Shenmue series creator Yu Suzuki is currently hard at work on creating Shenmue 3. It’ll have an instant audience of fans from the originals, but what about people who have never played either game and want to catch up? Right now, the only option is finding a used Dreamcast and having to deal with its foggy visuals on an HD screen.
Is a remastered Shenmue just a pipe dream? Maybe not. Recent comments from Sega of Europe reveal the company is interested in putting those two games out again, but there are a few hurdles in its way.
“Of course we would love to release these tomorrow,” Dan Sheridan, Sega community manager, said in a YouTube video. “Sadly, it’s not as simple as porting the games to the current platforms, as we would need to ensure that any HD remaster lived up to the quality of the original titles. And with games as immersive as Shenmue 1 and 2 there are further complications from licensed products that were included in the original games. That said, we’d love to do it and are currently investigating how to make it a reality.”
Sheridan is talking about the use of real corporate logos that would have been seen in the area the games take place in, around the time period it was set. Sega did their homework and got permission from Toho, Toshiba, ASCII and other places to include their brands, and would likely have to do it again for a rerelease. In Japan this was taken even further with vending machines stocked with real Coca-Cola products. (The American Shenmue removed these logos.)
Good to know Shenmue could be rereleased someday! Hopefully sooner than later. Getting them out shortly before Shenmue 3’s release would make the most sense.