With Shenmue 3 set to launch sometime later this year, it looks like folks hoping to catch up on the series’ story up to this point are in luck. According to Sega, remastered versions of the original two Shenmue games are on the way.
The above tweet comes directly from Sega, who have officially revealed a launch of Shenmue and Shenmue II on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. The best news is that these spruced up versions of the games will be launched as a single package, allowing folks to get the full narrative in a single purchase. It’s also noted that players will be able to enjoy both the Japanese and English voiceovers, as well as choose between classic and more modern controls. Other tweaks are mentioned but not detailed.
Of course, this is the internet, so rather than be excited to get playable versions of the first two Shenmue games, many of the comments gripe that folks would also like remade versions of games like Jet Set Radio or Skies of Arcadia. And then there are of course the obligatory “what about Switch?” comments.
We’re excited to see this news, even if we’re not exactly surprised. The original Shenmue and Shenmue II launched on the Dreamcast at the turn of the century, a console most folks in the U.S. didn’t own. Also, another issue was that, if memory serves, Shenmue II came out on the original Xbox here in The States rather than the Dreamcast, which wasn’t exactly an ideal scenario. After that Xbox launch in 2002, things went quiet for the series.
Several years back, director Yu Suzuki announced during the Sony E3 press conference that he would be taking the series’ third chapter to Kickstarter, hitting its $2 million goal almost instantly. The latest launch window has Shenmue III arriving later this year and, given all of the attention the series has received in recent years, it makes sense that Sega would want to make the original games available, too. We’re sure there’s a decent recap of the first two games available on Youtube somewhere, but this move means folks can choose to simply play the games and get the story firsthand instead.
It’s worth noting that this isn’t just the result of a third game finally arriving for the series nearly two decades after the plot was left dangling. A while back, Sega held a poll asking players what old-school games they’d like to see remade for modern consoles. At the top of that list was Shenmue, so this can also be seen as Sega offering some nice follow through.
So what do you think, folks? Are you excited to finally have the chance to play the original Shenmue games on modern consoles? Drop your thoughts into the comments below.