Friday, November 16, 2012

Five favorites: Japanese DS box art

Two weeks ago, I published a silly little post about my five favorite examples of Japanese Wii box art. Well, this week I'm going to cover something just as frivolous: My five favorite examples of Japanese DS box art.

Both of these posts were written up because I'm "mourning the passing," so to speak, of both the Wii and DS, by the way--which is kind of funny to me, as I'm absolutely loving my 3DS at the moment. Still, I doubt Nintendo's second dual-screened handheld will ever reach the heights of its first, so maybe that's where these feelings of abandonment (for lack of a better word) are coming from.

Anyway, you're probably wondering which pieces of Japanese DS box art I like the most. Here they are:


1. Awatama--This unique, Mekensleep-made title, which is better known as Soul Bubbles in the west, is one of those rare games that was released in Europe and North America before it was released in Japan. Japanese DS owners shouldn't feel too bad about that, though, as they got by far the best cover art, in my opinion. (Admittedly, it isn't hard to top the European creation, which can be seen here.)


2. Fushigi no Dungeon: Furai no Shiren DS--I've played a number Fushigi no Dungeon (or, Mystery Dungeon) games, but I've never played this one. That has nothing to do with its fantastic box art, of course--which may just be the best of the Fushigi no Dungeon bunch. (Only Torneko no Daibōken: Fushigi no Dungeon's cover offers up any real competition, in my opinion.)


3. Oideyo Dōbutsu no Mori--OK, so I may be a bit biased about this one. I am a fairly big fan of Nintendo's Dōbutsu no Mori (aka Animal Crossing) series, after all. Still, I think most folks would find this game's box art at least somewhat appealing--what with its adorable characters and abundance of color.


4. Sigma Harmonics--One of the many reasons I'd like to get my hands on a copy of this sadly-never-released-outside-of-Japan game at some point: It's played while holding the DS sideways, as though it's a book. Another reason, of course, is that I love its purple-heavy cover art that features a pair of The World Ends With You-esque characters and what appears to be a clock tower.


5. Wish Room: Angel's Memory--Don't worry if the name Wish Room doesn't ring a bell. Outside of Japan, it was given the rather noire-ish title of Hotel Dusk: Room 215. The various releases of this Cing-developed game feature at least one other notable difference--with that difference being their box art. The Japanese art, above, has long been a favorite of mine due to its color scheme and the sense of solitude it evokes.

See also: 'Five favorites: Japanese Wii box art'

20 comments:

Lizzi said...

You're right about the eu-boaxart of "Soul Bubbles" but I have to say the eu-boxart fits in an akward way. Perhaps because of the fact that the game is just as bad as the cover looks (in my opinion). I was really disappointed when I bought it.

https://twitter.com/i/#!/Dead_Melody/media/slideshow?url=pic.twitter.com%2FRaTqkpCQ

As for the japanese boxart: I think the cover looks way cuter than the game deserves.

Even if I don't know "Fushingi no Dungeon" or "Sigma Harmonics" I really like the box-art of both of them. Such fantastic covers...

About "Animal Crossing" and "Hotel Dusk: Room 215" well... two great box-arts for two great games.

Bryan please look at what I received today!:

https://twitter.com/i/#!/Dead_Melody/media/slideshow?url=pic.twitter.com%2FpajysV7w


I am so happy!!! :D

thegaygamer.com said...

Hey there, Melody!

Ah, you didn't like your experience with Soul Bubbles? I'm kind of surprised! I've rather liked what I've played of it so far, although I have to admit I haven't spent much time with my copy of it.

BTW, I see in that photo you pointed me to that you have Prey the Stars. Have you enjoyed that one so far? I've never played it...



Thanks for letting me know about your latest acquisition, BTW. How exciting! Have you given it a listen yet?

Lizzi said...

"Prey the Stars" is like a bad "The Munchables"(Wii). I can't really recommend it to anyone. The graphics are poor and it's getting boring real fast. It is kind of cute but well... I returned it and would'nt buy it again. But if you really loved The Munchables, it's maybe a good alternative for to go. About the Kirby Soundtrack: yes I was listening to it the whole day! I really love the music from Kirby and the box-art is so cute! Even the japanese manual looks so great on the inside.

Tom Badguy said...

That Wish Room one looks tight.

thegaygamer.com said...

Oh, that's too bad! That Prey the Stars sucks, I mean. At least you were able to return it. Also, the Kirby soundtrack is Japanese?

thegaygamer.com said...

That's what she said! Ah, sorry about that lame attempt at humor :P Anyway, yes, I agree with you -- the Wish Room box art is gReAt in my opinion!

apricotsushi said...

Great picks, as always! I've been meaning to pick up Sigma Harmonics just for the cover alone. I actually have the UK version of Mystery Dungeon DS, but the cover definitely isn't anywhere as nice as the Japanese one!


And that Wish Room cover! Wow, talk about intriguing. The *only* thing I don't like about it is it kind of reminds me of those book "adaptations" for the DS, or one of the subpar, cheesy point and clicks you see going for cheap at the stores here these days. That's just purely from a first-glance perspective, though. Really like the approach they took with it.

thegaygamer.com said...

Thanks, Anne! Should you ever pick up Sigma Harmonics, I hope you'll write about it one your blog. As much as I'd like a copy myself, I have a feeling it would be a waste of money (due to the language barrier).


I get what you're saying about the Wish Room cover, although I personally think this one is a bit 'classier' looking than the the cover art used for most of those book adaptations or cheap point-and-clink titles.

Tom Badguy said...

Ha!

Josef Axner said...

Nice list. Fuurai no Shiren is definitely my favourite of these five - I immediately identified it as Akiman's work, and you can never really go wrong with his art.

Another Japanese DS cover I quite like is the one for the DS Ganbare Goemon game: http://www.mobygames.com/game/nintendo-ds/ganbare-goemon-tkai-dch-ooedo-tengurigaeshi-no-maki/cover-art/gameCoverId,61691/

This scan is a little oversaturated and does a bit of a poor job showing it, but the cover has a really nice watercolour effect to it. Pretty neat game, too.

thegaygamer.com said...

What can I say? At least I tried, right? :)

thegaygamer.com said...

Hey there, Josef! Yeah, the Shiren one is great. I can't say I know anything about the artist you mentioned (the one responsible for this piece of box art), but I'd certainly like to see more of his work if this is a good example of it. Guess I'll have to hit up Google tonight!


As for the DS Ganbare Goemon game: I like that one a lot, too! In fact, I almost included it here, but decided against it at the last minute.


It's really a shame that game wasn't localized, by the way. I really liked its art style and would have loved to have bought and played it.

Lizzi said...

Yes, this soundtrack was only released in Japan. The only way to get it was to exchange Club-Nintendo-points for it. I bought it via ebay. The music of course is not in japanese because it's without vocals.

thegaygamer.com said...

Oh, that's great, Lizzi. I've long thought about buying some of these Japan-only soundtracks for games, but I've yet to do so for whatever reason. Anyway, thanks for sharing this photo of the one you recent picked up :)

Lizzi said...

Oh I bought some japan-only game-soundtracks before (Kingdom Hearts, Final Fantasy X, X-2, X-2 vocal collection, Zelda, The Vision of Escaflowne (anime)). But once I bought a CD from china and my cd-player wasn't able to play it. Dunno if it was some kind of region-lock or something.

thegaygamer.com said...

That's weird! I've never heard of a CD that was region-locked :|

Lizzi said...

Hey Bryan!

Have you already preordered your pink 3DS LL somewhere?

http://www.amazon.com/Nintendo-3ds-Ll-Pink-X-White/dp/B0094D333A/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1353231005&sr=8-7&keywords=3ds+ll+pink


Amazon only offers the japanese one.
When will it be released in America?
I bet you're excited about it, aren't you?
What a boring weekend.

I'm ill and have to stay in bed :(

thegaygamer.com said...

Oh, yes, Melody, I pre-ordered it a while ago, from a site called Gilt.com. It should be in my hands soon, actually!


I've read that they'll be more widely available in December, by the way, which is nice. I wonder if you will get them in Europe, too? I hope so!

Justin Difazzio said...

Wish Room is one of my favorite box arts of ALL TIME. That is so friggin sweet.

thegaygamer.com said...

Ah, glad to hear someone else likes it, too, Justin! When I first saw it, I couldn't help but say, "Ohhhhhhhhhhhh!" :)