And here we are once more for another edition of Box Art Brawl, the weekly battle between regional variants of retro game box covers to find out which one you think deserves gold medal in the looks department.
Last week Super NES classic Castlevania: Dracula X bared its teeth and got down to bloody battle until the Japanese version emerged victorious having sucked up nearly two-thirds of your vote. North America trailed behind with Europe a distant third.
Today we go back to the Nintendo 64 and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, the game which took Zelda into the third dimension in such fine form that you could argue it's not until Breath of the Wild that the series has genuinely moved forward from the blueprint laid out back in 1998. For such a revered series we've got three suitably reverent covers below for your perusal.
Master Sword at the ready...
Beginning this week in Europe, we get a stark black background with the logo, here rendered in bullion-like yellow-gold, slap-bang in the centre. The traditional black border of this version works seamlessly here with the frame being broken by the Master Sword in the logo. It's simple, elegant and with just the sword, shield and the glint of the logo, we know an epic journey awaits us, even if it doesn't elaborate on the specifics. It's probably got monsters and stuff, innit.
Beyond the colours of the game's logo (and the N64 stamp in the top right corner), the Japanese variant goes for a washed out, smokey monochrome cover that puts Link and trusty steed Epona in the centre.
This subdued example impressed us initially, although that wore off after a while and the more we looked at it the more vacant it became. It gives us a little more context by having the protagonist on the box, but somehow having him alone behind an abstract, flaming veil suggests less about the game than the titles adorning the other two examples. It's not bad, but we like it less every time we look at it. Let's move on, then.
Switching black for gold, the title logo with the Hylian Shield and Master Sword gets its familiar colours here on a simple cover which calls back to the similar covers of A Link To The Past and Link's Awakening DX (which previously had a brawl of its own). The red strip and the peeling 'Only for' label arguably spoils the grandeur a bit, but it's big, bold and classic.
And as a cheeky little non-polled bonus, here are the covers for the North American and European releases of excellent Ocarina of Time 3D on 3DS. The Japanese version was essentially the same as the European variety. Interestingly, us Europeans were also able to get our hands on a more subdued 'gold' version of the US box through pre-ordering and other promotions at launch, so we could switch between using which ever case we preferred (although it does mean we have one extra, empty Ocarina of Time 3D case on our shelf).
So, three covers, but which one gets your vote? Take another look, select your favourite below and plant the Master Sword into vote button to journey into the future:
That's all for this week's brawl! Let us know in the comments if there are any games you'd like to see duke it out for your entertainment, and we'll see you next week for another round.