Following a leak on the Australian Microsoft Store, Sega has confirmed that a Shemue I & II collection is a real thing. This combo pack of the progenitive open-world classic and its sequel will launch on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and on PC via Steam on August 21.
As two of the more legendary offerings to have graced the Sega Dreamcast, the package will make a handful of improvements to the original releases. Fans shouldn’t expect a true remaster or full HD remake, but an option to switch between the classic control scheme and a more familiar modern one, plus updated UI and scalable resolution will mitigate some of its datedness. Shemue I & II will also feature the option to choose between English and Japanese voiceovers.
The brain child of famed game designer Yu Suzuki (Out Run, Virtua Fighter), the first Shenmue was originally launched for Dreamcast in 1999. At the time of release, it was reported to be the most expensive video game ever created. Its sequel, Shenmue II, would arrive in 2001, but only for Europe and Japan before being ported over to the original Xbox a year later, not long after Sega discontinued the Dreamcast.
Both games cast players as Ryo Hazuki, a young martial artist on a quest to avenge his father's death. Along the way, he uncovers the secrets behind a mysterious relic known as the Dragon Mirror. The series was renowned for its impressive open world, deep battle system, and variety of minigames and is considered a seminal influence on games like Sleeping Dogs and Yakuza.
A third installment in the series, Shenmue III, was announced at E3 2015 during Sony's press conference. It is being developed not just for the PlayStation but for the PC as well, under the direction of Suzuki. Originally slated to launch this year, Shenmue III was delayed into 2019, with further refinements cited as the reason for the delay.