Showing posts with label Shenmue. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Shenmue. Show all posts

Shenmue-Inspired "Forklift Racer" Coming to Steam

 And it is exactly what you think it is.

Source: Forklift Racer's Steam page

Directly inspired by that game with the monotone stalker kid and the kung fu QTEs, indie dev Team Wulinshu has recently unveiled Forklift Racer, a beat-for-beat homage to Ryo’s extracurricular jobsite pastime. After rolling out updates for the game over the last couple of months, the game's Steam store page is now live.

Forklift Racer (if you can see it)

In a recently-revealed trailer, racers roll through industrial courses lifted directly from familiar depictions of Yokosuka Harbor and Hong Kong. Forklift Racer promises a relatively fleshed-out racing experience featuring single player and 8-player online multiplayer modes, modernized physics, post-race replays, forklift customization, capsule toy turbo boosting, extremely dark warehouse interiors, and a work-in-progress HUD. So, if you ever wanted to know how Shenmue’s racing minigame would play out with friends and more forgiving collisions, Forklift Racer promises to do precisely that.

Now this is Forklift Rac(er)ing!

Forklift Racer is set to release on Windows and Linux/SteamOS but there are no specific launch date or pricing details just yet. You can wishlist the game on its Steam page and follow that and Team Wulinshu’s Twitter profile for future updates.

The Fork and the Furious

DCJY welcomes Shenmue Dojo

In this episode of the DreamPod, we welcome James Brown (aka SkillJim) and Matt Oliver to the show to talk all things Shenmue! For those few people who haven't heard of Shenmue Dojo (there can't be many of you out there, surely?!), it is the longest running Shenmue fan site / community on the internet, recently celebrating 20 years in operation. 

In this episode of the DreamPod, regular hosts Tom and Lewis grill James and Matt on the origins of the Dojo, their earliest memories of Shenmue, the Dojo's continued success as an online destination for pretty much anything related to Yu Suzuki's magnum opus, the reception of Shenmue III, the cancellation of Shenmue: The Animation...oh, and there's a quiz too! 

You can visit the Shenmue Dojo here, see sicknote footballer Darren Anderton in Shenmue here (this will make sense when you listen to the episode!) and follow the Dojo on Twitter here. If you love/hate what you've heard, please do consider leaving us a review on Apple Podcasts (or whichever service you get your pods from) as it really helps us spread the word. Cheers (and enjoy!).

Staff Picks: Top 21 Dreamcast Games

With our 2022 Top 200 Dreamcast Games poll coming to a close at the end of March, coinciding with the 21st anniversary of our beloved console’s discontinuation (I would say RIP but she is very much still alive and kicking, if you've been paying attention to anything we've been reporting on in the last few years!), I thought it was time for a peek into the minds of the staff here at The Dreamcast Junkyard. What did WE vote as our top ten Dreamcast games, and how does that look when compiled into a list? Well, let's find out shall we?

Along with myself, I asked Tom, Mike, Brian, Lewis, Kev, James H, James J, Mark and Rich to list their ten favourite Dreamcast titles in order. I took these and did what I seemingly love to do now as I approach my forties - I made a spreadsheet! Everyone's top picks received a score of 10, 2nd place got 9, and so on. I then employed some magic formulas to tally up the totals to give us a definitive top 21 games, using the number of times a game was voted for as a tie-breaker where necessary.

The end result is very interesting! We think there's something here for everyone, and if these were the only games in your collection most people would be pretty happy! There are some surprises, and a few things that, if you've ever listened to the DreamPod, you will not at all be surprised about. 

I'll link you to the spreadsheet itself at the end of this article so you can see the full list of games and how everyone voted, for your agreement or ridicule, but first let us count down these games from last to first. Our first entry is the only joint entry, seeing three games share 19th place...

19. Blue Stinger, San Francisco Rush 2049 & Spirit of Speed 1937 (Joint)

A trio of titles start us off, a couple of which often split the opinion of fans. One thing they all have in common? A commitment to a particular time. Blue Stinger takes place in the year 2000, so each represents a very different era, though released within a short space of each other in reality. Let's hear what some of the team had to say about these games.

Upon its release, Blue Stinger was widely misunderstood and critically dismissed under the umbrella of its survival horror contemporaries. In the decades since, it has emerged a cult classic in its own right. Blue Stinger is Shinya Nishigaki and Climax Graphics' endearing homage/parody of Hollywood action and sci-fi cinema, and it plays wonderfully as a B-movie beat-em-up today. - Brian on Blue Stinger

Rush 2049 embodies everything an arcade racer on Dreamcast should be. It looks great, the tracks are full of inventive shortcuts and hidden nooks and crannies, and the actual racing is tight and exciting. A true Midway game that doesn't take itself too seriously, Rush 2049 is easily one of the best racers on the platform. - Tom on Rush 2049

Spirit Of Speed 1937 is the Dark Souls of racing games. The sad truth is that 99% of people won't play it long enough to experience where its strengths really are. It's a true to the era racer which rewards forward thinking and careful driving - something sim racers will appreciate. - James H on Spirit of Speed 1937

18. Rez

Art? Hacking? No this isn't the latest goings-on over at OpenSea, but instead best encapsulates Rez (besides, this is actually nice to look at). Tetsuya Mizuguchi's rail-shooter may have been minimalist on visuals, but it was heavy on trance beats and addictive gameplay. A gem in the Dreamcast's library and its influence is still felt to this day. - Rich

17. Jet Set Radio

Ahead of it's time in so many ways, Jet Set Radio is held up as one of the shining beacons of unfettered creativity that the Dreamcast is so well known for. From its art style to its music, its gameplay to its reverence for hip-hop and Japanese street culture, JSR is a masterclass in what a video game can be. This is Sega at their most zany, but in the best possible way. Strap on your in-line skates and grab that spray paint can, it's time to get funky! - Andrew

This upcoming Shenmue anime looks pretty good

The first teaser trailer for Crunchyroll and Adult Swim's Shenmue: The Animation has dropped...and it looks pretty damn good. First announced back in 2020, the animated version of Ryo's revenge saga will be 13 episodes long and is being produced by Telecom Animation Film. Have a look for yourself:

What's not to like? Gravel voiced narration; Ryo kicking ass; Lan Di looking like every bit the evil barsteward that he is...even though I'm hardly the most fervent Shenmue fan, I can appreciate how cool this looks. Still, a part of me wishes they'd have simply recreated Steamed Hams with Ryo and Lan Di, but you can't have it all.

All this talk of Dreamcast-related cartoons makes wonder when that Spirit of Speed 1937 anime is coming out...? Sigh.

Let's take a look at Shenmue World from Shenmue Dojo

You may recall we featured the upcoming Shenmue World magazine Kickstarter here at the Junkyard in the recent past. Well, the day has arrived. What day is that? The day of Shenmue World's arrival, of course! Yes, Shenmue Dojo's crowd funded ode to all things Shenmue has started to drop through letterboxes around the world, and we thought we would give you a bit if a sneak peak at what comes in the package.

Please note that if you'd rather wait to see all this stuff for yourself, probably don't watch the video below as it contains major spoilers. Well, major spoilers if you backed the project without reading what you might get in return for your cash. Also, sorry about the little noise in the video. It's just something my ancient Sony camcorder does. I'll invest in a new one at some point. Suggestions for a decent, cheap camera that doesn't make a whirring noise appreciated!

The magazine weighs in at 162 pages and is packed with interviews, character profiles, Shenmue history, facts and figures and a history of the Shenmue Dojo itself. There's a lot stuffed into this inaugural issue, and anyone who backed it is unlikely to feel short changed. Furthermore, the additional items that come with the magazine are really rather cool and comprise a music CD, postcards, signed photos, stickers and a poster. It's a great package for the price (it was £20 including shipping, if I recall), and James and the rest of the team should be congratulated for creating a top quality magazine.

Check out the Shenmue Dojo website and Twitter, and the Shenmue World Twitter if you'd like to find out more. Let us know in the comments if you backed Shenmue World and what your thoughts are.

Shenmusings of Ryobots, Niaowu, and Shenmue III's Uncertain Legacy

Ryo Hazuki is an android, right? I’ve suspected it for a while but after finishing Shenmue III recently, I'm going all in on the Ryobot theory. It explains too much not to be canon.

Ryo has always been a bizarrely stilted and stoic character, of course. That much isn’t news. Yet after accompanying him for every waking minute across three games – games which depict the painstaking minutiae of everything from longshore crate logistics to the mid-‘80s weather record of the Kanagawa Prefecture – Ryo still has not pooped.

In fairness, few protagonists in fiction are forthcoming about their physiological functions. But, unlike Ryo, they at least behave in ways that can be reasonably interpreted as human-like. Meanwhile, Ryo acts less like a person and more like an emotionally unavailable animatronic, programmed in the languages of kung fu and non sequiturs.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to knock him. The technology behind Ryobot was very impressive for 1987.

Oh, and did I mention the shared consciousness between Ryo and his friend, Shenhua? She is also an android, probably, in addition to being the unwitting mascot of a junk food brand for some reason.

OK. The point of this write up is not to espouse the incontrovertible theory that Ryo is a semi-sentient robot, even if it is also that. Back when it came out in November 2019, I had put about a dozen or so hours into Shenmue III before dropping off of it. After leaving him in stasis at Hotel Niaowu for a full calendar year, I recently (and finally!) caught up on Ryo’s journey to date. I also realized we hadn’t yet discussed the game in-depth on the Junkyard since its release. With all that, I’m really here to work out my thoughts on Shenmue III in hopes of making some sense of its place in the series’ legacy. But first let’s take a step back, and into the shoes it hoped to fill…

As for many fans, the first two Shenmue games were formative for my interest in gaming. For a medium where kinetic action and instant gratification shaped the bedrock of most gaming experiences, it was oddly refreshing – if jarring – to play something with such love for mundanity and contempt for players’ impatience. Ironically, it was my own impatience that led me to buy the Japanese version of the original Shenmue, several months before its western release. I couldn't say why; I didn't even speak Japanese. Hell, I was barely pulling a passing grade in English class.

Yet, even then, my 14-year-old mind was blown by Shenmue’s unabashed indulgence in the ordinary. I was taken aback by its audacity to let me knock on neighbors’ doors, chug orange Fanta*, and stalk an entire community of busy folks for no other reason than because I could. When the events of Shenmue II set Ryo loose to explore Hong Kong, seeing it all scale to a bustling, urban setting was revelatory all on its own. Shenmue I and II’s detailed and lively locales immersed me in their astonishing sense of place and community. They felt like genuinely bustling locations that could believably exist without me. They also challenged any assumptions that video games always had to be, well, game-like. Through its novel approach to worldbuilding and interactivity, Shenmue invited me to inhabit its worlds – not only as a player – but as a resident and visitor.



* Vending machines in the Japanese version of Shenmue were stocked with licensed Coca-Cola products rather than our beloved “Jet Cola” and “Frunda” off-brands (also, was Bell Wood a person, or...?)

Yu Suzuki and AM2’s magnum opuses offered a remarkably ambitious and unorthodox vision for what video games could be and how players could engage with their spaces. In bankrolling their vision, Sega rebuked all conventional wisdom that big budget games ought to be marketable and fiscally viable. Shenmue I and II were neither – or at least not either enough – and Sega paid a steep price. Beyond failing to recoup its massive development and marketing costs; beyond its eventual retreat from the hardware market; Sega presented a perennial Exhibit A for the downsides of risks to an increasingly risk-adverse games industry.

After that, it seemed unfathomable that we would ever return to Shenmue’s amazingly ambitious, immersive, and bustling world. Nearly two decades later, we still haven’t.

Shenmue World magazine from Shenmue Dojo smashes Kickstarter goal in less than 24 hours!

I initially planned to publish this article a day ago as a way to help spread the news that Shenmue Dojo had launched a Kickstarter for a fan magazine called Shenmue World. Looks like I needn't have bothered though, as the community has come together in less than 24 hours to fund the project! 

Full disclosure here - several members of the Junkyard team have also backed Shenmue World - so allow us the benefit of the doubt when we describe this project as 'thoroughly deserving.'

Let's step back in time first, though. You may be wondering what all this is about. Basically, Shenmue Dojo is one of - if not the - best known Shenmue fan sites / forums when it comes to...well, Shenmue. Obviously. The clue is in the name. How many people come here for PlayStation 2 news? I digress. 

Personally I have been visiting Shenmue Dojo for well over a decade, and the site actually started in 2000 - five whole years before the Junkyard was but a twinkle in my eye. Quite simply, these guys know their Wude from their Master Chen...if you catch my drift.

Anyway, Shenmue World is a new fan magazine created by Shenmue Dojo and headed up by Jim Brown (aka SkillJim), one of the head honchos over at Shenmue Dojo. A year in the making, Shenmue World is a completely independent fan-created ode to all that is good in the world of Shenmue.

According to the video over on the Shenmue Dojo YouTube channel, the magazine has already been finalised in principle, and the Kickstarter was simply put in place to allow Jim and his team to start a mass print run. The magazine (or at least the initial prototype) looks like a Shenmue fan's dream - lots of original content, features and articles focussing on literally every aspect of Shenmue.

The good news - as intimated in the headline of this article - is that Shenmue World has been fully funded to the tune of £6500 in less than 24 hours, and so the magazine will be produced and everyone who has backed it to the correct tier will receive a physical copy at some point in the not-too-distant future.

We here at the Junkyard realise that not everyone uses Twitter, so allow us to use our own platform - this blog - to point you in the direction of the Shenmue World Kickstarter if you wish to get your mitts on a copy of the magazine.

As ever, be sure to let us know what you think in the comments, and please do visit Shenmue Dojo's website and follow them on Twitter.

Shenmue Undub: Definitive Edition available now for Dreamcast

Source: Shenmue Forever/Phantom River Stone

One of the most memorable aspects of the original Shenmue - for me at least - was the voice acting. When I say 'original,' naturally I mean the PAL version, y'know living in the UK and all. That disconnect between 1980s Japan and Ryo speaking with a slightly disjointed American accent; and the ensemble cast of weird, over-acted, oddball voices that assaulted the ears whenever you dared interrupt some NPC while they wandered aimlessly through Dobuita before vanishing into thin air outside Tom's hot dog van. That's peak nostalgia right there, kids.

It's apparent that not everyone shares my fondness for this audio aesthetic though, as a number of fan projects over the years have attempted to 'undub' the Western version of Shenmue, replacing Corey Marshall's dulcet tones with the original audio from the NTSC-J release of Shenmue. The latest attempt at this, according to the fine folks over at Shenmue mega-site Phantom River Stone is the definitive edition of these undub efforts, and have now presented to the world the fittingly monikered Shenmue Undub: Definitive Edition.

Source: Phantom River Stone

Before I continue, you really should check out Phantom River Stone in general if you're a Shenmue fan, as along with resources like Shenmue Dojo and Adam Koralik's YouTube channel, it really is a marvellous repository of Shenmue trivia and random musings. But back to Shenmue Undub: Definitive Edition. Created in collaboration with Shenmue Master, Shenmue Undub: Definitive Edition is reckoned to be the ultimate restoration of the Dreamcast title, with original Japanese voice overs, English subtitles and even minor bug fixes and restored original textures. Here's a rundown from Phantom River Stone:

  • Based on the Kogami Undub: this version builds upon the most complete fan-made Undub version, which was created by Kogami and runs on the Dreamcast.
  • Full English subtitles: the official translated lines are used where available. A small number of the Japanese spoken lines (around 3%) which did not have English equivalent translations available have been translated by hand. A few small corrections were also made to fix specific lines that had incorrect grammar or meaning.
  • Full Japanese audio with no down-sampling.
  • PAL-compatible save files: saves can be carried over to the PAL version of Shenmue II.
  • CDDA audio tracks included: recorded audio tracks play as expected during the game (e.g. the music that plays when Ryo rides home from the harbor with Nozomi on the back of his motorcycle).
  • Coca Cola branding: the branding for the vending machines and soda cans in the game shows the Coca Cola branding, as seen in the Japanese version of Shenmue..
  • Fixes for small glitches identified in the previous Undub version (e.g. conversations when Ryo knocked on house doors did not play out properly).
  • Fits on standard CD-R discs: the images have been stream-lined to allow them to be played on a Dreamcast console using standard CD-R discs, with no missing or cut content.
It's worth it for the authentic Coca-Cola cans alone, in my opinion. Of course, this isn't the first time enthusiastic fans have augmented a Dreamcast title - cast your mind back several years and you'll no doubt recall Dead or Alive 2 Final or the Frame Gride English language edition.
Source: Phantom River Stone
For Shenmue fans who want the authentic experience though, Shenmue Undub: Definitive Edition looks to be the real deal. You can grab the download for Dreamcast over at Phantom River Stone, and while you're there stick around and read some of author Switch's other intriguing posts.

Will you be checking out Shenmue Undub: Definitive Edition? Let us know in the comments!

Shenmusings of Dobuita, Community, and the Friends We Stalked Along the Way

In better times, my neighborhood reminds me of Dobuita, the vibrant business district setting of Sega and AM2’s pedestrian stalking simulator, Shenmue. It bustles with life as people pack the restaurants, bars, shops, parks, arcades, and the streets in between. I can take a quick jaunt down the road and be surrounded by patrons, workers, shop owners, cooks, bartenders, barbers, and even sailors (well, commercial fishermen, actually). These folks are more than cursory non-player characters. They are my neighbors. They are my friends. They are the very fabric of my community.

But for now, they are gone.
These days, walking through my neighborhood feels like I’m in a typical late '90s video game town. Clusters of buildings line the street but the developers were unable to render more than a handful of NPCs to populate it.

Taking a step back: My heart goes out to everyone struggling through this uncertain and challenging time. If there’s a silver lining, it might be that we’re fortunate to have a hobby like video games to help bide our time as our non-virtual world lies in stasis.

It also helps that gaming is a uniquely personal medium. Through our interaction and immersion, games invite us to co-author a broad range of experiences which we can enjoy on a multitude of levels. Games can bring welcome moments of reprieve and distraction. We can find comfort in their escapism and nostalgia. Whether from across the couch or the internet, we can share experiences with old friends and make new friends of strangers. Beyond that, games can challenge us – and not only in terms of precision, reflexes, or strategy. They can push us to expand our understanding, grow our perspectives, and stretch our imaginations through memorable experiences that we carry with us long after we’ve put down the controller.
In its own way, this situation is a unique opportunity to slow down and consider what is most important to us, whether that's friends, family, community, altruism…and video games, of course. Lately, I’ve been reflecting on my time with gaming, what I appreciate most about the hobby, and what I really want out of it going forward. I’ve also thought about the games that significantly shaped how I engage with the medium. In that sense, I can’t help but keep coming back to the Dreamcast’s library.

Nostalgic attachment aside, Sega’s swansong console simultaneously defined and challenged my perceptions of video games. Although the Dreamcast initially drew me in on its promise of more-than-faithful arcade conversions and the triumphant return of a blue childhood icon, it ultimately forged its legacy by striving to redefine gaming’s future more than rehash its past. It showed me how games can be more unique, interesting, and meaningful experiences well beyond their fun factor and replay value. Through its culture of unbounded creativity, the Dreamcast was refreshingly unorthodox and innovative in ways the industry rarely allows.

In some ways, the Dreamcast was as much an art collective as it was a consumer product. Nowhere was this clearer than in the unchecked (and frankly, fiscally reckless) authority Sega gave its development studios and publishing partners to create whatever the hell they wanted for its wacky white box. In that spirit, this essay could've been about any one of the Dreamcast’s unabashedly inventive works: Rez, or Jet Set Radio, or L.O.L.: Lack of Love, or the VMU, or Illbleed, or Maken X, or Chu Chu Rocket, or D2, or Roommania #203, or Seaman, or Samba de Amigo’s maracas, or…you get the idea.

But this is about Shenmue, because of course it is.

Shenmue I & II: The Ultimate Way To Experience Yu Suzuki's Masterpiece

I thought long and hard about how to approach writing an article like this. I've never made any secret of the fact that while I find Shenmue to be a marvellous technical achievement and a glittering jewel in the Dreamcast library, I also found the original experience to be a rather cumbersome affair. The stilted scripting, the awful controls and the constant loading screens juxtaposed with sublime visuals, deep and interesting storyline and a dazzling amount of extras in terms of in-world detail, meant that - for me at least - the whole experience was rather uneven. On the one hand it is incredible; but on the other there are many minor annoyances.
When Sega initially announced that Shenmue and Shenmue II were being repackaged and released for the current crop of consoles and PC, the gaming community went into a bit of a nostalgia-fuelled meltdown. It was as if a long forgotten king was coming back to reclaim his crown from the usurpers. Shenmue was coming back to reclaim it's crown as the greatest videogame that most people had never played.
1986 never looked so good
See, even though the majority of people who come here to read our articles may be considered dedicated Dreamcast fans, and by extension are more likely to have actually played the original Shemmue or its sequel (on either Dreamcast or Xbox); there seemed to be something amiss with the celebratory outpourings of emotion on social media. That being, that while the re-issue of Shenmue and its venerable sequel was indeed a cause for celebration, it seemed that a significant majority of those voices proclaiming a victory in having 'saved Shenmue' had never actually played the thing in its original guise.
In this life or the next!
For this reason alone, doubt crept into my mind. Would the people screaming to the heavens in ecstasy upon hearing about the re-release of Ryo Hazuki's (as yet) unfinished quest for vengeance actually appreciate the foibles of the game once they actually got to experience it? I won't lie - I was a little worried that resurrecting Shenmue and Shenmue II for a new generation of gamers who didn't have to put up with the grinding of the GD drive, the d-pad controls, and relatively small gameplay areas filled with countless painted on shop fronts and houses in which 'no-one's home,' would sour the experience and rob Shenmue of its deity-like reputation.
Please excuse the battered boxes
Shenmue is a game of its time if ever there was one, it is slow and it is plodding. It makes the player work for the next reveal in the plot line. There is no huge tutorial and there are scant onscreen prompts. You literally have to sit and read Ryo's notebook to work out what you're meant to do next, and in this current climate of instant gratification and the apparent unwillingness of a certain demographic to actually read anything, I was apprehensive. However...

A Quick Look At Data Discs' Shenmue Vinyl LP

Retro seems to be the in thing at the moment - be it games, movies, clothes or even music formats. While you could argue that vinyl never really went out of fashion, for a good while it was only the most dedicated of music aficionados who would go to the lengths of seeking out that elusive LP for their collection. That said, the recent mainstream resurgence of vinyl as a viable format on which to purchase your music comes with the caveat that a large proportion of people buying vinyl don't play them, and some don't even own a record player; instead opting to buy records to put up on the wall, or simply for the sake of collecting because they look cool.

Of course, I know that doesn't account for everyone but it's an interesting topic of discussion. And with that we move our focus to the Venn diagram which blooms when you correlate the allure of vinyl with the retro gaming scene. Data Discs have wasted no time in capitalising on the cross over of these two areas of collecting/nostalgic amour and created a whole range of officially licensed SNK, Capcom and Sega-inspired original soundtrack vinyl LPs; most of which feature the timeless bleeps and bloops of arcade and Mega Drive titles from years past.
One edition that bucks this trend is the Shenmue soundtrack, and seeing as I recently bought a record player (after inheriting my late mother's huge collection of soul and Motown vinyl); I decided that it was about time that I tried out one of these game-flavoured musical offerings...

Shenmue & Shenmue II HD Remasters Announced By SEGA

It had to happen didn't it? After years of pressure on social media SEGA has finally announced that yes, HD remasters of Shenmue and Shenmue II are coming to current gen systems and PC in 2018. Revealed at the SEGA FES event in Japan, these new versions of the Dreamcast masterpiece look set to introduce a whole new generation to the annoying controls and awkward dialogue Dreamcast fans have endured for the past two decades.
From the SEGA Europe press release:

"SEGA Europe Ltd. is proud to announce that the pioneering epic saga Shenmue™ I & II is to be re-released for a new generation. Get ready to go on a thrilling voyage across faithful recreations of Japan and Hong Kong, China, in a timeless tale of revenge and mystery when Shenmue I & II launches both physically and digitally on PlayStation® 4 and Xbox® One with a PC release on Steam in 2018.

"Since their original release, Shenmue I & II have established a passionate following and are revered as one of gaming’s greatest series of all time. These revolutionary masterpieces deliver a gripping story of retribution as Ryo Hazuki sets out to avenge his father’s death and attempts to unravel the secrets behind a mysterious artefact known as the Dragon Mirror.
"Shenmue I & II comes complete with the original feature set that defined modern gaming, including enthralling jujitsu combat, investigative sleuthing, and RPG elements in addition to memorable mini-games. Shenmue I & II is set within engrossing real-time open worlds that feel truly alive thanks to day-to-night cycles and weather changes, with a population of civilians who follow their own schedules.

"This is the definitive version of these all-time classics and will be the best Shenmue experience to date. The re-release will stay true to the originals with modernised features including fully scalable screen resolution, choice of modern or classic control schemes, PC graphics options, an updated user interface and the option to enjoy either the original Japanese or English voiceovers.

The physical and digital editions will be available to pre-order from first party stores, Steam and US and EMEA retailers soon. Oh, and now all you nerds on Twitter can stop banging on about Save Shenmue this and Shenmue tweetathon that. Jeez guys. We get it."
- SEGA Europe

I do find it slightly odd that these games are coming to the Xbox One as well as PlayStation 4 when the third game is reportedly a PS4 exclusive, but this will undoubtedly only allow more people to enjoy the original instalments in the adventure. That said, I challenge anybody not to lose interest at the point where you have to get a job in a warehouse in Shenmue II, HD or not.
So there we have it. Shenmue is back. It seemed like a bit of a no-brainer when you consider that Shenmue III is on its way. Releasing the third part of a series into a world where the only way to really appreciate the originals is by getting a Dreamcast and then paying through the nose for original games on eBay (or...um...burning copies) seemed a bit daft. Anyway, I'm going back to bed now and hopefully I won't wake up to a nuclear dawn...

Here's the reveal trailer:


Find out more about Shenmue and Shenmue II remasters here: https://shenmue.sega.com/

Thoughts? Overjoyed that Ryo is back to kick Lan Di's ass all over again in HD? Or could you not give a rat's ass about all this and just wish World War III wasn't about to start? Let us know in the comments or join the conversation on Twitter or in our Facebook group.

The Shenmue Yokosuka Sacred Spot Guide Book

The Shenmue Chapter One Yokosuka Sacred Spot Guide Map

So Shenmue III didn't make it's scheduled launch window of December 2017, but all's not lost...because according to the website of the respected Japanese video games magazine Famitsu, a Shenmue: Chapter One Yokosuka 'Sacred Spot Guide Map' will be coming to Yokosuka soon....Wait, what?!?

Artist Owns Inktober With Series Of Shenmue Watercolours

Inktober is an online initiative which challenges the more artistic among us to pick up a pen (or a pencil/brush/pile of elephant dung) and create a new work for every day of the month of October. It seems to be a really popular endeavour and social media is usually awash with all manner of awesome drawings around this time every year. You can find out more about Inktober here.

The reason I bring Inktober up though, is because one rather talented artist (who also happens to be a wrestler, by the way) has been steadily tweeting watercolour renditions of scenes from Yu Suzuki's epic Shenmue. The scenes will no doubt be familiar to anyone with more than a passing interest in Ryo Hazuki's adventure, and there are lots of references to some of the more humorous aspects - as well as the more poignant moments - of the game.
Artist Joe Klander - also known by his wrestling alter ego Uncle Clutch - kindly allowed us the reproduce his sterling efforts here, and we also asked him about why he chose to bring Shenmue to life through the power of watercolours:

New Shenmue III Trailer & Logo Divides Opinion

Yeah, yeah. It's not really related to the Dreamcast anymore but here it is. Shenmue III's latest trailer. Apparently this is showing off some actual in engine footage which is...interesting. I mean, the locations look excellent - lots of lovely lighting effects, shadows and architecture as you'd expect. The music, too is as rousing and spine tingling as it ever has been. However, those character models look a bit basic don't you think? After two years of development time?


Again, these are early renders but the comments on the Shenmue III Kickstarter page show that people are divided not only by Ryo's altered look, but also the new logo. Some of the more negative include this from Phillip Zamora:

"While I can see your going for a somewhat cartoon look, the bad guy's face looks ridiculous & unrealistic for a human being. As well the new Shenmue logo looks less cool or professional than the original handwritten one."

And this from Fran├žois Mahieu:

"The best decision now would probably be to cancel the project. Please leave us with our memories from the original Shenmue."

Although it's not all bad - far from it in fact - and lots of positive comments echo what Riled Up had to say on the progress thus far:

"The game really looks good. But you need an inteligent mind to see that. You could easily say no facial expression blabla. But that trailer is not intended to show that it is final."

Personally, I couldn't give a flying toss about either as long as it plays well when it lands in my PS4, and going off Yu Suzuki's back catalogue I don't think we have anything to worry about on that front. But what do you think about this new trailer and logo change? Sound off in the comments or in our Facebook group.

Previous Shenmue related posts:

7 Year Old Secretly Documents Her Dad Playing Shenmue

Get ready to have your heart of ice melted into a pile of mush, dear reader. While Dreamcast Junkyard Facebook group member Michael Brown was hammering Shenmue recently, little did he know that his 7 year old daughter Aiyla was secretly documenting his progress in her notebook. When he discovered the following tale depicting Ryo's on-screen trials and tribulations, he couldn't help but share it in the group. And we're glad he did - if this doesn't put a smile on your face, we're afraid nothing will!
Click to embiggenize
Naturally, a lot of people were pretty impressed. Simon Early replied: "As both a primary school teacher of 25 years and a Shenmue addict, I can honestly say that it is one of the finest pieces of Year 2/3 writing I've ever seen."

And Dave Moore commented: "It's a lovely piece of independent writing. I always enjoy reading writing which children have put together without help from any professionals! Let children write about what they are interested in and the results are clear!"

While Daniel Vasquez quipped: "That is cute man! Cheers to your girl! That should be seen by Yu Suzuki!" - and we totally agree.

Thanks to Michael for sharing this with us and allowing us to reproduce it here. Judging from the quality of the prose on display, we reckon there could be a role on Shenmue III's scriptwriting team for Aiyla here!

Akura HDMI Cable + XRGB Framemeister - Plus Q&A Live Stream

The title says it all really. I recently purchased the Akura HDMI cable for Dreamcast and have been fiddling around with mixed results. By far the best quality I've been able to get out of it so far has been by pairing it with the XRGB Mini. 

Here's a quick capture uploaded to YouTube, be sure to set it to 1080p and judge for yourself.

Akura HDMI cable + Framemeister XRGB Mini

We'll be holding a live Q&A at 9am this Saturday (17th June) on our Facebook page. The format of the Q&A will be a live stream of the Japanese version of Shenmue running on original DC hardware. I fancy myself as a bit of a videophile when it comes to the DC, so be sure to tune in and ask any questions related to upscaling, capturing footage, cables, CRTs or anything else that takes your fancy. No holds barred!

For comparison's sake, here's the same footage captured using the Toro VGA cable with the XRGB Mini:

Toro VGA cable + Framemeister XRGB Mini

Remember folks: Saturday 17th June, 10am BST (that's 6pm in Japan where I live, just so you know). On The Dreamcast Junkyard's Facebook page. See you there!

Shenmue Bomber Jackets Now Available

Veteran games merchandise store Insert Coin has launched a new Shenmue-related product, and fans of Ryo Hazuki's adventures are likely to be lapping it up in droves. If you've already used your eyes to look at the images below, you'll no doubt be able to tell that it's a bomber jacket fashioned after the attire sported by Ryo as he traverses the back streets of Dobuita and Hong Kong in Yu Suzuki's as-yet-unfinished magnum opus.
In this day and age it's all too easy to just froth about anything Dreamcast related, but I'm going to give my honest opinion here: I think this jacket looks bloody awful.

It appears to be made of bargain-basement nylon and while the patches on the chest and arm are embroidered, the one on the back is screen printed. I suppose this is to be expected of a jacket that costs £60, but that doesn't explain why the colours are way off the mark. Yes, Ryo's jacket was leather in the game and leather replicas do exist...but this is just a cynical example of big businesses churning out shite to fleece (heh!) fans of a franchise. Again, I've got nothing against Insert Coin - they do some really top quality stuff and I own several t-shirts by them. But this Shenmue jacket is an affront to the Hazuki family name. Interestingly, Insert Coin did have a slightly more accurate Ryo Hazuki jacket for sale in the past (check it out here), but even that still looked a bit on the cheap side.

Check out the Shenmue bomber jacket here. If you must.

A Quick Look At What's Shenmue

What's Shenmue? A good question. What is Shenmue? Is it a game? Is it an interactive movie? Is it a cultural phenomenon that has built up so much of a frenzied mythical status that nobody even remembers how flawed it was in the first place? However you look at Shenmue, the fact is that the legend now precedes that actual game, but it wasn't always like this. Back before Ryo Hazuki's quest had even begun, Sega wanted to announce that Lan Di was on his way to kick ass and take names and so they released What's Shenmue - a sort of playable teaser trailer/demo disc hybrid to give Dreamcast owners a small taste of what to expect. Last week I was lucky enough to find a copy of this game on eBay for the bargainous price of £9, and naturally I snapped it up with no questions asked. In a way, this is totally linked to my recent look at Former Managing Director Yukawa's Treasure Hunt, because What's Shenmue uses the former head of Sega as a pivotal character in the plot of the main demo...but I'm getting ahead of myself.
Upon booting What's Shenmue, you are presented with a small but perfectly formed menu. The first menu item leads to a sort of technical demo area where character models from the main game give a brief explanation of who they are, their roles in the quest and also some other features present in the final game. Mark, the only English speaking character explains that he works at the docks driving a forklift truck and that money and convenience stores are a large and integral part of Shenmue's game world. There are also demos featuring other characters, including Ryo himself (naturally) but these are all spoken in Japanese so I have no real idea what they're saying. I can probably hazard a guess that Ryo is saying something like: "Hi, my name is Ryo. That bastard Lan Di is going to pay for shooting up my ride. It's time to kick ass and wear a bandaid on my face..." Or words to that effect.

Competition: Win a Sealed Copy of Shenmue!

We've teamed up with online store Retroplayers and Shenmue super site TeamYu (or rather, they've teamed up with us...or something) to offer you - yes you - the opportunity to win a brand new and sealed copy of PAL Shenmue. This is totally unopened so if you win, the first greasy finger prints that will ever be laid on that glorious sparkling GD-Rom will be yours!
All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is go to the official entry page here and enter the competition. That's it! No questions, no tests, no 'tell us your favourite Dreamcast moment' nonsense. Just go to Retroplayers and enter for a chance to win this awesome prize. And while you're at it, you could also go and check out the Retroplayers store, where (and I'm not just saying this) you'll find a ton of really well priced retro gaming deals. I'm probably going to get a Neo Geo Pocket Colour next week from them, so don't go and buy them all. Cheers.