Welcome back for another edition of Box Art Brawl, the weekly vote to see who triumphs over the first and second losers in a box art beauty pageant. Three regional versions of the same game cover battle it out to see who is the sharpest looker.
Last week we had a returning series in the form of Resident Evil 2. We looked at the N64 version, although the GameCube covers of the same game were practically identical in every region. Following a bloody bout with multiple returns from the dead, Europe edged it with 46% of the vote ahead of North America by just 5%, while Japan was left mopping up the zombie juice with a shambling 13%.
This week's combatants are part of a series with a long history of very fine box art. Yes, the Belmonts are back with another Castlevania game, and this time it goes by a different name in each territory. US readers know it as Castlevania: Dracula X, those in PAL territories will recognise it as Castlevania: Vampire's Kiss, and in Japan it's called Akumajō Dracula XX. The game was a Super NES remake of the PC Engine game Castlevania: Rondo of Blood and another fine entry into this hallowed franchise.
That's enough banter - we've got Dracula's horde of evil minions to whip. Come!
Brooding vampire with blood red eyes against the backdrop of a full moon? Check.
Young musclebound hero with a chain whip ready to battle foul hellspawn? Check.
A crapload of bats swarming out of a creepy Gothic castle? Check.
Okay, everything appears to be in order. Enjoy your game.
Again, we've got all the requisite elements of a Castlevania cover, although this one is rather subdued for the region. Fewer bats, a close up on a yellow and red eye, a big bloody X... It's very different, but spend some time with it and this cover really grows on you. It also has lightning, so extra points for that.
The European version uses the impeccable Japanese art but throws in a juicy purple border. We can't lie, the Vampire's Kiss logo treatment feels a bit crass after the previous covers - as if it's the name of a try-hard '90s band on a flyer for a gig. Wooohooohooo, vampires!!
You know what, though? We still like it. Tough choices to be made this week! We're glad it’s not up to us.
So, three games with different names, but which one gets your vote? Click your favourite and whip the vote button below:
That's all folks! We'll see you next time for another round of savage bloodletting.