Praise be to the God of Gaming! Many thought it would never happen but it has! Sega have announced that Shenmue 1 and 2 is to be re-released both physically and digitally for PS4, Xbox One and Steam!
Is anyone else doing a little happy dance? Just me? OK, moving on.
The year is 1999. Lou Bega is bragging about his conquests on the radio with Mambo No5, Neo is battling Agent Smith in the Matrix bringing bullet time effects to the big screen and the UK finally got their hands on a little game called Pokémon. Pokémon however wasn’t the only big release of the year, the Dreamcast, Sega’s console swansong received the pioneering epic that was Shenmue. Now, in 2018, a whole new generation of gamers will be able to enjoy the original that defined many areas of modern gaming.
Due to no re-releases or remasters over the years, many of the newer generation of gamers are unlikely to have played Sega’s masterpiece but anyone serious about gaming will have definitely heard of it. The tale sees teenager Ryo Hazuki in a sweeping tale of revenge across China and Japan as he attempts to avenge the death of his father and unravel the secrets of a mysterious artefact called the Dragon Mirror. Players will have to investigate a range of characters, fight to defend themselves and even get a job to earn money in their quest to find the truth. Add in a few quirky mini-games and a lot of items to collect and you have the basis for Shenmue. What really helped Shenmue to stand out were the rich real-time environments, complete with weather/day/night cycles and a huge cast of colourful characters with their own schedules, a first for the time.
The re-release of Shenmue 1 and 2 will boast some new features although it is not a full HD remaster. This version will however include both games, as true to their originals as possible and will feature fully scalable screen resolution, a choice of modern or classic control schemes, PC graphics options, an updated user interface and the option between either English or Japanese voice-overs.
Sega have yet to announce prices or an exact release date but have confirmed it will be coming in 2018. A third instalment is also due to be released in 2018 after a massively successful Kickstarter campaign although again, no exact date has been given.
As you may have been able to tell by my fondness in writing this, Shenmue has a special place in my heart and I cannot wait to be able to start this journey again without having to set the Dreamcast up (although I’ll miss the VMU!). Will you be picking this one up? Let us know in the comments below or drop us a Tweet!