Monday, October 03, 2011

Let's Play: 'Which Box Art is Better?' (Rainbow Islands edition)

I haven't always been a fan of Rainbow Islands. In fact, the first few times I played this Fukio Mitsuji-designed platformer I hated it. That's probably because I expected it to look and feel like its predecessor, Bubble Bobble. It wasn't until I got over the fact that "The Story of Bubble Bobble 2" wasn't a straight-up sequel to what I consider one of the best quarter-munchers ever made that it finally earned a place in my heart.

Even when I didn't like this arcade classic, though, I wanted to like it thanks to the wonderfully colorful cover art that was created for many of its console ports.

For instance, the Famicom version's box art, below, features a number of the game's characters crafted out of what looks like clay (or is it wood?).


The art that graces the cover of the FM Towns port, on the other hand, is two-dimensionally cartoonish.


The Mega Drive version's box art spotlights the game's various islands (each of which has a different theme) as well as a particularly bright-eyed and rosy-cheeked take on its protagonist, Bubby.


Speaking of Bubby, the cherubic character takes up a ton of acreage on the PC Engine CD-ROM2 port's cheerful cover.


The art that appears on the PC Engine release's box is my least favorite of the bunch, by the way. Which one is my most favorite? The Famicom version's--although I have to admit that I like the FM Towns and Mega Drive versions' box art quite a bit, too.

Now that I've had my say, which piece of Rainbow Islands box art do you like best?

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

19 comments:

Motherplayer said...

I'd say that for me, I like the megadrive art but I think its cause I like that that version has some darius references in it :P

Bryan Ochalla said...

Oh, I hear ya, Motherplayer -- the MD version's box art is sweet. Also, I like the "Extra" version -- which has the Darius references in it -- of this game, too :)

Sean said...

The Famicom one of course:) Though actually I agree about the Mega Drive one looking quite good, those islands really add a lot to the cover.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Yes, of course you prefer the Famicom one, Sean :) That said, I think it would be hard for someone to call it a bad example of box art. As for the Mega Drive version -- I'll bet it's nicer in person, actually. This particular scan seems kind of fuzzy/dark to me...

Kimimi said...

I love the Famicom cover! I'd not seen it before but that's definitely become my favourite.

I think the MD cover wraps all the way around the case, I always liked cover art that did that.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Yes, you're right, Kimimi -- the MD art wraps around from the back side of the case. I'm guessing it shows all of the game's islands?

Kimimi said...

The last time I really played Rainbow Islands was on the Amiga, so I really couldn't tell you now :S

Viewtiful_Justin said...

Oh, the first one, for sure. I'm a sucker for a model photo. That's why I loved the Earthbound player's guide so much...clay models! It just screams loving care.

But that second one with the angry looking Bub in the background is cute, too.

Bryan Ochalla said...

On the Amiga, eh, Kimimi! God, how I wanted one of those back in the day. I used to buy computer gaming mags along with console gaming ones, and I always drooled over the Amiga games :)

Bryan Ochalla said...

Ah, the Earthbound Player's Guide! I want one, Justin. Too bad they probably cost an arm and a leg these days. Ugh. Maybe I can find scans on line...

Anyway, yes, the FM Towns cover art is pretty great, too, IMO :)

Kimimi said...

Back at the time you weren't considered a gamer here without a C64 or an Amiga in your home :D

Still got one, they're wonderful machines.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Yeah, Amiga's were a lot bigger there than they were here, weren't they? The only computer I ever gamed on as a kid was an Apple IIe :) Oh, and later a bare-bones PC. I've never been much of a PC gamer, though.

Kimimi said...

Oh yes, they were *huge* here! If you fancy a browse through the library I recommend a trip to http://hol.abime.net/ :)

Bryan Ochalla said...

Ah, thanks for the link, Kimimi! I'll check it out in a bit :)

oldschoolgameblog said...

I think the Famicom box art is the coolest one. :) Looks awesome!

Kimimi: I did also play Rainbow Islands on the Amiga, but it was not among my favourite games. I was more into Parasol Stars: The Story of Rainbow Islands 2 instead. That was one cool platform game with multiplayer support. :)

Bryan: The Amiga is still alive. There's a lot of interesting stuff going on these days. New hardware, software, cool FPGA projects.. :)

Bryan Ochalla said...

Hey there, OSGB! I'm kind of surprised you prefer Parasol Stars over Rainbow Islands. Although, if the main reason you prefer the former over the latter is the multiplayer aspect, I can understand that :)

Anyway, it's amazing that the Amiga community is still going strong. I'm going to have to read up on it, as I always find that kind of stuff interesting.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bryan Ochalla, do you own the Famicom "Rainbow Islands"? If so, when you have some free time, can you please take another photo/scan of it (without being "tilted")? Front and Back cover? Thanks in advance. :)

Bryan Ochalla said...

Hello anon! Sadly, I don't own the Famicom version of Rainbow Islands, so I can't take those photos for you. Sorry! Should I ever buy it, though, you can bet I'll do so. You may want to keep an eye on my Flickr photostream, as that's where I'd be posting/sharing them.

Anonymous said...

Hey Bryan, thanks. I asked about it because I can't find a decent picture online lol. Yeah, I checked your Flickr few days ago, very nice collection. I've all those Famicom games but they are all pirates bought during the 80's when I was a kid. "Ugly" stuff but... they all still work. ;)