop, which broke new ground by popularizing the use of 3D graphics in shooter games.

Suzuki's Shenmue, released for the [segaretro.org/Sega_Dreamcast Dreamcast] in 1999, gave rise to a new style of 3D open world adventure games.

In 2003, Yu Suzuki, along with Hiroshi Kataoka, produced sequels for OutRun and Virtua Cop, entitled OutRun 2 and Virtua Cop 3, respectively.

He began working on Psy-Phi, a dodgeball-style one-on-one fighting game using touchscreen controls. After a location test in 2005, its full release was cancelled shortly afterwards.

In June 2015, he launched Shenmue III as a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign, which was successfully funded within eight hours, setting a crowdfunding record. It is set for release in December 2017.

Gameography

1980s

Year Title Platform Genre Director Designer Producer Other role(s)
1984 Champion Boxing SG-1000 Sport (Boxing) Programmer
1985 Champion Pro Wrestling SG-1000 Sports (Wrestling)
Hang-On Sega Hang-On Racing (Motorbike)
Space Harrier Sega Space Harrier Rail Shooter
(Third-Person Shooter)
Special Thanks
Hang-On Sega Master System Racing (Motorbike)
1986 OutRun Sega OutRun Racing
(Street Racer)
Enduro Racer Sega Space Harrier Dirt Racing (Motorbike)
Space Harrier Sega Master System Rail Shooter
(Third-Person Shooter)
Special Thanks
(as Yu)
1987 Super Hang-On Sega OutRun Racing (Motorbike)
After Burner Sega X Board Flight Sim
(Third-Person Rail Shooter)
After Burner II Sega X Board Flight Sim
(Third-Person Rail Shooter)
1988 Power Drift Sega Y Board Racing (Kart Racer)
Dynamite Dux Sega System 16 Beat 'Em Up /
Run & Gun Shooter
1989 Turbo OutRun Sega OutRun Racing
(Street Racer)
Special Thanks
(as Yu)

1990s

Year Title Platform Genre Director Designer Producer Other role(s)
1990 G-LOC: Air Battle Sega Y Board Flight Sim
(Combat Flight Sim)
GP Rider Sega X Board Racing (Motorbike)
1991 Strike Fighter Sega Y Board Flight Sim
(Combat Flight Sim)
Rent-A-Hero Sega Mega Drive Role-Playing Game
(Action RPG)
F1 Exhaust Note Sega System 32 Racing
Soreike Kokology Sega System 32
Sword of Vermilion Sega Mega Drive Role-Playing Game Special Thanks
1992 Virtua Racing Sega Model 1 Racing Chief Programmer
1993 GP Rider Sega Game Gear Racing (Motorbike)
F1 Super Lap Sega System 32 Racing
Virtua Fighter Sega Model 1 Fighting (3D)
Virtua Formula Sega Model 1 Racing
Burning Rival Sega System 32 Fighting (2D)
Soreike Kokology 2 Sega System 32
Daytona USA Sega Model 2 Racing
1994 Space Harrier Sega 32X Rail Shooter
(Third-Person Shooter)
Virtua Fighter Sega Saturn Fighting (3D) Special Thanks
Virtua Fighter 2 Sega Model 2 Fighting (3D) Supervisor
Desert Tank Sega Model 2 Vehicle Combat Sim
(Third-Person Shooter)
Virtua Cop Sega Model 2 Light Gun Shooter
(First-Person Rail Shooter)
Supervisor
1995 After Burner Sega 32X Flight Sim
(Third-Person Rail Shooter)
Daytona USA Sega Saturn Racing Special Thanks
Virtua Fighter Sega 32X Fighting (3D) Special Thanks
Virtua Fighter Remix Sega ST-V
Sega Saturn
Fighting (3D)
Virtua Fighter 2 Sega Saturn Fighting (3D)
Virtua Striker Sega Model 2 Sports (Football)
Fighting Vipers Sega Model 2 Fighting (3D)
Virtua Cop Sega Saturn Light Gun Shooter
(First-Person Rail Shooter)
Supervisor,
Creator
Virtua Cop 2 Sega Model 2 Light Gun Shooter
(First-Person Rail Shooter)
Supervisor
1996 Virtua Fighter 2 Sega Mega Drive Fighting (3D) Supervisor
Virtua Cop 2 Sega Saturn Light Gun Shooter
(First-Person Rail Shooter)
Supervisor,
Creator
Fighting Vipers Sega Saturn Fighting (3D)
Sonic the Fighters Sega Model 2 Fighting (3D)
Virtua Fighter 3 Sega Model 3 Fighting (3D)
Virtua Fighter Kids Sega ST-V Fighting (3D)
Virtua Fighter Kids Sega Saturn Fighting (3D) Creator,
Special Thanks
Fighters Megamix Sega Saturn Fighting (3D)
Scud Race Sega Model 3 Racing Special Thanks
1997 Virtua Cop PC Light Gun Shooter
(First-Person Rail Shooter)
Supervisor
Virtua Fighter 2 PC Fighting (3D) Supervisor
Virtua Cop 2 PC Light Gun Shooter
(First-Person Rail Shooter)
Supervisor
Virtua Fighter 3: Team Battle Sega Model 3 Fighting (3D)
Virtua Striker 2 Sega Model 3 Sports (Football)
Digital Dance Mix Vol.1 Namie Amuro Sega Saturn Music Game
(Rhythm Game)
All Japan Pro-Wrestling Featuring Virtua Sega ST-V
Sega Saturn
Sports (Wrestling)
1998 Virtua Cop 1-2 Pack Sega Saturn Light Gun Shooter
(First-Person Rail Shooter)
Creator
Virtua Fighter 3: Team Battle Dreamcast Fighting (3D) Creator
Fighting Vipers 2 Sega Model 3 Fighting (3D)
Virtua Striker 2 '98 Sega Model 3 Sports (Football)
Daytona USA 2 Sega Model 3 Racing
Daytona USA 2: Power Edition Sega Model 3 Racing
1999 Ferrari F355 Challenge Sega NAOMI Multiboard Racing (Simulation)
D-2 Dreamcast Survival Horror
(First-Person Shooter)
Special Thanks
What's Shenmue Dreamcast Action-Adventure
(Open World)
Shenmue Dreamcast Action-Adventure
(Open World)
Writer
Outtrigger Sega NAOMI First-Person Shooter /
Third-Person Shooter
18 Wheeler: American Pro Trucker Sega NAOMI Racing

2000s

Year Title Platform Genre Director Designer Producer Other role(s)
2000 Virtua Cop 2 Dreamcast Light Gun Shooter
(First-Person Rail Shooter)
Supervisor
Ferrari F355 Challenge Dreamcast Racing
(Simulation)
18 Wheeler: American Pro Trucker Dreamcast Racing Special Thanks
2001 Yu Suzuki Game Works Vol. 1 Dreamcast Compilation
Fighting Vipers 2 Dreamcast Fighting (3D)
F355 Challenge 2 Sega NAOMI Multiboard Racing (Simulation)
Shenmue II Dreamcast Action-Adventure
(Open World)
Writer
Virtua Fighter 4 Sega NAOMI 2 Fighting (3D) Executive Producer,
Executive Director
2002 Shenmue II Xbox Action-Adventure
(Open World)
Executive Producer
Virtua Fighter 4 PS2 Fighting (3D) Executive Director
Virtua Fighter 4: Evolution Sega NAOMI 2 Fighting (3D)
Virtua Cop: Elite Edition PS2 Light Gun Shooter
(First-Person Rail Shooter)
Creator, Supervisor
Ferrari F355 Challenge PS2 Racing (Simulation)
2003 Propeller Arena Dreamcast
(leaked online)
Flight Sim
(Third-Person Shooter)
Executive Director
Virtua Fighter 4: Evolution PS2 Fighting (3D) Executive Director
Devastation PC First-Person Shooter Special Thanks
Virtua Cop 3 Sega Chihiro Light Gun Shooter
(First-Person Rail Shooter)
Executive Director,
Executive Producer
OutRun 2 Sega Chihiro Racing
(Street Racer)
Executive Producer
Sega Ages 2500 Series Vol. 4: Space Harrier PS2 Rail Shooter
(Third-Person Shooter)
Executive Supervisor
2004 Sega Ages 2500 Series Vol. 8: Virtua Racing -FlatOut- PS2 Racing Executive Supervisor
Sega Ages 2500 Series Vol. 10: After Burner II PS2 Flight Sim
(Third-Person Shooter)
Sega Ages 2500 Series Vol. 13: OutRun PS2 Racing
(Street Racer)
Virtua Fighter 4: Final Tuned Sega NAOMI 2 Fighting (3D)
2005 Psy-Phi Sega Lindbergh Fighting
(Third-Person)
Concept
Pure Breed Cancelled RPG
(MMORPG)
Concept
2006 Shenmue Online PC (cancelled) RPG
(MMORPG)
2008 Sega Race TV Sega Lindbergh Racing
(Arcade)
Executive Producer

2010s

Year Title Platform Genre Director Designer Producer Other role(s)
2010 Shenmue City Mobage RPG
(Social)
Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing PS3
Xbox 360
Wii
DS
PC
iOS
Sega RingWide
Racing
(Kart Racer)
Creative Officer,
Special Thanks
2011 Virtua Fighter: Cool Champ iPhone Card Battle
2012 Shooting Wars iPhone
2013 Bullet Pirates Android
iPhone
2014 Virtua Fighter Fever Combo iPhone
Android
Card Battle
2017 Shenmue III 4 PS4
PC
Action-Adventure
(Open World)

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2013-07-07-space-harrier-retrospective
  2. Space Harrier Retrospective (Page 2), IGN
  3. http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/virtuafighter/virtuafighter.htm
  4. IGN Presents the History of SEGA: Reap What You Sow, IGN
  5. http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/228512/Yu_Suzuki_recalls_using_military_tech_to_make_Virtua_Fighter_2.php

External links

Virtua Fighter Series
Main Series Virtua Fighter (Remix) • 234 (Evolution, Final Tuned) • 5 (R, Final Showdown)
Related Games Virtua Fighter AnimationVirtua Fighter KidsVirtua Fighter CG Portrait SeriesGG PortraitFighters MegamixVirtua Fighter 10th AnniversaryVirtua Quest
Characters Akira YukiPai ChanLau ChanWolf HawkfieldJeffry McWildKage-MaruSarah BryantJacky BryantDuralSibaShun DiLion RafaleAoi UmenokojiTaka‑ArashiLei‑FeiVanessa LewisBrad BurnsGoh HinogamiEileenEl BlazeJean Kujo

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