Welcome back to Box Art Brawl, the weekly bout where regional box art variants battle for supremacy and the adoration of you lovely people.
Last week we watched The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask celebrate its 20th anniversary by giving itself a sound thrashing in this crucible of public opinion. Ultimately, the Japanese version took the gold medal with a comfortable win over Europe, while North America trailed behind and picked up the bronze.
This week we head into the garden with Pikmin 2 for GameCube. Captain Olimar's return in 2004 was a charming sequel which introduced the world to Louie and both White and Purple Pikmin. The game also got a New Play Control release for the Wii in 2009 and it really is worth digging out either of those consoles if you never got around to Pikmin 2 back in the day (at least while we wait for the ephemeral next entry in the series).
Let's reacquaint ourselves with Hocotate Freight's favourite employees.
The Japanese cover for Pikmin 2 retains the theme of the original game's art (which had a lineup of the three primary coloured Pikmin against an orange background with flowers) and updates it with the new Pikmin in a Usual Suspects-style lineup.
We like the clover design and the little flowers spread throughout, and the reminder of the Japan-exclusive Pikmin 2-e e-Reader game for Game Boy Advance in the bottom right. Understated, solid stuff from the East, then.
The key art used for the European release again highlights the natural setting with one of each Pikmin on a branch and some beautifully juicy fruit on display. It wasn't until we examined the shot recently that we noticed the ominous Bulborb eyeing them in the background.
With the magenta-flowered new Pikmin forming the '2' in the logo (as they do in the Japanese version), we very much enjoy the charming, calming look of this cover. It's good to get back to nature now and then.
Specifically we're looking at the US version here, not the Canadian cover which was the same as the European variant. The logo is the same but the art shows Olimar on a lily pad lobbing Pikmin at a huge red beastie attacking from the water. All five Pikmin are present and correct, and we also see Louie taking a dip at the bottom.
It's dynamic and packed with that Pikmin charm, although it arguably lacks the focus of the others. We like a good action shot, though. It's a tough choice this week, that's for sure.
And that's your lot. We reckon it's gonna be a tight one, so click your favourite and hit the 'Vote' button below to... do what it says on the button:
And that's the end of Brawl #42. Yes, last week was #41 despite what the headline said originally. Are you suggesting we can't count, or have taken one too many blows to the head after all this senseless cover art violence? Whatevs. Stay safe everyone, and join us next week for Box Art Brawl #311.