The Shenmue Fan Site is no longer updated at this address - please head on over to http://www.shenmuefansite.com
15th January 2002: There's still no news to speak of but once again Disco Stu has come to the rescue with a brilliant guide to getting everything in the Shenmue Collection. Check it out here. Unless there's some news released on Shenmue II for Xbox around the Japanese or European launches in the next few months, I'd guess that the earliest that we'll see anything new Shenmue-related is the E3 Expo in May, but I'll keep you posted.
15th January 2002: There's a new feature for you by Disco Stu with the locations of every pawnshop in Shenmue II. You can find it here or you can go through the features page where you'll find a lot of other stuff to read. Don't forget to check out the message board! Within the next few days the site will be down for around 24 hours to be moved to a new server. The site will be accessible through http://www.angelfire.com/az2/shenmue but that won't be updated anymore at that location, only shenmuefansite.com will work when the transfer is done.
13th January 2002: To give readers here something to do during this very lean period for news, I've started a new message board hosted by the lovely people at Gamers.com, which you can find here. As well as the Shenmue Fan Site board you'll find hundreds of boards on various games, consoles, and general discussion. I need moderators so sign up and send me a message if you want the job. I'll also be checking it every day and there will hopefully be some people hanging around there most of the time so if you have a question you may get an answer either from me or someone else quicker on the board than if you email me. Sometime soon when the site is transferred to a new server the boards will remain up so take a look.
9th January 2002: Sorry I didn't update but I've been away on vacation. The one main news snippet that's cropped up is that in March 2002 the online Shenmue Passport functions will be discontinued. I'll personally miss the cool Data Review but there's nothing we can do about it. Check out the official story here. There is also a new poll for you here.
30th December 2001: Still no real news to report but another US-based importer that I can recommend to you is selling PAL copies of Shenmue II if you still don't have it. Point your browser towards Tronixweb where it will set you back $49.95. That doesn't include shipping so it's not quite as cheap as getting it direct from the UK but it's a good deal nonetheless. They also have Headhunter, another PAL Dreamcast game that won't reach the US (unless you have a PS2) for $46.95. Also I wish everyone a Happy New Year!
21st December 2001: Sorry about the lack of updates but there's just no news at the moment. I just thought I should warn you that sometime in the weeks after Christmas the Shenmue Fan Site is going to be moved from Angelfire onto a proper server. The site will still be accessible through the address http://www.angelfire.com/az2/shenmue but the shenmuefansite.com address will be unavailable for a few days. Sorry for any disruption this may cause and Merry Christmas whether you celebrate it or not.
13th December 2001: Thanks to landc I've got a PAL Shenmue II Bad Ending save for you. You can download it direct to your DC here. It's on disc 3, so just choose to sleep when you load it up and you'll be watching the bad ending!
12th December 2001: Before I get any more emails, I know nothing about Shenmue III at the moment apart from the fact that it's on the way. I don't know what console it'll be on, what the storyline will be, or anything else about it. You can probably expect announcements about it at the Spring Tokyo Game Show which takes place at the end of March, or the E3 Expo in May. There may be an announcement before then and I'll keep you posted on that, but those are the most likely places that we'll see some Shenmue III action. Anything you may hear on Internet message boards is a rumour unless Sega make an announcement which they haven't yet. I've updated the Shenmue II Bad Ending with what Lan Di says to Shenhua in English and other things. Check it out. Also I've just found out that EB US will be selling imported PAL copies of Shenmue II through their website. The price is $59.99 including an import adaptor which is more expensive than buying it through UK-based retailers but is quite convienient if you live in the US especially with the import adaptor included. If you're interested it ships on December 19th and can be bought here.
11th December 2001: Want to see the bad ending to Shenmue II? Then click here. Inside you'll find ten exclusive screenshots of the bad ending, instructions on how to find it, and a VMU save for the Japanese version to let you watch it for yourself. Unfortunately the save won't work on the PAL version, but I'm working on a save for that.
10th December 2001: I've got a big update for you today. The walkthrough has been updated, there is now a Shenmue II PAL review for you, and the Picture Guide has been updated to include the ending of disc 4. Only disc 3 to go on that and it'll be done.
8th December 2001: After our 40,000th hit I've decided to start promoting the site. Please click here to vote for us! The link is always found above the latest news here or at the bottom of the navbar so click it whenever you drop in. Hopefully I'll have a full PAL review by Monday for you all to read.
5th December 2001: Popular Gamecube site Planet Gamecube recently posted an interesting news story on the subject of the possibility of Shenmue coming to the Gamecube. It states that in the European Gamecube Magazine, NGC, Sega's VP Charles Bellfield was quoted as saying that "the Shenmue series would find the format an interesting prospect". This may not be as far-fetched as it sounds as the Xbox holds little interest for Japanese gamers and Microsoft only own the rights to Shenmue II in the US. This means that all the others could come to PS2 or GCN at least in Japan and Europe. It also says that Yu Suzuki is interested in the GCN and that Bellfield made a statement previously to the effect of "Xbox isn't the only system that Shenmue II will be ported to". We'll have to wait and see but you can read the story here. In other news, v2.0 of the Shenmue II walkthrough is finished meaning that it is updated now that I've finished the PAL version. There will be a review up as soon as I get round to it.
1st December 2001: Fame and recognition at last! Here the picture of the SFS from Dreamcast Magazine (click it for a full-size version):
If you live in the UK be sure to pick it up as it's got a Shenmue II review and walkthrough written by yours truly. It's also the first day of December so that means that anyone getting Shenmue II for Christmas only has 25 days to wait. Enjoy it! :P
30th November 2001: I've had a lot of requests for a completed PAL Shenmue save so I've got two (in case one doesn't work) here and here. I'm not sure why people want it as it takes up more space than a new Shenmue II save (80 blocks as opposed to 22) but it's here anyway. Also the Shenmue Fan Site has achieved fame at last! In the Shenmue II review in the latest issue of Dreamcast Magazine the SFS is featured in the 'Online Information' boxout. The fact that I wrote the review and walkthrough for them had nothing to do with it. Honest!
26th November 2001: There's not much on the news front but I've got a new poll for you - the question is what system should Shenmue III be on? Give me your input here and I might just forward the results to Sega if I get enough votes.
25th November 2001: I've got a new feature for you on the subject of the much sought-after What's Shenmue? demo disc. There seems to be a lot of interest in this demo all of a sudden so I thought now would be a good time to make everyone who wants it jealous. You can read the feature here, and no I won't sell my copy and there aren't any ISOs of it on the Net as far as I know. Tomorrow you can expect a new poll.
23rd November 2001: Now that I have my PAL copy of Shenmue II I've uploaded some pictures of the packaging and stuff here so make sure to check it out. However looking through the manual in English has brought some interesting tidbits. The main one is that on page 26 of it it says the following under the heading 'Overall Time Limit':
"There is no need to rush your way through the game, take your time and admire the scenery if you wish, however, you are expected to reach your goal before the summer comes around."
This could mean that there is another bad ending if you play the game until a certain date in the summer. If anyone bothers to play until it occurs email me and let me know what happens. On a slightly less interesting note, the manual says that the official name for the unofficially-titled 'freeze-QTEs' is 'Command QTE'.
22nd November 2001: It's here! Shenmue II is available now in the UK and most importers including Video Game Centre are shipping. I'll have a review coming soon as I have my copy and I'm on disc 3 of 4! Unfortunately the PAL version doesn't come with the Virtua Fighter discs that the Japanese version had but it's not a great loss. The walkthrough is being updated and I'll take some pictures of the packaging and stuff soon.
19th November 2001: Yet more great news! Shenmue II isn't just shipping early in the UK, it's been officially brought forward to the 23rd - this Friday! Don't believe me? Check it out at EB UK. That means that anyone can walk into any games shop in the UK on Friday and leave with an English-subtitled version of Shenmue II! Video Game Centre are still shipping their US orders on Wednesday but I can't speak for any other importers.
16th November 2001: First I have some great news, and that's that Shenmue II will be shipping early in the UK just like I predicted earlier in the week. The date I have been given by Video Game Centre is 22nd November so anyone in the US who ordered from them might get it before the people in the UK who ordered it from high street stores like EB ;) The other bit of news is that you can order Shenmue The Movie on DVD from Japan to be released on 21st December from CD Japan (thanks to Shenmue Dojo for the link). It's $40.27 (¥4935 or £28.36) but that's probably the cheapest you'll find it as it's unusually expensive for a DVD even in Japan. Bear in mind you'll need a DVD player that can play region 2 discs (if you're in Europe or Japan you won't need anything as your players will be region 2), so check if you can play it by looking for your player here.
12th November 2001: By now you may have heard of a couple of DVDs of Shenmue The Movie on eBay but do not bid on it. It's almost guaranteed to be a bootleg copy because the official release isn't until 21st December, the cover art looks dodgy, and very few official releases have no region code. On the 21st when it is officially released in Japan it will be a region 2 DVD which means it won't play on US DVD players unless you have some way of playing foreign DVDs. It will play fine on any DVD player in Europe as long as it is capable of playing NTSC discs (that should mean any player except PS2). If you're in the US check if your player has a multiregion hack by clicking here.
10th November 2001: The latest update to AM2's website has confirmed that Shenmue III is in the works. However, it does not indicate that it is on Xbox as Microsoft only own the rights to Shenmue II, not the future games. I'm going to try and get a petition going to get it on all the consoles so that the game can be enjoyed by even more people so I hope you'll all support it.
9th November 2001: There is now a possibility that Shenmue II may come out on PAL earlier than planned. This is purely speculation, but another Dreamcast game that has been cancelled in the US but not Europe, Headhunter, has come out today one week earlier than planned. Could this happen with Shenmue II? We'll have to wait and see....
6th November 2001: Peter Moore, President and COO of Sega of America has publicly apologised for the cancellation of Shenmue II on Dreamcast. You can see the full feature here, but the gist of it is that he is sorry that we had to suffer this but he and Sega have the best interests of Sega gamers at heart.
5th November 2001: There's not much to update on at the moment, but I've nearly finished disc 2 of the PAL version of Shenmue II. Also, if you're ordering a PAL version of Shenmue II from Video Game Centre or are interested in Headhunter which is another great DC game that is only coming out in Europe, I've got some new ordering information for you here.
4th November 2001: I haven't been able to play any more PAL Shenmue II this weekend but I'll hopefully have finished discs 1 and 2 by tomorrow and the walkthrough will be updated accordingly. There is a rumour going around at the moment which says that the PAL version has been delayed a few days (until December 4th), but as far as I know this is only a rumour. I haven't heard anything from Big Ben about it, and Gameplay and EB UK both still say November 30th. Also, check out our new poll.
1st November 2001: I've now finished disc 1 of the PAL version of Shenmue II. Here are a couple more pictures of it but I'm going to leave you in suspense until the 30th now and won't post any more pictures. The walkthrough is being updated with the new story details that playing it in English brings. Check it out if you want a better idea of the story. As before, click the images to enlarge them.
30th October 2001: I've had some extensive playtime with the a beta copy of the PAL version and it's looking very good. The subtitles work great in the game, and the high standard of Japanese voice acting make the game much better and more authentic than the original. There's a lot of story that you miss out on if you don't play an English-language version. I'm updating the walkthrough to cover the new story that I can understand in English, and below are two new shots. They don't show much, but I can take some better ones for you soon. Click them to enlarge them.
27th October 2001: Congratulations to the winner of the competition, Mike Pomponio! A PAL copy of Shenmue II will be on its way to you this November. Also sometime in the week I'll be able to play some more of the PAL version of Shenmue II and hopefully get some decent shots (no digital camera crap this time!), so you can expect a preview and a big update to the walkthrough.
26th October 2001: Sorry if you missed it but the competition to win a PAL copy of Shenmue II is now closed. The winner will be announced soon.
25th October 2001: Today I was lucky enough to see the PAL version of Shenmue II in action. Unsurprisingly the game looks just as good as the Japanese version did, and the subtitling works well. The translation appeared good but anyone who speaks Japanese will notice a few errors. Most people won't care, though. I only got to see the first section but I've updated the walkthrough and the Picture Guide with the new information. I'll get to play some more and hopefully get some exclusive screenshots next week. If you're as immature as me, you'll get a good laugh from what the first bunch of guys say to you. Trust me, you'll know what I mean when you see it :)
23rd October 2001: Just a small reminder instead of an update - the competition to win a PAL copy of Shenmue II closes this Friday (October 23rd 2001). On that day I'll draw the winning entry and email the winner who will get their game within a few days of the games release. Good luck if you haven't entered yet!
22nd October 2001: I've just got a new Shenmue II Book from eBay. It shows some beautiful artwork of characters from the Shenmue universe and the environments together with their real-life equivalents. It also has an interview with Yu Suzuki which I'll try and translate ASAP. I'll make some decent scans of it later but for now here are a couple of digital camera shots. Cover and artwork. There's also a review in the memorabilia reviews section.
21st October 2001: I've got a great new feature for everyone who can't play Shenmue II at the moment. On the features page I've started work on a Shenmue II Picture Guide that will take you through some of the major parts of the story in pictures. At the moment it's only the opening sequence of the game but if you don't mind the odd spoiler click here.
20th October 2001: AllRPG.com are holding a Shenmue II petition which I urge you to support. It's to get Shenmue II on Dreamcast in the US to let the console go out with the bang it deserves. Be sure to sign it and take the opportunity to tell Microsoft where to stick their Xbox. You can find it here.
18th October 2001: This Shenmue II situation has a lot of people very pissed off if my email inbox is anything to go by, and this is going to annoy a lot of people. Go to Shenmue.com and see it for yourself. On a lighter note, the competition has had a great response, but there are only 11 correct entries so far so the odds are quite good!
16th October 2001: The competition is open here!!!
15th October 2001: The competition to win a PAL copy of Shenmue II will be up later tonight with any luck and will run until a few days before the PAL release. There are also some people who still don't believe that it is coming out on PAL. As proof here is what Big Ben Interactive sent out to all on their mailing list. It's the PAL Dreamcast release schedule for 2001/2002.
14th October 2001: The UK Dreamcast distributor has sent out an email saying that Shenmue II will definitely be released in the UK. Thanks to Video Game Centre we'll be giving away a PAL copy of Shenmue II when it is released on November 30th in a competition. Check back in the next few days for more information. If you plan to import you'll want to check out our essential guide to importing the PAL version here.
13th October 2001: After the crappy news from TGS, just about every gaming board in the world has been letting Sega know about their discontent about it. It won't work, but there is a petition here to bring it to the US on Dreamcast. Sign it and support the DC's last hurrah! Also, if you want an English-language version you can import from the UK and get a PAL version this November. I recommend Video Game Centre who will do it for £29.99 + £5 S&H ($50.86). Also be sure to check out the new poll below.
12th October 2001: The Tokyo Game Show has brought the news that Shenmue II won't come out in the US on Dreamcast. It will be on Xbox. Yes, that sucks but Microsoft have once again proved that money talks louder than a decent console. However it is still coming out in Europe so everyone in the US will have to break out the Gamesharks if they want to play it on DC. No announcement on Shenmue III yet, but I'll keep you posted. Check out the full story here.