And we’re back once again for a Box Art Brawl! This is the series where we look deeply at three video game cover variants (yep, games used to always come in physical boxes, kids!) and use some good old fashioned democracy to decide which one is best.
Last week we looked at three versions of Goemon’s Great Adventure on Nintendo 64. It was decreed by your lovely selves that the European version was the Mystical Ninja to rule them all, followed by Japan with the North American version a distant third. Congratulations to PAL, commiserations to NTSC.
This week we’re looking at three competitors that you’ll no doubt recognise even if you never actually played the game. The piercing eyes on these covers caught our attention many times on shop shelves back in the day. Yes, we’re looking at the Delphine Software classic Flashback (or Flashback: The Quest for Identity as it’s known in the US) this weekend, specifically the Super NES version. The game saw release on multiple platforms – indeed, it came to Switch last year so you can check out our review if you want your memory of this cinematic platformer jogged.
Ready? Okay, let’s stare deeply into those eyes…
Flashback was released first for the Amiga and many of the box art versions across platforms used the same basic art in various configurations. A beam of energy hits the face on the cover right in the T-zone and it’s hard to tell if it’s painful or pleasurable or maddening. Regardless, the stark blue/green colouring in conjunction with the beam and heavy black shadows set up the sci-fi feeling of the game well and the border doesn’t interfere in any way like the usual PAL versions do with a seemingly arbitrary colour.
The logos stick out like a sore thumb against the black border, but these eyes stared at us many a time from the shelves at our local gaming emporium. Effective.
The North American version is similarly dark in tone, although it substitutes the ‘eyes’ artwork. If the eyepiece with its green rays or the encroaching pixellation don’t clue you in to the sci-fi theme, the morphing reptilian face on the grid to the right sure will.
Featuring the standard NA layout, it’s a different tone to the others, but the more we look at it, the more we like it. Also, we might be going mad – do let us know in the comments – but after a while we started seeing Carrie Fisher. Maybe it’s the eyes, maybe we’ve had a little too much caffeine as we write this, but we can’t unsee Princess Leia.
Carrie Fisher. Tell us we’re not alone.
A return for the classic image, this time in portrait orientation. This means there’s more black, but all the familiar elements and logos are present and correct. The Sunsoft logo also appears at the bottom (they published the game in Japan). Compared to many Japanese covers, this is remarkably restrained, but is it the best of the three here? That’s for you to decide.
Those eyes! If you can stop looking at them for a moment, click on your favourite of the three covers below and hit the vote button to log your opinion and break us from the spell we’re under:
Carrie Fisher, no?! Just us? That’s all for this week, folks – have a fabulous remainder of the weekend and we’ll catch you next time for another round of Box Art Brawl.