Following the recent announcement of fellow popular Dreamcast game Jet Set Radio getting an HD release there has been rampant speculation about other Dreamcast classics seeing a rebirth on current generation systems. Comments made by Sega brand manager Ben Harborne suggest that perhaps the Dreamcasts most high profile game Shenmue may be on the verge of a re-release. When asked what Dreamcast titles are most often requested for an HD makeover Harborne responded:
I can tell you what it's going to be, it's going to be Shenmue. And Skies Of Arcadia too. They're a couple of our most requested games. I can't say 'yes' or 'no', but we may be working on them."If true then Sega and adventure fans alike are in for a treat. Shenmue started life as a game for the Sega Saturn before development was switched to be a major title for the then new Dreamcast. At the time Shenmue was one of the most ambitious titles ever seen. Boasting incredible graphics and a huge cast of characters the game was a mix of Virtua Fighter inspired combat and third person adventuring. Although deemed to be the new genre Full Reactive Eyes Entertainment (or FREE for short) the more frequently used term from the games legacy is the Quick Time Event which although in ways had existed prior to Shenmue, was popularised by the game as a more cinematic gameplay style. The game gained generally positive reviews upon initial release, but never really found its audience on Dreamcast. A sequel came out a year later in Japan and Europe, but American gamers had to wait for the original Xbox version of Shenmue 2. That version suffered from disappointing sales, which can be attributed to the fact that many Sega fans didnt instantly migrate to Microsofts big black box of magic, and follow ups to other Sega games such as Jet Set Radio Future and Panzer Dragoon Orta also lacked sales which put halts on the series. Gamers have long wanted a continuation of the franchise, so maybe a successful HD port of the original game could lead to its existing sequel getting the HD treatment, and from there maybe at last Shenmue 3.