Audiences have been amazed and entertained by video games since the industry’s inception, but it’s fascinating to see how the medium is becoming more mainstream with every game generation that passes. There are now so many factors to consider when checking out a new video game, not to mention plenty of resources for information and opinions.
A title box illustration is still an important marketing element, but there was a time when a game’s box was the main look into its virtual world. Some of the box art for the games is really beautiful and perfectly reflects the story and themes of the title. However, there are also some very regrettable box art decisions that range from confusing to just plain nasty.
ten Mega Man’s Game Debut Is Like A Bulky, Embattled Warrior
Capcom’s mega man became one of the developer’s most famous gaming mascots, and the franchise went on to massive success across multiple home consoles and handheld platforms. mega manit’s the legacy is undeniable at this point, which is so shocking that the original game’s North American box art is such a gruesome and ugly dud.
Capcom’s cute and stylish Blue Bomber look has become iconic, but the original mega manit’s the box art leans into a photorealistic approach to its hero, and it’s not pretty.
9 Karnaaj Rally For The Game Boy Advance is a car crash on every level
Jaleco’s Karnaaj Rally, an aggressive and destructive racing title for Nintendo’s Game Boy Advance, has a lot going against it between its incomprehensible “carnage” spelling and the embarrassing “hip” model that adorns the cover (and pushes the vehicle into the background).
The biggest tragedy with the Game Boy Advance Karnaaj Rally is that there would be a decent handheld racing game hidden under the obscene packaging. However, the energy given off by the game’s box art caused many to not even bother to check out the game’s reviews.
8 Snow White and the Seven Clever Boys Feature Box Artwork That Could Be Cursed
Phoenix Games is a now bankrupt game developer that has turned into a running joke in the community due to its lackluster titles, some of which give shovelware a bad name. Phoenix Games is full of clunky gaming experiences that feel more like beta tech demos than finished products.
The box art of these games is equally disappointing, many of which make their kid-friendly fairy tale adventures look like survival horror games. Snow White and the 7 Clever Boys for PlayStation 2 is the most haunting of Phoenix Games’ box art, and all of its friendly miniatures seem to be up to something malevolent.
7 Russell Grant’s Astrology is No Joke and Demands Attention
The touchscreen mechanics and portable nature of the Nintendo DS have resulted in a host of bargain experiences that appeal more to casual gamers than the hardcore crowd. There are entertaining DS titles that focus on specific niches, like brain age, and a title focused on astrology is not a bad idea in itself.
However, Russell Grant Astrology puts his titular figure front and center. At the end, Russell Grant Astrology is a perplexing monument to vanity. If acclaimed developers like Shigeru Miyamoto or Hideo Kojima aren’t sticking their faces to the box art of their games, then Russell Grant shouldn’t be getting a free pass.
6 Theme Park Uses Lifeless Models To Sell This Labor Of Joy
The once niche kind of simulation games have become a mainstream hit, and there are more creative applications of this idea than ever before. Theme parks have received a lot of representation with the sims, and Amusement park for Sega Saturn and PlayStation brings that excitement to home consoles.
There’s a satisfying game inside Amusement park, but the game’s box art is beyond lazy with its bland 3D depiction of a family having fun on a roller coaster. This cover completely undersells the game, but what’s so confusing is that Amusement parkit’s The Japanese box art is beautiful and uses an attractive 2D art style. They should never have turned to anything different.
5 Chuckie Egg II box art turns its hero into a survival horror monster
To be fair, much of the box art of 1980s video games consists of confusing quirks that take a lot of liberties. Egg Chuckie II for the Atari ST is a deeply disturbing cover as it alienates the game’s target demographic through a nightmarish visual. The human affectations applied to the titular Chuckie Egg are aesthetically unappealing and won’t cause anyone to seek out the original Chuckie Egg.
Its protagonist’s interpretation of the game’s box art bears no resemblance to its video game counterpart. In fact, it looks more like a monster that we would meet in silent Hill Where Ring of Eldenit’s The Lands Between.
4 Big Mountain 2000 for the Nintendo 64 chooses a clunky art style
The Nintendo 64 offers sublime snowboarding titles like 1080 Snowboarding and Kids Snowboarding, which means that it is extremely unlikely that sports fans would like resort to playing Great Mountain 2000 in the first place. Great Mountain 2000 fails to do anything new with the mechanics of snowboarding, but the title’s garish clip-art is also a serious distraction.
The cartoonish style clashes with the game’s presentation and makes it look like it’s straight out of a point-and-click adventure from the early 1990s. Great Mountain 2000 was released in Japan as snow speeder almost two years before the North American port. Japanese art is also a mess, but not as blatantly so.
3 Ninja Golf is a ridiculous parody that begs to be taken seriously
Ninja was rampant in the gaming industry in the 1980s. Golf games were also easy to make with the initial gaming hardware, but that doesn’t mean these two worlds should intersect. ninja-golf is exactly what it sounds like, but it’s hard not to laugh at the box artwork of the Atari 7800 sports game.
It’s very funny that box art for ninja-golf shows that the sport takes place at night, which logic for a ninja, but is extremely unproductive for golf. This box art is ridiculous, but so is the actual gameplay behind it ninja-golfwhich attempts to combine these disparate elements.
2 Palamedes is an NES puzzle game with illustrations of nightmarish boxes
The lack of story present in some early puzzle titles means the box art has to take some creative liberties to give the game some personality. Palamidi is a puzzle game for the original Nintendo Entertainment System which incorporates random-based dice and drills into its gameplay. Palamidi box art deserves recognition for the vivid image it creates.
Unfortunately, it’s a visual that may scare off potential audiences. The anthropomorphic dice on the box art are oddly weird in their own way, but the human’s expressively creepy face, which is presumably the audience surrogate, is worse than any jump scare.
1 Forsaken 64 Leans To High Fashion Instead Of Gameplay Accurate Representation
There is a lack of mature games on the Nintendo 64who helped games like Abandoned 64 stand out from the crowd. The adult first-person shooter was a pretty obscure take on the Nintendo 64, but the game’s confusing box art probably didn’t help boost its sales.
A level of seriousness entered the video game industry during its fifth and sixth generations, which was often reflected in marketing. Abandoned 64 adopts an artistic box design that isn’t ugly, but looks more like a Calvin Klein magazine ad. The model and its subtlety Abandoned tattoos are indulgent, not exciting.
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