Before we get to the cover art that's been created for the newest Umihara Kawase title, which will be released this summer for the 3DS, let's check out the covers that came before it.
For starters, here's the illustration that was used on the original Super Famicom release (which hit the streets in Japan all the way back in 1994):
Three years later, Umihara Kawase Shun was released for the PlayStation, with the following piece of art gracing that version's packaging:
Strangely, Umihara Kawase Shun features between-stage commercials for a company called Mitchell. They were replaced (with pieces of illustrator Toshinobu Kondo's artwork) in a "Second Edition" of the game that saw the light of day in 2000. Here is that iteration's box art:
Fast forward eight years and you encounter Umihara Kawase Portable, a supposedly bug-riddled port of Umihara Kawase Shun:
That was followed a year later by Umihara Kawase Shun Kanzenban, a DS cart that contained both the Super Famicom and PlayStation titles as well as a handful of additional stages. Thankfully, it's reported to be bug-free.
Finally, we come to the recently announced Sayonara Umihara Kawase, a full-on sequel that's being developed by the same folks who made the series' initial offerings. Its cover art can be seen below.
Which piece of Umihara Kawase box art is my favorite? The one produced for the original pressing of Umihara Kawase Shun, no question. That said, I'm also pretty fond of the covers made for the Super Famicom and PSP releases.
I'm not much of a fan of Sayonara Umihara Kawase's cover art, sadly. It's by no means terrible, mind you, but it's also kind of boring--in my opinion, at least. Of course, all of the creations seen above are variations on a rather ho-hum theme, aren't they?
Now that I've had my say, what do all of you think? Do you prefer one example of Umihara Kawase box art over another?
See also: previous 'Which Box Art is Better?' posts