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9/03/2012

Old Article Revival: Terrible Box Art in Gaming, Part 2

Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne



Throwing blood splatters on top of a piece of art that already has its red tint turned up to max doesn't quite have the same effect, does it?  But at least it's better than the European version:



Yeesh. One big clash of neon green, peach, black tattoos and an overbearing deep red.  Not to mention that it's pretty silly to promote Dante so heavily on the front of the box, considering his only role in the game is as a minor recurring boss in the game's optional dungeon.  The US version at least showed some more tact and reserved him to a small corner on the back cover.




Metal Gear Solid 2



Great game, but I think they spent so much effort trying to get it all wrapped up and out the door for a year-end release that they forgot all about the cover art.  So, last-minute panic on their minds, to their copy of Photoshop they went, churning out a plain background and some stock artwork of Snake with an ugly filter effect applied.  Print, box up, ship, and the rest is history.




Phalanx



Alright, a game about a hillbilly playing a banjo, just what I always wanted! 

To my disappointment, it turned out to actually be an unremarkable sidescrolling shooter; the odd box art was just Kemco's ploy to draw attention to it on the shelf.  It must have worked, because I've seen more than a few used copies floating around the local stores.




Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow (Konami's Best rerelease)



The original cover art did its job well enough (even if the anime style doesn't really fit in with the series' aesthetic), but the Konami's Best rerelease is another matter entirely.  A picture of the game box... on the game box.  How senseless is that?  I never thought I'd find myself missing that ugly yellow or bright green stripe that most million-seller games get plastered with.




Breakout and Super Breakout



Imagining Breakout as a tennis player's quest to smash rainbow bricks with a ball and racquet isn't too far-fetched, I suppose, but I don't think the concept brought outer space and astronauts to anybody's mind.  Maybe they were planning some space exploration game that got scrapped, but decided to recycle the cover art to save money.  I don't know.

But even sillier than that is Sears' release of Breakout, dubbed "Breakaway IV" for some bizarre reason:



Cannons, crossbows, riflemen, and a group of soldiers defending some kind of hilltop fortress.  What does any of this have to do with Breakout?!