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Art is subjective, so we can't dictate whether the clean and colorful anime style of most Japanese covers is truly better than, say, the cheesy comic book style of Crackdown. Or the washed out Photoshopping of Spy Fiction and Psi-Ops. Look below and decide which versions you find more eye-catching. If you choose the red cross in Trauma Center, we hate you.
What's up with the guys on the left? Are they the unpaid interns for the guys on the right?
If we want gaming to reach the depth and maturity of cinema or literature, it should be about more than swords, guns, blood, violence and nonstop action. Often, however, gaming is about more - the Western packaging is just too afraid to let you know.
Japanese box art, however, isn't afraid to show off the game's sensitive side. Princess Farah joins the Prince of Persia cover. Ico and Yorda hold hands. And while Final Fantasy X International didn't release in the US, do you really think they would have kept the same cover if it had? Hurry, give Tidus something sharp!
Must our box art always scream at us? If the artists don't add enough explosions, fangs and protruding female bosoms, are the games somehow invisible to us and our puerile minds? In Japan, understatement is okay. Possibly encouraged, based on the number of examples below.
Yes, we know Link is in this game, Japanese box art. Thank you.
A lot of game packaging in Western countries comes across like a desperate flea market. If they cram as much crap into the tents as possible, surely you'll find at least one item you like, right? So if the pretty lady on the cover of Heavenly Sword isn't enough, maybe you'll be convinced by the screaming head or the vaguely viewed fat man in the background. If the title Final Fantasy isn't enough, perhaps some cosplayers and airships will get you to purchase. Please?
Japanese packaging is more confident, usually sticking with one strong and persuasive image.
Okay, so maybe the flea market mentality is universal. At least when Japan does it, they go all the damn way. Seriously, is there any Disgaea character NOT on that rainbow spectrum below?
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