Kirby Crystal Shards Brawl
Image: Nintendo Life

Hello hello hello, and welcome back to another edition of Box Art Brawl!

Last week, it was Mother's Day in many parts of the world, so we took a look at Mother 2 / EarthBound, where the box art for Japan and North America is very different. We thought this would be a close one since both are very good, but your votes declared North America as the winner with 67% of the vote! Not as much of a nail-biter as we thought, then!

This week, we're going back to Kirby again. NSO is treating us to Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards on 20th May, and what better way to celebrate than putting two pieces of box art head-to-head. Kirby's first — and only — core series outing on the N64 is a 2.5D platformer, and it was the last traditional Kirby home console game until the Wii! And even for Kirby's standards, there are a few pretty freaky moments in this classic. There's a reason it's rated Teen by the ESRB, folks.

So while last week's duel featured two very different box arts, Kirby 64 is pretty similar in both Japan and North America. That doesn't stop us, though — there are plenty of little details and differences to gobble up.

Be sure to cast your votes in the poll below; but first, let's check out the box art designs themselves.

North America (& Europe)

Kirby 64 The Crystal Shards
Image: Nintendo

Well, isn't this lovely and bursting with Kirby's adorability factor? Kirby is obviously taking centre-stage here, as he should, and he's posing in front of a warp star like he's waiting to give you a big hug. We really like the faint star pattern on the 64 on the logo, tucked behind some sparkly crystals. Kirby is also joined by Ribbon, a very duck-faced King Dedede who's staring at us with murderous intent (not your best look, Dedede), Adeline, and a little Waddle Dee that feels a bit like he's just wandered in. All in all, this box art is pretty charming.


Kirby 64 The Crystal Shards
Image: Nintendo

So, we said these two were pretty similar, didn't we? Japan's box has a lot more space to play around with, despite a bigger logo. There are a lot more stars dotted around, and the character placement is a little different — Ribbon is sitting down and holding a crystal, and everyone else is a little bit bigger. But the most significant difference is the colour of the plaid — now in shades of Kirby's trademark blushing pink. Even the logo gets a mirrored pink background behind it! But don't worry, Kirby is still the focus here, now in the very centre of the warp star, ready and waiting for a cuddle.

So, some less obvious differences, but differences nonetheless! Surely we're right this week and it'll actually be a close one, so make your voice heard and get voting!

Which region got the best Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards box art?

Thanks for voting! We'll see you next time for another round of the Box Art Brawl.

Further reading