Shenmue 1 & 2
As someone who's been waiting so long to play them once again, and knowing Shenmue III is on the horizon, playing the original games on current gen and PC is something you should certainly do because they provided so many firsts for video games.
Yes, it looks a little shiner and it is of course the first time the two games have been available as a collection on a console that isn't the Dreamcast (Shenmue II was ported to the original Xbox) but if you have never played these games before, expect a little resistance. It may also be worth holding on a little while and picking it up in an inevitable future sale. Alternatively, if these do not sound like your cup of tea it may be worth taking a look at the Yakuza 0/Kiwami games as these seem to be the natural advancement of Shenmue, with many considering them to be representative of what would have been if Shenmue had been able to continue as a franchise.
For those who have fond memories of Shenmue I & II, these ports will allow you to revisit and experience why you fell in love with them.
Shenmue I & II divided players and critics on the Dreamcast, and will continue to do so on the PlayStation 4. These games are an acquired taste, but there's nothing quite like them, and if you can overcome some of their more awkward idiosyncrasies, you'll be rewarded with a set of revolutionary sandboxes that impress even today. The ports are let down by a handful of recurring bugs, but are otherwise presented authentically, and while the voice acting is no less embarrassing today, there's a charm to both the script and performances that can be endearing to an open mind. There's no question that these titles deserve their place in the annals of gaming history – but whether you'll love them or loathe them will ultimately come down to personal taste.
Shenmue is always Shenmue, a milestone in the video games history that deserves to be rediscovered, despite the original limits and those brought by the ages passage.
Review in Italian | Read full review
Sega have done these classic titles a service by re-releasing them in the original form and resisting the temptation to tamper. Surely as divisive now as they were nearly 20 years ago, Shenmue I & II are not just a great primer for the forthcoming threequel, but also a great opportunity to experience one of gaming's most pioneering series. Welcome back Shenmue, I have missed you dearly.
This Shenmue 2 is a title that borders on excellence, but once again we find the immense obstacle of a remastering that has failed to live up to the legend.
Review in Spanish | Read full review
Shenmue I & II collects Sega's classic open-world games and gives them modern touches. The titles feature fun combat and quirky humor, but they also suffer jarring pacing issues.
After years of waiting, Sega finally delivered the Shenmue experience we deserve. Although it's clunky and a little dated, the series holds up incredibly well after nearly 20 years.