Why did SNES Japan-only games have much better graphics than localized games?

You can talk about almost anything that you want to on this board.

Moderator: Moderators

Ronian53
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2020 12:26 pm

Why did SNES Japan-only games have much better graphics than localized games?

Post by Ronian53 » Sat Nov 07, 2020 4:34 am

A lot of SNES games localized have a lot worse graphics than what was in Japan at the time. Just look at Goemon 2, these sprites look like a PS1 2D or modern indie game! There are so many cutscenes and minigames you can even play Xexex! Well known US releases like the Mega Man X games look like garbage in comparison. You would think Final Fantasy 4 looks dated because it's a early RPG. Well, the even earlier RPG Gdleen has much better graphics. And this game, called "Rendering Ranger R2 was western developed and not based on any japan property, but it's Japan only and with really good graphics, were they trying to troll us? Romancing SaGa in early 1992 looks much better than FF Mystic Quest in late 1992. This also goes for some japanese games that were localized in the PAL region like Terranigma. Altrough hr DKC games and SMRPG exist to showcase smooth prerendered animation, these games had hand drawn sprites. This didn't happen on other systems, SEGA localized most of their games including RPGs like Shining Force. And in 1994 Nintendo released a US-only action RPG, Startropics but on the SNES 1995 was too late for some developers to localize their game?

User avatar
Bregalad
Posts: 8008
Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2004 2:49 pm
Location: Chexbres, VD, Switzerland

Re: Why did SNES Japan-only games have much better graphics than localized games?

Post by Bregalad » Sat Nov 07, 2020 6:56 am

Sorry but what you're saying makes no sense. Various games have various quality of graphics, and vaious indivuduals might have various opinions about the graphics of said games.

Whether a game was localised or not is irrelevant to it's quality of graphics.

The only bias that might have played a role is that games that were considered to have dated graphics and that weren't localised quickly enough might have been rejected for late localisation. I think of Final Fantasy V, who wasn't localised quickly enough and by the time it's localisation might have been possible FF6 was already out, and they prefered to localise this one instead due to its supperior graphics. However that bias goes in the oposite direciton as to what you're claiming (that japan-only games would have better graphics).
Useless, lumbering half-wits don't scare us.

Pokun
Posts: 1746
Joined: Tue May 28, 2013 5:49 am
Location: Hokkaido, Japan

Re: Why did SNES Japan-only games have much better graphics than localized games?

Post by Pokun » Sat Nov 07, 2020 11:35 am

Yeah I don't understand what you are saying either. It's not like there is some kind of conspiracy to only release ugly games outside Japan or something. And I don't agree with your examples either, and think they are highly subjective. Mega Man X looks like garbage? It's definitely on the same level as Goemon 2 if you ask me. And Gdlean looks like an early SNES RPG, which it is. It does have nice cut-scenes, but I don't think it looks any better than the SNES FF games in general. It just uses larger sprites like Lagoon, which was released in English.

Seiken Densetsu 3 is an astonishing looking game that wasn't released in English. Rather than localized games being ugly though, there is a large number of great games that was never released in English, but for many different reasons.

strat
Posts: 387
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2008 6:08 pm
Location: Missouri

Re: Why did SNES Japan-only games have much better graphics than localized games?

Post by strat » Sat Nov 07, 2020 4:41 pm

And in 1994 Nintendo released a US-only action RPG, Startropics but on the SNES 1995 was too late for some developers to localize their game?
Nintendo was trying to move a few top-loader NES units with some late releases on the way out. And there's no way Startropics 2 had as much text as an average SNES rpg.

Oziphantom
Posts: 1069
Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2017 2:03 am

Re: Why did SNES Japan-only games have much better graphics than localized games?

Post by Oziphantom » Sun Nov 08, 2020 12:28 am

Ronian53 wrote:
Sat Nov 07, 2020 4:34 am
A lot of SNES games localized have a lot worse graphics than what was in Japan at the time.
Because US releases were delayed, back then Japan cared about Japan first, then effort was put in to localize if it was "good enough", then 2 years later we got them in the PAL region if we were lucky.
Just look at Goemon 2, these sprites look like a PS1 2D or modern indie game! There are so many cutscenes and minigames you can even play Xexex!
Looks on par with the other Konami games such as Sparkster to me. Or Pocky and Rocky 2.
Well known US releases like the Mega Man X games look like garbage in comparison.
You know MegaMan X is a Japanese developed game right?
You would think Final Fantasy 4 looks dated because it's a early RPG. Well, the even earlier RPG Gdleen has much better graphics.
FF4 has a "we made this as a NES game, but the NES market was dead so we did a SNES port halfway through development and didn't have the time or money to upgrade our computers and tools" look to it. FFV doesn't look that much better to be honest.
And this game, called "Rendering Ranger R2 was western developed and not based on any japan property, but it's Japan only and with really good graphics, were they trying to troll us?
Keeping a Manfred Trenz game from us is trolling. But 1995 is very late in the SNES life cycle and they probably didn't deem it something the remaining SNES market would want. They only made 10,000 copies of it for the Japanese market.
Romancing SaGa in early 1992 looks much better than FF Mystic Quest in late 1992.
Sure its a budget title, it sold for a lot less than a normal SNES game, as it was meant for Kids to get them into RPGs, it also a follow on from the GB games and has a simular look. Maybe the gameboy games were popular and they wanted to continue them to get them into SNES RPGs as well.
This also goes for some japanese games that were localized in the PAL region like Terranigma.
And it is the best SNES RPG ;)
Altrough hr DKC games and SMRPG exist to showcase smooth prerendered animation, these games had hand drawn sprites. This didn't happen on other systems, SEGA localized most of their games including RPGs like Shining Force. And in 1994 Nintendo released a US-only action RPG, Startropics but on the SNES 1995 was too late for some developers to localize their game?
Given Terranigma didn't make it, yeah 95 was dead in the US for SNES.
And then for smooth comic book art you have TinTin ;)

User avatar
Bregalad
Posts: 8008
Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2004 2:49 pm
Location: Chexbres, VD, Switzerland

Re: Why did SNES Japan-only games have much better graphics than localized games?

Post by Bregalad » Sun Nov 08, 2020 4:12 am

FF4 has a "we made this as a NES game, but the NES market was dead so we did a SNES port halfway through development and didn't have the time or money to upgrade our computers and tools" look to it.
My understanding was that a FF4 for NES was originally supposed to be developped at the same time as FF4 which was supposed to become FF5. However the NES FF4 never went far in development and was cancelled. So it's wrong to say FF4 is a NES game hastly reconverted in a SNES game. It was FF5 hastly renamed FF4, and that pretty early in development anyway. I might have misunderstood.

It seems there's a general consensus any RPG with 16x16 sprites is "ugly" and "NES-like", but I disagree especially FF5 and Live a Live, because character faces actually show real emotion in those games despite the sprites being 16x16, I think it's an amazing accomplishment Square made there !
Useless, lumbering half-wits don't scare us.

tepples
Posts: 22274
Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2004 11:12 pm
Location: NE Indiana, USA (NTSC)
Contact:

Re: Why did SNES Japan-only games have much better graphics than localized games?

Post by tepples » Sun Nov 08, 2020 9:11 am

Oziphantom wrote:
Sun Nov 08, 2020 12:28 am
You know MegaMan X is a Japanese developed game right?
Yes. As I understand it, the complaint is that more effort was put into the graphics of games in genres that are less commonly released in North America, such as text-heavy RPGs and adaptations of Japanese or European media, than genres that are more commonly released in North America, such as action platformers and adaptations of American or Canadian media.
Oziphantom wrote:
Sun Nov 08, 2020 12:28 am
FF4 has a "we made this as a NES game, but the NES market was dead so we did a SNES port halfway through development and didn't have the time or money to upgrade our computers and tools" look to it.
Search keyword: Sydney Hunter

Pokun
Posts: 1746
Joined: Tue May 28, 2013 5:49 am
Location: Hokkaido, Japan

Re: Why did SNES Japan-only games have much better graphics than localized games?

Post by Pokun » Mon Nov 09, 2020 8:26 am

Well if you look at it that way there certainly is a pattern of games not being localized. Rather than the quality of the game or its looks, it's about the genres not being popular enough compared to the required work. Especially RPGs and adventure games were not localized as much as they deserved on Nintendo's systems, despite both genres had long been popular in America for other systems (and both genres even originates in America I think). As a Swedish RPG fan I was very frustrated by that Europe didn't get any DQs or FFs like North America did for a long time (not until FF7 and DQ8). Sega systems on the other hand did get a good share of orthodox RPGs even in Europe.

Nowadays JRPGs are big business all over the world, but the Japanese-style adventure game genre is still a black sheep of a genre in the west even now, though much less so than in the past thanks to the popularity of things like Phoenix Wright and 999.

User avatar
Bregalad
Posts: 8008
Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2004 2:49 pm
Location: Chexbres, VD, Switzerland

Re: Why did SNES Japan-only games have much better graphics than localized games?

Post by Bregalad » Mon Nov 09, 2020 1:01 pm

We got Final Fantasy Adventure, Final Fantasy Mystic Quest and Dragon Quest Monsters before. Even though I kind of agree that it's debatable whether they count.
Useless, lumbering half-wits don't scare us.

strat
Posts: 387
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2008 6:08 pm
Location: Missouri

Re: Why did SNES Japan-only games have much better graphics than localized games?

Post by strat » Mon Nov 09, 2020 2:37 pm

FF4 has a "we made this as a NES game, but the NES market was dead so we did a SNES port halfway through development and didn't have the time or money to upgrade our computers and tools" look to it. FFV doesn't look that much better to be honest.
Really? FF5 seems like a pretty drastic improvement over 4, which does mostly have an NES-style, blocky grid. 5 has more detailed shading with ornamental tiles while 4 has just enough to illustrate the concept. 6 took what they learned on 5 and upped the ante with an even larger tileset.

Image
Image
Image

Pokun
Posts: 1746
Joined: Tue May 28, 2013 5:49 am
Location: Hokkaido, Japan

Re: Why did SNES Japan-only games have much better graphics than localized games?

Post by Pokun » Mon Nov 09, 2020 5:09 pm

FF5 is a step up while still retaining the style of the previous games, and I like it very much for that fact. Considering that the first 3 games reused most of FF1's graphics it's quite a big step in the FF evolution ladder. And they started to use a very rich expression language on the sprites like Bregalad said (this goes to its climax in the Square game Live-A-Live). FF6 is a step up again, but otherwise the biggest difference is the larger tileset and sprites. It also introduced a darker theme which continued for the entirety of FF7 and changed the FF series' style as a whole.

Bregalad wrote:
Mon Nov 09, 2020 1:01 pm
We got Final Fantasy Adventure, Final Fantasy Mystic Quest and Dragon Quest Monsters before. Even though I kind of agree that it's debatable whether they count.
Yeah we got Final Fantasy Adventure (though renamed "Mystic Quest" oddly enough) but I remember reading Final Fantasy Mystic Quest (Mystic Quest Legend in Europe) was not to be released in Scandinavia (which is very odd). I'm not sure if it really wasn't though.

turboxray
Posts: 142
Joined: Thu Oct 31, 2019 12:56 am

Re: Why did SNES Japan-only games have much better graphics than localized games?

Post by turboxray » Mon Nov 09, 2020 5:18 pm

Ronian53 wrote:
Sat Nov 07, 2020 4:34 am
A lot of SNES games localized have a lot worse graphics than what was in Japan at the time. Just look at Goemon 2, these sprites look like a PS1 2D or modern indie game! There are so many cutscenes and minigames you can even play Xexex! Well known US releases like the Mega Man X games look like garbage in comparison. You would think Final Fantasy 4 looks dated because it's a early RPG. Well, the even earlier RPG Gdleen has much better graphics. And this game, called "Rendering Ranger R2 was western developed and not based on any japan property, but it's Japan only and with really good graphics, were they trying to troll us? Romancing SaGa in early 1992 looks much better than FF Mystic Quest in late 1992. This also goes for some japanese games that were localized in the PAL region like Terranigma. Altrough hr DKC games and SMRPG exist to showcase smooth prerendered animation, these games had hand drawn sprites. This didn't happen on other systems, SEGA localized most of their games including RPGs like Shining Force. And in 1994 Nintendo released a US-only action RPG, Startropics but on the SNES 1995 was too late for some developers to localize their game?
I can't tell if you're just trolling or an idiot haha. With statements like MegaMan X though.. I'm just gonna go with both.

Oziphantom
Posts: 1069
Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2017 2:03 am

Re: Why did SNES Japan-only games have much better graphics than localized games?

Post by Oziphantom » Mon Nov 09, 2020 11:38 pm

tepples wrote:
Sun Nov 08, 2020 9:11 am
Oziphantom wrote:
Sun Nov 08, 2020 12:28 am
FF4 has a "we made this as a NES game, but the NES market was dead so we did a SNES port halfway through development and didn't have the time or money to upgrade our computers and tools" look to it.
Search keyword: Sydney Hunter
I had a look there was noting about the dev of FF4, or are you making a link of what happens when a colecovision games gets the SNES treatment with a well the pallete is finer?

Oziphantom
Posts: 1069
Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2017 2:03 am

Re: Why did SNES Japan-only games have much better graphics than localized games?

Post by Oziphantom » Mon Nov 09, 2020 11:58 pm

Pokun wrote:
Mon Nov 09, 2020 8:26 am
Well if you look at it that way there certainly is a pattern of games not being localized. Rather than the quality of the game or its looks, it's about the genres not being popular enough compared to the required work. Especially RPGs and adventure games were not localized as much as they deserved on Nintendo's systems, despite both genres had long been popular in America for other systems (and both genres even originates in America I think).
Yeah RPGs, Adventure games and Dungeons Crawlers are all American inventions. It funny how Japan have 50(slight hyperbole) Wizardry games and we only have 8? or are we up to 10 now.
The problem is the average Yank was all "sports sports sports" and hence they ruined Actraiser 2 because Americans didn't want those RPG things like the first one. To be fair they learnt their lesson and Enix never listened to EnixUS again.

tepples
Posts: 22274
Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2004 11:12 pm
Location: NE Indiana, USA (NTSC)
Contact:

Re: Why did SNES Japan-only games have much better graphics than localized games?

Post by tepples » Tue Nov 10, 2020 12:06 am

Oziphantom wrote:
Mon Nov 09, 2020 11:38 pm
tepples wrote:
Sun Nov 08, 2020 9:11 am
Oziphantom wrote:
Sun Nov 08, 2020 12:28 am
"we did a SNES port halfway through development and didn't have the time or money to upgrade our computers and tools" look.
Search keyword: Sydney Hunter
I had a look there was noting about the dev of FF4, or are you making a link of what happens when a colecovision games gets the SNES treatment with a well the pallete is finer?
I'm tagging the discussion as giving an example of a game that gives the impression of barely upgraded assets that make it look like a hasty port, citing u/drewskyh's review of Caverns of Death. See also a recent discussion about expected production values for an indie game on Super NES.

Post Reply