Monday, August 15, 2011

Let's Play: 'Which Box Art is Better?' (Bubble Bobble edition)

Most of the "Which Box Art is Better?" posts I've published over the years have focused on current or upcoming titles. Today's is going to focus on a classic: Bubble Bobble.

Fukio Mitsuji's single-screened platformer has been ported to a number of home systems since it first made a splash in arcades around in the world in 1986. Among the systems to receive said ports: The Sega Mark III (aka the Master System), the Game Gear, the FM Towns and the Famicom Disk System. (It was released in cartridge form for the NES).

For some strange reason, the game was re-titled Final Bubble Bobble when it was released for the Sega Mark III. Here's that version's box art:

Every other home version of the game retained the original title. Only the Famicom Disk System's cover, however, made use of the original concept art (as seen in the cover art below).

The NES version's packaging (below), for instance, featured art that was less precious and more cartoonish than its Japanese counterpart.

The art that graced the cover of the Game Gear port of this popular quarter muncher was created using a similar style.

As unique as the illustrations above are, they pale in comparison to the imagery that was created for the cover of the FM Towns iteration of the game.

Which do I prefer? I hate to say it's a tie, but that's what it is for me--with my two top picks being the FM Towns and the Sega Mark III box arts. Anyway, that's just my opinion on the matter. What's yours?

See also: Previous 'Which Box Art is Better?' posts


Sean said...

While normally I would almost reflexively choose the Famicom version, I find myself agreeing with you here. the Sega and the FM Towns ones do look the best.

Viewtiful_Justin said...

My vote is and will always be for the NES version, but mostly because I grew up seeing it and now it just feels right to me.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Sean: Well, the Famicom version is quite nice, IMO. I just like how interesting/unique the Mark III and FM Towns versions are.

I hate to admit it, but the cover art of the FM Towns version makes me want to buy a copy of it along with an FM Towns Marty (system) some day -- which is insane when you consider you can play an arcade-perfect port of Bubble Bobble on the Taito Legends PSP and PS2 release.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Well, that's kind of unexpected, Justin! Full disclosure: I used to despise the NES cover art -- mainly because of how dopey Bub and Bob look in this particular illustration :( I can't say I "like" it today, but I do appreciate it more than I used to.

Marcus said...

Oh my gosh, the FM Towns cover is so cute! I really wish I could display it on my shelves.

Personally I don't really like the FDS cover. Somehow their barely open mouths seem more "dopey" than anything else haha. The NES one looks kind of awkward too since it looks like Bub and Bob have no idea what is going on, but it's kind of adorable that way.

Viewtiful_Justin said...

Well, the FM Towns version is second on my list. If the NES version didn't have history with me, that would have probably been on the top of my list.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Yeah, the FM Towns cover is too cute, isn't it Marcus? The FM Towns version of Rainbow Islands has a similarly cute cover, BTW.

I guess Bub and Bob seem a bit dopey on both the FDS and NES covers, don't they? Still, I prefer the FDS one to the NES one, although the latter has grown on me.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Hey, you can prefer whichever one(s) you want, Justin! I fully understand why you like the NES one the best :)