Friday, February 21, 2014

Five favorites: Sega Mega-CD box art

True story: I've always felt an odd affinity for Sega's Mega-CD (Sega CD in the West), the bulky add-on device that was released for the Mega Drive (Genesis) in the early 1990s.

In fact, I was so attracted to the system and its rather tiny catalog of games that I regularly rented a CD-X--the surprisingly small all-in-one system, released in 1994, that combined the Genesis and Sega CD--along with copies of Lunar: The Silver Star or Lunar: Eternal Blue (usually) from the local grocery store as a teen.

I've long considered buying a CD-X system and a bunch of the system's games as a result of those experiences, but the former still commands such high prices on eBay that I've yet to bite the bullet.

That supposed resolve is routinely tested by beautiful Mega-CD box art like that which is showcased below, I have to say. I mean, who wouldn't want to own a copy of Keio Yuugekitai just so they could pull it from the shelf and stare at its cover imagery now and then?


Aisle Lord--I know next to nothing about this particular game--I think it's an RPG?--but at the moment I'm perfectly fine with that, as all I care about is its cover art. Sure, the basis of it is that same, clich├ęd, "let's jumble all of the game's characters together in the center of the illustration" design that's been a staple of Japanese gaming since the beginning of time (or so it sometimes seems), but at least this time around the artist in charge utilized a slightly different style.


Keio Yuugekitai--According to the word on the street, this game is as worth owning for its gameplay as it is for its box art--which kind of shocks me, as its box art is the definition of beautiful.


Lunar: The Silver Star--I'm sure some folks would include the cover art of this game's sequel, Eternal Blue, here instead, and I can't argue with them to an extent, but I've always been so attracted to this particular creation--and the game it represents--that I couldn't help but include it here.


Time Gal--I know the gameplay of this one isn't all that appealing, but you've got to love it box art anyway--or at least I do. I mean, come on--not only does it feature a green-haired lass with ample thighs (and, no, I'm also not sure why I zeroed in on that fact), but it features a giant woolly mammoth, too. In other words, it's close to perfection. The only way it could be better, in my opinion: if it showcased a bare-chested stud with pecs and abs to spare instead of a chick.


Waraou Salesman--OK, so some of you are likely to consider this piece of cover art to be the stuff of nightmares. I can't fault you for that, but I personally love it--mainly because it seems like a Japanese take on the creepy propaganda posters you could have seen in other areas of the world (if not in Japan, too) in the early part of the last century.

Note: all of the box art included in this post was pulled from the always fabulous segagagadomain.com.

26 comments:

michaelstearns said...

I always liked the Japanese Time Gal cover! I think it might be a straight scene from the game, something you don't see very often, there's something kinda charming and honest about that. It was one of my first purchases for the SegaCD as well, I went through a cycle of being really impressed with it, then deciding it was lame and shallow, and then circled back to finally just enjoying it for what it is (Road Avenger, too).



Aisle Lord also has an interesting box. Some parts don't have the "sharpness" you'd get with a usual character group shot, but the color and texture is really cool.

thegaygamer.com said...

You're probably right about the Time Gal cover image being taken directly from the game. And why not? The game was gorgeous, if you ask me.


Sadly, I've never played it--or Road Avenger, for that matter. I don't remember if our grocery store never carried those games or if I avoided them for some other reason.


I can't imagine I avoided them, because although I know modern reviewers rip on both games, all I remember is that at the time the folks at DieHard GameFan loved them, which of course made me love them, too.


As for the Aisle Lord cover art, yeah, the main thing I like about it is its texture, although the bold use of color is cool, too.

michaelstearns said...

Sounds like you wouldn't miss an opportunity to play either, but if you ever have the chance, I *really* recommend Road Avenger. I wish they could make a driving game where you had more "real" control that came even close to the insane stuff that happens in that game. :D

thegaygamer.com said...

Yeah, I'd really like to play both someday, if I could. We'll see. Sounds like Road Avenger, especially, is a blast!

TheGameroomBlitz said...

So heartbreaking that this was a full-motion video game instead of an actual video game! The concept is brilliantly bonkers, and I'm sure it could be done proper justice with one of today's game consoles.

thegaygamer.com said...

Are you talking about Road Avenger or Time Gal, Jess? Or both?

TheGameroomBlitz said...

I enjoyed Keio 2 on the Sega Saturn. It was more of a platformer than a shooter (although some rounds put Keio on her dragon for some classic shmuppin' action), but rest assured that it was just as nutty as the original. The extra colors and higher resolution of the Saturn made the game absolutely gorgeous!

Kaze said...

I've been interested in the Sega CD lately too! I never owned one as a kid but I would always see write ups of the games in EGM and Game Informer and wanted to play them! ^^ I love the art of Time Gal it makers me nostalgic! It really captures the anime aesthetic of the time! I really want to try Keio, Vay, and Popful Mail! OR any of the Working Designs releases too! ^^

thegaygamer.com said...

Yeah, I've always liked the look of the Saturn sequel, too, although I've heard mixed things about its gameplay over the years. Maybe I'll check it out myself someday if I even pick up another Saturn...

thegaygamer.com said...

Ah! Another Sega CD admirer. I love it :) And, YES, I want to play Popful Mail and Vay, too--the former game, especially. I've only heard great things about it over the years.

TheGameroomBlitz said...

More Road Avenger than Time Gal, honestly. However, I think Time Gal popped up in some recent vertical shooter; Castle Shikigami or somesuch.

thegaygamer.com said...

Great, thanks for letting me know :)

Monster_Hunter2882 said...

Isn't Time Gal supposed to be a FMV game?

thegaygamer.com said...

Yep! Hence my comment about its gameplay not being very appealing.

michaelstearns said...

I'll back up the sequel's gameplay. :) It's a little weird, but it's a pretty weird game! It's not real high on my list of Saturn action games but it's hard for me to think of anything bad about it (it has been a long time since I played it, though).

thegaygamer.com said...

Thanks, Michael! Maybe I'll give it a try someday via emulation (shhhhh!) if we ever get another PC. Or I could buy another Saturn + a copy of the game, of course. I know I'll buy another Saturn someday (if only for Saturn Bomberman, ha ha!), but not sure about the game...

Justin Difazzio said...

I just love the laid back nature of "Time Gal". Not girl. Gal. It just makes me chuckle. And...Aisle Lord? Is that some sort of RPG that takes place in a supermarket?

thegaygamer.com said...

Oh, yes, I like the "Gal" part of the name, too.


Kind of makes me wish someone would make a game that includes the word "folks" in the title.


Also, is it wrong that I'd totally play an RPG that takes place in a supermarket, at least for part it?


Hell, couldn't that be a part of Mother 4--which of course is never going to be made? :(

RetroKingSimon said...

Pretty much all aspects of Keio Flying Squadron rule :)

thegaygamer.com said...

True, Simon. True. Have you played the Saturn sequel, by the way?

RetroKingSimon said...

I have, although only a demo I got with a magazine. Always meant to buy the full game but never got around to it. Thanks for reminding me! :P Have you played it?

Chalgyr said...

Lunar! Lunar was my favorite game on that console. Not gonna lie - I listed to that intro song more than few times. Loved everything about it. Other favorite back then game-wise were Vay, Dark Wizard and Shining Force CD (more then games than the covers, though I can't clearly recall what the Vay cover looked like - but I believe it was the same company as Lunar)

thegaygamer.com said...

I haven't, sadly. I've owned a Saturn on two different occasions, but even back then copies of this game were pretty pricey.

thegaygamer.com said...

The Vay cover art isn't all that interesting no matter which region we're talking about--Japan or North America. The Japanese covers for Dark Wizard and Shining Force CD, on the other hand, are OK, but nothing overly spectacular, IMO.

Nightmare Bruce said...

Oh, I used to have a copy of Keio Flying Squadron! I ended up selling it because the US version became rare, which I wish I hadn't done...it used the same cover art as the Japanese version. The same image was also used for the western print ad--"strap on your bunny ears and save the world", haha. I remember it because as an 11 year old reading EGM I had pretty much never seen anime style and it stuck with me. Nice to see it again!

Of all these though, my favorite is Time Gal! I've really warmed up to the 90's anime look even though it used to be so old fashioned to me back then.

thegaygamer.com said...

Well, we all sell stuff we shouldn't, or we wish we hadn't, right?


I totally forgot that this game even got a US release, by the way. I kind of remember the US magazine ads now that you mention them, though. I think I'll have to search for them in a bit :)


I like the 90s anime look, too. Always have, (hopefully) always will!