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|OT| Shenmue I & II HD |OT| Would you like to play a game of Lucky Dip HD?

DryvBy

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Genre:
Action Adventure
Release Date: 8/21/2018
Platforms: Steam, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Developer: SEGA AM2
Publisher: SEGA



Shenmue is an action-adventure game set in the late 80s in Japan created by the legendary Yu Suzuki. It was originally released on the Dreamcast in 1999 and 2001 later in the West. The game is similar to Yakuza and resembles what would be the prototype to that series later. Shenmue is different in regards to a few things. One difference it's Teen rated and doesn't sport the profanity or violence that Yakuza has. Yakuza is much more of an action-adventure with RPG elements tied into it while Shenmue is more of an adventure than an action game. Most of the time spent in Shenmue is exploring and finding clues and hitting QTE buttons when prompted (but even that's rare). The combat is similar to the Virtua Fighter series.

Be warned: if you don't have any nostalgia to the series, it may be too rough for some to enjoy. If you want to give it a shot though, just going in knowing that this was a crazy neat idea in a new open-world setting. It's similar to going back to Super Mario 64 and trying to judge it by today's standards, which is stupid (I hope my friend sees this). The original Shenmue was at one point the most expensive game created (up to $70 million).

The story is pretty simple but interesting. You play as Ryo Hazuki in a sort of life simulator where you work, play, and interact with everyone in the world. You're father is murdered for a mirror by a Chinese man and you're on the pursuit to find his killer. You'll travel through Japan and China on this journey, exploring many of the detailed shops and worlds. Again—detailed for 1999.


Its important to note that the game is a remaster and not a remake. It's looks are very similar to the Dreamcast except now in "HD", meaning a cleaner set of subtitles, 16:9 support, smoother framerate, and a cleaner looking menu with slightly touched up textures. What may turn a lot of people off is not the visuals as much as the audio, that I've described as being "deep fried".


Here's a pretty good comparison video of the originals and the remasters:


I'm doing something a little new. While I'll have written reviews, I'm including a couple of YouTube reviews in this section too. I hope this catches on NeoGAF to do for future OTs. Overall reviews are positive, scoring a 79 on Open Critic.

YouTube said:

PC Gamer - 88/100
A weird, beautiful, melancholy martial arts adventure. Flawed, but an unforgettable, singular experience.

PlayStation Universe - 9.0/10
Sega have done these classic titles a service by re-releasing them in the original form and resisting the temptation to tamper. Surely as divisive now as they were nearly 20 years ago, Shenmue I & II are not just a great primer for the forthcoming threequel, but also a great opportunity to experience one of gaming's most pioneering series. Welcome back Shenmue, I have missed you dearly.

GamePro - 75/100
A carefully conserved milestone of the medium, inviting to a fascinating journey through time to the beginnings of modern game design.

SixAxis
As far as nostalgia goes, plenty of aging gamers will fall for Shenmue's shonky charms all over again, and revisiting Ryo's tale of revenge can be a deeply enjoyable experience. However, newcomers will face an uphill struggle to get past the poor controls, terrible English voice acting and grinding repetition. It's still a great primer for the third game, but only if you've been here before.

Shenmue Original Reviews:

IGN - 9.7/10
It's evident, to me at least, that there are some games you can't judge till you've played it for awhile (then you have stuff like Orphen for the PS2... ack). It's also pretty easy to see that there are a lot of Dreamcast owners who have been waiting for Shenmue and will be extremely pleased with the game. Those of you reading who are teetering on giving it a shot, will probably try it out or borrow it from a friend before buying it.

GameSpot - 7.9/10
Indeed, while Shenmue is revolutionary, the game is far from perfect.

Shenmue II Original Reviews:

IGN - 8.3/10
Shenmue II is a good game and a definite pick-up for RPG fans, but more should have been done with this sequel to make it more accessible to those who never played the original. It has its faults, for sure, but it is a unique experience. It's certainly a love or hate type of game, which means that you should only buy it if slightly open-ended RPGs appeal to you. The only real bummer is that there seem to be no plans for a third installment, which could make this one heck of a long cliffhanger.

GameSpot - 8.7/10
While Shenmue II looks fantastic for a Dreamcast game, there are a few flaws to be found. The frame rate in the game does chug a bit, from 30 fps as you move through the streets and crowds, and lack of mip mapping keeps things a bit more shimmery than in Shenmue. Another jarring graphical quirk lies in the way the engine handles the many polygonal characters onscreen. Characters will randomly fade in and out depending on what's being displayed onscreen at a given time. But there's nothing that isn't easily overlooked once you become engrossed in the game's story.
 

RAIDEN1

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Was looking to buy this soon...but seeing some posts...looks like a patch is needed asap?
 

Dthomp

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Was looking to buy this soon...but seeing some posts...looks like a patch is needed asap?

Yeah I started the first game, and it’s rough. I can’t see where this ga,e is getting any positive reaction outside of fanboys. Not worth the price for sure.
 

RPGCrazied

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My main gripe is the cutscenes aren't widescreen. There is already a PC mod that makes both games that without any problems.
 

jshackles

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Great looking OP.

I never played Shenmue in the past - does the game hold up without the nostalgia factor? Or am I better off playing something like Sleeping Dogs?
 

FMbarbarian

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I only had time to watch the opening cutscene and talk to Ine-san. So far I am impressed by the image quality. When I have more time to play I’ll waste all of it at the capsule machines.
 
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CD'S BAR

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Great looking OP.

I never played Shenmue in the past - does the game hold up without the nostalgia factor? Or am I better off playing something like Sleeping Dogs?
If you like adventure games and open world games, seems to me like it would hold up. It's got a unique flavor taking place in 1980s Japanese suburbia. But be aware that it's like 80% adventure/walking around/reading dialogue and 20% action.
 
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TheDuskwalker

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Feb 1, 2018
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Platinumed Shenmue 1 last night. There is definitely some patches desperately needed for the first game, the QTE arcade game is broken, sometimes QTE inputs don't register in cutscenes even though you did it right, and that annoying cutscene issues that requires restarting the game when it happens, among other little things.

Shenmue 2 seems a bit more polished.
 

lachesis

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Well, I started playing Shenmue 1 a few days ago and been playing a few hours so far.
Compared to the original, I have very little complaint. Steam version I'm playing with 360 pad connected to it.
Faster loading time makes a lot of things more bearable (only a few sec of loading), but wish I could skip the pleasantries when buying stuff faster. (perhaps one of the subtitles options could help?)

I have not gone into Shenmue 2 yet - but looking forward to kick some butt in Yellow Head Bldg. :D
 

BANGS

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Be warned: if you don't have any nostalgia to the series, it may be too rough for some to enjoy.
The beauty of this series has nothing to do with nostalgia. It's a completely unique experience even 20 years later...

Was looking to buy this soon...but seeing some posts...looks like a patch is needed asap?
Yeah the games are a glitchy mess right now. Sega did another shitty port job, that's kind of their thing these days...

My main gripe is the cutscenes aren't widescreen. There is already a PC mod that makes both games that without any problems.
That's not true at all. There are tons of problems with widescreens mods, mostly the fact that animations aren't finished outside the border so characters will freeze or disappear on the edges...
 

DryvBy

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The beauty of this series has nothing to do with nostalgia. It's a completely unique experience even 20 years later...


Yeah the games are a glitchy mess right now. Sega did another shitty port job, that's kind of their thing these days...


That's not true at all. There are tons of problems with widescreens mods, mostly the fact that animations aren't finished outside the border so characters will freeze or disappear on the edges...

I don't think this game will appeal to many people that didn't play Shenmue. The first game didn't age very well when we have Yakuza games now (which is similar in a lot of ways).
 

BANGS

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I don't think this game will appeal to many people that didn't play Shenmue. The first game didn't age very well when we have Yakuza games now (which is similar in a lot of ways).
It will appeal to plenty of new people, but just like 20 years ago it won't appeal to everyone. As I said, it's a completely unique experience and comparing it to Yakuza or anything like that is doing it a disservice. The game has aged flawlessly considering there's still nothing like it...
 

DryvBy

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It will appeal to plenty of new people, but just like 20 years ago it won't appeal to everyone. As I said, it's a completely unique experience and comparing it to Yakuza or anything like that is doing it a disservice. The game has aged flawlessly considering there's still nothing like it...

I wouldn't say flawless. The audio and voice acting has always been awful. And that warning I gave to people was for those who jump on hype trains. It's not saying "No one will like it that's never played it before".
 

BANGS

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Voice acting is okay in Japanese, the English version is fucking terrible. Sound quality of the voices is horrible but music and sound effects are amazing... well at least in the original versions not this glitchy shitty version lmfao
 

GrayFoxRJ

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Jan 26, 2018
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Please, stop spreading this "Shenmue is like Yakuza" Bullshit. What they have in common? Far-Asia theme and motiff. ONLY. Just like American theme to GTA and Duke Nukem 3D.

So please, stop
 

BANGS

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Please, stop spreading this "Shenmue is like Yakuza" Bullshit. What they have in common? Far-Asia theme and motiff. ONLY. Just like American theme to GTA and Duke Nukem 3D.
They have a lot of similarities. You can tell Yakuza took a lot from Shenmue and evolved on it. But I can't stress enough how they are very, very different games. Both Shenmue games are completely unique and there is nothing like to this day. And what's funny is that even though Shenmue 1 and 2 are incredibly similar and make one cohesive experience, they too are very, very different games...
 

DryvBy

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They have a lot of similarities. You can tell Yakuza took a lot from Shenmue and evolved on it. But I can't stress enough how they are very, very different games. Both Shenmue games are completely unique and there is nothing like to this day. And what's funny is that even though Shenmue 1 and 2 are incredibly similar and make one cohesive experience, they too are very, very different games...

That's what I meant is that Yakuza borrowed a lot from Shenmue. I always consider Yakuza as a modern open-world with random encounters and a story that progressives. And a spiritual successor to what Shenmue could have been, not that they're the same.

They have lots of similarities such as an open-world with lots of interactive stuff (examining items in high detail as an example) and part life-simulator while walking around Japan talking with people. Shenmue is definitely a lot more "life-sim" as time and dates matter for the story.
 

Toe-Knee

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The beauty of this series has nothing to do with nostalgia. It's a completely unique experience even 20 years later...


Yeah the games are a glitchy mess right now. Sega did another shitty port job, that's kind of their thing these days...


That's not true at all. There are tons of problems with widescreens mods, mostly the fact that animations aren't finished outside the border so characters will freeze or disappear on the edges...
Not true. This has been fixed for years even on the dreamcast release
 

BANGS

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Not true. This has been fixed for years even on the dreamcast release
No, it hasn't. The widescreen mods mean that animations that happen outside of the normal 4:3 area is all messed up. Yes, it's true you can play the cutscenes in widescreen both via Dreamcast and emulation, but they don't look right as they aren't polished for being that size, they look awful...
 

Toe-Knee

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No, it hasn't. The widescreen mods mean that animations that happen outside of the normal 4:3 area is all messed up. Yes, it's true you can play the cutscenes in widescreen both via Dreamcast and emulation, but they don't look right as they aren't polished for being that size, they look awful...
I never noticed any issues with them.

Nothing clipped or spazzed out.

Even playing with the wider fov doesn't cause any issues.
 

BANGS

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I never noticed any issues with them.

Nothing clipped or spazzed out.

Even playing with the wider fov doesn't cause any issues.
Characters clearly freeze in place or disappear altogether when towards the sides of the screen in many cutscenes. Matter of fact it even happens in this new release during some of the QTEs which are in widescreen. There is no way to simply patch this as the animations have to be completely redone in order for it to work properly. Maybe you just didn't notice it but trust me, it's clearly noticeable lol
 

Toe-Knee

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Characters clearly freeze in place or disappear altogether when towards the sides of the screen in many cutscenes. Matter of fact it even happens in this new release during some of the QTEs which are in widescreen. There is no way to simply patch this as the animations have to be completely redone in order for it to work properly. Maybe you just didn't notice it but trust me, it's clearly noticeable lol
They're is a codebreaker memory address that makes them continue to render normally outside the 4:3 area the wider fov also does this to an extent.

I think the main thing that fixes it is the camera being further back.

Im very sensitive to these things so I would have noticed.

It does introduce newer issues though like certain effects are rendered wrong like the water disruption at the front of the ship are rendered higher than the waterline.

It also disables the lens flare effects
 

BANGS

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They're is a codebreaker memory address that makes them continue to render normally outside the 4:3 area the wider fov also does this to an extent.
During gameplay, yes... but it won't fix characters moving(or not) outside the normal screen area during cutscenes. That's why they didn't do it for this new release, they couldn't be bothered to reanimate all those characters. Funny enough they did it for QTEs though and you see the people freezing in place at times...

For example, when Ryo stops Goro from mugging that kid at the harbor. When playing in widescreen, you see the kid run away towards the edge of the screen and just freeze in place. It looks awful lol
 
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Havoc2049

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I just finished up Shenmue the other day and moved right on to Shenmue II. This was my third time finishing Shenmue. I finished Shenmue back at launch and again shortly after Yu Suzuki announced Shenmue III. I've only finished Shenmue II once before and it was all the way back when it came out on the Xbox and I don't remember much of the game, so it will be cool to play through again.
 

CatCouch

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I'm working my way through Shenmue right now. Got that dang fork lift race trophy!

I never actually beat either game back in the day, though I did play both a pretty good amount. I have the nostalgia thing going for me but I am pleased it's more playable than I remember. Stiff controls put me off back in 2001 or so when I bought a Dreamcast but I'm not having much trouble now~
 

CD'S BAR

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Had the weirdest glitch (my first) in the harbor in part 1. I left the Tomato mart just as it cut to the usual nighttime cutscene, and from then on I was stuck in first person mode. This lasted all the way until I went back to Sakuragaoka. I kind of wish the game had a first-person mode now.
 
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BANGS

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Had the weirdest glitch (my first) in the harbor in part 1. I left the Tomato mart just as it cut to the usual nighttime cutscene, and from then on I was stuck in first person mode. This lasted all the way until I went back to Sakuragaoka. I kind of wish the game had a first-person mode now.
Yeah that seems to be a common glitch...
 

Hostile_18

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Had the weirdest glitch (my first) in the harbor in part 1. I left the Tomato mart just as it cut to the usual nighttime cutscene, and from then on I was stuck in first person mode. This lasted all the way until I went back to Sakuragaoka. I kind of wish the game had a first-person mode now.

I had exactly the same glitch. Fps Shenmue.
 

Pallas

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So I recently purchase physical copy of Shenmue 1&2 for the X1(nice little double sided poster was included) and it’s my first dive into the series. I’m enjoying it so far, though the controls feel very clunky at times.
 

BANGS

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So I recently purchase physical copy of Shenmue 1&2 for the X1(nice little double sided poster was included) and it’s my first dive into the series. I’m enjoying it so far, though the controls feel very clunky at times.
Controls take getting used to, but once you're used to them you'll enjoy them. Unfortunately it was made with Dreamcast controller in mind and the ports didn't do ANYTHING to fix the controls for modern controllers, which is just baffling...

Anyways, use the D-pad, it's so much better than the analogue stick. Use the trigger to walk or run, and D-pad left or right to turn. Press back to turn around. Hold B and press left and right to turn in place. It's actually quite intuitive for this type of game where searching for things is very important...

Why they didn't have options to map the controls, or use the control system that was on the Dreamcast version of Shenmue 2, is beyond me. The original Shenmue 2 has an option to use the analogue stick more traditionally, like Yakuza or something. For some reason this port took that option out... and didn't improve any other controls. In fact, the way they mapped what used to be the left(only) analogue stick from the Dreamcast to the new right analogue stick always fucks me up since I'm so used to the Dreamcast version...
 

Kazza

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Shenmue 1 & 2 HD finally released in Japan, and it seems to have had a decent showing in the sales charts, making number 4 with 37,529 units sold.

Do we have any concrete info on western sales yet? According to steamspy, it has sold between 20k - 50k on PC (only 21 peak players yesterday).
 

BANGS

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What!?!? I’ve played through the first game game at least 20 times and never knew this? Is this a HD only change? Seriously, minds blown here.
It's been this way since the original lmfao. Press start on the Dreamcast version and I think the B button is labeled "STOP"... which basically means turns without walking lol

Treated the masterpiece the way it deserves to be treated!

This was very disappointing, these trophies were WAY too easy and didn't really even try to explore some of the secrets of the game. It's actually pretty hard NOT to get most of those trophies while playing...
 

Noboru Wataya

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It's been this way since the original lmfao. Press start on the Dreamcast version and I think the B button is labeled "STOP"... which basically means turns without walking lol



Never felt more stupid in all my life, this is a revelation to me. The last time my mind got blown like this was when I found out you could aim in first person while driving the Mako in Mass Effect.
 

Rest

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I'm glad I went into Gamestop today, I had no idea this was in the works, much less released. I never beat the original, because my brother was a dick about letting me use his Dreamcast, and never even played the second because I never had an Xbox. I probably won't get around to playing this until I'm done with Red Dead Redemption II, and I might go back to Yakuza 0 after that, but I'm definitely going to play Shenmue soon.