Horrible Video Game Boxart: So Bad That It's Awesome

Retro video game fans across the world were thrilled with the recent announcement of Mega Man 10 for the WiiWare, XBLA and PSN. Much like its predecessor, Mega Man 9, the download-only game is designed to look and feel like a game released in the '80s--this includes midi-style music, 8-bit graphics, graphical hiccups, and crappy box art.

This retro "tribute" reminds us of the horrible video game box art that we had to endure when growing up in the 80s. Looking back, however, it isn't so bad! This week, we're going to take a look back at crappy boxart that is so shitty that it's awesome.

7. Super Bust-A-Move (PS2, 2000)

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Bust-A-Move is a series of puzzle games that involve cute little dragons shooting gems at other gems in order to destroy them. However, in such a competitive market, dragons and gems alone won't sell video games. Instead, publisher Acclaim Entertainment decided that a putting a chubby baby wearing sunglasses on the cover of the game would grab the attention of more people.

There is so much mystery surrounding this game's box art. Why is this baby wearing sunglasses? What is the gender of this baby? What the hell is that red thing in his/her mouth? Although the box art indeed is crappy, it does leave us wondering so much.

6. Irritating Stick (PSX, 1998)

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What can we tell about this game by looking at the cover of Irritating Stick? For one, there's a stick. Two, it's irritating. If that is all that you can come up with, you're not too far off. This game is based on a Japanese game show in which the player must guide a metal rod through a maze without touching the walls of the maze. Doing so will shock the player, possibly irritating him. The art and title of this game plays it straight, and you know you're getting a game about an irritating stick.

5. Karnaaj Rally (GBA, 2002)

Perhaps Jaleco Entertainment, developer of Karnaaj Rally, was onto something when they decided to put some ugly blue-haired kid on the cover of their GameBoy Advance racing game. It forced people to stop, even for a brief moment, and wonder who this kid was. Effective? Absolutely. Without him, this game might have faded into the abyss of forgotten games.

4. Rival Turf! (SNES, 1992)


The cover art of Rival Turf! perfectly exemplifies how different the world was 18 years ago. Back then, skinny little thugs like these guys used to own the streets! However, we can now look back and laugh at the expense of these once badass kids as the victims of one of the worst cases of video game box art.

3. Metro-Cross (C64, Atari ST, 1985)

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Metro-Cross is a game about running through futuristic environments while avoiding obstacles and frogs--yes, frogs. Looking at the cover of Metro-Cross, however, you'd think it's about a game involving skinny white guys skateboarding in blue spandex. Where did the marketing team go wrong?

2. Tie: Ghost House (Sega Master System, 1986) & Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow (NDS, 2005)

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No, your eyes are not playing tricks on you. The cover art for these two games consists of boxart within boxart, much like infinite recursion. Whether the purpose of this design is to hypnotize or confuse the potential buyer, fans everywhere were disgusted with the box design of the 2nd printing of Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow. That will teach them to buy the game at the discounted Greatest Hits price.

1. Mega Man (NES, 1987)

You all saw this one coming, but the North American cover for Mega Man has got to be the ugliest box art of all time. So ugly, in fact, that all of the Mega Man fans absolutely adore it. What happened to Mega Man's face, and why is it melting? Why is the world drawn by crayon? Why is he shrugging his shoulders? Perhaps Mega Man doesn't even know how this design made it onto store shelves. However, we're all glad it did: Such ugly artwork paved the way for the cheesy art that is now a staple of the Mega Man series (since Mega Man 9, that is).

There you have it, the most horrible (yet awesome) box art of all time. What'd we miss?

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