It’s no secret that America used to suck at ‘translating’ Japanese box art, especially when the art was usually perfectly fine in the first place. Things are a bit better these days, particularly with games developed in America, but even recent and upcoming titles like the highly anticipated Mass Effect (for Xbox 360) have laughably bad cover/title art. Even though there has been some fairly good art recently, it’s going to take a thousand more Okamis and Shadow of the Colossuses to make up for the horrific accident that we call the ‘Mega Man I box art debacle of the 1980s’.
Never has the issue of bad American box art been more apparent than in this video (above). It starts off as a simple slide show, first showing the Japanese game art and then following with the American version (as well as some European art). It’s all set to an operatic score for maximum impact, and you’ll squirm in your chairs as you see the disastrous translations of what were once good game covers.
The second section of the video focuses solely on the Mega Man universe. Of course, the previously mentioned Mega Man I art kicks things off, but the video does not let up. Be warned that as an American citizen and resident, you may blush in embarrassment for your country when viewing this section.
The last two minutes or so of the video are dedicated to American animated versions of popular Capcom properties like Street Fighter, Mega Man, and Darkstalkers. Morrigan calling Demitri a “bat-faced fool” and then blasting him with a fireball has to be one of the worst moments in animation history.
Lastly, no collection of bad American translation would be complete without a little Link (The Legend of Zelda) action. The video maker put just enough in to really sum things up towards the end. Really, it speaks for itself.
Was there ever good American box art? Should America make a response video?