It's been a long and tearful six years since we last saw Ryo Hazuki on a console (that's Shenmue II on Xbox, fact-fans) but now the face-plastered one is set to return as a playable character in Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing!
This new video just sent to us by Sega shows Ryo thundering around the game's brightly-coloured race tracks on a motorbike - presumably Ito's bike from the unforgettable motorbike scene in the first Shenmue - pulling off martial arts moves as tricks and generally looking stupendously awesome. Things get even more awesome when he jumps off his motorbike and starts driving around in a forklift truck.
And here's the official press release from Sega:
He shall appear from a far eastern land across the sea, a young man who has yet to know his potential... And he'll be driving a badass motorcycle.
Ryo Hazuki, star of the Shenmue series returns in his first playable appearance since Shenmue 2 to join the ranks of the SEGA All-Stars as part of Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing.
Ryo, protagonist of the Shenmue series and one of the most requested SEGA character to make an appearance in All-Stars Racing will be riding his borrowed motorcycle around classic SEGA themed race tracks. And when a motorcycle just can't cut it, Ryo unleashes his All-Star move and is able to swap vehicles to his iconic forklift truck to charge and barge opponents out of the way!
The Shenmue series, the story of a son's quest for vengeance, began life in 1999 as the killer-app for the SEGA Dreamcast. Originally developed by the legendary Yu Suzuki for SEGA, Ryo has yet to gain his revenge but he's certainly no stranger to motorcycle racing and is sure to make a formidable adversary for Sonic, AiAi, Dr. Eggman and the other All-Stars.
Although there's no sign of Nozomi, Lan Di or sailors in this video, it looks like Ryo can satisfy his capsule toy addiction by ramming into those Monkey Balls.
Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing just became our number one most anticipated game in the world, so stay tuned for more videos and screenshots as the game's Q1 2010 release date gets closer.