I just read the pretty damn good Dtoid article about the Game Boy's 25th anniversary. Thought I'd do my own write-up of Nintendo's wonderful, iconic, borderline-indestructable brick of a handheld game console.
More or less? The Game Boy is THE handheld console. Its image is iconic enough for someone who barely knows video games to know exactly what it is, and the games that were available for it have gone on to be absolute classics.
I got my Game Boy in August of 1992, when I was just two years old. My parents bought it for me for my birthday, back when we still lived in Massachusetts. If I knew anything about the area of Cape Cod I lived in at the time, I'd definitely have tried to find out where my parents got the Game Boy. They probably had to go to the Hyannis Toys 'R Us, which, to my knowledge, is still where it was all those years ago. That's rare for a TRU in this day and age.
The Game Boy was originally bundled with Tetris, which was a marketing decision so great that I sincerely hope that the person who came up with it got some sort of commemorative plaque. I've talked about Tetris before, but it bears repeating that this game is absolutely flawless. It is the perfect balance of being easy to play and very hard to master, making the addictiveness of Tetris rival that of most hard drugs. There is a very good reason why Tetris was ported to every game console known to man (and a few only known to hardcore gaming fanatics): It's excellent. While the Game Boy wasn't necessarily the one that started it all, it definitely helped the sales of the Game Boy skyrocket.
A Nintendo launch really doesn't feel special without a new Mario game in the lineup. Maybe that's why the Wii left me cold initially. Anyway, Super Mario Land was released as a launch title for the Game Boy, alongside Alleyway, Tennis and Baseball.
Man, look at this cover. I do get what they are trying to do with this: They're trying to showcase the various game mechanics and the various enemies you'll encounter while playing, but this cover just comes off as a jumbled mess from an artist who took things too literally when asked to make a cover that summed up the game.
That said, this game is really friggin' weird. It wasn't designed by Shigeru Myamoto (the person who developed all of the other core Mario titles), it was instead designed by Gunpei Yokoi (the man who was behind the creation of the Game Boy itself). And good God, does it show. The gameplay doesn't quite "feel" like a Mario game, in that the physics are off from the standards of the NES titles. Mario sinks like a goddamn stone when he falls off of a ledge, and there is no pause when getting hit by an enemy, which, to a person who has played the NES games for hours on-end, is immediately noticeable and incredibly frustrating. It is definitely something that you need to get used to.
The enemy designs are downright bizarre. You've got your standard array of things like Goombas and turtles, but the turtle's shells explode after you've jumped on them. There are also things like giant flies or sphinxes that are so far removed from the Mario style that I wouldn't be surprised if this game wasn't supposed to be a Mario game originally.
You don't have a ton of time to think about a lot of this, however, as the play time can be well under an hour if you're used to the controls and you happen to be in a well-lit room to see the screen.
The Game Boy's screen has been the subject of a lot of scrutiny over the years, mostly due to the fact that you cannot see the goddamn thing in any normal lighting condition. Seriously, Sega had the right idea with putting a backlight on the Game Gear. In addition to being very hard to see, the screen suffered from a problem that a lot of old handheld screens used to have, in that there were ghosting/afterimage issues with games that had a lot of movement in them. This flaw made games like Contra: The Alien Wars and Donkey Kong Land virtually impossible to play on the original Game Boy. The best games to play on this thing were simple games like Tetris, or games that didn't require a lot of fast-paced movements or reaction times, like turn-based RPGs.
Coincidentally, Nintendo managed to release one of those late in the Game Boy's life.
Well, that's not exactly true: They managed to release two of those late in the Game Boy's Life.
Yuuuuuup. Pokemon Red and Blue were released in the US on September 28th, 1998. That is well over nine years after the Game Boy came out. Hell, today a lot of games don't get released on consoles when they are six years into their lifespan. Pokemon helped the Game Boy sell more units than ever, and it gave kids a reason to use the link cables that they probably had lying around since their parents bought them F1 Race. The Pokemon games also made RPGs accessible to millions of people who may have never played a role-playing game before, and it encouraged social interaction in video games years before online infrastructure was good enough for multiplayer.
I'm sure there are people out there that thought the Game Boy didn't even exist before Pokemon, or at least didn't think that the console would have been a near-decade into its' lifespan when the games came out.
Come to think of it, it's crazy to think that the Game Boy is 25 years old now (if we're counting from the Japanese release, anyway). The Game Boy is now old enough to rent a car. There were dozens of great games made for this console, and, luckily, you can get a bunch of them on the 3DS eShop right now. Go and pick up Wario Land or Link's Awakening, and when Mega Man V comes out on the eShop, get it there, as the original cart is far too expensive to consider paying for.
I'm definitely going to be playing some Metroid II or Alleyway during my lunch break at work tomorrow.
There's no better tribute to a console than to actually play it.
More stories of intrigue, mystery, and the unknown.
But mostly video games. This is Destructoid, after all.
- When I was in Kindergarten, every Thursday was a "computer lab" day. Our teacher would walk the class out the door of our classroom 12 feet away to the Elementary School computer lab, which was home to 30 or so Gateway computers loaded with Windows 95 and a metric ton of edutainment programs designed to keep elementary school kids busy for an hour while the teacher does something productive, like grading papers, scheduling things for Friday class time, or burning through her last five Lucky Strikes.
Now, to a five-year-old kid, an hour was a long time. I think that might be scientifically proven to be true. We used the hour to our advantage, playing stuff like Kid Phonics, Snap Dragon, or Kidworks 2. The text-to-speech voice "Please Sign In To Kidworks 2" clip still haunts me to this day.
My handwriting isn't that good. I can type infinitely faster than I can write, which was something that most school faculty didn't really understand until after my grades suffered. I completely attribute my ability to type quickly and legibly to two things: EverQuest, and Mario Teaches Typing. For the purposes of this article, I'm going to focus on Mario Teaches Typing.
When my Kindergarten teacher showed up to the computer lab holding the MTT disk, I knew I needed to play it. I didn't care if I was going to learn with it. It was Mario. Playing a Mario game during school was the five-year-old equivalent of downing a few shots of scotch while at the office: you aren't allowed to do that normally, so when you get the go-ahead to do so it feels awesome.
The game itself is pretty boring. Press the corresponding key to make Mario jump over a turtle or smash a block. There are sections where you need to complete a few sentences in order to keep Mario away from an enemy or to help him navigate a castle maze. You can print out a diploma if you get a high enough WPM. Woohoo.
Screw Type to Learn or Mavis Beacon's Keyboard Extravaganza. Mario Teaches Typing basically made me into a decent human being by teaching me how to type.
That, and being a tank in a Lesser Faydark dungeon. That helped, too.
- I'm a huge sucker for Mega Man. The original games are great, but my heart lies with the X series. Mega Man X4 was one of the first Playstation games that got, and it was worth every penny. The voice acting was awful, but that couldn't kill the whole thing for me. I played the everloving hell out of it.
Mega Man X5 was more of the same. 2D visuals (albeit super-enhanced 2D visuals), weird voice acting, and the like. There were two amazing parts of the game, though:
The first were the Mavericks on offer. The bosses in the X series were always great, but the ones in X5 were significantly better due to the nice touch of the translation team having a little fun: Most of the bosses were named after the members of Guns 'N Roses. You had Axl The Red (who was a robotic Rose), Duff McWhalen, Grizzly Slash, etc...
The second was the addition of a new mechanic: Ducking. You could duck under shots by pressing down, which is a feature that is in every other shooter. Oddly enough, this simple idea seemed to pass right over the Mega Man dev team. To this day, I remember Mega Man X5 for being "the one where you could duck." A lot of the game is built around this mechanic, as you could now be more mobile than ever in a series where mobility is king.
I bought my copy at a store called Prime Time Video. They've since gone out of business. They were an old Mom & Pop video store that sold video games as well. I know I have a few of their ex-rentals in my collection due to buying second-hand.
Prime Time Video is now a tattoo parlor combined with a costume shop. Fun stuff.
I suffered from insane breathing problems as a child. I don't know first-hand, but my mom used to tell me that she constantly checked up on me during the night to make sure that I was still breathing, and not in a "I'm irrationally worried about my son" kind of way. I used to hate going to sleepovers because my snoring was really bad.
This problem was soon rectified by the age-old procedure of having my tonsils removed. Every kid seems to have to go through this at some point in their life, and 2001 was the time for me to do so as well.
My dad knew that I would be bored out of my skull if I had to sit around drinking Gatorade and chomping on anti-inflammatory medication, so he decided to get me a present: A Microsoft Xbox.
I wasn't a huge fan of the Xbox when it came out. I was all about the PS2 and, more importantly, the Nintendo Gamecube. The Xbox was new and scary, and it catered to a much-older demographic than my 11-year-old self. My dad thought it was awesome, though, and he surprised me with the console after picking me up from a friend's house.
My first game was Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee. It's a neat game from the absolute geniuses at Oddworld Inhabitants. Things really took off when I got Halo. I don't particularly care for the series today, but I will admit that playing Halo was fun as hell. It definitely took away the pain of having tonsil surgery.
That and the pain meds. I'm sure they helped considerably.
"History is written by the victors." - Winston Churchill (attributed)
Sega's history is interesting, to say the least.
The Mega Drive was conceived by Sega of Japan as being the next generation of Sega's game consoles, which started with the SG-1000 and the Master System. Sega also had the goal of dethroning Nintendo as the #1 game company in the industry.
That didn't work.
This idea was carried over when the Mega Drive was brought over to the United States. A trademark issue prevented the name "Mega Drive" from being used, so the console was known as the "Sega Genesis."
Sega's initial ad campaign was called "Sega For The 90s: A New Generation."
Sega's campaign focused primarily on the arcade ports that were in the initial Genesis lineup, as well as the sports games that were on offer at the time.
Once again, this didn't quite work.
Sega didn't hit their stride until 1990-1991, when Sega of America underwent a change of leadership and a change in their marketing of the Genesis. Instead of pushing arcade ports like Altered Beast and Ghouls 'N Ghosts, Sega decided to bundle the Genesis with Sonic The Hedgehog, which was (and still is) an excellent game; and a good example of the Genesis' capabilities.
This decision, along with a price cut and a super-aggressive marketing push, allowed Sega to slaughter Nintendo in the early days of Nintendo's Super Nintendo console.
Sega had some interesting add-on items available for the Genesis. My favorite one is the Sega CD, known as the Mega CD in Japan and in PAL territories. This thing connected to the side of a Sega Genesis, and used black magic to play games that weren't on cartridges. Instead, the games came on a completely new format: The CD.
The Sega CD was Sega's attempt to harness the power of the compact disc, which was new and scary to a lot of consumers even in the early 1990s. If you were a consumer in that time, you definitely had a CD player somewhere near the centerpiece of your home theater system, possibly next to a rear-projection television or a giant JVC Master Commander TV set. Not only that, but the potential for data storage on a CD was astounding.
See, a standard CD can hold roughly 700MB of data, which was absolutely massive compared to the ~1MB of space that the average cartridge-based game had at the time. Oddly enough, most Sega CD games didn't take full advantage of the increased space. A good chunk of the library consists of ports of Genesis titles, like Chuck Rock 2, Ecco The Dolphin, Eternal Champions, Mortal Kombat, NBA Jam, etc... For these particular games, most of the space on the disc was used to store actual CD-quality audio in lieu of the regular music from the original Genesis carts.
Another use of the CD technology was to cram the disc full of full-motion video clips and cobble some sort of game together with them.
Ah, yes. The FMV genre. The Sega CD wasn't quite the inventor of this particular genre of games, but Sega's marketing arm certainly made people think they were.
For those that don't know, FMV games were games where the "graphics" consisted of actual video clips. The player would have to act on on-screen prompts to keep the action in the "game" going, as you're basically playing Simon Says to keep the video playing out as it should. Being a genre that relied on filmed material as opposed to actual video game graphics, the games were very limited in what you could actually do. You had to play it in whatever way the developer intended, or it didn't work. Very few of these games hold up today.
The Sega CD had some excellent gems among all of the poor choices. Here are a few of my favorites, categorized by genre:
Shoot 'Em Up:
The Sega CD had some great shmups available. This is a genre that seems to gravitate towards obscure game consoles, for some reason.
There aren't many SCD-exclusive works on the console, as most of the platformers were just ports of Genesis games with better music. Here are some that aren't like that:
Heart of The Alien
These games aren't particularly easy to find, but they are stellar examples of the RPG genre that take full advantage of this add-on:
Lunar: The Silver Star
Lunar 2: Eternal Blue
Shining Force CD
Yeah, I said most of these aren't that good. They aren't. But there are a few FMV games that aren't necessarily "bad", just "interesting." No guarantees that these will be the best things ever, though:
Ground Zero Texas
Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers
I know I left out a bunch of staples (Play Snatcher if you have the chance. It's great.) but this list is a quick start to appreciating the Sega CD slightly more.
This console has a bit of a bad reputation for being not worth the effort to set up and play, but I'd like to think that once you set everything up and pop in Sonic CD or Corpse Killer, you have the potential to have a fun night ahead of you.
"We recognize the present is half as pleasant as our nostalgia for the past will be presented: Recast and reinvented, until that's how we meant it."
The above is a quote from the Barenaked Ladies song "Testing, 1,2,3." It's a great song from a band that a lot of people seem to dismiss.
It doesn't have much to do with gaming, but I love this quote because it flawlessly describes how we see our past compared to our present.
That said, Here is a post of a couple of random memories I've wanted to write about in the past few weeks. I think they're a little short for a full article, so here's a mini-anthology of nostalgia, the first of what I desperately hope will be a series:
- When i was a kid, nothing was quite as awesome as the local mall. I used to go there with my dad during the summer, when school was out and I was bored at home. Our routine would usually begin early in the morning, with breakfast at a local Mel's Diner or IHOP. We usually got to the mall around 10 or 11 AM, where we made sure to park at Sears, one of the anchor stores in this particular mall.
Sears itself is still a neat store, since a lot of the layout hasn't really changed in 20 years. Sure, the TVs have all been upgraded and the fashions they are selling are up to date, but a lot of the layout is pretty much the same as it was years ago. The one thing that has changed is the location of the video games.
Sears used to have an amazing little section for selling video games. It was basically a jewelry counter, but it was filled with games. They also had awesome kiosks with SNES consoles in them, as well as Nintendo Power kiosks that played game trailers so you could see what the hot new games were.
I remember getting the NES versions of Tetris and Dr. Mario when I was just an infant. I don't think I was even able to walk at that point. I just remember my dad buying them for me. If I was in the store I could probably point out where the purchase was made.
I also remember getting Mario's Time Machine from that store. I was friggin' HYPED to play that game, since it was a new Mario game in a time where Super Mario World was the greatest thing ever. I was pretty disappointed when I found out it was an educational game.†
I first played Nintendo's Virtual Boy console at a Service Merchandise.
That is a very rare combination of words.
My mom and I were doing some shopping for a family gathering, which lead us to this very different sort of department store. Not a lot of the stock was out on the sales floor. You had to fill out a form to purchase your stuff. You would then receive it at the front of the store, after it had been retrieved from the stock room. I wasn't old enough to remember much about the process itself, but I do know that it was enough of a pain for my mom to go to other stores if she could.
As for the Virtual Boy itself? I loved it. To me, the idea of a virtual reality headset was amazing, and being able to play completely new games on one was just plain cool. The game I played in the store was Wario Land.
Look at that. That is amazing. The Virtual Boy could display games in two colors: Red and Black.
The wave of the future was here, my friends.
The system uses special black magic to allow the user to see games in 3D. This is something that's all the rage right now, so to see it on a console that was released in 1995 is pretty amazing. The flaws of stereoscopic 3D still plague the system, however. It is very hard to play games for more than a few minutes at a time due to the eye strain that occurs when looking at the screen. There was even a disclaimer on the box that warned that children under the age of 6 shouldn't play the console due to the potential for it to cause PERMANENT EYE DAMAGE.
For a kid who needed glasses in the friggin' womb but didn't get them until he was in Kindergarten, that last bit was a reg flag.
It was a red and black, stereoscopic 3D flag that hurt to look at for long periods of time.
So, as a result, neither of my parents got me a Virtual Boy. I'm sure that I screamed and yelled and made a fuss in the store, but now I see that it was probably the right choice.
I did a write-up of the Virtual Boy on my personal blog (I even used a bit of the text from it in this very post). It's a neat console. It's a shame the games haven't been re-released on the 3DS or something similar.
I've got a few more of these I could write up, but for now I'll keep it at these two. If you want to read other stuff like this, let me know. I could totally do more of these in the future.
In the early-to-mid 1990s, Nintendo was more or less on top of the world. In the middle of a bitter rivalry with Sega and their Genesis console, Nintendo managed to pull ahead in the race and come out on top. While Sega was busy trying to one-up Nintendo with full-color handheld consoles, CD expansions, and 32-bit add-ons, Nintendo decided to respond by actually making games that people wanted to play.
One of the games that helped Nintendo's cause was Donkey Kong Country.
At that time in Nintendo's history, Donkey Kong, as a character, was more or less a footnote. The original Donkey Kong arcade game, to this day, is more known as the game that Mario originated in. When UK-based studio Rare was given the opportunity to work on a Nintendo franchise, Donkey Kong was a bit of an unexpected choice.
What they came up with was a platform game with 3D artwork converted into 2D sprites, which was a visual style that was pretty groundbreaking. DKC wasn't the first game to do this, but it definitely did it better than a lot of other companies did.
Oh, wow. Shots fired.
This ad was a direct attack on Sega, following their mildly-successful "Genesis Does what Nintendon't" campaign, intended to show how awesome the Sega Genesis was versus the original Nintendo Entertainment System. For Nintendo, the above ad was basically a strike to Sega's jugular. It worked.
Donkey Kong Country was a massive hit. It was the second-highest selling SNES game in the console's history (Super Mario World was the first, mostly due to the fact that it was bundled with the console). It completely revived the Donkey Kong series and character, and made it in to something much more than what it originally was. To this day, Donkey Kong's appearance is based on his initial appearance in Donkey Kong Country. This game also marked the debut of Diddy Kong, who is faster and infinitely more agile than Donkey Kong himself. He also serves as the second player if you're doing a two-player team game.
The success of the game, of course, spawned sequels. Donkey Kong Country 2 was released in 1995.
Diddy's Kong Quest (Not "Diddy Kong's Quest", as everyone seems to think) improved on the original game in a number of ways. Oddly enough, Donkey Kong himself was not playable in this game. Instead, Diddy Kong was given the spotlight. The second playable 'Kong is Dixie Kong, Diddy's girlfriend who could pick things up with her blonde ponytail, as well as perform a helicopter spin to float down to platforms or make longer jumps.
The game's atmosphere was a gigantic departure from the first game's rainforest landscapes and mostly-natural surroundings. DKC2 had a darker color palette, and a distinct pirate theme to the various enemies and surroundings. The music was also very dark and moody. It's probably one of the best soundtracks in a game in the past 25 years.
This game was also a huge success. It is often regarded as the pinnacle of the DKC series.
After the success of DKC2, Rare made sure to work on a third game in the Donkey Kong Country series. The gaming climate had changed considerably in year between DKC2 and DKC3, however. The Playstation had been released in 1995, along with Sega's 32-bit Saturn console. Nintendo had even released the Nintendo 64 by the time of DKC3's release.
The once-advanced computer-modeled graphics of Donkey Kong Country 3 had begun to look dated. Hell, even Nintendo themselves were ready to move on to the next generation of video games. On top of that, most retailers probably didn't have space for past-gen games. They needed that shelf space for the hot new stuff.
DKC3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble is often considered the black sheep of the DKC franchise. There are a lot of subtle changes to the game, such as a very slight art design shift where most of the enemies were given more cartoon-like proportions. Some enemies were clearly machine-made, at least partially, which is a far cry from the organic-looking baddies from DKC 1 and 2.
Rare also committed double-heresy by not including Donkey Kong OR Diddy Kong as playable characters in this game. Intead, you've got sidekick Dixie Kong upgraded to the top billing, and the giant-but-still-infant Kiddy Kong as the sidekick.
Let's take a quick look at this often-hated game:
The pirate theme of the previous game has been axed. Instead, we're left with a very different kind of atmosphere - one that evokes more of a New England/Canadian sort of climate. Less oceans, more lakes.
Dixie and Kiddy do work well together. Dixie plays identically to how she did in DKC2. Kiddy Kong, on the other hand, is basically a brick. He's big and heavy, so you can toss him into cracked floorboards and you can make him roll across water to skip across it like you're skipping a big, fuzzy rock. He can also throw Dixie farther distances, which is integral to a lot of tricky segments in the game.
The world map has changed, as well. There is now a distinct overworld, where you can freely roam around, provided you have the right equipment. As you beat more bosses, more parts are available to make vehicles out of, which means you can pass more terrain into the tougher levels. The one depicted above is the Turbo Ski, which allows you to fly up waterfalls... somehow...
In addition to the cooler-climate of the outdoor levels in the game, there also exists a very heavy steampunk and Industrial Revolution vibe to a lot of the game's levels. These clash with the cool lakeside spots and the lush forests. Sometimes, the industry collides with the forests in a literal manner, such as with the stage "Ripsaw Rage", located in the Mekanos area of the game.
In this particular level, you need to keep out of the range of the giant saw that is destroying the forest. It's a memorable stage, and one that captures the feel of the game - that of industry colliding with nature - very well.
Donkey Kong Country 3 is a game that a lot of people don't like. As far as I can tell, it's due to the fact that this game isn't Donkey Kong Country or DKC2. Honestly? It isn't either of those games. But it is still a very fun game, and it's definitely worth a look if you haven't played it already.
In the grand scheme of things, The Donkey Kong Country series proves that, despite what Sega thought, Nintendo was, for a time, what Genesisn't.
I may have mentioned this in the past: Some odd things give me the best feelings of nostalgia.
Firing up my copy of Super Mario All-Stars feels pretty damn good. Hell, even the simple action of dusting off my Super Nintendo carts makes me feel alright.
One of the things I love the most is video game box artwork. When you think about it, that was basically the only thing the companies had to get someone to buy their game. It was a make-or-break sort of deal. If the artwork didn't work out, sales probably suffered. Some companies caught on quick, like with Nintendo's Black Box series of games. The Black Box games were the initial launch titles for the Nintendo Entertainment System, and each one had some awesome sprite artwork on the front. Those boxes are instantly recognizable as being for a video game, and they played an important role in advertising: There was no bullshit about them. You basically knew what you were getting into. In-game, Super Mario Bros. looked nearly identical to the cover, as did 10 Yard Fight, Clu Clu Land, etc...
Nintendo knew what the hell they were doing. It's a damn shame that other companies didn't.
Here is a look at a few terrible boxes, mostly from the Super Nintendo.
You've probably seen this one before. It's pretty infamous among gamers since it's so friggin' weird. Phalanx was released by Kemco in 1992 for the SNES. It's a side-scrolling shoot 'em up. It's a pretty decent game, but good GOD this cover is... Strange?
Yeah. Strange. It's not particularly bad. It just has very little to do with the game itself, save for the tiny spaceship in the corner of the image. I don't exactly know why Kemco used this as the cover, but I can guarantee that it didn't help the game break any sales records.
Rival Turf, released at the tail end of 1992 by Jaleco for the SNES. Look at this thing. What the hell is this game? Looking at the box art and the name, you'd think that it would be some sort of 90s version of The Warriors.
As it turns out, Rival Turf is a game that learned its tricks from the Capcom School of Fisticuffs and Bartending. Essentially, it's a Final Fight clone. It even looks like one in-game.
As far as I know, there isn't a single person in the game that looks like either of the two idiots on the cover.
Oh God. Here we go.
As you can probably see on the cover, the game features artwork from H.R. Giger. Don't know who that is? Well, Giger is most well-known for being the guy who designed the titular character from the Alien film series. His artwork is a mix of bizzare, organic creatures and cold, uncomfortable-looking machinery. Sort of like a steampunk Salvidor Dali, except with a lot more sexual imagery. His art is dark, creepy, and highly disturbing to the average person. I'd like to think that I am an average person.
Simply put, I am afraid of this cover.
When I got this game with my Amiga, I initially thought it was a survival horror game, due to the strange cover picture and the taglines such as "explore the unknown." I was kind of expecting an Alone In The Dark-styled game with super-creepy visuals. What I got was a terrible adventure game.
Dark Seed is an adventure game that captures the absolute worst of the genre: Terrible, convoluted plot, characters that are either one-dimensional or outright idiotic, and logic puzzles that require the logic of a schizophrenic to comprehend. It's a game that you will need to keep re-trying just to see what you did wrong, and you probably won't find out without a guide.
At least the artwork is neat. Completely friggin' horrifying and disturbing on like ten different levels, but neat.
Out Of This World, known as Another World outside of the US, is the best argument for games as art. It is a game that has absolutely amazing visuals and gameplay that was revolutionary for the time.
That box art, though. It's like something out of a Jurassic Park rip-off. The style is completely inconsistent with the game itself, and even the way the main character is portrayed is inaccurate to the game. Looking at this art, you'd think the game was the sort of game where you ran around being chased by dinosaurs or something.
I'll give them this: It kind of does have something to do with the game, since you do encounter those creatures. They just aren't around too long. In fact, most of the game is very sparse. It gets part of the message right: You are a fish out of water. But the art makes the game look like a poster for an 80s movie.
Compare this art with some artwork done by the game's creator, Eric Chahi:
This was the cover art used in another release of the game. I know my copy of the 3DO version had it.
Look at that. It's gorgeous. It perfectly represents the game as a whole. Seriously - play the game. I'm pretty sure that it's on Steam and GoG. You'll find that this artwork is pretty much 1:1 with the game. It shows off everything: The redhead protagonist, his alien companion, and the vast world that the game takes place in.
This particular artwork is probably my favorite piece of video game art.
Why the HELL couldn't they have used this for the Super Nintendo version?
These are kind of fun to talk about. I may look at more bad box art in the future.