Friday, November 04, 2011

Let's Play: 'Which Box Art is Better?' (Final Fantasy XIII-2 edition)

Although my interest in mainline Final Fantasy games has diminished quite a bit since the dusk of the PlayStation (as in, PSone) era, that doesn't mean that I ignore them completely.

Actually, I was pretty interested in Final Fantasy XIII until it came out and everyone complained about it. (Granted, I had neither a PS3 nor an Xbox 360 at the time, so my interest in the game was bound to give way at some point.) I'm similarly interested in that game's strangely titled follow-up, Final Fantasy XIII-2, although I have to admit I have my doubts as to whether I'll ever acquire or play it.

While I hem and haw over that decision, why don't we play another game of "Which Box Art is Better?"--with the focus of said game being the aforementioned semi-sequel.

For starters, here is the art that will grace the cover of the Japanese version of Final Fantasy XIII-2 (which will hit store shelves on Dec. 15):


As far as I can tell, by the way, the European version of the game, which will be released on Feb. 3, 2012, will feature the same box art.

The cover of the North American version of Final Fantasy XIII-2 (due out on Jan. 31, 2012), on the other hand, will be a bit busier:


Personally, I prefer the black-purple-and-white simplicity of the European and Japanese cover art. That's not to suggest that I think the North American art is bad. Rather, for me it's more of a case of--how should I say this?--gilding the gaming lily.

Pre-order: Final Fantasy XIII-2 (PS3 version) or Final Fantasy XIII-2 (Xbox 360 version)

21 comments:

Adam said...

They're both good. I'm going to side with the American one though

Bryan Ochalla said...

Yes, Adam, both are good. Also, I have a feeling a lot of people are going to agree with your pick rather than mine :)

Darwin said...

I prefer the classic FF style. JPN and EU for me!

Bryan Ochalla said...

BTW, I just noticed that I haven't been following your blog. Doh! I am now, though. I really like it -- keep up the great work :)

Adam said...

a response from the comment on my blog: Yeah Hot Shots is very similar to Mario Golf on N64. Camelot made those games, and they created the original Hot Shots Golf on PS1. Clap Handz took over the rest of the series.

Bryan Ochalla said...

That last comment was aimed at Adam, BTW.

This one's aimed at Darwin: Yes! I like classic FF style, too. I esp. like the black-purple-white color scheme used on this cover :)

Bryan Ochalla said...

Thanks, Adam! I thought Clap Hanz made all of the Hot Shots Golf games and had no idea Camelot made the first one for PS1. I think I may have to pick up that one first, since I absolutely loved Mario Golf on the N64.

Retr0gamer said...

Classic EU and JP style for me. You americans used to get 60Hz and no crappy borders in your FF games but we got the classier box art! Thought the CG models on the covers looked tacky.

Bryan Ochalla said...

The regional differences are interesting and even a bit funny, aren't they, Retr0gamer? What is it about Europeans that make them more likely than North Americans to accept the same simple cover art that will be used in Japan? Or is it just that NA marketers *think* that we're less likely to accept such art?

Random J said...

The North American box art is more in line with what Europe got for XIII though - which broke the trend of just being the FF logo, insignia on a white backdrop. Although I'm sure Square Enix's decision behind it was the hopes that the game would sell more copies on the 360 because of the Lightning up-skirt it featured. Probably not to the gay crowd though. Although Lightning was working the hell out of that skirt and roll neck *lol*

Bryan Ochalla said...

Ah, I didn't know that, Random J. Now I'm going to have to look up the Euro XIII box art, of course :P

Retr0gamer said...

I'm not sure what it is really. For the more anime covers I think it's because on the continent anime is more accepted and widespread than in the UK or Ireland which is why we get something like Suikoden which is just like the JAP box and not the god awful US one. Lots of anime and manga got localised on the continent but never made it to the UK and Ireland.

I'm not sure what it is but for the majority the EU box art is always better than the US box art. EU box art seems to be a bit artier while the US ones like to show some crappy CG which looks terrible. Case in point BoF Dragon Quarter. I couldn't tell you why though.

Japanese box art is almost always great though :)

I'd still would have had preferred 60 Hz and naff box art to the PAL conversions we got though.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Yeah, I'm sure there are a number of reasons why there is such a difference in box art from region to region, Retr0gamer. At the very least, the reasons you share here seem plausible enough to me!

Regardless, I'm glad that more and more EU and NA games use the same box art used on their Japanese counterparts these days :)

Viewtiful_Justin said...

I don't like either of them, honestly. The first one is simple--but not in a good way, and the second one is WAY off balance...

Bryan Ochalla said...

I hear ya, Justin. Although I prefer the first one, it hardly blows you away, does it? Of course, a FF cover hasn't blown me away since the Japanese version of FFVI, so maybe that's the reason...

Marco Grande Arbitro said...

Although I prefer the classic

Bryan Ochalla said...

Hey there, Marco! I think you may have hit 'publish' in the middle of your comment. Seems you were about to say that you prefer the NA art, though, eh?

pablo0151 said...

I really enjoy this type of article, box art has interested me since the days of the SNES.

I've nearly always preferred the Japanese style over the US versions...they just seem more imaginative overall to me.

Japan and EU for this one in my eyes too, just hope that XIII-2 is better than XIII!!

Great work.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Hey there, pablo0151! Glad you like this kind of article -- esp. since I post them pretty often :)

Anyway, I'm like you in that I tend to prefer Japanese box art over Euro and NA versions. There are some exceptions, but not many.

Sounds like you weren't a big fan of XIII, huh? I guess I didn't miss much then. I sure would like Square to make another mainline FF a la FF IX, which would kind of bring the series back to its roots, so to speak.

pablo0151 said...

That's a really good call actually, I adore FF IX and I was gutted that it was shunned for trying to take the series back to it's roots somewhat.

I'd like to see the next one take the FF VI route, and go steampunk...all these emo teens are starting to bore me!

Bryan Ochalla said...

Ah, I'm glad to hear I'm not alone in liking FF IX in particular -- and some of the older FFs in general. Also, yes, a future FF that takes the FF VI route would be amazing!