Oh, hello there! We were so involved with the freshly released Super NES games on Switch we almost forgot about the big bout. Of course it's time for Box Art Brawl, the weekly showdown where three regional retro boxes battle to find out which was the fairest of them all.
Last week Mega Man 3 gave itself a sound thrashing, and it sure was a close one! North America was out of the running early on, but Europe and Japan grappled until the bitter end until Europe ultimately won out, securing the title by slim a 3-point difference. Congratulations to Mega, commiserations to Rock.
We had another brawl lined up for you this week, but following the 'surprise' arrival of the Super NES games on Switch, we're barrel rolling down a different path. This week we'll be seeing which one of the three varieties of Star Fox on the Super Nintendo is a proud McCloud who did his father proud, and which is a sorry Slippy Toad that got squished in the road.
Let's strap in and take a look at the pilots, shall we? And we promise, we're done with the 'barrel roll' references...
"Oh, Japan always wins!" Well, looking at the results of the last six brawls, we beg to differ! There's no denying that this is a solid entry from the east, though. The iconic puppets of the three heroic figures (and Slippy) standing proud in front of an epic star field with their Arwings (presumably on auto-pilot) speeding away from Corneria, out into the Lylat system with the Milky Way suggesting the vastness of space to explore and adventures to be had. Topped off with the bold, fox-tailed logo, we're off to a good start this week.
The North American version featured the same puppet version of Fox, but ejected the others and spun him around. He stands breaking the frame in front of various planets with three Arwings meandering through the Lylat System. The Super FX chip contained in the cartridge gets prominent billing here, with some text promising 'Special Effects Like Never Before!'
The standard black border frames it all and the logo's back, though without the 3D drop and slightly recoloured with 'S' and 'F' made larger. Some might say it lacks the dynamism of the Japanese version, others might question the composition - we couldn't possibly comment.
Finally, we arrive at the European version which combines elements of the previous two. While other variations exist (including one that expands the star field out, puts a rocky terrain behind the Star Fox team and adopts the black border and basic layout of the North American version), here we've got a granite-y grey border, yellow text bigging up the Super FX chip and the art from the Japanese version repositioned to the right.
Perhaps the biggest difference is the name change, though. Thanks to a German company with a similar sounding name, back in the day us lucky Europeans knew the game as Starwing. Let's not talk about what we called Star Fox 64. You might say that this one combines the best of both worlds, or perhaps it just can't make up its mind.
As a cheeky little bonus, let's also have a look at the box art Nintendo mocked up for Star Fox 2 which, after many years in purgatory, finally got released from the company’s Kyoto vaults when the Super NES Classic Mini launched. These obviously won't be in the poll, but it's fun to see Nintendo playing with its old box art formats again all those years later:
And there we are! All that's left to do is choose your favourite, click the corresponding pic below and hit the 'Vote' button to cast your vote:
Which region got the best Star Fox box art? (702 votes)
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That's all from Round 7 of the Brawl! Feel free to voice your preferences and predictions below and we'll catch you again next time for another blast from the past.