The Shenmue games are coming to modern day consoles, with Sega announcing a re-release of the classic series. The original Shenmue was one of the best titles to see release on Sega's Dreamcast system, ranking at the time as the most expensive video game ever made and offering up a gaming experience that felt very different from anything that had come before it. With an emphasis on the finer details, Shenmue helped form a rich open world, and its slow and atmospheric pacing helped it claim the status of a cult classic.
Unfortunately, its release on the the doomed Dreamcast console meant that few people played it, or its sequel, in their original forms, although Shenmue II did see a further release on the original Xbox. Nonetheless, fans of the series, and those that have never had the chance to play them before, have been calling for a re-release of the games for some time. After all, since some consider the Shenmue franchise to be among the best video game stories ever told, it needed to be played by more people.
Sega, thankfully, is now looking to deliver on that suggestion. The publisher has revealed that both Shenmue I & II are going to see release for modern devices. The games will be available as a bundle package, and will hit the PS4, Xbox One, and PC. What's more, this Shenmue I & II bundle is going to be arriving at some point in 2018, although Sega has yet to confirm and exact date or the price at which the games will be made available.
You've asked, we listened and we're extremely excited to finally announce that Shenmue I & II are coming to PS4, Xbox One and PC in one package! Both games will feature Japanese and English voice overs, the choice of classic or modern controls and more! #ShenmueSaved pic.twitter.com/EvtcEt5pgn— SEGA (@SEGA) April 14, 2018
The bundle isn't just a straight port of the original games, either. Instead, this Shenmue release comes with a host of upgrades and options in comparison to the first forms of the games, complete with a choice of either Japanese or English voice options, a choice of classic or modern controls, and fully scalable screen resolution. It might not be a ground-up reworking, but it looks like there's enough here to bring the games up to modern standards.
Of course, 2018 is also the date set for the release of the third part of the Shenmue franchise. Developed by original Shenmue director Yu Suzuki, Shenmue III went to Kickstarter back in 2015, and hit its minimum goals in record time. The third part of the franchise will arrive a full 17 years after its predecessor, and will look to finally continue the story of the Shenmue franchise as a whole.
All in all, it's been a good month for video game fans looking to play classic games. Microsoft announced a new run of backwards compatible games for the Xbox One, including a host of Star Wars games. Now, players can add the Shenmue games to their list of classics to revisit.