Welcome again to Box Art Brawl, the weekly bout that sees regional variants of retro games compete to see which has the most attractive box-based visage.
Last week featured a load of old balls - monkey balls, that is - as Super Monkey Ball 2 bounced off itself in battle. You lovely people decided that the European variant was the most deserving contender with over half of the overall vote. North America came in second with Japan falling into the abyss of third place.
Staying on the theme of sequels, this week we're returning once again to the Resident Evil franchise. We've already had Resident Evil 4 blast its way through the Brawl, but today we're jumping back two games and one generation to Resident Evil 2 on the Nintendo 64. The GameCube port adapted the art from these versions in each region, so you're getting a cheeky 2-for-1 this week.
Despite our requests to Santa, the wonderful remake of this game which launched on other consoles last year has failed to materialise on Switch. Of course, it's a technically taxing title and a potential port would be quite a feat - some might even say it couldn't be done. After the wonderful ports we've seen on Switch, though, we'd have to disagree. And while this Nintendo 64 version had its limitations in comparison to the PlayStation original, it was also rather special in its own way (as Digital Foundry has detailed in the past). RE2's got form when it comes to remarkable ports, then. Come on, Capcom!
Enough talk - let's head into Raccoon City...
The North American variant has a brushed metal logo with some pointy bits and a malevolent red bloom behind it. The creepy-eyed zombie catches the attention and there's a hint of teeth behind the fingers clawing at the '2'. The digits themselves have pale, lifeless skin stretched over them, although to be fair we've seen worse fingernails on a zombie. In the bottom left corner you can make out an unfortunate policeman who's succumbed to the G- or T-virus (we forget which) and you can also glimpse another nasty occupying the space to the right behind the logo.
It's all rather creepy until you get to the standard red strip on the right which spoils the mood somewhat. It's not bad, but we probably prefer the other variants for the way they establish and maintain a mood. Let's head to the east next...
The Biohazard 2 cover takes renders of Leon Kennedy and Claire Redfield side-by-side, locked-and-loaded ready to blast some brain-munchers. They're posed like buddies on a movie poster on the mean streets of Raccoon City and with the big red 'BIOHAZARD 2' logo at the bottom, we rather enjoy the simple composition here. It's meat-and-potatoes, but sometimes that's just what the doctor ordered. Tasty.
Once again with the RE series, Europe gets a 'moody PAL' cover. The stark black and white of the cover (minus the N64 logo in the top right) contrasts beautifully with the bright red logo that matches the font of the Japanese version. The nasty-looking chap in the background is blurry and obscured - as if captured fleetingly on a TV monitor - but there's something about the power of suggestion that feels more evocative than the grisly sinews and detail of its American counterpart.
Each to their own, of course, but we've always been suckers for art which complements the tone of the game as opposed to more explicit images or posed key art in an eye-pleasing configuration.
So, three quite different takes on the old survival horror, but which one gets the hairs on the back of your neck a-tinglin'? Click your favourite and hit the vote button below:
Thanks to GravyThief for the suggestion this week. We've got a few contenders lined up for the Brawl over the coming weeks, and we'll almost certainly return to Raccoon City again in the future, but if you've got any suggestions feel free to drop them in the comments. We'll see you next time!