The remasters of the first two Shenmue games have finally landed on modern gaming systems, and fans who have waited almost two decades, are using the chance to enhance the cult games via mods.
DSO Gaming first posted about members of the gaming community who have quickly started working on mods for Shenmue I & II. At this early stage, the available mods are limited to texture mods mainly but there’s no doubt that in time the scope of modding projects will increase.
The currently present texture mods are all available at popular modding website Nexusmods. The selection of mods might look slim but you have to remember that the remastered bundle hasn’t been released for a week even. In that regard, having any mods at all is already remarkable and a great outlook for the future.
The selection of mods ranges from environmental retextures to our protagonist’s home. The player character himself and even reintroducing original visual styles. Coca-Cola vending machines from the original didn’t make it in the remasters due to licensing sadly, but now you can have them back again.
Shenmue I & II have long been regarded as pioneers of more open and highly detailed game worlds with rich interaction opportunities. These almost border on simulation rather than interaction at times but it’s exactly that attention to the seemingly unnecessary details which make the likes of a Shenmue or GTA so believable.
But time can be a harsh mistress, especially for video games where technological advances are most easily noticeable. Twenty years ago, the standard for texture quality was different due to technical limitations. So, while being able to play vintage games is great, some aspects can be a tad too old for some.
Sega never planned to remake Shenmue I & II, so it’s hard to blame the publisher for not going the extra mile. It’s not like there was much of a choice either, with Shenmue III coming out next year, fully remaking the first two games would likely not be possible in such a short time frame, and with likely a major portion of gamers interested in Shenmue III not having played the early games, getting those out is just the right choice.
To be fair towards Sega, the team who handled the remasters actually did a great job, with high-resolution options and even ultra-widescreen support. Features which are not always present in remasters.
Shenmue I & II is available for PC, PS4 and Xbox One right now.