The Weekly Five: The Shenmue HD Wish List

To wash the yucky taste of today’s big news story out of our mouths, let’s focus on something positive. Recently, SEGA has been hinting at an HD Shenmue 1 and 2 rerelease. Given the latest announcement of putting more focus on digital releases, Shenmue HD could become even more of a reality. As SEGA has yet to release an official announcement, we can do what Shenmue fans do best and speculate! This week’s Weekly Five will take a look at what we want to see in a Shenmue rerelease. Let’s begin, shall we? [insert sailor joke here]

1. Widescreen is a MUST.

I think SEGA learned their lesson with Sonic Adventure. If you’re going to rerelease a game nowadays, HD and widescreen should be the number one new feature. We’ve got these fancy HDTV’s, and games are able to show more on the left and right with a bit of code trickery. If you thought Shenmue was cinematic before, just check out the above video. Of course, there are glitches on the left and right, and the video uploader notes: “In this video you will see why Sega can not simply port Dreamcast games to PSN/XBLA with wide screen support. It is because the code of the game would have to be entirely rewritten to make it. The DC will only render what is in the 4:3 ratio and that is how the game is made.” However, I’m going to cry foul, because SEGA has proved that they can port Dreamcast games with widescreen support, as Jet Set Radio has shown. Whatever they did for JSR can surely be done for Shenmue.

2. No cuts.

Cuts are necessary when legal complications arise, but they suck. Just look at Crazy Taxi. Great game, but it just isn’t Crazy Taxi without the soundtrack. Jet Set Radio has been said to have 80% of the soundtrack. Good, but not great. Shenmue is a game that had better retain 100% of the content. No music cuts, no signs obscured. When the game was originally released in Japan, Coca Cola machines littered the streets of Shenmue. When the game released in the West, these machines were replaced with a faux soda. Aside from that, Timex and Zippo still appeared in the game, but they are far from being central to the gameplay and both could either return for some 2012 product placement or the logos could be replaced by no-name brands like Timey and Whippo. All SEGA references should be safe, as would all the music which was 100% SEGA made.

3. Shenmue 1 AND 2, please.

Shenmue fans may be used to waiting, but it would be awesome of SEGA to announce BOTH titles at the same time. No “we’re waiting to see the sales of Shenmue 1 HD before releasing the second”. We want both titles on day one. Last thing I’d want is a Shenmue 3 situation all over again, where we get the first game rereleased and never ever get the second. Better yet, have both titles play out as one massive story if you have both games on your harddrive. At the end of Shenmue 1’s credits, Shenmue 2 kicks off with Ryo arriving in Hong Kong. The Shenmue epic as you’ve truly imagined it!

4. Include the Passport

Ah the wonders of the Dreamcast modem. Back when Shenmue was on the Dreamcast, we had a fourth disc entitled “Shenmue Passport”. The passport not only allowed players to hear in-game music, watch cinematics and play the mini-games, it also allowed players to access Shenmue World. World was only accessible via going onto the internet, and it offered up an insane amount of information. You could read up on character bios and read about the many locations in the game. An area called “Everyone’s Space” offered up VMU icons and special collectables. “Data Review” let players know about every little detail of their adventure, from how many hours they’ve played to how many sodas they drank. Sadly, all this information was inaccessible after April 1, 2002.

Shenmue HD would be doing a great service to fans if this service returned. If not having it online accessible, have as many Passport features as possible embedded within the game’s file. The character and location bios, special collectibles, network ranking and Data Review section would make for awesome bonuses.

5. Shenmue 3, please.

I’m against bugging SEGA for Shenmue 3 when it isn’t the place to do so. If you’re on SEGA’s Facebook page and they make a post about Yakuza, don’t be a dick and say “Shenmue 3 please!” in the comments section. It’s just not the right place. However, if SEGA decides to rerelease Shenmue 1 and 2, they better prepare themselves for a slew of “Shenmue 3!” posts, and I think that asking for Shenmue 3 in the comments section of a Shenmue HD posting is 100% a-okay. If SEGA wants to give us the first two games, we are in the right to ask for the third. Let us speak not only with our wallets, but also our comments. Open up a Shenmue forum in the SEGA message boards, talk with fans, give interviews to Shenmue fan sites. Give the series some love by opening the doors of discussion again, and hopefully such an act will catch the attention of SEGA of Japan. Given the latest announcement of SEGA wishing to focus their physical releases on strong IPs, let’s let them know that Shenmue is a strong IP and in turn we just might see Shenmue 3. Maybe.

11 responses to “The Weekly Five: The Shenmue HD Wish List

  1. Andrew Vladykin says:

    Yes…i will respect Sega for whole life if they do that!!!
    And reverence for master Y Suzuki!!!
    I buy any console for Shenmue HD and third part!

  2. Orta says:

    Some things you might have missed:
    – Japanese and English audio for both games (with subtitles, obviously). If possible, recompressed from the original recordings — voices in this game sound like they were ran over a truck and two cars.
    – Use the character models from Passport in the main game because they have higher polygon count.
    – Rework the HUD and other menu elements so that they aren’t stretched.
    – User other original higher resolution textures that might exist.

  3. Deekman says:

    I didn’t see it on the list but how about the carry over in-game money, collected items, and martial arts moves between Shenmue 1 and 2. This only really worked with the Euro and Japanese version of Shenmue on the Dreamcast (as 2 was never release on Dreamcast in America)

  4. straitJacket says:

    Regarding your third point Barry, if you did have both games it would be a canny move by SEGA to offer a DLC for part 2 (whether via actual gameplay or translation of the manga bonus), it would be nice to properly link them together.

  5. BigBoss says:

    Shenmue I&II ever coming out is completely out of the question, don’t even think about mentioning Shenmue III, no chance after this recent announcement. This is SEGA’s biggest fall since they left the Dreamcast.

    • Barry the Nomad says:

      haha! What? Are we reading the same statements from SEGA West? Shenmue 1&2 are fine, they’re DIGITAL titles and rereleases at that. SEGA is surely making money on digital titles, and digital titles are the future of SEGA West. Stuff like this falls under SEGA’s new plan. Stuff like Anarchy Reigns and Binary Domain, big budget disc releases of new IPs, does not fall under the new plan.

    • BigBoss says:

      Sega hasn’t even officially announced Shenmue I&II though, and they said anything not already officially announced wont make it through the cut.
      Yes they are re-releases of Dreamcast games, but they’ve never officially announced it, never mind whether they’ve decided to re-release it on disk or digitally, Shenmue should get a disk release imo, it’s too good to just give it a digital release.

    • Lil Jon says:

      The Jet Set Radio re-release doesn’t have wide screen support, that’s just stretched, stretched screen is not true widescreen support.
      No Dreamcast re-release has proper true widescreen support.

  6. Rab says:

    What are the chances for Sega’s next console? lol

    • Robert says:

      I hear SEGA just announced a digital platform like EA did, called ‘SEGA DREAMLOAD’, I got the article from the ‘Sega Addicts’ website.
      Hopefully it’s not an April fools joke, but it might be based on the official press statement, who on earth was anticipating an HD re-release of Sonic Labyrinth?

  7. Len says:

    Yippee, SEGA Dreamload is coming out, can’t wait, it looks brilliante, and it’s part of Sega’s new re-structure for the first time since 2001.

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