You’ll Just Have to Get Through the Game the Old-Fashioned Way!
Author’s note (4/23/2018): The headline and other parts of the story incorrectly described this game as a “remaster” instead of as a “re-release”. The story has been fully corrected.
The recently announced re-released collection of the first two Shenmue games will have several new features such as modern controls, the option to choose between Japanese & English voice acting and an updated user interface. However, Shenmue 1 won’t have a time skip feature for players who don’t want to kill time by doing side activities.
Sega explained in a statement to VG247 that they “tried to stay as close to the original feature sets in each game as possible” so the Shenmue 1 remaster won’t give players the ability to fast-forward the in-game clock in order to get to major story events right away. The time skip mechanic will be present in the Shenmue 2 remaster (just like it was in the original), however.
The reason why this is a big deal is because, in the first two Shenmue games, NPCs all follow a daily routine and there’s also a day & night cycle. This means that if the series protagonist, Ryo Hazuki, has to meet a character or be at a specific place at a certain time then players can do side activities or talk with other characters in order to pass the time.
While in Shenmue 2 you could just fast-forward time in order to make progress in the game’s story, the first game was notorious for making players have to wait around or do side activities (such as going to the local arcade) to pass time. Though the announcement of the remastered collection was met with joy from both series fans and gamers who were curious about the series, the way the first game’s pacing works could prove to be very divisive.
Proponents of Shenmue 1’s pacing argue that its slow pace is what makes the series unique while its critics describe this aspect of the gameplay as boring and tedious.
What do you think of the absence of a time skip feature in Shenmue 1? Will its absence cause you to not buy the re-released collection or do you think that the lack of a time skip feature is what makes the first game unique? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section!
The re-released collection, Shenmue I & II, will be available on PC, PS4 and Xbox One later this year.