Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Shenmue I & II Release Date + Latest Details

Shenmue I & II Release Date + Latest Details
Phantom River Stone summarizes the latest details announced about #Shenmue I & II ahead of its August 21 release, together with a new trailer & screenshots.
Coinciding with the July 3rd Shenmue tweetathon (organized each month by Team Yu), SEGA has officially announced the release date for the Shenmue I & II rerelease as August 21st 2018 (available for Xbox One, PS4 and PC) and has also supplied more details about the games.

Build-up to the Announcement 

The launch date announcement had been somewhat anticipated by fans, with several factors in the days building up to it, such as the ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board) publishing their rating of "Teen" (for 13 years and above), and hints in social media from SEGA Europe such as their tease to fans regarding the July 3rd tweetathon: "This one will be extra special!"

SEGA also tweeted the short video clip below of Shenmue's chase scene with Jimmy, in 16:9 format and notably containing an updated QTE prompt:

New Trailer

Check out the new trailer to mark the occasion below, showing off a collage of scenes from Shenmue I and II: exploration, forklift racing, fights, gambling and QTE scenes (including the Jimmy chase video snippet from the previous day).

Key Details

SEGA has published a Shenmue I & II FAQ page on their site that covers common questions fans have had about the release. Some key points from this page & the trailer:
  • It will be possible to save anywhere in Shenmue I, as with Shenmue II.
  • Saves can be carried over from Shenmue into Shenmue II on all platforms.
  • While gameplay will be in 16:9 format, cut scenes will be in the original 4:3 format due to technical considerations.
Cut scene screnshot from the new trailer
Cut scene screnshot from the new trailer
  • The games will run at 30 fps due to assumptions / restrictions in the original code.
  • Choice of English or Japanese speech: for example, players may choose Japanese speech with English subtitles which was not possible with the original games.
  • Addition of achievements
  • Modern control scheme (use of analog stick for movement; for PC users, configurable mouse & keyboard support has been added)
  • The arcade games that featured in the original games will be fully playable.
  • Physical versions will come with a double-sided poster as well as a reversible cover..
Physical versions will come with a double-sided poster
Physical versions will come with a double-sided poster
YouTuber Adam Koralik, who has been working closely with SEGA Europe and doing a great job in disseminating news about the Shenmue I & II rerelease, has also made an update video in which he mentions a few other pieces of information:
  • The Shenmue I build is based off the Dreamcast code, while Shenmue II is based off the Xbox version (hence, features specific to that version such as the camera/snapshot feature will be included). 
  • The time skip feature will remain specific to Shenmue II.
  • Carry-over of saves applies between Shenmue & Shenmue II, but save transfer to Shenmue III is not supported.
  • The original audio will be used.
  • Loading times will be faster than the original games.
  • Adam also emphasizes that SEGA are surprised by and very much taking notice of the tremendous interest and support from fans for the bundle, and that this could lead to "big things" in the future.
Note: as of the current time, there has not been specific mention made of the Shenmue Passport disc.

Pre-orders & Pricing 

Shenmue I & II will have both physical and digital releases (digital only for PC), with pre-orders outside of Japan being taken now on Steam, the XBox Store, the PlayStation Store and other stores. The official price point is US $29.99 or equivalent, but pre-order discounts are available: for example, Steam and the PlayStation Store are offering a 10% discount.

This is a great time for Shenmue fans to show support by pre-ordering the game and remove any excuse for Sega not to continue to be involved with the franchise in the future!

The Significance of the Release Date

It will not have gone unnoticed by many fans that the release date of August 21 is significant in that it is also the opening day of the Gamescom 2018 event, the day for trade visitors & the media. This could produce a nice synergy with the Shenmue III if it were also to be present at the event (although this is speculation).

Note: the release date information reported in this post pertains to Shenmue I & II outside of Japan. For Japan, where the bundle will be released as a PS4 exclusive, an official announcement has not yet been made (the release timing still reads "2018" on SEGA Japan's official site) so fans in Japan may have to wait a little longer for confirmation.

Screenshot Gallery

To wrap up, enjoy these new screenshots which have been added to the page on Steam (click to expand).

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  1. Man, 18 years later and Shenmue still holds up even by today's standards.
    Looking at these pictures makes my heart beat faster and faster with anxiety.
    If I could, I would use the skip time option right now to August 21st.
    Can't wait to relive one of the best moments of my life.

    1. You may have to follow Ryo's example and fill in time buying capsule toys or playing After Burner! I hope modern gamers will be inspired by existing fans like yourself and give the first two games a try - and for those they "click" with of course go on to play Shenmue III next year.

  2. Is this Scene on that gif not from "What's Shenmue"? There are two new gifs on Steam were Ryo jumps over the River and the Duck Race (which i never played, i missed that in the first-release). I don't like the haters in the forums of Steam. I purchased this Collection on Steam and i'm SO happy that SEGA makes this reality.

    1. The particular chase scene above is from Shenmue, but you're right that there is a very similar one in What's Shenmue as well, except Ryo chases Mr. Yukawa instead of Jimmy.

      Yes. it's frustrating how many of the forums get bogged down with negative comments and trolls, and on Steam even before the games are released. In any case the sales figures will speak for themselves, and we are already seeing healthy pre-order trends around the world.

      Thanks for the information about the new gifs! I'll update this post with them.