Welcome to Box Art Brawl, the weekly perusal of regional retro box art variants that ends with a vote on the best of the bunch.
Last week Perfect Dark for the Nintendo 64 battled itself in round #34 and, quite frankly, we thought Japan's moody red and black cover would absolutely destroy the competition, as lovely as they are. We'd even avoided doing Perfect Dark because the result seemed so painfully predictable, but it turned out to be much, much closer than we expected. Japan still won, of course, but with 41% to Europe's 33%, with North America coming in just behind that with the remaining 26%. A far more even split than we had anticipated.
This week you might have heard that there's a new Animal Crossing game on Switch? Well, we thought we'd go back to the very beginning and take a look at the first one. To be honest the differences between the European and North American versions are minor, but with a couple of bonus Japanese covers to enjoy, we threw caution to the wind.
Come on, city folk, let's go to the forest...
The Japanese version for GameCube wasn't the original - the Japanese game began life on Nintendo 64 - but it carried over the yellow theme of the original (which you can see at the bottom of the page). The GameCube port of Dōbutsu no Mori or 'Animal Forest' had a '+' added to it along with GBA connectivity enabling you to visit a tropical island via Kapp'n's boat, and you can see this referenced with said boat at the shore.
We love the yellow, we love the characters, we love the boldness of the logo. The top half is lacking a little something, perhaps, and the strip at the bottom is a bit noisy, but it's not bad.
Again with the Memory Card 'sticker', the North American version puts a lovely house front and centre, with various animals poking their heads out of windows and the villager coming out the front door to check the post. It's all set against a beautiful blue sky as Blathers stands on the roof, presumably about to nod off as a new day begins.
Full of optimism and promise, it's a winner in our eyes. If we're really searching for issues, the wood-to-letter ratio of the logo is a little wood-heavy, maybe.
Finally we have Europe which reduces the size and reframes the house and the logo slightly to the right. The memory card 'sticker' is replaced here with a speech bubble coming from Gaston the grumpy yellow rabbit. This one also highlights the GBA connectivity that wasn't advertised on the NA box with a natty little black, yellow and white stamp which we're rather partial to.
It's all much of a muchness between the non-Japanese pair, to be honest. It all depends on the details you prefer. Bigger house or speech bubble? PEGI or ESRB? Get connected or... get a better view of the grass?
Seeing as Japan got not one, not two, but three versions of this game (the N64 original, the Gamecube '+' port and the 'e+' version which added e-card features and a host of updates that brought features and events from the North American localised version back to Japan), we thought we'd include the other two for your delectation and delight. They're not in the poll, but are here to be enjoyed all the same. We particularly enjoy the postage stamps on the N64 box:
And there you have it! All that's left to do is click your favourite variant below and hit the ol' vote button:
We hope you're enjoying New Horizons. Let us know below if you think the N64 or 'e+' versions trump the three in the poll and we'll see you next time for another round.