In the fall of 2001, the Dreamcast version was released in Japan and Europe, in a box with four GD-ROMs . The game was only released in North America in 2002 and only for the Xbox (on DVD), as Microsoft was able to secure the exclusive rights for this market. The Xbox version never appeared in Japan. The Dreamcast version had Japanese voice acting, English subtitles and German menu texts. The Xbox version, however, was completely English.
On August 21, 2018 Sega will release the first and second parts as Shenmue I & II for the first time for Microsoft Windows , Xbox One and PlayStation 4 . The new editions are adapted to modern platforms and HD resolution and also contain innovations such as free storage , but still run at 30 frames per second . The ports were developed by the British studio d3t on behalf of Sega.
The plot of Shenmue II begins shortly after the end of the previous chapter and the first chapter. The game tells the story of chapters three through five. Chapter two, the boat trip from Yokosuka to Hong Kong , which was originally supposed to be playable as well, is only mentioned briefly in the opening credits. A comic published later tells this story in more detail.
Ryo Hazuki arrives at the port of Hong Kong, only with a slip of paper that he received from Master Chen Yao Wen, on which is the name and address of Lishao Tao, who is to be visited, as he was looking for Lan Di, his father's murderer, could help. But this master can no longer be found at the address given. Ryo goes to the Man-Mo Temple when he learns that Lishao Tao is supposed to be there now. When Ryo finally gets there, he is turned away. He should first learn the four Wude , old Kung Fu wisdom, in order to reach the necessary maturity for a meeting. After an arduous search, he learned three Wude from wise masters whom he met in Hong Kong. However, he learns the last Wude himself in Man-Mo Temple, whereupon Lishao Tao reveals himself to him, who, much to Ryo's amazement, is a young woman named Xiuying Hong. She offers Ryo shelter, but she cannot help him in his search for a certain Yuanda Zhu either. As he helps to clean up the library of the temple and to air the books, Ryo falls into an old piece of paper on which ominous symbols, so-called chawan signs, are depicted, which are used for secret contact in public. Through a contact, Ryo learns that he should look for a certain Ren he can find in the harbor area. Wuying Ren, the young, charismatic leader of the Heavens, a petty criminal gang, is basically not a bad guy. After some adversity, Ryo learns from him that Yuanda Zhu is in Kowloon .
Chapter four of the Shenmue saga begins in Kowloon. Once there, Ryo goes on a search with the support of Ren and his gang. Through detective work, they finally succeed in locating Yuanda Zhu's whereabouts. Unfortunately, members of the dangerous Yellow Head gang then appear and kidnap Yuanda Zhu in order to hand him over to Lan Di. Getting to the gang's well-guarded headquarters, the Yellow Head Building, is difficult. From then on, Ryo fights illegal street fights all over Kowloon to attract the attention of a scout who is looking for capable fighters on behalf of Yellow Head. Eventually Ryo and Ren make their way through the sewers into the Yellow Head skyscraper and fight and sneak upstairs. After some adversity, the two of them reach the roof of the building, where they can prevent Lan Di Yuanda from taking Zhu away in his helicopter. This therefore moves away alone. But then there is a fight on the roof with Dou Niu, the huge and extremely corpulent leader of the Yellow Head, in which Ryo can triumph. After calm has returned, Ryo learns from Yuanda Zhu what the two mirrors Lan Di is looking for (he already has one). These, he says, together serve as a kind of treasure map for a treasure of the Qing Dynasty . Now Lan Di is said to be on the way to Guilin , where the mirrors were originally made from the rock found there. Ryo decides to go there as well. Before that, he says goodbye to his friends and acquaintances such as Ren, Joy, Wong and Xiuying in Hong Kong.
The fifth chapter of Shenmue begins with Ryo's journey into the Chinese hinterland . Ryo takes a small ship to the foot of the mountains in which Guilin is located and sets off from the village of Bailu for a two-day walk. After a while a severe storm approaches. Ryo, who runs along a river that has risen sharply as a result of the downpours, suddenly sees a goat drifting down the current and a young woman chasing desperately on the bank. She jumps into the water to save the animal, but ends up in distress herself. Ryo jumps after them and saves them both. Later, the grateful girl introduces herself as Shenhua. Since both have the same path, they hike together from now on. After two days' march (in between they spent the night in a cave) they reached Shenhua's home. In front of the house is a large, beautiful tree, a Shenmue tree. Shenhua, who dreamed of Ryo and his journey during the first game, was named after this tree. In the house, Ryo sees sketches with the mirrors. He and Shenhua decide to visit their father, who works in a deep cave and removes rocks there. The father is not there, but they find an old sword lying on a table. When Ryo puts it in a suitable slot, there is a reaction, and in front of Shenhua and Ryo the two mirrors can be seen in a huge format. The second part ends with this cliffhanger.
Much has been slightly improved or changed compared to the predecessor. The combat system is more catchy and there is no longer any need to train to increase combat effectiveness. There are also significantly more quick-time events . If you have to wait for a certain date in the game, you can jump to that point immediately if you wish and no longer have to wait. Furthermore, the passers-by in the game are more helpful and sometimes guide you to the goal if you wish.
The majority of the game still consists of exploring the game world. You can still enter shops, play mini-games, spend money or accept work. You are not forced to follow the main story quickly, but find ways to pass the time in other ways or simply stroll and let the game world sink in. There are also gambling halls with emulated classics again.
The game also impresses with its replica of Hong Kong and Kowloon. Although of course not the whole city was rebuilt, the existing, spacious area impresses with its attention to detail and liveliness in the numerous different quarters.
Differences between the Dreamcast and Xbox versions
The differences between the two versions are mainly of a technical nature, so the frame rate of the Xbox version is more stable and it has anti-aliasing . Light effects and water also look much more attractive. In addition, the Xbox version has a mode in which the image quality can be changed at the push of a button. So you can play the game z. B. play in black and white. The most noticeable innovation is probably the photo mode. A snapshot can be taken at the push of a button in any situation during the game. These images can then be examined in a menu item. The game is dubbed in English in the Xbox version, while Sega only used the original Japanese speakers for the European version. The subtitles are in English. Shenmue II was only released for Dreamcast in Japan and Europe, the US market was no longer served.
Shenmue: The Movie
Only the Xbox version comes with another film DVD with Shenmue: The Movie . This 90-minute film, which was regularly shown in cinemas in Japan, consists of all the cutscenes from the first game. This DVD served on the one hand as a bonus and compensation for the long waiting time for this version, but also to bring the plot closer to many Xbox players who are not familiar with the first part.
For Shenmue II , a compilation of all cutscenes was released later, but only as a VCD in Japan in small numbers.
After 14 years of waiting, the official successor Shenmue III was announced at E3 2015 . Project manager Yu Suzuki announced that he wanted to publish the sequel initially for the PlayStation 4 and Windows . The game is being developed by his studio Ys Net and Neilo. In order to finance part of the project, a campaign was started on the crowdfunding portal Kickstarter.com at the same time as the presentation at the Sony press conference . The target amount of $ 2 million was reached after just nine hours. Shenmue III was created on the game engine Unreal Engine 4 and was released in November 2019. The development was supported by Sony Interactive Entertainment , Sega and Shibuya Productions. Deep Silver acts as a distributor and launched Shenmue III .
- Shenmue I & II: Further details: 30fps, Denuvo, 16: 9, free storage and code basis on 4players.de (accessed on July 17, 2018)
- Shenmue: d3t on d3tltd.com (accessed July 20, 2018)
- Shenmue 3 is to be financed through Kickstarter and will appear for PC & PS4 - 4players.de article on 4players.de. Retrieved June 16, 2015.
- Shenmue 3: Release postponed to 2019 on pcgames.de (accessed on July 17, 2018)
- Shenmue 3 - After Kickstarter Success: Sony Official Partner on gamestar.de (accessed on July 17, 2018)
- Shenmue III: Shibuya Productions on shibuya-productions (accessed July 17, 2018)
- Shenmue 3 - Sega »supports« the development work on gamestar.de (accessed on July 17, 2018)