For some reason I was thinking about Shenmuue 2 while driving to work today. I was thinking how impossiable it seems, I made it all the way though Hong Kong, and that long ass mountainside hike. No way I would have the time to beat that game these days. Since I'm in Japan, naturally you would think I would hear something first. But nada. The last thing I heard was if you want to know what happens you have to get the Manga. Which sucks for me because I loathe those things! I was doing a search and I was shocked at how many fansite for Shenmue are out there. Whenever I tried to get someone to play Shenmue they looked at me like I was insane. "You mean I have to actually find a job and work everyday"??? Quite a bit of fan-fiction out there too, which usually I avoid but maybe that is the best we can hope for. A few where surprisngly good but all seem to have some kind of sexual showdown with Shenhua Ling, Joy, Xiuying Hong, or Fangmei Xun (Pervs!!).
I'm a big Shenmue fan, but I fear there won't be a third edition, at least for a very long time. Shenmue was the most expensive project Sega undertook, and it ended up being a big money loser. Sega is being more conservative now, especially with software company Sammy exerting more control of Sega.
Microsoft only holds the publishing rights for Shenmue II in North America (not sure about Europe). Unforunately, Microsoft was not serious about promoting the game once it was released, so no one knew about it unless they were already a Shenmue fan. It's up to Sega to develop the third installment since it's still their property, but with Sega's recovering business strategy and Microsoft dropping publishing deals even with their own developers, it's hard to find a positive here. A couple weeks ago, the official Shenmue website got taken offline. :(
I will ask me brother which is weird since he lives in the states and he knows more about the happenings in Japan then me. I was curious about the manga but I refused to read it on the hopes that I would one day actually play the game. I also heard Suzuki was going to release a DVD of what happens next kind of like the DVD for Shenmue 1 that came with the X-box:( That would suck too to tease us with how the game could have looked but its better then nothing.
If it had the mace, yeah, I'm pretty sure that's Heavy Barrel. There were a couple other Ikari-ish games with a futuristic theme (notably Ikari Warriors 2: Victory Road, which was what I initially thought you were talking about...