Ding ding! Round 6! Welcome once again to Box Art Brawl, the series where regional retro box art variations duke it out to discover which one rules the roost. Last week we saw Super Mario Kart race itself ragged until just one version took the chequered flag. The winner? Super Mario Kart, followed closely by Super Mario Kart, with poor old Super Mario Kart bringing up the rear.
We jest - Japan collected the Gold Cup last week with North America not too far behind and Europe picking up Bronze with just over a tenth of the vote. Those covers shared many similarities, though - this time the competitors are a more varied bunch. Yes, this week Rockman will take on the Mega Men in the bluest brawl you've seen since your gran got drunk at that Carlin gig in the late '80s.
We've chosen the third entry specifically to level the playing field a little. It took until the third game for the east and west to get on roughly the same page as to the Blue Bomber's design on the box; we're not sure they were even reading the same book before this. Of course, there's plenty of nostalgia in those 'so-bad-they're-good' western versions of the earlier pair - and we may go back to them in the future - but let's make this a fair(er) fight, hmm?
Without further ado, let's take a look at the brawlers. In the blue corner..., hang on, that's not going to work.
While his face still has something of the leprechaun about it, Mega Man appears appropriately proportioned here as he blasts an oncoming enemy sans pistol. You can see Rush in the background and a splash of reddy-orange in the foreground mirrors the starry sky. The whole thing's finished off with Capcom's trademark blue border. Tidy.
The European variant lines up the heads of the robot masters behind the hero with Proto Man jumping out in an unsportsmanlike fashion. We like to think that Mega Man's outstretched fist is ready and waiting for his opponent's face. Rush takes centre stage with his master as the disembodied head of an unhinged (and oddly realistic-looking) Dr. Wily stares at you menacingly from the rear. The Blue Bomber is sporting a little more silver than you might expect, but it's definitely him.
The Japanese version seems to have provided the template for aspects of the European cover, although there's more colour and the landscape perspective naturally changes things. It throws in a bunch of enemies with a unified style and its certainly vibrant, using virtually every option on the colour palette in one part or another.
And there you have it! There are aspects of each of these that we like and dislike, so it'll be most intriguing to see how the vote goes. Whatever your criteria - compositional harmony, palette, style, sheer nostalgia or any other factor you care to use in your decision-making process - simply click your pick below and hit the 'Vote' button to power-up your chosen brawler:
Which region got the best Mega Man 3 box art? (584 votes)
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That's all from Round 6 of the Brawl! Feel free to voice your preferences and predictions below and we'll catch you again next time for another blast.