Friday, October 12, 2012

Let's Play: 'Which Box Art is Better?' (Paper Mario: Sticker Star edition)

Although there are a number of 3DS games I'm looking forward to getting my grubby hands on next year--the next Animal Crossing, Etrian Odyssey IV and Fire Emblem: Awakening, among them--I'm eagerly awaiting quite a few 2012 releases, too.

Sitting atop the latter list: The latest (and hopefully greatest) chapter in Nintendo's Paper Mario saga.

As many of you likely already know, this 3DS title will be known as Paper Mario: Sticker Star when it's released throughout North America on Nov. 11. Here is the art that will grace the covers of said release:


The game will sport a slightly different name--Paper Mario: Super Seal--when it hits the streets in Japan on Dec. 6, and naturally it'll sport a different piece of box art, too.


Although I'd love to show you the cover art that'll be used on the Euro version of this Intelligent Systems-developed game, which also will be called Paper Mario: Sticker Star and will arrive on store shelves on Dec. 7, Nintendo of Europe has yet to reveal it.

Given that, I guess we'll just have to judge the pair of illustrations showcased above.

Personally, I much prefer the North American cover art to its Japanese counterpart this time around. Granted, the latter option does a much better job of depicting the game's sticker-collecting aspect, but that isn't enough to trump the former's bold use of color.

Now that I've had my say, what do all of you think of the box art that's been prepared for this portable RPG?

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

23 comments:

diaglyph said...

Hmm kinda weird that there's no Euro version yet.

So with the 2 available images - hmmmm hard to choose LOL

I kinda like both LOL

The US one tho has a more "action" feel to it. The Japanese one just shows that its about stickers and Mario.

Will be interesting to see if the Euro version will be any different or if it will adopt either of these designs.

Adam said...

I think it's a bit even, but I'm going to side with the USA version

Viewtiful_Justin said...

I'm with you, Bryan. I think the US version is better by a landslide.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Igor: Yeah, it's especially weird that the Euro box art isn't out yet considering the game will be released soon. Hmmm.

I agree with your assessment of the two options, by the way. I actually like both, but I prefer the colors and 'feel' of the NA art. The JP art is kind of boring in comparison (IMO).

Bryan Ochalla said...

Thanks, Adam! Yeah, I wouldn't say either piece of art is terrible. Also, I do think the JP art is a bit better designed. I personally went with the NA art, though, because of its *energy*.

Bryan Ochalla said...

By a landslide, eh? That surprises me, Justin!

How are feeling about this game, by the way? Are you still a bit skeptical of it? I know you were earlier.

I've had it pre-ordered for a while now and I absolutely can't wait to get my hands on it. Should help make the wait for Animal Crossing 3DS a little less terrible :P

Viewtiful_Justin said...

I still look at it sideways. I don't trust it entirely, as it's sort of pretending NOT to be a card-based battler. But in essence, stickers = cards, and you need stickers to do battle. Hence card based battler. I don't LOVE things like that, because I'm a hoarder of items.

But...eh...I'm excited to play it anyway. It's Paper Mario, and I've always loved the humor in it enough to look over flaws.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Ah, that's interesting, Justin. I honestly don't think I've played enough card-based battlers to know if I like or dislike them. I guess I'll find out with this game!

I tend to be a hoarder of items, too, by the way, so this should be interesting :|

Josef Burn said...

This one is easy for me, the Japanese version. First of all I just kind of think that yellowy gold color is pretty ugly, but other than that I just hate America's determination to make every game cover action-orientated.

The Japanese cover says "Adventure!" the American cover says "LOL IN THIS GAME YOU HIT THINGS".

Bryan Ochalla said...

Hey there, Trxd! You think the yellow is ugly? Huh. That's my favorite part of it, to tell you the truth. Other than that, I agree with you that it's rather annoying -- and humorous, I had to add -- that NOA's designers nearly without exception seem to be obsessed with making box art that features angry characters or violent-ish scenes. It's as if we Americans hate cute or nice things. Sigh.

apricotsushi said...

Well, hm... This is a tough decision for me! Though I love how the stickers are portrayed on the Japanese cover (as you said, they actually illustrate the sticker-collecting aspect of the game) and the yellow-eyed "king" Goomba just behind Mario, I do like the US's use of yellow and the crooked placement of the logo. So I'm going to have to go with US!

By the way, you probably know this already, but stickers are called seals in Japan, hence the name difference :)

SUIKA said...

I wonder if the JP boxart has an actual sticker on it. Probably not. But I wonder if the JP boxart also has a real foil portion for that foil sticker behind Mario. I dunno'.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Hello Anne! You know what? I didn't know that stickers are called seals in Japan until just now! Thanks for letting me know, especially since I was wondering why Nintendo went with seal rather than sticker.

Anyway, I understand about it being a bit of a toss-up. Hell, the more I look at the two of them, the more the NA art's lack of focus/theme bothers me. I mean, it doesn't really say much about the game, does it? Oh, well, I still like it on a purely superficial level :)

Bryan Ochalla said...

Welcome back, SUIKA! Ah, I doubt the JP box art has an actual sticker on it, although that would be pretty cool, if you ask me :) It having real foil on it is more likely, I guess. Regardless, it's a pretty nice piece of art if you ask me.

Melody (Lizzi) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Melody (Lizzi) said...

I've preordered this game months ago and I'm looking forward to the release but I'm not sure if it will be as much fun as the N64 or the Gamcube-version was. I was kinda disappoimted of the Wii-version and I hope the new one gets back to its roots.
We will see...
I think I like the NA-boxart more because of the picture-constellation.
The colours of the japanese cover are beautiful but thats all...

apricotsushi said...

Yeah I'd say purely from a color scheme standpoint, the NA one definitely wins. Though I can't believe Nintendo of America hasn't gotten past their making everything angry/action-y trend, haha

Bryan Ochalla said...

Hello again, Melody! Yes, it'll be interesting to see if this version is as fun as the N64 or GC versions. I do think it'll be more fun than Super Paper Mario, though, so at least there's that. Regardless, I'm really looking forward to it. Oh, and I agree with both of your comments regarding this game's NA and JP box art!

Bryan Ochalla said...

Anne: Oh, yes, I agree about NOA's obsession with making every last piece of NA box art angry and/or action-y. I guess their designers really hold the average American consumer in high regard, eh? :|

gsilverfish said...

From a design perspective the NA one wins hands down--if I squint at them, the NA version retains some visual interest and pop (the color really helps) and the Japanese one blurs into nonsense. But I like the setting and mellow sense of the Japanese version better, and I feel a kind of bias against such an obvious (as mentioned by others) "angry action" kind of treatment, I feel like I can almost read the formula that generated it!

Neither reflects the weird fun adventures that draw me to Paper Mario (I should play Thousand Year Door again sometime), so I don't actually consider either of them very successful.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, gsilverfish! I think you've helped me figure out why I don't quite like the Japanese cover art: It's just too mellow! Like you said, it would be nice if both illustrations were a bit wackier, in my opinion. This is a Paper Mario game we're talking about, after all!

gsilverfish said...

Haha, glad I could help ;)

I did notice both emphasize (sort of?) that crown thingie, which I assume is your "Navi" for the game, so there is a bit of the story sticking out there, but it's hard not to just think of it as some weird crown thingie, like, "why is it even there?"

Bryan Ochalla said...

Ah, you're right, gsliverfish! I only really noticed on the Japanese box art before now, actually. It'll be interesting to find out what her (his?) role is in this game...