INSOMNIA

By Recap / Originally published on Postback on July 3, 2007 and translated for Insomnia from the Spanish by Emmanuel "El Chaos" Fernández Noguera


In our last editorial we left pending the tackling of the Metal Slug saga's compilation appearance that SNK Playmore has recently released for Wii, PS2 and PSP. The singularity of this launch, wrote down I, made it worthy of a separate text. Singular, in first place, because of the content's magnitude. Metal Slug (its first episodes, at least) is one of those examples of why 2D art is, simply, irreplaceable, that it's beyond technological frontiers and of how much it can enrich any mechanical approach. But also singular for being an initiative of SNK Playmore's United States subsidiary, which has looked for a developer of that nationality to undertake the work.
   This means that SNK Playmore is NOT the author of the so-called Metal Slug Complete, although it seems like many have preferred to avoid this extreme. The relationship between Western subsidiaries and Japanese parent companies has generated many misunderstandings concerning the industry's current image. The Western fanatic, beginner or not, tends to ignore such a simple concept as the fact that a subsidiary is not the parent company itself, even if they share names. Japan, usually, allows these misunderstandings. A nippon videogames company, in general (although this is changing at a rate of knots; globalization, they call it), focuses on its own market and closes its eyes to the rest. That their product ends up leaving the country, is nothing more than a part of the situation, but not a goal in itself. There lies the main reason as to why Japanese games' adaptations for Western countries have had, historically, such a low quality. The adaptation work is, simply, not the very creative house's business, so that it's difficult that a third party sees to it to preserve with the pertinent dignity the original product's values.

The eternal
ABSURDITY

   And although all this may sound like times past given the fanatic's, supposedly, ever increasing critical capacity [laughs] and the amounts of dollars that are moved today, aberrant cases like Metal Slug Complete for Wii are still appearing. For some reason, SNK Playmore USA thought that a compilation of the Metal Slug games was a good launch title for Nintendo's new system. A saga originated in the video arcades (no less, hey) for a system, that, beyond its... idiosyncrasy, is mainly characterized by employing a control system that's radically out of any preexisting concept (even more so from the arcade stick) and, clearly, incapable of offering the precision that a program of this nature requires. The insult extends to the point of not even supporting the Classic Controller, which at least would have dissembled to a certain degree the deep ignorance (disdain for the original?) of the compilation's developers, whose no-name doesn't even deserve to be mentioned.
   I won't enter into other sort of deficiencies, like the resolution mode used. In the end, the conversions born from the very original companies usually leave much to be desired too in matters of fidelity. But what less than take our hands to our head for such an insulting artifice that negates the saga's very concept. What less than remember that this sub-product, as it is devised, could never have come out from a Japanese developer, even less so from the original creators. Regardless of the consequences, hey.
   We'll have an analogous case after the summer with Super Street Fighter II X's (sorry... "Turbo"'s) remake that Capcom USA is producing with development by Backbone, who already ruined the PS2's Capcom Classics Collection. Aware (it's something) that the new systems aren't suitable for properly reproducing low resolution games, Backbone has decided to completely redraw the game in high definition. What, a priori, sounded so promising to some, is turning, as they're leaking graphic material, into a new yankee absurdity. And it's that in order to redraw the graphics at such a high resolution they got themselves the services of Udon, comics publisher popular in North America for its Street Fighter-based series. Comics for the strictly American sphere drawn by young illustrators on whose hands they have now put the difficult work of creating Super Street Fighter II X's (I meant to say "Turbo"'s) new graphics. Impossible muscles, grotesque proportions, already existing art plagiarisms and, especially, a style that has little to do with the original (and much to do with that of the typically American comic, naturally) have already made us lose all hope of obtaining a result perhaps worthy of our attention. And Japan, meanwhile, thrown into the 3Ds to satisfy so many Western mouths. Whatever.