And welcome back, box art enthusiasts, to the latest entry in Nintendo Life’s Box Art Brawl canon. Yes, this week we’ll be taking another look at some retro game covers and it’ll be up to you to pick the best of them.
Last time we took a look at Blue Ninja Shadow of the Kage Dragon as Natsume’s variously-named 2D side-scroller for NES is not called. It was a close-run, valiant three-way battle, but ultimately North America emerged victorious ahead of Europe, while Japan trailed in third.
After the big Mario news this week and the arrival Super Mario All-Stars as part of the Nintendo Switch Online subscriber offering, we thought it the perfect time for a little plumbing action in the brawl. We’ll be enjoying Super Mario 3D All-Stars in a couple of week’s time, but in today’s Duel we’re looking back at its Super Nintendo predecessor from 1993.
Four games, two covers, one vote. Let’s see what they’ve got…
North America / Europe
The European cover was essentially the North American cover, hence this week’s Duel. It had a yellow border in certain countries (and the addition of a Super Mario World logo if it was the version that bundled that game in as well – one hell of a cartridge, that one), but the key art was identical.
With multiple Marios in different suits, various enemies and allies dotted around, Bowser appearing as a cloud behind it all, and the whole menagerie presented by Mario in a magician costume wielding a star-spouting wand, we reckon this captures the zany spirit of the adventures within very well. It’s lacking focus, but there’s a lot to like.
The Japanese version, on the other hand, replaced the madcap magic with a solid gold effigy of Mario in his magician get-up. Icons along the top show artwork from the four included games, with Super Mario Bros. 2 carrying its Super Mario Bros. USA Japanese title in the blue border of the big ‘coin’ in the centre.
We’re not sure about the stencil font of ‘SUPER MARIO BROS.’, but it’s a colourful, classy cover, to be sure. Perhaps it’s a bit much, though. After all, all that glisters is not gold, right?
Yes, we do mean ‘glisters’! Ask Alex.
And as a cheeky little non-polled bonus, let’s have a look at the cover of the 25th Anniversary release for Wii (yes, that’s a decade old now), which channels the Japanese cover but tones it down with a velvety red background:
So, two very different covers this week, but which one is the best? Pick your favourite from the options below and hit ‘Vote’ to let us know:
And that’s the end of this week’s brawl! After last week’s Mario blow out, we’re off to gather our strength. Thanks for voting and we’ll see you next time.