Shenmue 1 HD Won't Feature Sequel's Time Skipping Features

By Laura Kate Dale on at

One of the most memorable aspects of the original Shenmue, for better or worse depending on who you ask, was the amount of time players were required to wait around for key plot events to occur. The game featured a system – somewhat similar to the design of games like Majora's Mask – where certain in-game events only happened at specific points in time, meaning that players had to be in the right place at the right time or they would miss plot progression entirely. It was even possible to see a game over due to missing too many events.

The issue for many was that you couldn't in any way speed up time in Shenmue, meaning if you arrive very early for a plot event you just kind of have to wait around a while to be able to keep playing your video game. People who like the system insist that the large spells of free time are intended to be used to engage in side activities, fleshing out the world so it feels more lived in, but for those wanting to just experience the core plot, the waiting could get quite frustrating.

Shenmue 2 offered an optional mechanic to speed up time and more quickly reach core story activities, and with the announcement of Shenmue and Shemmue 2 getting HD ports, many have wondered if this feature would be ported back to the original game. The answer, unfortunately, is no, according to a statement made to VG247 by a Sega representative:

"We’ve tried to stay as close to the original feature sets in each game as possible, so Shenmue 1 will not have the time skip feature."

While this is a shame for those who dislike being forced to do side activities they may not enjoy, there's something to be said for preserving the odd pacing that was a hugely memorable part of the game for many who played it back in the day. If you're not driving around a forklift truck aimlessly every now and then, or asking NPCs over and over if they know where you can find some sailors, are you even playing Shenmue properly?