American Box Art Sucks

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How about this:


Vs this:


Ouch. Burned! You forgot that we also get half the content cut for fear of upsetting our nannies.

Though, they are getting better about that... sorta... okay, they're considering getting better about it.

Well at least you don't live in Germany. They get censored games AND censored box art. :D

It doesn't matter anyway. In 5-10 years we wont see box art anymore. Hooray our digital age >.<

It's not that the Americans hate French game developers. They just hate the French.

Box art is probably a product of the game's marketing, and marketing teams for videogames often want to use something flashy and eye-catching rather than something subtle or dignified.

Most box art in general really sucks. I'm trying to think of some good covers in my collection and the one that stands out the most in terms of uniqueness is Borderlands. Burnout Paradise is also a fairly decent example.

"Why do you hate things that look good?"

Because they only love me for my money.

You should have brought up resident evil 4 boxart.

here is the pal version: image It's very stylise and a litte scary too.

Now here is the american: image

So generic. Nothing about this cover is good. It's so damn bland.

The pal version is super misleading. It makes you think your in a dark world of fear and danger, were your survivel is questioned at every move, when in actuality its not scary, Your just mowing down People who apperently are not zombies in one of the most praised games ever, so the American box art shows you what you get, rather than pretend to be something else like the pal box art does.

Before I forget
American which is Awsome

Pal version which is boring, bland and lacks any real art




Completely correct. It conveys something that does not exist at all in the action shooter that is RE4 whereas the American box art shows what it is. An action game

True that.

Any Gamestop/EB I go to has such a large amount of games that they stock them so that only the spine is visible.

There is a problem with what you just said. All American boxart DOES tell what the game is about.

Take Enslaved for example. The bottom of the box is covered in red flowers. Red, denoting conflict, strife. But also being represented in such fragile form as a flower. This shows softness, possibly romance. Move up a bit more and on the left side you see ruined buildings. Something wrong has happened. Moving up more, the sky. It is a lightly cloudy blue. This represents that something nice still exists in this broken world.

Now to the characters. There are six total. First you have Monkey. And aggressive look on face, what looks to be metal boxing gloves, and a headband with an ominous red glow. From this alone you can tell he is a fighter, more of a no-nonsense kind of guy. Ready to take something down when the time comes.

With Trip you see a lightly clothed woman, running close behind Monkey with a concerned, piercing look aimed towards Monkey.

And behind them you see a large mechanical beast. It appears to be chasing Monkey and Trip. With Monkey's fierce attitude this shows that there are things bigger than he. Things even he will tackle "cautiously". And that Trip is looking towards him for protection.

The birds and "dragon fly" lend their own part to what the cover-art story is, but I won't bother with it. At this point you either see that you are wrong, or too pig-headed to admit it.

But you see, you would never have been able to put that together without playing the game first, and that makes it all irrelevant. Observe.


Here we see the cover art for Bioshock 2. It features a man in a pressurized metal suit, alluding to the game's extraterrestrial setting; the dark background likewise represents the dark void of space. The rugged, dirty filter on the image and the suit's massive drill-arm suggest the main gameplay mechanic: mining asteroids. However, there is another figure on the boxart, the little girl. Her pale skin and otherworldly glowing eyes make it clear that she is paranormal in nature, possibly a ghost. She is perched on the protagonist's back, out of his sight, and holds the tubing of his life-support system in her hand, threatening to tug it out. She is obviously the game's antagonist. The cracked glass represents the shattering of the Fourth Wall, as the characters of the game frequently speak directly to the player.

See how that works? It's easy to project all sorts of wild interpretations onto images. All that American covers are trying to convey is that the protagonist is LARGE and POWERFUL and INCLINED TOWARDS VIOLENCE. Almost every American boxart you can find features at least two of the following: 1) a scowling male figure, 2) a sexualized female figure, and 3) a sizable weapon.

Except, you know, you read into it wrong.
You see a diving suit, water, and fish, yet you extrapolate a setting in space? That is just silly. You can't just pull random things out your ass. You have to use a bit of *le gasp* LOGIC when interpreting a cover. Something you clearly did not do here.

Logic? This is browsing the videogame aisle, not a highschool literature class. If you didn't have prior knowledge of Bioshock's content, then my interpretation would be just as good as yours. Really, you can't argue that that looks any more like a real diving suit than it does like a fictional spacesuit, and those fish are little more than blurry dark shapes. And when I see a huge industrial drill am I supposed to somehow NOT assume it's a piece of mining equipment? Your idea of 'logic' in these interpretations is pretty arbitrary.

Yahtzee is Trolling :) love it.Go Go Defensive Rangers :)

Have to say, glad you yanks never noticed. You win the internet :)

Agreed. Another example where the american version trumps the eastern version (


1) Why do you bring America as a discussion point so often in critique to modern-day habits? Sure you make german jokes (Wolfenstein) or english food but then when you bring up America its so centered on the population (Americans why do hate the french (the language hurts my ears) or in "For my non-American viewers who know that the world doesn't consist of one country riding on top of a sea of Mexican immigrants." Makes you seem more obsessed with Americans than your American viewers (and have you listened to the news services in Germany? They really have little idea whats going on in the world) Besides Americans are the ones who are the victims in the runs of this bad box art
2) as for the bad box art two ideas:
a) they may be targeted more to their urban consumer base where after staring at countless seas of advertisements faces and people are the only ones that offer meaningful contact and notice and only then if you stick them right the middle less they fade back with all the other commuters
b) or they may just be making an extra effort to avoid pissing of those mothers who have an annoying tendency to start advocacy groups ... dont know if they do or dont in Europe or Japan

Humm, people have touched on this before, but I think Americans don't seem to "get" quality. Quality to them is "make it bigger" or "add more of it." Others will take one thing and refine it, making it better and (gasp) maybe smaller and more efficient. But that's for sissy pinkos! We make something shit bigger, so it's a bigger pile of shit! And if you don't buy our huge pile of shit and like it, the terrorists win!

American cars are a prime example of this. "Hey, this car isn't very good. I know! Lets slap in a huge engine so it'll be going even faster when it careens off the road due the chassis being made out of old ladders, and the transmission lifted from Fred Flintstone's car!"

Yup, when it comes to box covers seems anything but japanese is usually terrible.

It all really depends on what games you are looking at. Some games have better North American box art while others of better box art in different areas. Someone could post an equivalent article that says "European Box Art Sucks" with equal success. People just love hating on Americans

You know, I never thought about it until now, but you're right. American box art does suck. I guess it never got to me because I never bought a game based on the box art. I only buy games if I get a recommendation from someone I trust.

"I've got a question for my American readers. It's a simple one. Why do you hate things that look good?"

We don't hate things that look good. I'm sure most Americans here prefer the international box covers.

The problem is the suits deciding which box cover to use. They hate things that look good. And they are idiots.

Because America is all about identifying with the main character- becoming the main character, so that's what we want to see on our box art. Admittedly, not always, but mostly. And we can't identify with a character (or characters) if we don't know what they look like.

I think you might be on to something here.

Also, as a side note. I've come to realise; I much prefer these articles of Yahtzee's over Zero Punction.

It's because America was founded by hopeless romanticists that didn't account for all those greedy aliens that flooded the place in pursuit of their dreams. Whatever dreams a greedy alien might have...
I guess all those monsters, lasers and round things that always go together, must remind them their lives back in Pluto or Mars...
Damn those Aliens!
French should have think twice about close encounters of the third kind...

Wow, basically anything anyone outside of America said about Americans is such bullshit. Even some things some americans said. There were some plausible reasons given outside of the bullshiters.

what we(the audience) can tell is that there is a trend to show characters. The problem is that due to that, the cover for foreign game covers is deemed unusable. The second problem is that the American marketing doesn't want to spend or waste a whole lot of time and money on cover art. That leads to bad art.

But honestly the cover art to FF10 is great for the U.S. It's ridiculous to think it isn't, Its better than the Japanese. Though 12's is obviously better than the cheap one for the U.S.

I'm actually much more familiar with the foreign box art of both Heavy Rain and ICO (perhaps because those are the images shown here on the escapist). After looking through all the examples, I'm ashamed to admit that my country has completely murdered game box art. It seems like they try to make the cover a mini-trailer for the game(look, here's you and these are the baddies you'll be fighting, oh whee, doesn't this look like fun!). Meanwhile, the original box art is actually phenomenal. If more games kept their covers like that, we would probably be much further along the "Games are art" road.

because the US cannot understand a silly thing such as story.

good thing us Aussies tend to have euro boxs

"No, I'm not an elitist bastard."

I do agree the US box art is worse, but it's just a product of high paid marketing departments who actually know how to make money off of people. They have no interest in having any sort of artistic value, just whatever will catch the interest of your typical shopper.

American Kirby is Hardcore, duh. Personally, I'm against the change of the ICO cover. It and the others look fucking ugly.

I think the biggest example of poor American box art preventing me from buying a game would be Silent Hill: Homecoming. Had the game kept the original Japanese box art of Pyramid Head showing off he'd be making a cameo, I might have bought the game before I knew anything else about the game. Instead, I got the American box art, a boring family portrait, which along with the title Homecoming made me feel this game had nothing to do with Silent Hill anymore. Heck, even the European box art had one of the classic nurses, giving me some hope it could contain some of the magic of the series still.

Yahtzee Croshaw:
Why do you do these horrible things to the French, America? And after they gave you that lovely statue, too.

You mean that green piece of shite all the foreigners flock to? Yea, no. They can have their landmass-paperweight back, right along with their 'tasteful' box art.

I mean, seriously, you knew we were gonna put it outside, why did it have to be copper??

Yahtzee Croshaw:
Extra Punctuation: American Box Art Sucks

Why does America hate French videogame developers?

Read Full Article

uhg yahtzee first off i love your show so please dont be offened by what i have to say. The reason we dont like other countries box art at least in my experiance is that they make it too good looking. i know thats a stupid answer but i have bought some horrible games cause the only box art ive seen was the ones for other countries (prime example of this is too human....) when its american box art though you useualy get what you see and well i like that.

Yahtzee is Trolling :) love it.Go Go Defensive Rangers :)

Have to say, glad you yanks never noticed. You win the internet :)

"lol i troll u"

Yeah I'm sure that's what he's doing.

OT: I think American marketing teams are more concerned with making box art descriptive as opposed to memorable. It's a "truth in marketing" thing. Though it doesn't result in any masterpieces, to say the least.

Here in a America it's almost as if there's an agenda to BUTCHER any sense for tasteful artistry and perhaps just to butcher taste. That's just a conspiracy theory but I'm pretty sure the elite likes it's citezens to be as bright as a hunting dog.

Yahtsee, that their are many in america that agree with you.

load up google images & check out the covers for discworld novels, the american ones have to be made to deter sales, its the only thing that makes sense

Yeah, there is a huge difference. I think it's because most people these days don't see the beauty in art, especially for movie and game covers since people don't usually judge it by the cover.

That's what I'm getting from a lot of people here. Me on the other hand, the good art always caught my attention. I've even bought albums, movies and games because of the cover and strange enough, they usually turned out really good.

An exception to the rule:

European Ikaruga (gamecube)


North American Ikaruga (gamecube)


One of the most egregious:

Assualt Suit Leynos on the Mega Drive


And this is the american cover.


Seriously, this is just horrifying. What the hell were they thinking?

An example where the PAL release got the best cover, although the Japanese cover is still very good. The American cover as is usual for games in the Rockman Dash series is just horrifying.


The U.S cover in this [quote="Atomic Skull" post="6.263443.9993418"]An example where the PAL release got the best cover, although the Japanese cover is still very good. The American cover as is usual for games in the Rockman Dash series is just horrifying.


Yeah right... The U.S cover for that one is pretty good. better than PAL. The image of Tron bonne they used is just awesome. The only problem is the background and maybe a lack of anything indicative. I really like the japanese Ico cover and I do think the american one sucks but that doesn't really convey the whole picture. Someone already mention the god hand cover, the chulips cover for the U.S was also pretty good, and this tron bonne cover is has a good image of her and isn't really worst than either the japanese or PAL(seems none are particularly good).

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