With a crowdfunded third game on the way, a mere 17 years late, Sega has confirmed that it is releasing remastered versions of cult slice-of-life martial arts adventures Shenmue and Shenmue II for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC later this year.
The beloved series debuted on the Dreamcast back in 2000, and quickly earned a passionate fanbase for its quirky mixture of procedural mystery, charming everyday life simulation and early QTE martial arts fight scenes.
Created by legendary Sega designer Yu Suzuki, he of Out Run, Virtua Fighter and After Burner fame, the first game followed young karate student Ryo Hazuki as he investigated the murder of his father in the suburbs of 1980s Japan. As well as the inevitable fights and puzzle solving, much of the game was taken up with Ryo's day to day life; getting a job, making friends with cats and spending time on arcade games and collecting Sega trinkets from vending machines. The sequel saw Ryo's quest take him to Hong Kong, but the trilogy was left incomplete thanks to ballooning budgets and relatively low sales.
These long awaited remasters will be be packaged together, either as a digital download or a boxed retail compilation, and will offer a choice of original or updated control scheme, subtitled Japanese audio or English dub and a variety of screen resolutions.
Shenmue 3 was funded on Kickstarter back in 2015 to the tune of $6.3m, with Yu Suzuki once again leading the team. There's no fixed release date for it yet.