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Shenmue II

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Shenmue II
Publisher: Sega
Developer:
System(s): Sega Dreamcast, Xbox
Peripherals supported:
Sega Dreamcast
Dreamcast VGA Box, Dreamcast Jump Pack
Genre: RPG































Number of players: 1
Release Date RRP Code
Sega Dreamcast
JP
¥7,800 HDR-0164
Sega Dreamcast
JP (Limited Edition)
¥7,800 HDR-0179
Sega Dreamcast
JP (Dorikore)
¥2,800 HDR-0211
Sega Dreamcast
UK
£29.99 MK-51184-50
Sega Dreamcast
FR
?F MK-51184-50
Sega Dreamcast
DE
DM ? MK-51184-50
Sega Dreamcast
ES
?Ptas MK-51184-50



Xbox
US
$49.99[1] Z10-00001
Xbox
UK
£? Z10-00009
Xbox
FR
€? Z10-00003
Xbox
DE
€? Z10-00009
Xbox
ES
€? Z10-00009
Xbox
IT
€? ?
Xbox
AU
$? ?



Shenmue II (シェンムー II) is the direct sequel to Shenmue produced and directed by Yu Suzuki and developed by Sega AM2. It was originally released for the Sega Dreamcast in 2001 and later the Xbox. Due to exclusivity rights obtained by Microsoft, the Dreamcast version of the game was not released in North America, although had been pencilled in for a release on the 4th December 2001.

Story

Shenmue II begins shortly after the first installment concluded. While Shenmue told the story of the first chapter of the saga, the second game tells the story of the third, fourth, and fifth chapters. It is possible that at one point, each chapter would receive its own game, however it was likely condensed due to the ambitious scope of the project, and poor Western sales of the first game.

Shenmue II skips the second chapter of the story, detailing events of Ryo Hazuki's trip from Yokosuka to Hong Kong. It was originally released as a comic book (available as an extra in the Xbox version of the game) is only briefly mentioned during the beginning of the game. Instead, Shenmue II starts at the third chapter of the saga, when Ryo has just arrived in Hong Kong.

Following the events of the first game Ryo has travelled to Hong Kong in order to locate Master Lishao Tao. After a difficult search, Ryo finally meets Master Lishao Tao, a woman named Xiuying; but she is unwilling to assist him in what she considers an immoral quest for vengeance. The two part ways, although Xiuying continues to monitor Ryo's progress and they continue to meet on occasion. Through his continued search, Ryo discovers another individual who may be able to assist him in locating Lan Di.

The fourth chapter of the saga takes place in Kowloon, as Ryo attempts to locate Yuanda Zhu; a martial arts expert who sent Iwao Hazuki a letter warning of his impending murder, a warning that arrived too late. At this juncture, several confrontations ensue between Ryo and his allies and the dangerous Yellowheads organization, who are aiming to kidnap Yuanda Zhu on behalf of Lan Di.

The fifth chapter takes place in Guilin. Shortly after arriving, Ryo encounters a young woman named Ling Shenhua. She had previously appeared to Ryo through several dreams throughout the first chapter of the series. As the two converse, it is revealed that the Shenhua family is connected with the legacy of the dragon and phoenix mirrors. Shenhua leads Ryo to a stone quarry on the outskirts of the village to meet with her father, but he is nowhere to be found. The episode comes to an ambiguous end when the pair discover a cryptic note and sword, which Ryo combines with the phoenix mirror and unwittingly sets off a device revealing a huge depiction of the two mirrors. At the game's cliffhanger ending, the sword is seen to float in mid-air.

Gameplay

Shenmue II features gameplay similar to that of its predecessor, Shenmue and shares much of its assets, as the development of multiple Shenmue games overlapped each other. Many assets developed for but unused in the first Shenmue make an appearance in Shenmue II, some of which appeared in pre-releases and demos of the first game, only to be relocated to this one.

Shenmue II is estimated to be roughly five times bigger than the first game[2]. It is less linear than its predecessor, with more options to raise money, and more buttons are used for the QTE segments.

If given a Shenmue save file, the Dreamcast Shenmue II will continue where the player left off in the last game, carrying over any items, the current date (Shenmue starts in November 1986, but ends depending on how fast the player completes his/her quest) and any helpful statistics. While the series was effectively "cancelled" before getting to this point, the original idea was that events may change depending on the choices made in preceeding games. One example is that some optional fighting moves could only be learned in the original Shenmue, and would in theory be inaccessible to those starting from Shenmue II.

This situation is known to have caused some problems, particularly with the Xbox version which has no way of communicating with the first game. As such, blank Shenmue II save files generally have all the items and moves from the first game already set up, including items which serve no practical purpose (which can be therefore be sold for quick cash). Furthermore the game is region locked, in the sense that, for example, a Japanese Shenmue save file will not work with a European copy of Shenmue II. This can be overcome with external utilities.

Unlike the original Shenmue, Shenmue II on the Dreamcast does not have an English voice dub, instead relying on the Japanese one with added subtitles. The Xbox version has this English dub, however (and fan-made patches have subsequently led to English Dreamcast versions too).

History

Development

The Shenmue saga's protracted development time (dating as far back as 1993) means that many of the game's chapters were outlined well in advance of the first Shenmue game releasing. Ryo's journey to Hong Kong is thought to have been some of the earliest Shenmue content to be worked on, to the point where, to all intents and purposes, Shenmue II was announced in 1998 as Shenmue I.

Early gameplay footage and in-engine trailers demonstrated around this period took place almost exclusively in Hong Kong, and descriptions of the game's plot broadly matched what is seen in Shenmue II. It was only during 1999 that the first chapter, Yokosuka, was greatly expanded on from being a (presumably) short introduction set 30 years prior to the main game[3], into a fully fledged Shenmue game in its own right (and taking place in the 1980s, alongside the rest of the adventure).

Originally there was not going to be a "Shenmue II", however to meet deadlines Yu Suzuki's project was split in two, with the first chapter set to appear in August 1999[4] (which it missed) and the second in December[5]. For the US release, both halves would be distributed as the same package[5], but as time went on, the first part was expanded, the second part delayed (into 2001), and further parts were planned.

Shenmue II covers chapters 3, 4 and 5, however chapter 2, set between the journey from Japan to Hong Kong, is absent from the game, being relegated to a comic book. It can only be assumed at some point that, like the other chapters, chapter 2 was meant to be playable .

Predictably many of the assets (particularly character models and 2D elements) are identical between Shenmue and Shenmue II, with several characters making the jump from the "first" game to the second between prototypes. Likewise, unused content found in Shenmue is used in Shenmue II, and vice versa.

Versions

Despite using Japanese vocals in the Dreamcast version, changes were made to the Western versions of Shenmue II, censoring out some religious references and removing one of the answering machine messages with sexual connotations. The character of Yuan, a transvestite in the Japanese version, is also made female, and is re-dubbed by a Japanese voice actress.

The Xbox version brings a number of technical changes to the game, such as the inclusion of quincunx anti-aliasing to create a cleaner image (however, the Dreamcast's VGA output leads to a shaper image than the Xbox). Texture mip-mapping is also employed with trilinear texture filtering, something absent in the Dreamcast release and indeed all of Sega AM2's previous 3D games. Some textures were also replaced with higher quality versions, most notably Ryu's jacket, and some models are rendered with more polygons, again including Ryu.

Water texturing has been completely re-worked for the Xbox port to create a a more lifelike appearance, however the addition of bloom lighting is more controversial, often giving characters a "glow" in some daylight scenes. At night, however, the effect allows for more realistic neon signs and other lighting effects. Extra motion blur was also added to fight scenes.

Many textures in the Xbox version were changed, and in some cases, background geometry is simplified. All of the in-game jukeboxes are now Rock-Ola branded (as opposed to just "Rock"), and while some texturing errors were fixed (such as one of the OutRun logos being rendered backwards on the playable deluxe cabinet), others have been introduced, or removed entirely. Many of the "glass" textures are missing in the Xbox version for unknown reasons.

In the Xbox version, buildings can also cast shadows, which means the player's own shadow is often not rendered. Curiously the white button on the Xbox controller can be used to apply different visual filters, creating a more cinematic tone should the player desire, while the black button can be used to take screen shots of the game, which are then saved to the Xbox hard drive. The hard drive also plays its part in reducing load times.

The Xbox version of Shenmue II hits 30FPS more consistently than its Dreamcast counterpart, which often dips to 20FPS in more demanding scenes. Dolby Digital 5.1 is also used in select cutscenes, though the majority of the game still operates in stereo.

While supported by the Xbox 360 as a backwards-compatible title, the emulation is not perfect, with performance dips manifesting at certain parts of the game and shadows not rendering at all. Post processing effects such as the aforementioned bloom lighting and motion blur are missing. The visual filters also do not work, simply resulting in the game momentarily pausing.

Production credits

Dreamcast version

  • Producer/Director/Game Story: Yu Suzuki
  • Plotter: Masahiro Yoshimoto
  • Screenplay: Takao Yotsuji
  • Game Directors: Shinichi Yoshino, Yoshihiro Okabayashi
  • Scenario Director: Takao Yotsuji
  • Planning Director: Eigo Kasahara
  • Program Director: Makoto Wada
  • Design Director: Takehiko Mikami
  • Sound Director: Yasuhiro Takagi
  • Motion Capture Unit Director: Hiroaki Jinno
  • Real Time Movie Director: Kazuya Murata
  • Voice Recording Directors: Susumu Aketagawa, Takao Yotsuji
  • Promotion Director: Shigeru Ueda
  • Production Manager: Mitsuo Kashiwagi
  • Sound Production Manager: Tatsutoshi Narita
  • Scenario Supervisor: Yu Yamamoto
  • Total Advisers: Makoto Osaki, Hiroshi Kataoka
  • Assistant Producer: Masanori Ohe
Scenario
  • Director: Takao Yotsuji
  • Plotter: Masahiro Yoshimoto
  • Free Scenario Managers: Junichi Yoshida, Makoto Goya
  • Free Scenario Writers: Yasushi Ohtake, Masatoshi Kurakata, Yoshijiroh Muramatsu, Hideyo Ikeda, Yoshihiro Miyashita, Kiyomi Mizushima
  • Free Scenario Checkers: Shu Hiratoh, Katsuyuki Sugano
  • Free Scenario Coordinator: Shin Ishikawa
  • Free Scenario Proofreader: Tadafumi Wagatsuma
  • Free Scenario Character Data Management: Yoshiyuki Fukushima, Yasushi Funakoshi
  • Main Dialogue Editor: Toshirou Sasaki
  • Dialogue Editors: Izumi Saito, Yasuyo Kudo
  • Scenario Section Assistants: Tomohide Takaiwa, Kikuo Shinomiya
Planning
  • Director: Eigo Kasahara
  • Chief Scenario Flow Editor: Shinichi Yoshino
  • Scenario Flow Editors: Masanobu Fukazawa, Daisuke Tazaki, Akira Uematsu
  • Chief System Planner: Hideo Choumabayashi
  • System Planners: Ken Odanaga, Masaaki Somaki, Yasuhiro Kondou
  • Event Manager: Yoshihiro Okabayashi
  • Chief Event Planner: Misako Hamada
  • Event Planners: Satoru Tsuji, Takehiro Imai, Yuuichi Taniguchi, Makoto Suda, Yuji Sobue
  • Battle System Manager: Yoshihiro Okabayashi
  • Battle System Planners: Hiroyuki Matsumoto, Kentaro Arakawa
  • Chief Map & Property Layout Planner: Shin Ishikawa
  • Map & Property Layout Planner: Koumei Akazawa
  • Script Data Manager: Shin Ishikawa
  • Script Data Writers: Tatsuya Ohmachi, Kenji Ishikawa, Masayoshi Takatori, Nobuhiro Onodera
  • Script Data Minutes: Tadafumi Wagatsuma, Shinsuke Imai
  • Script Data Planning Section Assistants: Junya Kuroki, Hiroshi Nonaka
Software
Graphics Design
Motion Capture Unit
  • Director: Hiroaki Jinno
  • Action & Stunt Director: Sho Tagaya
  • Assistant Directors: Kazuhiro Tsuboy, Rei Kato, Genichirou Suzuki, Hitoshi Tawada, Yoko Aoyagi, Yufu Shiomi, Kunihiko Matsunaga
  • Research and Development: Hans Van Veenendaal
  • Unit Assistants: Tomoko Morikawa, Takeyuki Izumi, Daigo Iwatani
  • Cast: Hiroshi Fujioka (Iwao Hazuki), Masaya Matsukaze (Ryo Hazuki), Haduki Ishigaki (Shenhua Ling), Takumi Hagiwara (Wuying Ren)
  • Motion Actors/Actresses: Takakazu Tsukamoto, Takuya Tsukamoto, Mayumi Sato, Wataru Murakami, Tetsuhiro Ikeda, Chidori Hirano, Tonbou Horiguchi, Naoyuki Yoshihisa, Yumiko Watanabe
  • Stunt Actors/Actresses: Yuichi Aida, Yasuhiko Kashiwa, Yuko Watanabe
  • Action Actors/Actresses: Koji Hatta, Ryosuke Shira, Emi Nishitsuji, Misako Nagashima, Sho Tagaya
  • Action & Stunt Presents: Wild JP, Phoenix
Sound & Music
Orchestration
  • Arranged By: Hayato Matsuo, Toshiyuki Watanabe
  • Album Production: Hiroki Horio, Hideyuki Fujii
  • Conducted By: Hiroshi Kumagai
  • Music Performed by: Kanagawa Philharmony Orchestra
Voice Recording
  • Director: Susumu Aketagawa
  • Assistant Director: Jin Aketagawa
  • Booking Manager: Naoto Matsuse
  • Voice Editors: Ryohei Kohno, Akihiko Onda, Hideaki Miyamoto
  • Voice Recorders: Naoyuki Machida, Satoru Higashi
  • Casting: Kenichi Kuramochi
  • Assistant Casting: Toshie Tabata


  • Song of Shenhua
    • Performed By: Ioli
    • Written By: Yumi Asada
    • Composed By: Ryuji Iuchi
    • Orchestra Arranged By: Hayato Matsuo
  • Asamoya No Namioto
  • Joy
    • Vocal: Minoru Niihara
    • Bass: Sachio Ogawa
    • Guitar: Yasuo Yokozawa
    • Drums: Hisamitu Imai
    • Written By: Tomoaki Inoue
    • Composed By: Shinji Otsuka
    • Directed By: Tatsutoshi Narita
Development Support
Debugging
  • Director: Shinichi Yoshino
  • Debug Management: Hiroshi Nishida, Kazuyoshi Terada
  • Debug Foremen: Motokazu Tsubono, Atsushi Miyamoto, Daisuke Hosogi, Yu Furukawa
  • Debuggers: Daisuke Yamaguchi, Kouji Ohno, Motoyo Ishikawa, Kei Terui, Shinichiro Inoue, Kanako Kuwabara, Yousuke Ito, Masaichi Taira, Makoto Tanaka, Jun Matsumoto, Kazutoshi Watanabe, Hiroyuki Natsume, Yasumoto Kanemaru, Takahiro Kodama, Takeshi Yokoyama, Manabu Sato, Shoji Uehara, Takehiro Suzuki, Kouji Nishiyama, Kouhei Imura, Mitsuaki Kato, Tomoko Ogura, Kazumi Suzuki, Hironobu Oka, Makoto Hosaka
Promotion & Publicity
Production
Overseas version
Special Thanks To
Promotional Material Production
The Producer Wish To Thank The Following


Sega of Europe Product Development
Marketing Staff
Manual & Packaging
Source: EU manualMedia:Shenmue II (Discs 1 & 2) DC EU Manual.pdf[6]


Xbox version

Planning
  • Chief Planner: Misako Hamada
  • Planners: Shu Hiratou, Masahiro Katsuta, Nobuhiro Onodera, Akihiko Sasaki
  • Main Dialogue Data & Script Data Editors: Toshirou Sasaki, Nobuhiro Onodera
  • Dialogue Data & Script Data Coordinator: Hiroshi Noguchi
Translation (JAY FILM Co.,Ltd.)
  • Producer: Koji Kobayashi
  • Translation Supervisor: Kei Miura
  • Draft Translation: Word Box Inc.
Software
Graphics Design
Sound & Music
  • Director: Seiichi Hamada
  • Sound Section Assistant: Yasuhiro Takagi
  • Sound Effects & Editors: Seiichi Hamada, Yasuhiro Takagi
  • 5.1ch Sound Director: Tatsutoshi Narita
  • 5.1ch Sound Editor: Shinichi Goto
  • Voice Editors: Keisuke Tsukahara, Hideaki Miyamoto, Seiichi Hamada
  • Voice Recorders: Naoyuki Machida, Satoru Higashi, Hideaki Miyamoto
  • Sound Production Manager: Tatsutoshi Narita
  • Executive Voice Recording Producer (JAY FILM Co.,Ltd.): Shuichi Kakesu
  • Voice Recording Producer (JAY FILM Co.,Ltd.): Koji Kobayashi
  • Voice Recording Supervisor (JAY FILM Co.,Ltd.): Kei Miura
  • Voice Recording Director (JAY FILM Co.,Ltd.): Hirotaka Tashiro
  • Assistant Voice Recording Director (JAY FILM Co.,Ltd.): Hiroshi Noguchi
  • Voice Recording Chinese Supervisor (JAY FILM Co.,Ltd.): Chen Yu
  • Voice Recording Production Coordinator (JAY FILM Co.,Ltd.): Megumi Igei
  • Assistant Voice Recording Manager (JAY FILM Co.,Ltd.): Yu Tamura
  • Voice Recording Production Account (JAY FILM Co.,Ltd.): Naoko Kawasaki
Debugging
  • Director: Misako Hamada
  • Debuggers: Yousuke Ito, Takeshi Yokoyama, Ayumi Kudou, Atsushi Miyamoto
  • Foreign Debuggers Management Director: Hiroshi Noguchi
  • Foreign Debuggers Management Coordinator: Megumi Igei
  • Foreign Debuggers: William Burden, David Schaaf, Steven Levithan, Nicholas J. Schaaf, Chia Gilli
  • Translation Foremen: Hiroshi Noguchi, Shu Hirato
Publicity Staff
Special Thanks To
The Producers Wish to Thank the Following


Magazine articles

Main article: Shenmue II/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

{{|}}}}

Dorimaga JP 20010810 2001-06.pdf

PDF
Print advert in
Dorimaga (JP) #6: "2001-06 (2001-08-10)" (2001-07-27)
{{|}}}}

MAN!AC DE 2002-01.pdf

PDF
Dreamcast print advert in
MAN!AC (DE) #01/2002 (2001-12-05)

Physical scans

Dreamcast version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
92 №117, p120/121/122/123
80 №2001-08ex, p34Media:Dorimaga_JP_20010921_2001-08ex.pdf[7]
91 №2002-18, p32[8]
94 №30, p38-43[9]
80 №105, p84
80 №665, p33
90 №115, p80-81
95 2001-09-07
94 2001-12-30
92 №13, p33-37[10]
Sega Dreamcast
89
Based on
10 reviews

Dreamcast, EU (cover)
Shenmue2 dc eu backcover.jpgShenmue2 dc eu spine.jpgShenmue2 pal dc front cover.jpg
Cover
Dreamcast, EU (Discs 1 & 2)
Shenmue2 dc eu back1cover.jpgShenmue2 dc eu innercover.jpg
Cover
Shen2 dc eu disc1.jpg
Disc 1
Shen2 dc eu disc2.jpg
Disc 2
Shenmue II (Discs 1 & 2) DC EU Manual.pdf
Manual
Dreamcast, EU (Discs 3 & 4)
Shenmue2 dc eu back2cover.jpgShenmue2 dc eu innercover.jpg
Cover
Shen2 dc eu disc3.jpg
Disc 3
Shen2 dc eu disc4.jpg
Disc 4
Dreamcast, JP
Shenmue2 jp dc back cover.jpgShenmue2 dc jp front cover.jpg
Cover
Dreamcast, JP (Limited Edition)
ShenmueII DC JP Box Front LE.jpg
Cover

Xbox version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
80 №111
100 2002-12, p60
85 2003-01-21 (AU)
88 2002-11-21
90 2003-07-03
87 2002-04-11
91 2002-10-29
90 №132, p60/61
100 2002-11-11
90 03-08-04 (NZ)
100 Xbox World
Xbox
91
Based on
11 reviews

Xbox, US
Shenmue II Xbox US Box.jpg
Cover
Shenmue II Xbox US Disc.jpg
Disc
Xbox, UK
Shenmue II Xbox EU Box.jpg
Cover
Shenmue II Xbox EU Disc.jpg
Disc
Shenmue II Xbox EU Disc 2.jpg
Shenume: the Movie disc
Xbox, FR
ShenmueII Xbox FR Box.jpg
Cover
Xbox, DE
ShenmueII Xbox DE Box.jpg
Cover
Xbox, ES
ShenmueII Xbox ES Box.jpg
Cover
Xbox, IT

Xbox, AU
ShenmueII Xbox AU Box.jpg
Cover

Technical information

The real-time opening cutscenes render 1.8 million polygons per second, at 30 frames per second and 60,000 polygons per frame.

External links

  • Sega of Japan catalogue pages (Japanese): Dreamcast

References

  1. File:GamePro US 172.pdf, page 136
  2. File:DreamcastMagazine UK 30.pdf, page 42
  3. File:NextGeneration US 52.pdf, page 24
  4. File:Edge UK 072.pdf, page 14
  5. 5.0 5.1 File:NextGeneration US 58.pdf, page 37
  6. File:Shenmue II (Discs 1 & 2) DC EU Manual.pdf, page 81
  7. File:Dorimaga_JP_20010921_2001-08ex.pdf, page 34
  8. File:Dorimaga_20021011_JP.pdf, page 32
  9. File:DreamcastMagazine UK 30.pdf, page 38
  10. File:Playbox FR 13.pdf, page 33


Shenmue series of games
Sega Dreamcast
What's Shenmue (1999) | Shenmue (1999) | Shenmue II (2001)
Xbox
Shenmue II (2002)
Windows PC
Shenmue Online (Unreleased) | Shenmue III (2017)
Mobile phone
Shenmue City (2010)
Sony PlayStation 4
Shenmue III (2017)
Shenmue Characters
Ryo Hazuki
Shenmue related media
Music
"Shenmue"/"Shenhua" (1998) | "Shenhua: Jiang Qing Ri Bao Hua Ge" (1999) | Shenmue Orchestra Version (1999) | "You're My Only: Shenmue no Sasayaki" (1999) | Shenmue JukeBox (1999) | Shenmue: Ichishou Yokosuka Original Sound Track (2000) | Shenmue (2015)
Book
Shenmue: Ichishou Yokosuka Saisoku Kouryaku Guide (2000) | Shenmue: Ichishou Yokosuka Kanzen Seiha no Sho (2000) | Shenmue: Ichishou Yokosuka Complete Guide (2000) | Official Shenmue Perfect Guide (2000) | Prima's Official Strategy Guide: Shenmue (2000) | Shenmue II Saisoku Kouryaku Guide (2001) | Shenmue II Kanzen Kouryaku Shinsho (2001) | Shenmue II Premiere Guide (2001) | Shenmue II Guide Book (2001) | Shenmue II Complete Guide (2001) | Prima's Official Strategy Guide: Shenmue II (2002)
Film
What's Shenmue (1999) | Shenmue: The Movie (2002)