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Shenmue artwork.

While Shenmue 3 isn't expected to launch until sometime in 2019, folks looking to explore a lovingly-crafted Japanese community, brawl with baddies and drive a forklift, won't actually have to wait all that much longer to dive into the game's world. While the third part of the trilogy is still being developed, we now have a launch date for the Shenmue 1 & 2 bundle, coming to the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. Get ready to quest for vengeance on Aug. 21.

While Shenmue 3 enjoyed a highly successful crowdfunding campaign several years back, the game never actually made its 2017 expected launch window. Pushed back into 2018, we learned earlier this year that 2019 is looking more likely. This was, obviously, a little disappointing for series fans new and old.

The upside, though, is that all of those folks now have time to replay the original games before Shenmue 3 finally arrives. And during E3 2018, Sega announced that would be easier than ever courtesy of a new bundle featuring both of the original games. According to a report from Polygon, Aug. 21 is when you can expect to grab Shenmue 1 & 2, which will set you back just $29.99.

The original Shenmue launched for the Dreamcast back in 1999, with the sequel arriving on that same console outside of the US and on the Xbox domestically in 2001. Creator Yu Suzuki always wanted to make a third game, but the opportunity was never available. That's why he turned to Kickstarter in 2015, a move that was announced on the PlayStation stage during that year's E3. The game went on to pull in an impressive $6.3 million and several updates concerning development make it look like the game is coming along slow, but well.

That's why it's so great to see that this new bundle is inbound. A lot of folks missed out on the original games, so this will be their opportunity to finally dive in and see what all of the fuss is about. The Shenmue games went on to inspire series like Grand Theft Auto and Yakuza, so consider playing the originals something of a crash course in open-world gaming history.

When the new bundle launches next month, players will be able to choose between English and Japanese voices, and apparently saves can be carried over from these games on all platforms. You'll also be able to save anywhere in both games, which is a great quality of life enhancement. HD resolution rendering and an updated UI are also on order, as well as new post-processing effects for both games.

These are 20-year-old games, so we're also happy to hear that controller support will be included that allows you to play with the classic setup or via more modern means. And, of course, you'll have a full list of Trophies and Achievements to work toward.

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