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Fronzel



Joined: 11 Sep 2003
Posts: 1906
PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 1:26 pm Reply with quote
KabaKabaFruit wrote:
Rival Turf was also another offender. Seriously, school kids dressed like Vanilla Ice and trying to pretend that they're tough?

I try to imagine the actual taking of that photo and laugh a lot.

KabaKabaFruit wrote:
And there is the creativity aspect in order to attract viewers. Kemco tried to do it for Phalanx by getting an old man with a banjo. Reason? Did it work?

Hell yes, it worked. I totally want to play a shooter game that incorporates an old man with a banjo in a meaningful way. I'm disapointed knowing that the actual game has nothing to do with him.
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nightjuan



Joined: 22 Jan 2008
Posts: 1473
PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 2:03 pm Reply with quote
Most of those were ridiculous enough, but sometimes cover art changes can actually be an improvement. I'm thinking about the cover for the original Lufia, that one even looked a little more anime-related than the Japanese alternative and isn't too bad in and of itself. I suppose every rule must have its exceptions.
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Chrno2



Joined: 28 May 2004
Posts: 6157
Location: USA
PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 2:06 pm Reply with quote
OMG!! The retro covers are always the best to make fun of. I'm a big fan of 'BOF' and those covers back then always cracked me up. Ryu the protagonist is a beefy barbarian warrior because a scrawny boy hero just doesn't cut it by Western standards. Mind you that same artist got work for the second cover. The cover for the first 'Suikoden'; at first glance reminded me of a casino game. But the 'Mobile Light Force' cover beats all. You go into the store and buy game wondering what it is and then you turn it on and it's something TOTALLY different. WTH???
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KabaKabaFruit



Joined: 20 Sep 2007
Posts: 1713
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba
PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:44 pm Reply with quote
fronzel wrote:
Hell yes, it worked. I totally want to play a shooter game that incorporates an old man with a banjo in a meaningful way. I'm disapointed knowing that the actual game has nothing to do with him.

Exactly. If you're going to use weird gimmicks on the cover art, at least make sure it has something to do with the actual game. To do so otherwise is not only misleading, it's bad business.

But now I would like to take this time to let you all know that despite the myriad of bad U.S. cover arts, there are instances where the U.S. cover art is better than the japanese cover art. Take a look at Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse for the NES:

compare this to the japanese version of Akumajou Dracula III:

I honestly never thought I would see the day that the U.S. coverart was more beautiful than the japanese cover art. Shocked
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UltimateSpaceLion



Joined: 08 Jul 2006
Posts: 28
PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:50 pm Reply with quote
I like Leona Lewis well enough, and the song itself is pretty good, but I just don't think it suits Final Fantasy. Neither the composition nor the lyrics suggest "Final Fantasy" to me. That said, neither did "Eyes On Me". "Suteki da ne" and "Kiss Me Good-Bye" were just about perfect FF theme songs, though.

The original Japanese song for FFXIII sounds pretty generic anyway so perhaps choosing a song from an already famous artist is a good idea. More exposure for Leona and the same for FFXIII. Man, she's certainly getting around - she's doing the theme song for James Cameron's Avatar too.
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Zin5ki



Joined: 06 Jan 2008
Posts: 6680
Location: London, UK
PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:22 pm Reply with quote
KabaKabaFruit wrote:
Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse for the NES

Aesthetics aside, the US release fails to include a picture of Dracula.

In the PAL Breath of Fire III cover, I notice that as well as her notable 'asymmetry', the depicted character seems to have a smaller third 'protrusion' in her chest. Either that or it's some sort of decoration.
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therealssjlink



Joined: 30 Apr 2005
Posts: 118
PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 3:35 am Reply with quote
Zin5ki wrote:
KabaKabaFruit wrote:
Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse for the NES

Aesthetics aside, the US release fails to include a picture of Dracula.


That's Alucard on the Japanese cover (and for extra proof look at the Japanese Instruction Manual) so....neither did the japanese one.

Then again, the Japanese title is:
Legend of the Demon Castle
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Kyogissun



Joined: 17 Aug 2007
Posts: 676
PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 7:02 am Reply with quote
...Agarest coming to the 360 makes me a happy camper. Very Happy
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camhostage



Joined: 03 Jun 2008
Posts: 5
PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2009 2:39 am Reply with quote
KabaKabaFruit wrote:
It was rare...very rare for any japanese anime artwork to have made it over in one piece back in the 80's and 90's due to the companies insisting on covers that standard American gamers can relate to. And more often than not, the practice fell flat on its ass...


This is a common misconception that, like the Leona Lewis hubbub, should be dispelled more readily and given greater perspective of the other side of the issue. Unfortunately, that rarely happens since it's often a bastardization rather than an improvement, so people just assume that America was the bad guy. This was of course a factor, but there's much more to it than people might think.

The fact is, many American licensers had difficulty negotiating original art used in Japanese releases. The publishers in Japan often turned down this request, leaving American publishers on their own to create the package image. (And given that these were publishing offices rather than creative studios, they unfortunately did it badly more often than not.) Even today, there's no guarantee that a foreign publisher will have all-access granting of materials generated for the Japanese release.

Remember also this was back in the days before Photoshop and digital layering. You couldn't just ask for an email of the PSD file for layout. The art often had the logos or other iconography embedded in the image, so that was a problem. Even shipping the art for the foreign design team was an issue (and a potential loss of materials for the publisher since they would rather keep their art in the archives instead of giving it to Americans and hoping it'd be shipped back… and that was the publishers who cared about their art, the ones that didn't may not have even kept the original art.)

And then you have the fact that, especially in the NES days, nobody knew exactly what the characters were supposed to look like. These were pixel art drawings, designed to look like ANYTHING with a recognizable shape using just 8-bit sprite technology. Concept drawings were done to identify the world and the character, but realistically, what they put into the game was what worked for the game. Mario wasn't designed the way he was because this was the way Miyamoto-san saw the this Italian hero, he was designed that way because a hat and a mustache were easier to fit on the sprite compared to hair and a mouth. Characters differed wildly from console to console, and even as the 16-bit era came around, anime exporting was still so niche that publishers didn't always know that the art on the package actually was designed to exactly match the game characters and not just simply approximate the simple pixel renderings. (Look up Japan's own Bomberman box art for Famicom, for example.) Gamers didn't know any better either, and given that anime culture was still very underground, it's not surprising that publishers decided to make their art resemble other products that fit the action or role-playing genres popular with its target audience. (I don't have documentation of this, but I would argue that the choice of getting away from anime art was less xenophobic about Americans seeing the art being too 'Japanesey' and more to shy away from the sometimes-fey art style and unnatural choices such as red hair often used; I don't know that people in 1989 would have looked at the original Legend of Zelda or Zelda II art and thought, “Them durn yellowmen is taking over!” Japan also famously 'borrowed' western imagery to help depict its products better, look up the Metal Gear MSX cover.) It wasn't until the CD-ROM era with FMV cinematics that it became completely clear that these odd character designs were honestly intentional in most cases (even then, fanboy-turned-publisher Working Designs often strayed from the Japanese art,) and that this thing called 'Japanimation' was the root of the style.

The video game podcast Retronauts covered this not too long ago. If you are interested in the history of the relationship between Japan and America (and the rest of the world) in the videogame market, I would recommend that podcast highly.
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leafy sea dragon



Joined: 27 Oct 2009
Posts: 7163
Location: Another Kingdom
PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2009 5:20 am Reply with quote
Wow, I'm glad they changed the box art of Phalanx. I've only ever seen the American box art and found it to be the msot hilarious box art I've ever seen. But...that Japanese box art looks so phallic. I hope I'm not the only one who saw it that way.

And that box art for Castlevania III is awesome. I'm glad the artist saw the game enough to, for instance, know that Grant climbs walls and uses daggers and that Syfa shoots fire. Much of the time, I get the feeling the artists hadn't even seen more than a minute of the game, which would make sense if the artist was merely a freelancer with a quick commission rather than a staff member of the American company.

Why were the Quebecois excluded from the opportunity to visit Dracula's hometown?

Also, I've never played Breath of Fire II, but what's with the random gangsta bulldog in it?
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liko-2000



Joined: 23 Apr 2009
Posts: 9
PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2009 9:59 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
Miles Edgeworth: Ace Attorney Investigations may not be the biggest game of 2010, but there are many out there who are looking forward to nothing more than this, the first Phoenix Wright title to officially star rival prosecutor Miles Edgeworth.


And one of those people would be me! Very Happy I already have it on pre-order and wished that the demo was longer.

Also, keep up the good work on the picture captions Todd. I lol'd at every one. Smile
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Flik



Joined: 31 Oct 2008
Posts: 26
Location: Monroe, MI
PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 10:45 am Reply with quote
leafy sea dragon wrote:
Also, I've never played Breath of Fire II, but what's with the random gangsta bulldog in it?


That would be Bow, the main character Ryu's lovable best friend, and resident Chaotic Good thief. I've only played the English game, but besides stealing a couple things and clearing his good name (the first half of the game's MacGuffin), he is hardly even used in the story. Honestly, by the time you get him back in the party you will probably never use him again, which is kind of sad considering he's the party's best healer.

Nothing gangsta about him other then that boxart, which actually is pretty identical to how he looks. Rand is pretty spot on too. Nina/Katt/Ryu look MUCH better and of course, accurate, in the Japanese box art though.
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