One of the many reasons I love retro video games is the box art. There are so many titles with art work almost as good as the game itself and in some cases, better. Don’t get me wrong, current generation games do have some very impressive pieces of art but for me it is all about the old school. Here are some of my favorite pieces of gaming art from my collection and why I love them.
Sega Mega Drive
The Sega Mega Drive is one of the all time greats, a console with some classics like Streets Of Rage, Sonic The Hedgehog and Spider-Man. All 3 games have fantastic box art which even the master Bob Ross would be proud of and one of my favorites is the above Spider-Man. The box art looks like something straight from the classic comic book. With the signature black squares and silver Mega Drive logo on the top, I think this art work on Spider-Man is… amazing.
With over 700 titles under its belt, the Nintendo Nes has given us some of the most iconic box art in gaming history. There’s the classic Super Mario Bros cover that almost any gamer would recognize in an instant and as shown above, the great Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles. You might notice two things about this box art that stand out, the fact that they are Hero Turtles, not Ninja Turtles and also that they are wearing red masks. First of all the title change, when it was released in Europe there was a name change from Ninja to Hero as ninjas were deemed too violent to the impressionable youth of the time. The second thing to notice is the red masks and belts which we would usually only see on Raphael. During the comic book series the turtles initially all wore red, it was only after a few years that they changed up to a variety of colours red, blue, orange and purple. Even in the game itself when you choose which turtle to play as, they will all have their usual coloured masks. I think the art work for this game is truly great as it pays homage to the comics as well as representing the game in all its glory.
There are so many Super Mario games across various systems that its tough to keep track, that is not a complaint by the way as I love the Super Mario series. Possibly my favorite box art of all the titles across all the systems is Super Mario All Stars. It has so many great and iconic characters with nods to older titles such as Super Mario Bros 2 and 3. The yellow box with white stars is one that would always jump out at me, with Bowser in the clouds and Mario himself wearing a top hat and looking like a sir, its not tough to see why this box art is so appealing to fans of the series.
Nintendo Game Cube
The cover art of Star Wars Rogue Leader: Rogue Squadron 2 is a thing of beauty. This game is one of many amazing Star Wars titles we have seen over the years and the art work is like a scene straight out of the movies. One of the more modern styles of artwork on the list, it shows the more crisp styles that game art took on over the years.
With so many consoles and games released over the years, there is something for everyone when it comes to box, cart and cover art. Sometimes the art work is enough to spur me to buy a game I know nothing about except for the fact that it looks cool on box or cartridge which doesn’t always turn out to be the wise choice but at least art work is nice to look at.
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