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Shenmue I & II HD Trailer Recaps Ryo’s Story, Wisely Drops Voice Acting

by Ron Duwell | August 1, 2018August 1, 2018 4:30 pm PST

Believe it or not, Shenmue is nearly twenty-years-old (ugh), and an entire generation of has gamers grown up in the meantime. A good many have never even heard of the Dreamcast classic and will have no idea what to expect when the remaster launches on Aug. 21.

For these gamers, and for the sake of pinging nostalgia in the minds of longtime fans, SEGA has released a new trailer that explains Ryo’s quest to find his father’s murderer on the streets of downtown Yokosuka and eventually the furthest reaches of China.

Ryo’s original voice actor, Corey Marshall, narrates the trailer, and he hits on most of the important themes, memories, and plot points…

…except for the voice acting

SEGA wisely doesn’t use any of Ryo’s voice clips from Shenmue in this pitch to new fans. Corey Marshall does a fantastic job selling the story, but never once does he mention his legendarily awful drawl.

Those of us who were around back then are eager to hear Ryo asking about Chinese characters or looking for sailors all over again, but newcomers would no doubt be a bit turned off by what is admittedly awful voice acting by today’s standards… even awful by standards back then!

For the record, Director Yu Suzuki directed Marshall to speak the way he did in Shenmue, and it was a creative decision by a man who had zero localization experience at that point.

While we prep for the release of Shenmue 1 & 2 HD on Aug. 21 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, we wonder if Marshall will bring the real voice acting chops for Shenmue III or if he’ll be able to dig deep within and channel that inner Ryo from the turn of the millennium. I hope with all my might it’s the latter.

Shenmue III is currently in production at Ys Net under the guidance of Yu Suzuki, legendary SEGA developer and creator of the series. See screenshots below.


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Ron Duwell

Ron has been living it up in Japan for the last decade, and he has no intention of leaving this technical wonderland any time soon. When he's not...

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