The series flopped when it first graced the Dreamcast and Xbox back in 99 and 2002 but over the course of the 12 years since the release of its second and final chapter, Yu Suzuki's open-world (and quick time event heavy) martial arts epic Shenmue has endeared itself to SEGA fans the world over. It must be the innovative gameplay and compelling story...or maybe it's because of Lucky Hit, capsule toys, and the mono-toned voice of fan-favorite protagonist Ryo Hazuki...and every other character.
Regardless, the Shenmue games have one of the largest and most vocal cult followings in all of gaming, and said following's collective voice has made it loud and clear on several occasions to the big wigs at SEGA that a third installment or at least HD remakes of the two established ones are something that it wants.
Unfortunately, SEGA doesn't have plans for either in the foreseeable future, likely due to the millions of dollars lost on the franchise over a decade ago. Not to mention SEGA isn't overly keen on discussing the series, unless Ryo is making a fan appeasing cameo in a Sonic game. Although to be fair, with the amount of requests/demands they receive on a constant basis, it shouldn't be too surprising that SEGA staffers are sick of hearing about it.
Well, for all of us Shenmue fans who have been crying out for something to happen, the unexecuted finally happened earlier this week. A HD remastering of Shenmue 1 was officially unveiled on Youtube!
Before you get too excited however, this isn't an officially SEGA branded project or even something Yu Suzuki has been cooking up on his accord. It's actually a project that's being lovingly crafted by a single Korean developer and die-hard Shenmue fan, going by the alias of NoconKid.
Neither a timeline of the game's development or release target have been outlined at this point (or at least one I can translate) but I can say the two three-minute samples he posted on his Youtube channel are something every Shenmue fan should check out.
From the park, to the convenience store, to the arcade, the sunset lit streets of Yokosuka have never looked so beautiful.
It may not be anything official or a continuation of the story (seriously, does Ryo kill Lan Di or what?!) but I'm super grateful that such a talented programmer is putting this remake together. It looks fantastic thus far and I can't wait to see more of it.
Let's just hope this doesn't meet the same sad fate as Streets of Rage Remake.
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