Bad Ass Box Art: Lost in Translation

Ahh America. Home of the Brave, land of the Free and Home to some pretty shitty box art. Europe and Japan, THAT’S WHERE IT’S AT HOMIE!

Sometimes, you just gotta change or modify things to cater to a region or audience…AND SOMETIMES THAT JUST RUINS FUCKING EVERYTHING! Today on Bad Ass Box Art, I take a look at some of the worst culprits and shame them.

Japan on the left, MURRRRICA! on the right.

So here’s what I don’t get with this shit. Japan gets the more care free, happier stuff which looks great as is. America is all “Fuck that shit, he looks stupid and lame, WHY IS HE NOT ANGRY ALL THE TIME? PIT NEEDS TO BE READY TO FIGHT FOR FREEDOM, JUSTICE AND OIL…I MEAN FREEDOM AGAIN”. What’s wrong with the box art on the left America? Afraid you’ll feel like less of a man?! Seriously, you should have just given Pit a gun and it would have made more sense.


Kirby is so light hearted and fun that it pains me just trying to understand why he’d need to be “edgy and with attitude”. He’s a fucking pink ball. There’s no way he’s going to be taken tough. And it’s not just this game either, there’s a fair few Kirby games that are given the same treatment too! Ridiculous.


Here is the perfect example of how this shit is marketed to their audiences. Ratchet and Clank! On the left, Japan, with their fluffy visuals and general infectious happiness makes the game look at least different and unique. Then you got the “BRAVO ALPHA TEAM DEATH FORCE” for the American one. The left makes me want to play the game, while the left makes it seem generic as shit. Fuck this world.


Here, ladies and gents, is the worst fucking culprit of them all. The epitome of making a game look god awful and generic to the masses. Ico is a revered and beloved game. The left is the American box art, with Stick Sword Boy Fighter Man Boy, looking broody and ready to fight for all that is JUSTICE AND FREEDOM AND THAT CRAP but in the end just making it look boring and some weird game that only idiots would like. The right however, is full of mystery, wonder and exploration. I haven’t played Ico, but the box art on the right makes me so curious to what it is and what you do, it sells me on the game so much. The left? FAGEDDABOUTIT. God damn it America.

I get that companies need to market shit to people, to make them go “FUCK I GOTTA PLAY THAT RIGHT NOW!” and box art is a great way to do it. But when you look at it and a shit ton of people sigh and groan and complain about it, has it really done the job? There are a few exceptions where the opposite is true, where the American box art is better than the Europe or Japanese stuff, but I wish publishers would take a step back and go “nah send the cooler one out!”. That is my dream friends. And in the end that’s all I have.

Do you know any box arts that I’ve missed or want to show off? Post it in the comments! Hell, tell me I’m wrong for all I care! 


  1. The Final Fantasy box art in America wasn’t great- while we got the cool white covers here, the US ones almost always had a character on them.

  2. Resident Evil 4 (both GC and Wii versions) in EU/UK had a great ominous boxart, with the stark silhouettes of the forest and the chainsaw guy. American ones just had a gun-toting Leon.

  3. The first Castlevania on PS2, not the best game. It was called Lament of Innocence in most of the world but ours was just plain ol’ Castlevania. They also replaced the amazing painted cover by the original character designer with a generic CG one. A case where we got jipped 😦

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