If you’re old enough to have been gaming on the Sega Dreamcast at the turn of the century, then you’ll probably be excited to know that Shenmue 1 and 2 Is coming to Xbox One, PS4 and PC in August 2018. The new release includes both the legendary Sega AM2 developed games. And it makes up a little for the news that the forthcoming PlayStation 4 and Windows PC Shemue III (being published by Deep Silver rather than Sega) has been postponed until 2019.
Shenmue 1 and 2 brings together the first two games in the series. And the re-release includes modern features including full scalable screen resolution, modern or classic control schemes, an updated user interface, PC graphics options, and most importantly, the choice of the original Japanese or English voiceovers.
The original titles were created, produced and directed by Yu Suzuki. As the head of the AM2 team he led most of Sega’s famous arcade hits including Hang-On, After Burner, Virtua Fighter and the other Virtua games (Virtua Racing, Virtua Striker, Virtua Cop), Daytona USA, Out Run and more.
At release, Shenmue was the most expensive video game that had ever been developed. And the story of Ryo Hazuki was a critical and cult success, even if it didn’t sell as well as Sega might have hoped. The story is a Chinese revenge epic following Ryo after he witnesses the death of his father. And you control Ryo as he explores the third person open world with 3D fighting and quick time events to break up the search for clues and conversations with non-player characters.
Part of the charm of Shenmue was that in addition to the NPC dialogue, you could also play mini games, take jobs to earn money, and then spend on food, audio cassettes and capsule toys. The first game let you get a wage as a forklift truck driver, but the sequel moved to gambling, arm wrestling, street fighting or running a pachinko stand.
The other reason why Shenmue has been so loved by those that did embrace it is the 1980s setting, with the series starting in Yokosuka in 1986.
Obviously there have been a lot of open world games since Shenmue, including the Grand Theft Auto series, the Yakuza series (also from Sega), and more. But Shenmue 1 and 2 still have a strong following and a place in the hearts of many gamers.
Shenmue 1 and 2 is coming to Xbox One, PS4 and PC in August 2018. The release date will be August 21st, and you can already pre-order digital versions on the Xbox Marketplace, PlayStation Network and Steam with a 10% discount. Or you can order a physical edition just for the Xbox One or PlayStation 4 via Sega approved retailers to get the double-sided poster and reversible cover art along with the game.
Or take a look at the Amazon selection below, including Shenmue 1 and 2, and the original games for the Dreamcast. Be aware the Dreamcast originals seem to be going up in price, so you might want to take a look on eBay instead.
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Also published on Medium.