Does this mean that HD ports are on the way?
You know, the Shenmue franchise is one that I’ve wanted to get into for years. For years, I’ve heard good or interesting things about Shenmue and its sequel. Unfortunately, because I don’t have — and have never owned — an original Xbox or Dreamcast, I’ve never had the opportunity to really sink my teeth into the franchise.
Back in 2015, when Sony and Ys Net announced that a third instalment in the franchise will finally be produced, I was left wondering about whether there will be any effort made in bringing the original Shenmue games to modern consoles to allow for people in a similar situation as myself to acquaint themselves with the cult classic series.
After all, Shenmue II is a little over 15 years old at this point. It would simply be unfeasible for the developers and publishers of Shenmue III to expect that everyone purchasing the latest instalment in the series has access to consoles that could easily be considered antiquated just so they can familiarise themselves with the world, story and characters of the first two games. Hell, it’s also possible that some people intending to pick up Shenmue III when it (hopefully) launches in December were simply glints in the milkman’s eye when the first two games were new.
Well, it looks like Sega may be bringing the first two instalments in the Shenmue franchise to modern gaming platforms. As spotted by TSSZ News, the European branch of Sega has registered the domain names ‘ShenmueHD.com’ and ‘ShenmueRemastered.com.’
Weirdly enough, Sega has also registered the domain ‘ShemnueGame.com.’ Yes, with the obvious typo. The corrected version of this URL simply redirects to the Kickstarter page for Shenmue III. Technically, you can visit these URLs right now, although they’re completely blank as of the time of writing.
While no official announcement has been made, it would be unsurprising if Sega does confirm the availability of Shenmue remasters for modern platforms sometime in the near future. After all, back in May last year, the company did mention that it’s very much considering bringing these games to current-gen systems.
I’m just hoping that this winds up amounting to something. Despite the numerous criticisms that this generation of console gaming has received over the overabundance of ports and HD remasters of older titles, they do at least allow for many people to discover games that they might have missed out on in a way that’s playable on the machines that they already own.
Of course, this is provided that the ports aren’t terrible.