Welcome one and all to Box Art Brawl, the ongoing series where we dig up old game box art, compare regional variants and vote for the best before flinging them back where they came from.
Last week Quest 64 took on its counterparts across the globe in a bout which saw the European variant triumph over its Japanese and North American brethren. It seems that the '90s CG of the Quest 64 cover couldn't compete against the elegant art of the others. Chin up Quest 64, these things are cyclical. Give it a decade and you'll be all the rage once more.
This week we journey back to the NES days and catch up with Capcom arcade classic Ghosts 'n Goblins. This run and gun platformer was ported to various systems and the NES covers echo several other Capcom releases of the era in their respective territories including the original Mega Man, although this certainly boasts better (or should that be 'less polarising'?) key art. Maybe we'll do the blue bomber's debut another day...
Okay, let's get down to brass tacks.
Beginning with the North American cover, we get the same red and blue grid background from games of the era like Gun.Smoke and Mega Man. The key art in the middle is colourful and gives a decent impression of the action you'll get while you play. The title up top is a tad hard to read with the red flames licking up the white lettering, but its evocative and the cover is interesting enough to make you concentrate on parsing the title.
Throw in the 'State-of-the-Art' and 'High Resolution Graphics' marketing spiel and the Nintendo Seal of Quality/Excellence/Approval/Whatever and you've got yourself a decent cover.
Europe gets the same main image, but blown up and pushed to the top of the box. The title sits below it and is a bit easier to read thanks to its increased size. The blue background mirrors other European Capcom releases of the time and the twin selling points from the North American cover are joined here by a descriptor for Capcom itself - a 'Premier World-Wide Arcade Game Designer' no less.
The Famicom cover was completely different to the ones in the West, with art that makes it look more like an illustration from a children's fairytale book - the ghosts 'n goblins here look adorable. If the cover does have one thing going for it, it's the kick-ass logo with fangs and flames.
Not much else to say, really. As Japanese covers go, it's far from the best we've seen but it does have a certain charm.
Three covers, one pick. Give your favourite one a click below and then hit the 'Vote' button to register your vote:
That's all for this week. Let us know if you've got any suggestions for the next bout and we'll see you next week for another Box Art Brawl.