What better way to close up Shenmue Week than having a Round Table about what we want in Shenmue HD. We have touched on what we wanted before on The Weekly Five, but I think its time for all of us to write about what we want in a Shenmue HD remaster, if there ever was one.
Like always, if you guys want to tell us what you would want, you can via the comments.
As the Dreamcast entered its second (and final) year on the US market, SEGA moved away from their awesome “inside the Dreamcast” ads and went back to a style somewhat more conventional. These later Dreamcast ads are reminiscent of some of the better Genesis era stuff, albeit they are typically cleverer and better written.
Here, we’ve got a man who’s clearly been playing too much Shenmue. I’ll admit this is a funny ad that conveys the immersion factor of the game pretty effectively, but at the same time I can’t help but think that this would have been a game better advertised as a dramatic, epic masterpiece than as a game you’ll be thinking about in bed.
There was an ad made in this vein…though I’m unsure if it ever aired on television. It’s a direct translation of the Japanese ad and a pretty epic piece of advertisement. It features a great vocal track called “Song of the Bay”, which was only ever featured on the Shenmue orchestral soundtrack. Check out this ad below the fold!
Even with the ridiculous and almost unprecedented hype that surrounded the release of SEGA’s mega-budget Dreamcast title Shenmue, it’s tough to imagine that gamers first diving into the series back then would have any idea how legendary (or infamous) Ryo’s adventure would become. Who could have guessed that even nearly 15 years later, fans would be still be begging for more?
Love it or hate it, the still-unfinished saga that is Shenmue has become a legend in its own right: a mystery etched into the fabric of gaming that may never be solved. But it’s a game very much worthy of that legendary status. It may not have been for everyone, but for those who “got” Shenmue, there was simply nothing else like it.
When Shenmue was being hyped by SEGA as the next big step in gaming immersion, Yu Suzuki often liked to classify the game in its own genre, “Full Reactive Eyes Entertainment” or FREE. These days we tend to either call it an RPG or an adventure game, but even back then the phrase didn’t really work because it ignored one of Shenmue’s best qualities: its utterly marvelous, epic, emotional, cinematic, beautiful soundtrack. For Shenmue Week Tuesday Tunes will be doing something new: instead of posting one or two tracks, we’re posting the entire soundtrack.
The above video was put together by Shenmue Dojo. Aside from being a marvelous way to listen to the entire Shenmue soundtrack, this video was also the first request Tuesday Tunes ever received. Someone from Shenmue Dojo really wanted us to highlight it, but I knew we couldn’t just do it for any occasion. It may have taken awhile, dude, but you finally got your wish. Now please, join us as we take a musical journey through part one of Yu Suzuki’s magnum opus!
Welcome to a franchise week that many readers have been requesting ever since we began to dedicate seven days to classic SEGA titles, this is Shenmue Week! Like Jet Set Radio Week, we’re going focus exclusively on the first game of the franchise throughout the week. While Shenmue and its sequel are not incredibly different games from each other like Jet Set Radio and Jet Set Radio Future, we felt that both Shenmue titles are both so epic on their own that to try and cram both into seven days would do a disservice to the series. Not to mention, we love Shenmue so much that the prospect of another Shenmue Week in the future is something we’re looking forward to.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s travel back in time, before Shenmue II and before the original Shenmue. Before the series went by the codename Project Berkley, to a time in the mid 90s when SEGA’s Yu Suzuki was working on a SEGA Saturn prototype known as The Old Man and the Peach Tree.
While we wait for SEGA to rerelease Shenmue in HD, a project that has long been rumored to be in development, a Korean fan by the internet handle of NcoonKid has taken it upon himself to remake the original Shenmue. The process which NcoonKid is taking involves extracting the original environments, updating textures, and utlizing the Unreal Engine to give the game a modern look and feel. The video above certainly shows off an impressive remake of Yokosuka, but given the time, money, and amount of manpower that went into the original Shenmue, it is uncertain how far one person can go in remaking such a big game. Still, it’s a very cool effort, and if it doesn’t amount to anything else we at least have had our glimpse at what a modern day Shenmue would look like.
After the break, check out an expanded interpretation of the You Arcade.
Yu Suzuki attended the recently concluded Gamelab 2014, a gaming conference in Spain. He gave a presentation (partially notable for one of his slides featuring a Roman numeral “3” stylized in Shenmue font, which attracted the usual modest amount of attention) and was the recipient of the fourth Legend Award, a distinction meant for honoring “key figures in the history of video games”, as written at the Gamelab website.
After Gamelab concluded, Yu Suzuki conducted a short interview, available above. The interview asks a variety of direct questions, on topics including his favorite arcade project that he worked on (interestingly, the interviewer also asks Yu Suzuki if he feels nostalgiac for any aspects of Sega’s more arcade-focused past,) opportunities for modern technology in a hypothetical next Shenmue game, and whether or not Kickstarter is being actively considered to fund the next Shenmue game should development be more seriously pursued. Check it out!
Via NeoGAF and hokanko-alt.com comes news that SEGA has renewed the trademark for Shenmue. Fans will probably remember that back in February we reported that SEGA had lost the trademark for Shenmue – specifically in reference to “computer game programs and prerecorded discs and ROMs for computer game programs” and “entertainment services, namely, providing an online computer game”. We speculated that these trademarks refer to the original Dreamcast releases and the cancelled Shenmue Online. While we don’t have the specifics on this new trademark filing, such as country of origin or the specific uses, it is possible that SEGA has gotten back on track with releasing the rumored Shenmue 1&2 HD rerelease. Both games have been rumored to be complete and ready for release for quite some time, and back in 2012 when asked what the next SEGA Heritage releases would be, SEGA responded with “it’s gonna be Shenmue and Skies of Arcadia as well”.
Of course, this is speculation on our part, but if SEGA truly has renewed the Shenmue trademark then they must be making some sort of use out of it. As soon as we learn more, we’ll be sure to share it! For now, we’re filing this as a rumor, even if the trademark renewal is legitimate.
Insert Coin is a United Kingdom-based clothing company with apparel and accessories featuring various video game franchises. As it is, their catalog of Sega items is fairly expansive and covers a few SEGA franchises including Jet Set Radio, Shinobi, Space Channel 5, and of course Sonic the Hedgehog. SEGAbits has covered some of their offerings previously, including one news post that features a Beat-inspired shirt and a Knuckles-inspired hoodie, and another news post that shows off Dreamcast and Mega Drive-inspired bags.
The company recently updated their blog to show off a new line of SEGA-themed items for this year. These include the above-pictured “Running Club” T-shirt which pays homage to the central title screen icon and release year of the first game. There’s also a “Science Club” T-shirt for
future evil geniuses creative and inventive thinkers, and a dress with Sonic the Hedgehog 2’s Casino Night itself as the dress. Rounding out the collection is a Shenmue-inspired Hazuki jacket.
The company hopes to release these new products in Q3 of this year, and plans to release more details and images of the products in the near future.
What sort of SEGA-themed clothing or accessories would you be interested in?
Following his recent appointment as Head of Xbox at Microsoft, Phil Spencer spoke with Polygon about his ideas for the future of the brand. Regarding his leadership, Spencer promised that “with me you’re going to get a focus on gaming first and a best platform to play games on.” When asked about what games he receives requests for, Spencer named the Shenmue franchise as the biggest request Xbox owners ask Microsoft for. Spencer jokingly referred to it as “the big Shenmue contingency.”
A new Shenmue isn’t on the horizon just yet, but it is good to know that people like Phil Spencer have the franchise on their minds thanks to the efforts of fan campaigns. Help out the #SaveShenmue campaign yourself by heading over to their site and spreading the word.