It's been a rather pleasant time to be a fan of the Shenmue series. The two games that have made up the series thus far have been infamously difficult to find and play, considering the first game was only available on the Dreamcast, and Shenmue 2 was only on Dreamcast and, later, the original Xbox. Sega, the publishers behind the series, is seeking to change that, revealing in a recent announcement that the first two games will be coming remastered to all current gen platforms, barring the Switch. A whole lot was shown and discussed too; from modern updated options, to the box art, to a reveal trailer.

As Sega puts it, this re-release, which will be known simply as Shenmue 1 & 2, will be the definitive version of the game. Fully scalable screen resolution will be available for it, as well as a choice between the classic controls from back at the turn of the century, or more modern and updated controls. The UI has been overturned and updated to allow for a sleeker look and design, and players will thankfully have the choice to play the game in its original Japanese voiceover or the English one. Keeping all of that in mind, fans and new players alike will be able to play Shenmue 1 & 2 in just about any way they please, whether more like the original or not. PC players will also, of course, have access to various graphical options, though the full extent of which isn't known at this time.

The Shenmue series follows Ryo Hazuki, a martial arts pupil who is investigating the murder of his father. It features open-world adventure gameplay, and combat is done in a fighting game like fashion to keep in line with the martial arts themes of it all. There's also a lot of more normal downtime in the series that makes it akin to a slice-of-life role-playing game, similar to the social features seen in the Persona series. Shenmue was pretty infamous in its time for being the most expensive game ever made, which really gives you an idea of how ambitious the series is.

Despite that, the Shenmue series hasn't seen a release since Shenmue 2 came out back in 2001. Fans have been waiting for a third installment for a long time, and many have grown up since, but thankfully that wait hit a turning point in 2015 when Shenmue 3 was officially announced at E3 that year. The game was crowdfunded through Kickstarter, and as a testament to its passionate fanbase, it hit its $2 million target goal in a matter of hours, ending up with over $6 million when all was said and done. Shenmue 3 will officially release sometime in the latter half of this year, with no date said yet, and will be available on PlayStation 4 and Windows PC. As for the remastered Shenmue 1 & 2, you'll be able to get the release either physically or digitally on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PC. Sega also provided a vague sometime-in-2018 release window for the remaster, which likely means it will drop before or around the same time of Shenmue 3's release, so new fans can properly get into the series. You can view the reveal trailer for the remaster below. Stay tuned for any updates!


Tanner is a freelance writer. He enjoys all things video games, particularly the weirder ones, and can often be found drinking coffee and trying to get through his backlog.

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