Welcome friends, to another edition of ‘Box Art Brawl’!
Last week, the classic N64 title, Pilotwings 64, battled for box art supremacy. Honestly, the results were a bit closer than we expected, but nonetheless, the vertical design from Japan took the most votes with 60%. Tough luck, North America and Europe: their designs weren’t bad, but they weren’t. great.
This week, we’re going to dive back into the world of Capcom mega Man with his fourth NES title: Mega Man 4. Released in 1991, it received strong critical reception, although many people were quick to note that it differed very little from previous entries in the series. Franchise fatigue was beginning to set in, though not before Capcom released two more follow-ups for the NES before finally moving on to the Super NES.
This week will be a three-way fight, just the way we like it, due to key art design differences between North America and Europe. But enough talking, let’s get to the point!
Be sure to cast your votes in the poll below; But first, let’s take a look at the cover art.
The North American layout for Mega Man 4 is, um… interesting, to say the least. There are hints here that the art style is moving away from the admittedly hellish approach taken in previous titles, but there’s still something rather odd about Mega Man himself. Why are his cheeks so rosy? Why does he look so…well, real? At least, real compared to the more stylistic approach taken with the other region variants.
Interestingly, Mega Man 4’s European design opts for the same composition as its North American counterpart, but swaps Mega Man’s own art style for something possibly more traditional. The background is exactly the same, but Mega Man’s face looks decidedly less disturbing, matching the visual style present in the Japanese box art design.
Speaking of which, the box art design from Japan uses an art style that is still used to represent Mega Man to this day. It also makes heavy use of landscape orientation, throwing in some Robot Masters for a slightly busier composition. Mega Man himself also looks pretty impressive here, covered in flames and about to unleash what we assume is just a charged shot.
Thanks for voting! See you next time for another round of Box Art Brawl.