July 5, 2018 // 10:14 a.m.
Sega has confirmed that its remaster releases of action-adventure titles Shenmue and Shenmue II will not be quite as remastered as hoped, with the PC version being locked to 30 frames per second and the latter title being based on the graphically weaker Xbox re-release.
Following the impressive popularity of a crowdfunding campaign to create a long-awaited third entry in the franchise, Sega confirmed that it was investigating the possibility of remastering the first two games which had proven so popular on its ill-fated Dreamcast console. In April this year the company confirmed that was exactly what it was doing, even while Shenmue 3 hit a last-minute development delay - but now fans are advised to temper their expectations.
While the original Shenmue pushed the Dreamcast to its limit, the graphics are - as is only natural for a game of its vintage - somewhat ropey by today's standards. While the remastered version will, indeed, include graphical features not available on the original release - including a 16:9 widescreen mode, though all cutscenes will be in letterbox format, and higher-resolution rendering with post-processing effects - Sega has confirmed that it will not include an improved framerate. Instead, the game will be locked at 30 frames per second across its console and Windows releases, owing to what the company describes as 'hard coded assumptions about a fixed 30Hz frame update rate.'
For Dreamcast fans, there's another piece of negative news: While Shenmue has been ported from the original Dreamcast release, Shenmue II has been ported from the Xbox re-release - a version of the game which, while improving certain aspects of the rendering engine, broke a range of graphical niceties present in the Dreamcast release including, oddly, the removal of transparent glass, objects being misplaced, and missing textures.
The Shenmue I & II Remastered bundle launches on August 21st on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PCs, with the latter requiring a 64-bit installation of Windows 7 or newer, an Intel i3-560 or AMD FX-4300 or better, 4GB of RAM, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 Ti or AMD Radeon 6990 with at least 1GB of video RAM, and 30GB of available storage space.