Another year, another countdown, another birthday. And I’m boxing it all up, tying a nice little bow around it, and turning the ripe old age of 32 with a celebration of 32 BRILLIANT examples of FANTASTIC video game box art. Join me, won’t you?
Dragon’s Crown (2013) – Dragon’s Crown looks like a painting. It’s the sort of turn of phrase I hate, bred into me from years of commentary claiming “this” and “that” game during the Playstation 2 era, looks like a bloody painting. But in the case of Dragon’s Crown, it also happens to be the most accurate description. Giant appendages of both the mammary and muscle persuasion aside, Dragon’s Crown is beautiful enough to hang on a wall, and perhaps more jaw-dropping is that it looks just as good in motion.
But perhaps the more fascinating part about Dragon’s Crown’s box art, and the game by association, is that it is a very Japanese take on a distinctly Western style. Dungeons and Dragons style Sword and sorcery isn’t the sort of thing one would generally associate with Japanese animation, the type of art that typically depicts hyper-masculine male figures alongside dwarves and (usually) beautiful elvish female characters rooted in mysticism or witchcraft. It’s no secret that modern Japanese-produced anime was profoundly influenced by Western animation – particularly the work of Walt Disney – in the early days. But to see a Japanese artist tackle a traditionally Western style, and with such impressive results, is unique indeed. There’s been plenty of cross-pollination from Japan to the United States, with anime having a profound influence on Western animation, however it’s been rare to see the reverse flow in recent times. Racjin’s Wizardry: Tale of the Forsaken Land is the only exception that comes to mind. If George Kamitani’s art in Dragon’s Crown is the direct result of a Japanese take on Western fantasy art, well I’d definitely put my money where my mouth is and throw down a pretty penny or two to see it continue.
Miss previous entries in the countdown?
Space Ace (1983) – Transylvania (1984) – Impossible Mission (1985)–Defender of the Crown (1986) – Faery Tale Adventure (1987) – F/A – 18 Interceptor (1988) – Blood Money (1989) – King of the Zoo (1990) –Lemmings (1991) –Pinball Fantasies (1992) – The Ren & Stimpy Show: Veediots! (1993) – Super Mario Land 3: Wario Land (1994) – Primal Rage (1995) – Wipeout 2097 (1996) – Theme Hospital (1997) – Resident Evil 2 (1998) – Formula One ’99 (1999)– Gran Turismo 2 (2000) – Soul Reaver 2 (2001) – Gitaroo Man (2002) – Project Zero 2: Crimson Butterfly (2003) – Warioware, Inc.: Mega Microgames! (2004) – DK King of Swing (2005) – We Love Katamari (2006) – Digital Devil Saga 2 (2007) – Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3 (2008) – Magna Carta 2 (2009) – Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light (2010) – Warhammer 40K: Space Marine (2011) – Darksiders II (2012)