A Look Back At Why Box Art Was Important

Something I used to love as a kid was going to EB Games or Harvey Norman and browsing the shelves for all the boxes of brand new video games. And with good reason: it was an era when box art matted. It matters a lot less now, but it's still fun to look back in time.

YouTuber NakeyJakey has chronicled the journey box art has taken over the last couple of decades. There's also a good comparison between some of the box art for releases in Japan and the West — why on earth did Square think the Japanese box art wouldn't do well in the West?

Anyway, it's nice to look back at an era where everything didn't feature CG character models in profile, from behind, walking towards or away from explosions.

There's a parallel between box art and manuals — in a digital world, the time and effort is often better spent elsewhere.

What box art do you remember the most?


Comments

    Pretty funny video.

    I use this one as one of my desktops (It's a slideshow of Metal Gear, Sloths, Capybara, and funny stuff like this.)

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/0/02/Phalanx_North_American_SNES_box_art.jpg

    Last edited 30/08/16 3:45 pm

    Inb4 Phalanx and its ilk rear their heads :P

    I remember with the Wii's launch, I think it was Tony Hawk's Downhill Jam and possibly the US version of Metal Slug Anthology. Both of those really felt like a throwback to NES-era box arts, I really liked what they did.

    I loved the Ultima VII Black Gate box art. Best Box art EVER! Especially the sticker on it, "386 Power".

    I miss good box art for games, now its the same shit photoshopped crap time and time again...

    I've printed out some box art for Dark Souls 3 (the VHS looking one) and for No Man's Sky.

    Much better than the standard covers

    I bought Blast Corps based purely on the box (front and back) and was not disappointed. That game was great. Actually pulled it out for some retro fun last week.

    Who ever designed the Master System box arts needed to be shot by Sega

    As always, Nintendo is set apart. Their covers are still colourful and interesting, full of details.

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