The original Shenmue was the stuff of legend upon its release. With the long-running “Virtua Fighter RPG” codename, its development spanned from the Saturn to the Dreamcast, and it wound up being one of Sega’s most defining games of that generation. It sought out to blend a martial arts movie with a deeply-rooted revenge storyline into a bit of a life simulator – and did so surprisingly well. It was a polarizing game though, as some felt its slow pace was a hindrance and not a help. The sequel remedied this with a larger cast of more colorful characters and the ability to shift time forward to get to new events, but mainstream success still eluded Shenmue II even with it being a heavily-hyped original Xbox exclusive in North America.
Since then, the franchise was dormant outside of some cameos in Sonic’s racing games – until the debut trailer of Shenmue III got the world talking. All of a sudden, prices skyrocketed on the second-hand market and now, it was clear that the Shenmue series could be easily-monetized again. Now, we have Shenmue I and II available in a single collection either physically and digitally on consoles, or digitally on PC for the first time ever.