Saturday, October 8, 2016

Pigs (Two Different Ones)

There was a wonderful surprise waiting for me in Nintendo's eShop... a remake of Butasan, the frantic action title where pigs chuck explosives at each other. (I know what you're thinking, but no, it's nothing like Bomberman... imagine dodgeball with even more painful projectiles and you'd be a lot closer to the mark.) 

Unfortunately, this release from Jaleco's successor Clarice Games would be easy to miss, not only because Butasan is not well known in the United States but because the company's attempt to make it more relevant to Westerners was a crashing, flaming failure of Hindenburg proportions. Here's a picture of the original game from 1987... the 3DS version uses polygonal graphics but is otherwise in the same style.

(image from arcade-museum)
(also, no, I don't know why that pig
is wearing a diaper. Look, that's not
important right now...)
Okay, cute livestock frolicking with cartoon bombs. Got it. Now let's look at the artwork used to promote the game on the eShop...

(image from Nintendo UK)
I can almost forgive the new title, but those characters? The one on the left looks like Harley Quinn with a fake tan and an appalling fashion sense. The steroid junkie on the right at least resembles a pig, but one that's likely to stick a pole through you and roast you over an open flame, rather than the other way around. It's not even the first time the game has been, uh, creatively localized, as the ZX Spectrum version illustrates:

(image from MobyGames)
Look, I get it. Westerners weren't in love with cute Japanese characters back in those days. Nintendo hadn't quite cemented itself as the leader of the gaming industry in 1987, and Pokemon was almost a decade away. But really, if you're going to offer Pig Vicious here as the Western face of the series, I'll stick with the original design for Butasan, polka-dot diaper and all.

(image from YouTube)

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