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5 Game Covers That Actually Made A World Of Difference
This is a world where we tend to forget the importance of design choices. What little physical media we still get usually gets tucked away into a corner and never looked at again. I mean, you saw it. You know what it looks like. But it is easy to forget, a game in your country might not look anything like the same game in another. Read on to see some of the weirder and wilder changes in gaming culture.
Final Fantasy XIII No Longer Gets A Blank Slate
Most of our readers are in America, so they grew up with a Final Fantasy series that displayed their main characters on the covers for everyone to see. If you were to ask someone what the cover of Final Fantasy X looked like, the person would tell you that it was a picture of Tidus on the cover.
If you were to ask anyone in Europe what a classic Final Fantasy cover looked like however, they would tell you every game in the series was just a white page with the game's logo splashed across it. Except for Final Fantasy XIII, that is. Up until the thirteenth game in the series, Europe had never gotten a cover with a character on it.
Instead of playing my copy, I just looked at the shiny cover for forty hours
Why the sudden change after so many years of receiving the basic logo covers? It isn't like they weren't being produced that way anymore. Japan still received their usual blank slate cover of the latest Final Fantasy XIII. While I can't be 100% sure, I think I do know what the reason behind the change was - a collector's edition.
Released in limited quantities in certain PAL territories, the Final Fantasy XIII Collector's Edition had the instantly recognizable blank slate cover art that European countries were used to. It was also significantly more expensive. The odds of someone dropping more money on the Collector's could have actually been increased by making it more noticeable than the regular edition. Good marketing...
Professor Layton And The Case Of The Totally Awesome Case
While we're on the subject of more artistic covers being released in PAL regions than the NTSC regions, I just have to mention the game Professor Layton And The Curious Village. When it comes to cover arts, the European version absolutely blows all the of the others out of the water with just how cool it is.
Just look at it! It almost isn't fair
While America and Japan both received the same cover art showing Professor Layton and Luke looking at what may or may not be a puzzle while onlookers stood in the background, Europe got a completely different type of cover. As you can see above, it is a nice black cover with gold trimmings leading to a top hat logo revealing the Curious Village inside.
You get quick snippets of puzzle and the same tagline as the other covers, but holy cow, look at the difference. While the American cover is nice in it's own way, there is just no way to compare the two. With the American version you know you're getting a puzzle game. With the European version you know you're getting a freaking adventure. Seriously, just look at it.
Europe Gets Bad Covers Too, Thanks To Ju-On
While I preferred the character cover of Final Fantasy XIII over the blank slate version Europe usually received, I have to hand it to them with the Professor Layton cover. But things aren't always this good when it comes to European covers, and the best example (at least for this article) is Ju-On The Grudge on the Nintendo Wii.
"Zero out of five! There weren't any chairs in this game at all!" Local chair enthusiast
The winner this time goes to the Japanese cover simply because it actually looks creepy. The American cover just goes the movie tie-in route as if to say "You're buying this because you liked the movie". But the European cover... I don't exactly know what sort of message it is trying to send to curious consumers.
I personally think all of the covers can go suck an egg for those awful taglines, but the European cover just tears it. They don't show anything even remotely related to the game. Its just a woman cowering behind a couch with the tagline "A fright simulator". Is it a game about watching people get frightened? Will they hold a grudge against me? Who even cares? The cover is just bad.
Saint's Row Is Not Above Erasing People From Existence
Before I get into this - yes, I know censorship is different in other countries. Gun laws and displaying violence to children isn't allowed in some places. I'll get to that in a bit. The thing I'm actually curious about is simple. Why did they erase some guy from history? Wonder what I mean by that? Look at the covers below and tell me the differences.
Maybe he was always meant to explode. Perhaps it was in his nature.
Yes, the guns are missing out of the guy's hands. That was a given. You can't just display guns all willy nilly overseas. You might also notice the silhouette has vanished from behind the car, simply replaced with an explosion. While it might be possible to see a gun in the guy's hands (I can't make it out) it would be way easier to just take the detail out of his shape.
Instead of erasing him and adding in a random explosion they could have just filled in any possible gun shapes with blackness on Photoshop. It would have taken a child three seconds to do it. But instead, it was decided he posed too much of a risk and had to be snuffed out of all covers forever. Who is going to explain to the cover's kids why he's just gone?!
You Can't Be In A Gravity Daze; Always Rush Rush Rush
As I'm sure most of the internet world is aware, whacky cover art changes are constantly going on for seemingly no reason. Kid Icarus Uprising can't have pink clouds in the sky. They must be a manly blue and white! Also, no opening his mouth! Pit must look determined! And don't even get me started on how Kirby is always scowling, even while having fun.
I honestly don't get why the name was changed. Gravity Daze sounded fine.
In the western world, we seem to always get covers that depict someone about to become violent, always angry for whatever reason, or the best option - EXTREME! You have to know that just by looking at the cover, you'll be doing something extreme pretty soon. Apparently being "dazed" in gravity isn't extreme enough, so Gravity Daze became Gravity Rush in the states.
Instead of lazily manipulating gravity, you are now rushing around! Super speed! Did you see that guy fly out into space!? Whoa, he's never coming back! While both versions of the game play exactly the same and the covers even look the same, the name just had to change to imply a more action-y feel to it.
I doubt I'll ever understand why some of these changes are made. Does a single word change really make more people play your games? Why did they erase that guy off the Saint's Row cover? Why must everyone be so angry at all times? I'm sure there is someone in the marketing division who could explain it all in some boring fashion, but does it really effect anyone?
As always, thank you for reading. There are plenty of other strange cover art changes out there to be talked about. I have a few saved away that didn't make it into this article even. What are some of your favorite/most memorable changes? Why not share them in the comments below?
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