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Anime vs. The NES


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Silver Kirin



Joined: 09 Aug 2018
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PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2020 5:20 pm Reply with quote
It always fascinated me how some games during the 8-bit era were altered to appeal to western audiences (like Kunio-Kun became Renegade/River City Ransom), I guess some game developers didn't want to waste a perfectly functioning game despite being based on an anime series, but during the NES era anime wasn't well known in the U.S., I guess Europe fared a bit better because games based on Dragon Ball and Saint Seiya did get released, since those series were broadcasted in countries like France. But then in the mid 90's anime got more popular and people demanded more games based on anime (I remember reading some letters from readers of Club Nintendo, the official Nintendo magazine in latin america, and many asked them if there could be a fighting game based on Saint Seiya for the SNES)
Sadly, I think that most games based on anime and manga aren't very good, similarly to tie-in games based on movies, there are some exceptions of course, but it seems like companies like Bandai don't care much about quality, sometimes you get some truly great games like JoJo's Heritage for the Future and Dragon Ball FighterZ, but I don't think we're going to get the anime game equivalent to Spider-Man for PS4 or Batman: Arkaham soon.
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Heishi



Joined: 06 Mar 2016
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PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2020 5:31 pm Reply with quote
Man, that Japanese cover for Strider looks so cool. Shame they didn't go with that one.
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#901749



Joined: 28 Oct 2019
Posts: 6
PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2020 5:42 pm Reply with quote
Silver Kirin wrote:
It always fascinated me how some games during the 8-bit era were altered to appeal to western audiences (like Kunio-Kun became Renegade/River City Ransom), I guess some game developers didn't want to waste a perfectly functioning game despite being based on an anime series, but during the NES era anime wasn't well known in the U.S., I guess Europe fared a bit better because games based on Dragon Ball and Saint Seiya did get released, since those series were broadcasted in countries like France. But then in the mid 90's anime got more popular and people demanded more games based on anime (I remember reading some letters from readers of Club Nintendo, the official Nintendo magazine in latin america, and many asked them if there could be a fighting game based on Saint Seiya for the SNES)
Sadly, I think that most games based on anime and manga aren't very good, similarly to tie-in games based on movies, there are some exceptions of course, but it seems like companies like Bandai don't care much about quality, sometimes you get some truly great games like JoJo's Heritage for the Future and Dragon Ball FighterZ, but I don't think we're going to get the anime game equivalent to Spider-Man for PS4 or Batman: Arkham soon.


I agree with you. When things finally get popular in another country, there can be a scramble to create more merchandise based off of it. Look at Naruto. In america and europe, almost every game that came out was translated and put in store shelves. Sadly, most of those games are mediocre at best. As for that second half, I feel that we have yet to get a company that cares to make something with that much effort. One thing is that the arkham and spiderman games you used were created by multiple people around the globe. Anime games very rarely have developers outside of Japan.

Another reason is that most anime games are created for a quick tie in. When arkham asylum came out, there had not been a batman game in several years. Compare that to dbz getting a game almost every 1-2 years. Same with spiderman. I really would love an anime game based on something timeless, like batman. Maybe a new Lupin III game, or(a man can dream) a cowboy bebop game. Those are old series that could be worth making a game that you could take a few years on, instead of worrying about time.

Another idea is that most anime games are either an RPG, or a fighting game. I personally would love to see something more varied. Maybe give an anime IP to bethesda or even a game studio such as from soft. Make an open world game, or a point and click adventure, or even an uncharted "story shooter". I think anime publishers should take risk. They should try to make a game that doesn't just make money, but is well regarded. Something that very few anime games are called.
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TarsTarkas



Joined: 20 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2020 7:52 pm Reply with quote
Really, anyone looking at the covers of the American version and the Japanese version, would immediately pick the Japanese version. Those American covers are truly horrible.

It is like the Japanese wanted these titles to fail.
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Zalis116
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PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2020 8:22 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
The questionable art of remaking or disguising anime-based games didn't end with the NES, and it continued through the next generation in games like Mystic Defender and U.N. Squadron.
UN Squadron didn't really do that much, aside from the title change. It still has the anime-style artwork, and didn't rename Shin Kazama into something more American like "Shaun Cassidy." If anything, the game adaptation itself did a lot more to water down the rough edges and moral ambiguities of the Area 88 source manga to create a more straightforward "good vs. evil" side-scrolling shooter.

TarsTarkas wrote:
Really, anyone looking at the covers of the American version and the Japanese version, would immediately pick the Japanese version. Those American covers are truly horrible.

That may be true today, but there was a lot more Japanophobia back then; the Boomer and Gen-Xer parents of that era would've been the children of the generations that fought in or otherwise experienced WWII. Plus, Marketing demanded that American Kirby had to be hardcore.
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redcar



Joined: 04 Jun 2009
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PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2020 9:26 pm Reply with quote
Haha, for some reason I knew Todd wrote this article when I read the title. Always nice to see some love for the NES.
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WingKing



Joined: 27 Apr 2015
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PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2020 12:08 am Reply with quote
I’ve always found it amusing that one of the tie-in games that DIDN’T get renamed and re-skinned for its NA release was Fist of the North Star, which is a far less kid-friendly franchise than some of these other ones that were revamped. That NES game was actually my introduction to FotNS, although I wouldn’t learn about the actual anime and manga until many years later.
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strawberry_milk



Joined: 28 Feb 2020
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PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2020 1:16 am Reply with quote
I'll always remember the ending of Strider on the Amstrad CPC because it was basically a screen that said something like "You've completed your training, now begin your mission" and the game just restarts.

I even completed it twice in a row to make sure. Laughing
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BadNewsBlues



Joined: 21 Sep 2014
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PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2020 2:43 am Reply with quote
#901749 wrote:


Another idea is that most anime games are either an RPG, or a fighting game. I personally would love to see something more varied. Maybe give an anime IP to bethesda or even a game studio such as from soft. Make an open world game, or a point and click adventure, or even an uncharted "story shooter". I think anime publishers should take risk. They should try to make a game that doesn't just make money, but is well regarded. Something that very few anime games are called.


You’ll almost never see games of that caliber coming out of Japan between these games not having the budget comparable to some of the stuff that comes out in the U.S. in addition to the fact Japan is pretty particular about the kind of games they play and what they play them on.

Silver Kirin wrote:
I guess Europe fared a bit better


*Cough* Probotector *cough*
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Lin Liren



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PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2020 3:23 am Reply with quote
Ah, the children of these Asian hating-executives must be the same tweeting-klansmen trash who got Rose Tico cut from a Hero to a silent 76-second Asian-menial-stereotype in The Rise of Skywalker. Anything to make Heroic Fantasy, even those explicitly based on Asian Samurai and Wuxia films, safe and white for little blonde hair blue eyed Aryan Timmy and Jane, lest their hair turns black and their skins turn olive playing and watching them, eh?

Last edited by Lin Liren on Sun May 03, 2020 9:44 pm; edited 2 times in total
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KabaKabaFruit



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PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2020 11:00 am Reply with quote
Despite Todd putting his own constant spin on the narrative here, I just think the answer to why most boxarts got changed over here is just due to the possibility that they wanted to make images that American gamers can relate to. Although, that in itself, is a self-fulfilling prophecy as nearly all the games themselves retained the Japanese artwork in-game which only left gamers scratching their heads afterwards. If anything, the whole localization process in retrospect just looked dysfunctional and paranoid.
Zalis116 wrote:
That may be true today, but there was a lot more Japanophobia back then; the Boomer and Gen-Xer parents of that era would've been the children of the generations that fought in or otherwise experienced WWII. Plus, Marketing demanded that American Kirby had to be hardcore.

I don't buy the WWII argument for a few reasons.
1. The war is over, period. Japan surrendered and the allies won. There was nothing more to go against Japan in this context.
2. We're talking about cartoons here. Cartoons that don't even depict the Japanese as even looking Japanese and with far more exaggerated plots.
3. There are still WWII vets alive today. I have not in any way, shape or form, even heard of a vet or their progeny even complain about having anime on our shores, even long after policies changed that allowed more Japan elements to be displayed in today's video games. Heck, if we had to keep anime off our shores here out of respect for our vets, Fred Ladd would've been crucified over bringing Astro Boy here.
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Juno016



Joined: 09 Jan 2012
Posts: 1983
PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2020 11:07 am Reply with quote
Lin Liren wrote:
Ah, the children of these Asian hating-executives must be the same tweeting-klansmen trash who got Rose Tico cut from a hero to a silent 76-second Asian-meinal-stereotype in The Rise of Skywalker. Anything to make Heroic Fantasy, even those explicitly based on Asian Samurai and Wuxia films, safe and white for little blonde hair blue eyed Aryan Timmy and Jane, lest their hair turns black and their skins turn olive playing and watching them, eh?


I'm all for calling out racism and I'm quite unfamiliar with Star Wars and that particular event, but I also know the movie industry (and capitalism in the West in general) has an issue with race in films, so I don't doubt racism had something to do with it, but... yikes, this is quite a hot take. Racism ain't hereditary, it's institutional.
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TarsTarkas



Joined: 20 Dec 2007
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Location: Virginia, United States
PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2020 12:21 pm Reply with quote
Zalis116 wrote:

That may be true today, but there was a lot more Japanophobia back then; the Boomer and Gen-Xer parents of that era would've been the children of the generations that fought in or otherwise experienced WWII. Plus, Marketing demanded that American Kirby had to be hardcore.


I grew up in the Sixties and the Seventies, never saw any of that stuff.

My point anyway, was that those American covers were so horrible looking, that hardly any one would be enticed to buy those games.
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Silver Kirin



Joined: 09 Aug 2018
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PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2020 12:53 pm Reply with quote
TarsTarkas wrote:
Really, anyone looking at the covers of the American version and the Japanese version, would immediately pick the Japanese version. Those American covers are truly horrible.

It is like the Japanese wanted these titles to fail.


Yeah, probably the worst type of western cover art is the original Mega Man for the NES. I guess most U.S. publishers didn't think that anime/manga style covers could be attract western gamers so they opted for a comicbook style. At least in the mid 90s things started to change, Chrono Trigger is the first game I can think which retained its original artstyle for its cover instead of being redrawn to look more realistic.
One good example of artstyle change is Keith Courage for the Turbografx-16, the game is based on the anime Mashin Eiyuuden Wataru, and despite the main character being drawn as a generic comicbook hero for the West he still retains Wataru's clothes and the poses on both covers are similar
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R. Kasahara
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PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2020 1:19 pm Reply with quote
Zalis116 wrote:
That may be true today, but there was a lot more Japanophobia back then; the Boomer and Gen-Xer parents of that era would've been the children of the generations that fought in or otherwise experienced WWII. Plus, Marketing demanded that American Kirby had to be hardcore.

In the 80s, Japan was feared not because of a war from 40 years prior, but because, at the time, they were an economic powerhouse and a strong competitor to the US; there was a lot of concern that the Japanese were "taking over" Western markets.
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