Xbox/DC Changes Guide by CVXFREAK
Shenmue 2 on SuperCheats.com
                Shenmue II - Dreamcast to Xbox Changes Guide
                     Microsoft Xbox and Sega Dreamcast
                           Written by: cvxfreak
                               Version 2.0
                Developed, Created, and Ported by: Sega AM2
                   Published by: Sega (Japan, Dreamcast)
                  Big Ben Interactive (Europe, Dreamcast) 
                  Microsoft (North America, Europe, Xbox)

Feel free to use this FAQ for any purpose you like. It's copyright 2007
by cvxfreak. The rights for the various versions of Shenmue II are owned
either by Sega, Big Ben Interactive or Microsoft, and such, I do not own
any rights related to them. 

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
-----------------

0.  Introduction
1.  Version History
2.  Graphics
3.  Gameplay
4.  Features
5.  Sound
6.  Controls
7.  Discs
8.  Consoles, Publishers, Etc.
9.  Other Things
10. Conclusion

---------------
0. Introduction
---------------

This simple FAQ will contrast the differences between the Dreamcast and 
Xbox versions of the game, Shenmue II. There are quite a few changes, 
but the game largely remains the same overall. 

As you probably know, Shenmue II was released for the Dreamcast in Japan 
and Europe in late 2001 but not in North America. The release was going 
to happen right until Microsoft and Sega signed an agreement to bring the
game to the Xbox in North America ONLY. One year later, the game was 
released for the Xbox with some differences. This FAQ will detail those
differences, but it will not talk about gameplay or story. 

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1. Version History
------------------

Version 2.0
April 08, 2007
This guide has not been updated for several years, and clearly it should
have been done a long time ago. The writing and formatting quality have
been greatly improved, and the FAQ is more detailed than it was before. 
Information has also been added with regards to the Xbox 360. 

-----------
2. Graphics 
-----------

The graphics between the Dreamcast and Xbox releases of Shenmue II are 
largely the same. The core engine, art assets and design have been ported
over to the Xbox faithfully. The Xbox version, however, looks sharper and 
runs at a higher resolution. 

The loadtimes in the Xbox version have been reduced by a few seconds when
transitioning between sections of the game settings. In the original
Dreamcast version, occasionally there would be framerate drops and 
slowdown when too many actions were occurring on the screen at a time. 
The more powerful Xbox system can handle all the action much better,
and thus the slowdown has been eliminated in that version. 

Also, the buttons on the QTEs reflect that of the XBOX controller S 
(not the original XBOX controller), meaning color modifications. 

Button name| Dreamcast controller color | Xbox controller S color
-----------------------------------------------------------------
   A       |          Red               |       Green            
-----------------------------------------------------------------
   B       |          Blue              |       Red  
-----------------------------------------------------------------
   X       |          Yellow            |       Blue
-----------------------------------------------------------------
   Y       |          Green             |       Yellow 

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3. Gameplay
-----------

Playing through the game on the Dreamcast and Xbox are exactly the 
same. Ryo Hazuki has the same objectives, meets the same people, gets
into the same fights and has the same abilities in both versions;
this aspect of the game has hardly changed at all, with one small
exception.

Some items in the Dreamcast version of Shenmue II that could only be 
obtained from having a Shenmue I gameplay file are automatically in
Ryo's inventory in the Xbox version of Shenmue II. This is because the
first game was never ported to the Xbox, unfortunately, and thus a
save file to bring those items to Shenmue II is not possible.

-----------
4. Features
-----------

Shenmue II for Xbox boasts some extra features over the original 
Dreamcast version. 

The first is the snapshot feature, which by pressing the Black button, 
you'll take a picture of any event in the game (even cut-scenes) and 
it'll be saved to the Xbox harddrive. 

Another feature is the filter system. By pressing the White button, the 
color changes to a grey-scale, brownish-scale, and a bright scale, as 
well as the traditional color-scale. Another feature is automatic 
saving. 

You can save basically anywhere in the game by going to the inventory 
screen and clicking on the Xbox logo. You'll start at the same place 
when you start again. 

Another feature is Shenmue I: The Movie DVD is included within the 
package for the Xbox version of Shenmue II. It takes the cut-scenes 
from Shenmue I and turns them into a movie-like experience. 

However, a minus from the Xbox version is that it can't read any 
Shenmue I saves since Shenmue I isn't coming to the XBOX (hence 
Shenmue I: The Movie DVD). 

The Japanese Dreamcast version's initial release included a Virtua 
Fighter 4 media disc (not the game itself). 

--------
5. Sound
--------

Shenmue II for both consoles have one basic difference: the language 
spoken in the game. 

All Dreamcast versions (in Japan and Europe of course) have the 
characters speaking Japanese. The European version of the title 
features subtitles in various languages, including English. The
Dreamcast never received a version of the game with English audio.

The XBOX version is dubbed into English voices, using many of the 
partially-talented actors from the previous game. No Xbox version
features Japanese voice acting. 

Which is superior of the two is a matter of taste. Neither scenario
of all people speaking English or Japanese is particularly realistic
because the game takes place in Hong Kong, although English does
come off slightly more believable in the end. It's just a nuance
you'll have to forgive. 

All background music and sounds are basically the same, however, 
so voice acting was the only difference between the two. Technically
speaking, the Xbox's audio output, especially with an optical cable,
is superior to the Dreamcast's audio output, providing a better 
audio experience overall on the Xbox. 

-----------
6. Controls
-----------

Each button on the Dreamcast and Xbox controllers perform the same 
exact function between the two games (since the Xbox controllers are 
basically a Dreamcast-layout with an extra stick and two extra buttons). 
The black and white buttons perform the snapshot and filter feature 
for the Xbox version, respectively. Otherwise, the controls are 
exactly the same as before.

Xbox 360:
The Xbox version of Shenmue II can be played on an Xbox 360 after the
patch has been downloaded and installed onto the Xbox 360 system. The
Xbox 360 controller does not contain the black and white buttons, so
the LB and RB buttons fulfill the functions of the black and white
buttons, respectively. 

--------
7. Discs
--------

The Shenmue II package for Dreamcast spanned across 4 Dreamcast GD-ROMS 
(excluding the Virtua Fighter 4 extra in the Japanese DC version) and
is contained in a rather oversized package containing jewel cases that
hold each of the discs. They can be inserted into a slipcase to keep
them organized. 
 
Shenmue II for Xbox spans one DVD only, eliminating the need to change 
discs every so often. The Xbox version's overall package is two DVDs, 
because of the Shenmue I: The Movie DVD. The DVD case is in the Xbox's
standard green, with two disc trays to hold each disc. 

-----------------------------
8. Consoles, Publishers, Etc.
-----------------------------

Shenmue II was initially developed for the Dreamcast, and released for 
the Dreamcast in Japan and Europe. Sega published and developed the 
Japanese Shenmue II for Dreamcast, while Big Ben Interactive published 
the European version of the Dreamcast Shenmue II. The Dreamcast 
version was never released in North America. 

Shenmue II was ported and upgraded to the Xbox and released in North
America and PAL territories. Microsoft published Shenmue II for Xbox 
in North America and Europe, but Sega AM2 actually worked on the 
game's development. The Xbox version was never released in Japan.

---------------
9. Other Things
---------------

1. Here are pictures of all the boxarts for Shenmue II, which are 
have a few differences among each of them:

http://img261.imageshack.us/img261/8536/sheniidcjapanwi9.jpg
(Shenmue II - Dreamcast - Japan)

http://img266.imageshack.us/img266/9537/sheniieurodcbg1.jpg
(Shenmue II - Dreamcast - Europe)

http://img410.imageshack.us/img410/2009/shenmueiicoverxboxgr1.jpg
(Shenmue II - Xbox - North America)

http://img174.imageshack.us/img174/3799/sheniieuroxboxap4.jpg
(Shenmue II - Xbox - Europe)

-------------------

2. The character "Cool J" in the Japanese Dreamcast version is known 
as Cool Z in the North American and European versions for both Xbox
and Dreamcast. According to Oliver Dean, it was for the Western 
countries to avoid problems with rapper LL Cool J. Even though he is
known as Cool Z in the European Dreamcast version's subtitles, in
Japanese he is still noticeably pronounced as "Cool J". In the English
dub, he is indeed called Cool Z. As far as the change is concerned, in
Japanese transliterations of English words, occasionally the J sound
takes on the value of the western or Chinese Z sound. 

-------------------

3. So which version is worth it?
Both version have their ups and downs. Fans of Japanese audio will
not appreciate the Xbox version, while fans of English audio will go
with the Xbox version and not give the Dreamcast version a try. In
2007, both versions of the game are fairly difficult to find in all 
countries. Whichever version you go with, know that you're in for an
awesome experience you shouldn't miss. 

--------------
10. Conclusion
--------------

Well, this FAQ is essentially finished and finalized. 

Credit goes to CJayC at GameFAQs, family, friends, as well as the people 
at the Shenmue II board who noticed some similarities and differences 
between the versions.
 
Thanks to Frank kool for the awesome Shenmue Plot Analysis and Oliver 
Dean for his Shenmue II FAQ for helping me through the game. 

cvxfreak
fireemblempride[at]gmail[dot]com