News Article

European Gamers Bemoan PAL Version of Super Metroid

Posted by Andy Green

Les Européens ne sont pas contents

As we're sure many of you are already aware, Super Metroid is now available on the Wii U Virtual Console in North America and Europe for the low low price of 30c/30p, although both versions are not the same.

While the North American edition is playable in full 60Hz as it was intended, European gamers have been given the "optimised" adaptation that offers "gameplay and music speed similar to the US version". Of course, the aspect ratio has been corrected for the Virtual Console release and in reality there is no slowdown at all in terms of gameplay but that hasn't stopped Europeans from being irked.

Unfortunately for the English speaking members of Europe, the Wii U Virtual Console version of Super Metroid comes with the French or German subtitles found in the original game. This is a bit of an annoyance, considering in the digital age it should be relatively simple to just offer up the US version to English speakers in the same way Nintendo gave the 60Hz versions of other titles such as F-Zero and Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream.

Angry European Wii U owners have since taken to the Miiverse to voice their opinions on the matter. Here's a selection of what they had to say:

What's your opinion on this one, Europe? Would you have preferred to have been given the fully-fledged 60Hz US version without the subtitles, or do you not think it matters? Let us know in the comment section below.

From the web

Game Screenshots

User Comments (79)



Le_Gazman said:

It was half butt'd then and it's half butt'd now. No excuse for 50Hz releases in the HD age. People are protesting against the principle of still getting 2nd class versions 20yrs after the original release.



Smitherenez said:

The game plays well enough in my book. And if you don't know the difference, you don't know what you are missing out on.



Moose_4 said:

The subtitles are annoying, but i can live with the PAL game.
I thought that all of the Virtual Console games were now going to be the 60hz version though, why release other games on the same day as 60hz.



Rapadash6 said:

At the risk of throwing logs into an already overraging fire, maybe your country shouldn't have adopted such a janky standard in the first place. Come at me, Europe!



Geonjaha said:

Subtitles are annoying. These issues would easily be solved if Nintendo just let us choose which version to use.



DESS-M-8 said:

No reason to not release all games in 60hz instead 50hz.
Although it would mean we'd get starfox instead of starwing, but robocop 3 and super double dragon would rock.

I can't believe you can't turn the subtitles off in super Metroid though. There's two sets of text at once with one that means nothing to me, I had to check the options a few times to see if I'd missed something,



BeeZeroOne1 said:

@Rapadash6 *Continent. Also, PAL50 picture quality, far from being 'janky', is in fact higher-res and sharper than NTSC60, but runs at a slightly lower frame rate; unfortunately, many non-European devs (i.e. most of them) didn't bother to optimise their games to the PAL standard, so they ran horribly, running 17% slower than in their native format. It played a large part in developing the import market in Europe in the '90s, along with certain games like Chrono Trigger and Earthbound not getting an EU release at all.

Of course, that's not nearly as much of an issue here as with some games, since Super Metroid is one of the games that WAS optimised.
(And yes, I'm aware your comment wasn't intended as being particularly serious. But these points don't tend to get covered properly in articles like this.)

@TroyAikman People aren't upset about paying 30p for a subpar version as much as the possibility of having to cough up full price for such a thing. (Although if you ask me, 50hz Balloon Fight is unplayable).



Linky_97 said:

OMG! It's only in the intro and outro of the game! CHILL OUT! The gameplay is still the same...



Shiryu said:

I still have my huge gigantic SNES card box with the German only playing guide and a lot of printed paper text only Portuguese translation that shipped to stores over here. In fact, it was because of the huge box I bought the game instead of a "Super Game Boy" since international SNES magazines always arrived about a month later, so I didn't even had read any reviews of the game. Best SNES accidental purchase ever!



RetrogamerFan said:

30p for a classic game, and then still some want to complain. i don't want to have to complain about people complaining, that would be silly.



Prof_Elvin_Gadd said:

@TroyAikman Haha! Exactly.

So many entitled people out there. How about they just don't release the game at all? Then people would actually have something to complain about.



ouroborous said:

that is extremely lazy on nintendo's part. come on guys, it is not hard to fix this stuff and there's no excuse for not doing so.



ouroborous said:

but if there was ever a company that refuses to do anything the sensible way, it sure is nintendo. backwards as ever, fingers in their ears, screaming la-la-la-la-la-im-not-listening all of the time.



TrueWiiMaster said:

"in reality there is no slowdown at all in terms of gameplay"
Then what's the problem?

And when you say subtitles, are they optional, like "choose your language", or something more obtrusive?

[edit] I just saw the picture. That's kinda annoying. I guess it can't be turned off? Also, "French or German"? Do you choose which additional language you want displayed, but not have the option for none?



Linkmaster9 said:

@ouroborous stop being silly, nintendo offers you a great game for only 30p and you call them lazy?? Get it together man nintendo works hard to please its customers, nobody is perfect.



GiftedGimp said:

If a VC Game is 60hz then great, but if its 50hz then its going to be the same as it was originally in UK so in terms of reliving games as they were originally, it is.
Either way I personaly don't get too hung-up on the 50/60hz issue.
However being Forced to have foriegn subtitles, which were NOT forced in the Original UK version is not acceptable.
Luckily there are very few subtiles in Super Metroid but I hope this practice doesn't become the norm for EU VC releases.



shinesprite said:

I wouldn't say that it is game-breaking, but, if it were me, I would find the clutter quite bothersome.



Airola said:

I can't see how those subtitles could annoy anyone. Come on, people! That's only the INTRO TEXT. I bet most people don't read even the English text and as soon as the actual game starts you don't have to see those subtitles ever again (except perhaps the end congratulations text might have subtitles).

This really is a nonissue.



AJWolfTill said:

Jeez, why is this such a big deal, I'm playing for the first time and it's incredible, although I'm hopelessly stuck :/



datamonkey said:

This isn't a big deal but it is another example of Nintendo being careless and thoughtless.

As the article says why offer up a German subtitled game to the rest of Europe? Why not offer English speaking gamers the superior 60hz US version like they did with F-Zero?

Hardly surprising though considering Nintendo make some of the weirdest decisions out of any company/person I know!



Millenia said:

So the speed is normal but the fuss is over subtitles? Really...? Wow. Probably the only time I'm proud to be American is when these PAL issues are brought up lol.



Melkaticox said:

Ehhh, that's the way I played the game years ago. The subtitles only appeared at the start...
...So...what's the problem, europe?



Melkaticox said: offense, but I think european gamers are ridiculing themselves with this...'issue'.



Jack_Package said:

30p, or not. They all bought it. Doesn't look to me like Nintendo have been told that 50hz optimised is unacceptable.

Collective power makes change. (p.s Buy FairTrade)



banacheck said:

I find it mad in this day and age Nintendo cannot give out the US version, maybe because it's only 30p. And just like 50hz Balloon Fight it'll be taken down, because there is no way on earth i'm paying £4-5 for a german game, not when i can download a full rental version of Deus Ex for £4.35 and many others old & new-ish games.



TwilightV said:

Foreign subtitles didn't stop people from enjoying Sin & Punishment. And unlike that game you've got English subtitles at the same time.



Gorlokk said:

Lol, this wouldn't be a problem for me. I'd enjoy trying to read the Geraman subtitles, because I'm learning it right now.



Einherjar said:

I dont mind the pal version of games which run at the intendet speed, which wasnt an issue with SNES games as far as i know. NES games on the other hand suffered badly, since they werent optimised, just slowed down. Anyone with the Wii and WiiU VC version of MegaMan knows what im talking about. Even the music was in slomo.



ToastyYogurt said:

Really, guys? I might not live in Europe, so I don't exactly know how bad it is, and I too would hate being forced into playing a slower version of a game, but this version of the game was optimized for PAL teleys, so it shouldn't be too big of a deal. I'm sure the subtitles are annoying, but it seems like a minor annoyance. Shouldn't you be happy that Nintendo at least gave you 60hz versions of VC games in the first place? You can't say Nintendo isn't listening because they offered those 60hz games in Europe's VC, due to fan demand. They just thought it would be nice to bring the localized version of the game in Europe when possible, as long as it wasn't affecting gameplay. But of course, people complain because there's extra words on the screen during the two(?) cutscenes in the game and that it's "not 60hz."

But if that really makes a difference to you, go ahead and complain. Nintendo will probably listen to you again, like the last time you guys did, when it actually mattered.



Mk_II said:

Gameplay is excellent, the music plays just like in the 60Hz version and there's no extra border as in many other PAL games. People just complain about nothing these days... when i was your age we didnt even have videogames.



timp29 said:

That's it I'll never purchase this game again!!

(Good thing I already purchased it pre-rant, time to play the hell out of it too )



Starwolf_UK said:

Also I'm flabbergasted about how they are so head in the sand over this. They know its a big issue, hence why they changed after Balloon fight so to refusing to find any solution as soon as it is a game that has been translated into (one or more of) FIGS is just crazy.

Can't wait until 2016 when NOE learn how to upload country specific ROMs or add some more if statements to the VC emulator (easiest solution is to give countries that would like the translation the 50Hz version but English speaking countries be left with 60Hz).

@TrueWiiMaster (and to others saying its a non-issue, btw, the article missing this obvious point has sure helped here). The display you are playing it on is the problem (the GamePad). It outputs in 60Hz ONLY (also the WiiU seems to). How it achieves this for a 50Hz game is it duplicates every 5th frame displayed. This results in it being jerkier than intended (if you can't notice this don't belittle those who have...a few might notice it feeling a bit "off").

Basically America (and Japan) gets 30 frames a second we get 25 converted badly into 30.

@GiftedGimp Nonesense. For it to be the same 50Hz it should have horrible borders on the screen and actually display in 50Hz rather than 60Hz (with every 5th frame duplicated).

@datamonkey F-Zero was only in English. Like Kirby the problem is the German translation. Can't make the translated version 60Hz due to the "optimisations" and can't give some people (with no use for the translation) an American version because crazy internal politics and/or lazy and/or NOE run by idiots.



placidcasual said:

It's only 30p, I lived with subtitles when I paid £50 for it when it was first released - they're only on screen for a few mins in the intro!

People should chill out. Reality is we're only going to get one version for Europe and you know what- I'd rather a wider amount of people in the european region could understand the plot a bit better and get a little more enjoyment out of my favourite SNES game.

30p-a small price to pay for one of the best games ever made, even with subtitles...



iphys said:

As someone who regularly turns on french subtitles while watching movies for the education/amusement, I'd call that a feature rather than complain about not being able to turn it off. It's not even like there's that much text in the game anyway.



GEOFF said:

This article is WRONG the game does not play at the same speed as the NTSC version.



Morpheel said:

Oh my goddess, Nintendo you MONSTERS!

How will these people play Metroid, which is such a text-intensive game, like this



GEOFF said:

Edit the article. You are spreading false information.The game is slower and not as smooth as the NTSC version, sir.



GEOFF said:

The Wii U is selling poorly and NOE go and do this which attracts more negative press which is the last thing they need now.



Mamegoma said:

Indeed, Starwolf_UK and GEOFF....

Great article work, Andy Green. :/ It almost seems like you are spreading false information on purpose. I am the one who reported this to Nintendo Life. This is what I wrote:

"Can you please take up about this in your news:

First Kirby's Adventure in its horrid, "optimized" 50Hz version (and with horrid translations for Germans) - now, one of Nintendo's finest games ever - Super Metroid - ALSO will be in "optimized" 50Hz (and, again, with horrid translations for Germans). Further explanations that are brought up in the NeoGAF thread also explain why these "optimized" versions run much worse on the Wii U than on the Super NES (or the NES, in regards to Kirby's Adventure).

This is simply unacceptable for the year 2013. Crippled 50Hz gaming should've ended with the Dreamcast, when Sega introduced the option of 60Hz for most PAL Dreamcast games, yet fourteen and a half years later, Nintendo still can't even let people choose which release they want of digital downloads! If some person wants King Dedede to be named König Nickerchen in his/her download of Kirby's Adventure, and play it in the otherwise crippled, choppy 50Hz version where Kirby's speed has been "optimized" into 60Hz-like speed, while all enemies still move in 50Hz speed, making the game much easier and just worse than if they simply had left it at unoptimized 50Hz, then that person should be free to download that crippled version (instead of being forced to have the German version, if you live in Germany, like it is today). Meanwhile, everyone else should be free to download the U.S. version, or why not even the Japanese? Why is it so incredibly difficult for Nintendo to provide these options for their customers? (I also could ask why Nintendo do not get how much more money they could make if they released their Virtual Console games at reasonable prices, rather than asking people to pay several times too much for them, but that is a whole other discussion.)

...Well, that ends my rant, I suppose. =_=; Could you please bring up about this in your news...? Many Europeans and Australians are sure to be thankful, if you do. If not enough sites bring up about this, Nintendo clearly are just not going to stop with this. :/"

That it is so cheap is no excuse, by the way. It only will be so for a month, and after that, it will be ridiculously overpriced, instead, for a defective version, possibly for the whole lifespan of the Wii U. Honestly, sometimes it seems as if Nintendo WANTS people to emulate.



SirQuincealot said:

i just watched burt wonderstone with Chinese (Mandarin?) subtitles, and while they are annoying they dont take anything away, also there no text during gameplay so it shouldnt be this big a deal, plus didnt the germans and french both lose the war? why are they getting there subtitles on anything?



Trikeboy said:

It's 30p, the game runs perfectly fine and the sound is spot on. Having to put up with German or French subtitles is bearable. The English is in there too. I do hope Nintendo update it in the future but for 30p you can't go wrong with this amazing game.



Henmii said:

I believe this also was the case with the Wii vc version of Super Metroid (and Castlevania: Rondo of blood, If I am correct)!

I found it strange at first, but it didn't annoy me since I fully understand German!!



andreoni79 said:

I'd love to see this whole situation inverted, with american customers playing more expensive and shoddy versions of pal games. Won't they complain?
We buy those games for 30p now, but their normal price is € 8 (more than $ 10) and that's ridicolus.
And Kirby's version is just orrible.



RadioShadow said:

The funny thing is, the PAL version can run in PAL60 (original frame rate) and PAL50 (optimized frame rate). If you try to run the game in 60Hz, you will just a message saying this game is only for PAL systems (something along those lines).

However, you can simply remove the frequency check from the rom and TA DA, the game runs just fine in 60Hz! There is no excuse Nintendo.



Trikeboy said:

@chiptoon Yes, they are big. However, they are the bottom of the screen and not obscuring the English text in any way. In game, only English is displayed when you get an item or text is on the screen. I don't get the big deal.



PatcherStation said:

I remember when the Nintendo 64 was released in the UK, games came in awful black (tacky) cardboard boxes and the likes of Super Mario 64 and Wave Race 64 had black borders which was shocking. On top of that, games topped £60 (Turok was £70). Even in 2013, Nintendo still continues to release games with black borders. And with the Wii U fiasco, it just gets worse.



GermenatorHue said:

The subtitles take about 10 seconds during the intro, the rest of the game has no subtitles. Also, everybody should learn German and French to improve their love making skills in those countries.

Edit: I have to admit it's kinda lazy and the subtitles are ugly, but my point is it doesn't get in the way of the gameplay experience.



Trikeboy said:

@PatcherStation I quite liked the N64 boxes . Does anyone remember the huge box Super Metroid came in? I think it had a strategy guide bundled with it or something.



PatcherStation said:

@Trikeboy I remember the big box. But at the time, I didn't see what all the fuss was about (with the game). Metroid was decent on the GameCube, I thought Metroid 2 was a bit better. After that, I never played anymore Metroid games. I remember a Metroid pinball game on the DS (think it was only released in Japan and the US), but never got to play it. As for PAL Nintendo 64 game boxes, PAL Australian boxes put them to shame. Whoever gave the thumbs up for the design should have been demoted.



ThumperUK said:

Subtitles shouldn't bother me, but it smacks of cheapness when you are English and have to have either French or German subtitles at the bottom of the screen!!

Nigel Farage should be'll be another reason why he thinks we should escape from the EU !



ToxieDogg said:

@GiftedGimp I'm pretty sure the subtitles WERE forced in the original UK PAL release. I've still got my original Super Metroid cart but haven't had a chance to rig up my old SNES and check yet.

@PachterStation Metroid Prime Pinball for the DS did indeed eventually get an EU release, although it was delayed for nearly 2 years after the US release whereas Japan and Australia got it a couple of months later. By the time it came out here, I think most people who were initially interested in it had just imported a US copy (like I did) so it pretty much sank without trace.



Poketendo said:

I love the game, but those subtitles are so freakin' annoying! I'm Dutch, and I speak English very well, but those German/French subtitles? WHY!!!??? The best grade I ever got for those languages is a 4, and that took a LOT of luck. Why not just give us a button to turn it off? It's so annoying having to see some words I don't understand next to the actual story.



WiiLovePeace said:

I have no problem with the subtitles, they only last a few screens at the start & are never seen again through the entirety of the game until possibly at the end (I haven't beaten Super Metroid yet so I don't know). It runs as smooth as silk too so I don't know why everyone is getting all hot & bothered about a 30 cent download... Oh well.



andjahiam said:

@bezerker99 what? that was the best brand new game i ever spent 5 dollars on. no seriously bought it brand new at five below for 5$. pretty good, just not as classic as super metroid, nor mind blowing like prime.



Kirk said:

These annoying subtitles never should have been unremovable in the first place.

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