Thursday, May 03, 2012

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

In exactly two months, Theatrhythm Final Fantasy will hit the streets in the U.S. (This music-based 3DS title will be released in Europe a few days later, on July 6. I'm not sure when it will be made available elsewhere.)

Surprisingly, the graphic designers at Square Enix have used the three months since the game's Japanese debut to rework its box art.

Below, for instance, is the rather classy illustration that graces the cover of the Japanese version of Theatrhythm Final Fantasy.

The North American release (which can be pre-ordered here), on the other hand, will feature the following, re-jiggered box art:

Although initially I was impressed with the latter iteration's colorful cover art, after reflecting on it a bit I think it's just a bit too cluttered. Also, the logo is kind of tiny, don't you think?

So, I'm giving the nod to the Japanese packaging this time around. How about you--do you prefer one piece of box art over the other? Also, are any of you planning on picking up Theatrhythm Final Fantasy after it hits store shelves in your particular territory?

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


Anonymous said...

to be honest, the north american version is notn nearly as bad as i thought it would be. at least it some-what resembles the superior jp art- which is more than can be said for past releases...

Bryan Ochalla said...

Oh, I agree, VGAR: The NA isn't bad at all. I just think it's a *bit* too cluttered. I do like that it includes some enemy and boss characters, though, and I like how colorful it is, too.

Viewtiful_Justin said...

The NA version sort of implies violence, as usual. But the Japanese art seems to embrace what the game is about. The Japanese version wins without a doubt in my opinion.

Chalgyr said...

I have to say that I kind of like both - the NA one's colors appeal to me a bit more, but the top one feels cleaner and I think if I had to choose, would be my pick

Bryan Ochalla said...

As always, Justin, I like the way you think. Before now, I didn't really even think about the fact that the Japanese box art better shows or gels with what the game is about, while that aspect (the musical notes and symbols) are kind of lost in the background of the NA art. Good observation! :)

Bryan Ochalla said...

Chalgyr: There's nothing wrong with liking both options! I like both, too, although I also like the Japanese art a bit more than the NA art, especially after considering Justin's thoughts on the subject. Regardless, though, I love the colors present in the NA one.

Unknown said...

Considering one fights the monsters and boss characters in the game, I think the North American version represents the game well. I like both box arts.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Hey there, Phillip! Thanks for adding your thoughts. In a perfect world, I think SE's artists would have found a middle ground between the JP and NA box arts, as I really like that some enemies are present on the NA cover and I like that the JP cover seems to better show that the game involves/is about music.

Unknown said...

Ugh, once again, America insists on using crappy box art when Japan already has a perfectly good one for them to use! I hate how they have to put the focus on fighting... I know that there *is* fighting in the game, but I really like the effortless vibe of the Japanese one. The logo, as you mentioned, is also way to small on the US cover.

Oh, and I really don't like the empty space in the middle of the US cover! But I do like the inclusion of some of the monsters, and the background color is quite nice, as others have mentioned.

But I'm going to have to go with the Japanese cover! And of course I'll be picking this one up... With any luck, I'll review it, too!

Unknown said...

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Anonymous said...

I agree with you Bryan, the North American release does seem far too cluttered. The thing is with an art style like that you need to present it in the right way for it to be attractive, sticking all those unproportioned figures together in one big mess is just ugly. I think the Japanese one is really cute and elegant though :)

Bryan Ochalla said...

Oh, Anne, you and I always think alike, don't we? Or at least we think alike quite often :)

Anyway, I agree with everything you said. Although the NA cover is OK at first glance, upon further consideration it's a mess!

Personally, I would have preferred it if the NA artists kept the overall design of the JP cover, but maybe changed the background color a la the current NA art and also exchanged some of the FF characters present on the JP cover with some of the bosses/enemies present on the NA cover. If that makes any sense...

Or, you know, they could have just left the JP cover as is :)

Regardless, I'm getting this game, too -- or at least I'm pretty sure I am. I'm glad to hear you're interested in it, too! Now we just have to wait until July, I guess...

Bryan Ochalla said...

Hey there, Trxd! Nice to see you around here again. I should have known that a Final Fantasy-focused post would pull you out of the woodwork :)

Anyway, cute and elegant are the perfect words to use to describe the JP cover art for this game, if you ask me. Why isn't that enough for NA gamers? I have no idea.

Sometimes I'm ashamed that we American gamers are assumed to only appreciate/like anger, blood, fighting, etc., when it comes to video game box art :|

Anonymous said...

I haven't been gone long have I? D:

Oh I agree, the western world in genereal views video games in a much more degrading way than in Japan. North America specifically doesn't seem to want to advertise any type of game without a sort of 'fierceness' on the cover, I've only recently realised how interestingly the different covers reflect the different societys depiction of the video gaming industry.

Btw do you have Google Plus? I added someone with your name into my blogger circle hoping its you xD

Bryan Ochalla said...

Trxd: I don't know, I haven't seen you around here in a while. Maybe you've just been lurking (as opposed to commenting)? No worries either way :)

As for Google Plus: Yep, I have an account. Should be under my name, Bryan Ochalla. I haven't been on there in a while, though. Maybe I should go on tonight and add you to one of my circles!