Welcome back to Box Art Brawl, the weekly contest between box art variants from around the globe to find out which is the best, better than all the rest.
Last weekPuzzle Bobble, or Bust-a-Move as it’s known in North America, graced us with its presence. It wasn’t a contest, really – Japan absolutely stormed it with over two thirds of the vote. Europe came in second and the Bub and Bob-less North American cover failed to impress most of you.
This week we’re looking at Quintet’s sequel to the brilliant ActRaiser, the logically titled ActRaiser 2. While the sequel was generally less well received (having ditched the top-down god sim gameplay of the original) each of the three principal territories got a different cover, so it’s ripe for our requirements here at the Box Art Brawl.
So, let’s take a look at this Super NES/Super Famicom platformer, shall we?
A winged hero stands (probably) overlooking a huge bullet-shaped structure surrounded by smaller ‘bullets” perched atop a serene waterfall. God rays pierce through the cloudy sky as lightning crackles on the right. The logo is embossed and shiny with a scrawled ‘2’ in red, and the tag promises “100% Pure Action and Excitement!”.
There’s a lot of empty space in the middle, and the border isn’t doing it any favours, but it’s not terrible.
The Super Famicom cover features broken columns in the foreground in front of a river of magma. Volcanic eruptions spray into the air as Obi-Wan and Anakin duel just out of frame. The hot, red environment dominates the box, but up above is a similar sky to the North American version with a floating structure in the top right. The logo–a little hard to read here–features a larger yellow ‘2’ positioned behind the lettering.
We like the colour and the heat here, but there’s a lot of emptiness. We’d really liked to have seen that lightsaber duel going on.
Published by Ubisoft in Europe (rather than Enix in the other regions), Europeans got a completely different cover again. The logo is less exciting but easier to read and the art shows the winged hero, here brandishing a curved sword and flanked by a demon-looking chap and what looks like a Jim Henson dragon-y thing on the left, possibly with two heads.
There’s another horned nasty behind the hero’s right leg, although it’s hard to make out. Once again, there’s an awful lot of dead space here, and while we like the elements we reckon better use of the available real estate could have been made on all three of these covers. Having said that, the space between the ‘UBI’ and the ‘SOFT’ on this one makes us smile for some reason. Whether that’s enough to sway our vote, we’re really not sure. Tough week.
Three covers, one vote. Pick your fave and give it a click below, followed by a click on the ‘Vote’ button…
That’s all for this week. Join us next time for a trip down memory alley for another Box Art Brawl.