Saturday, January 12, 2013

10 "Classic" Video Game Covers

I love me some video games.  I've loved video games since I was little, and my family bought an Atari 2600 and I got to play Othello or Space Invaders.  I loved the Apple ][ my family had that let me play Zork and Wishbringer.  I loved my original Game Boy (and still have it!), my Genesis, and every game system that came after.  I loved visiting my friends to play on their NES and Super Nintendo, I loved visiting the house of a babysitter because she had Rampage, and it was the only place I could get away with being a giant lizard, kicking over buildings, and eating people.

But even I have to admit, the box art for games has been a) the biggest selling point during the days without reliable reviews in magazines or the internet, and b) laughably terrible.  Here's ten examples of game art from one of my new favorite websites, oh videogames.

The late 80s and early 90s were the best times for Dudes.  There were the Bad Dudes, Two Crude Dudes, the tv series Hey, Dude!

And of course, Jon Cryer's 1988 opus Dudes.

On an unrelated note, the guy on the right makes me think we've found the origin of the Annoying Orange.

Now, I'm not a scientist.  But if you're trying to kill a giant shark (with a sweet airbrushed van portrait of a woman in its mouth, I guess), is a flame thrower really the best way to go about it?

How did this pitch go?  "See, he'll be like Captain N, only he'll have a "V" after the "N" on his jacket, and instead of a controller belt and gun, he'll have the Hobbit's sword "Sting."  And he'll fight one of the Lost Vikings, a mummy blow-up doll, and an evil Yoda."

I've never been there, but I don't remember reading about when a sleeveless ninja and Brock Lesner were added to Mount Rushmore.  Or maybe this "fighter" on the (not visible) "street", a "street fighter," if you will, was so intense that he required the stone, impassive faces of four former presidents to watch to make sure everything was on the up and up.

Oh, and apparently George Washington wore a cravat.  Way to rock the style, G-Wash.

Look around you.  Look around you.  Just look around you.  Have you worked out what we're looking for?  Correct, the answer is... maths.

This game is a filthy lie.  How could it possibly hope to be the most radical race on wheels, when clearly everybody knows that honor belongs to the movie Airborne (with Seth Green and Jack Black!)  For your homework, I expect a two hundred word essay on the virtues of this 90s classic.

I hate these sequels/prequels where you learn that, before being one of the greatest private eyes of all time, James Garner's character was a miner addicted to video games.  "Just one more, then I'll escape this cave-in.  Just one more."

I'm not sure what bothers me more about this game cartridge cover.  The fact that the monkey is plainly carrying around the skinned corpse of a banana when it's established in the same image that fruit is alive and sentient, capable of love, frustration, and a desire to win...

Or the fact that only the pineapple seems to realize he's in a game called "Spanky's" spotlighting a monkey.

 This might be one of my favorite covers of all time, if only because a) Max Headroom, b) the world's most awesome t-shirt, c) the guy's in a game called "stealth" wearing a suit so bright it practically glows, and d) spies in cornfields.  I'm not even sure if he's opening his coat because that's a full-body tattoo that allows him to do the world's greatest Care Bear Stare.  But I want to know.

What could possibly be more awesome?

...well, that answers that question.  If this picture could play an electric guitar riff, I'm pretty sure that we've found the ultimate piece of art.  I mean, I'd ask if this was a game about killing panthers as a motorcycle ninja or if it's just something you have to deal with on a regular basis, like oil changes or renewing your license at the DMV.

If anybody can ever buy this for me as a poster, I swear to god I'll hang it on my wall.

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