Reversible Box Art

Reversible Box Art

Postby Musashi1596 » Mon Jul 02, 2012 12:26 pm

I've always had a bit of a thing for box art, being both very appreciative and critical of it. More recently I’ve become increasingly interested in games that provide reversible art, giving us an alternate choice to whatever is proudly displayed on the front of the box. I tend to favour these, if only because they ditch clutter like game logos and BBFC ratings or advertised features that otherwise ruin great covers, a la Dragon’s Dogma.

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WHHHHHHHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY

At the end of the day, it’s just nice to have a choice. I have a decent amount of PS3 games with reversible art, and here I’ll take a look at five. (If there’s any interest, I’ll take a look at some more).

Bioshock

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Original
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Reversed

Bioshock has always had art down to a T, really, and with such a beautiful game it would be a shame for it to have poor box art. Fortunately, the original box art is excellent as it is (although the US art is better), and even the manual has an excellent cover. Hell, the game disc would look great if not for the logos plastered everywhere. The reversible art features a Little Sister reaching out to a Big Daddy. It manages to convey a surprising amount of the bond between the two with such a simple image. The placement of the hands makes the back cover a little unimpressive when the box is closed, but the front cover alone manages to retain the poignancy of the image. Unfortunately Bioshock 2 does not follow suit and has no reversible art, but Bioshock is a great example of how to do it properly. Alas, my copy of the game remains hidden by the cardboard dust jacket, which inexplicably keeps the logo clutter.
****

Demon’s Souls

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Original
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Reverse

I love the image Demon’s Souls uses for its art. The fluted armour used by the game’s Knight class is pretty recognisable, and especially appealing to my fascination with knights and their apparel, but as ever you have the title of the game and other logos getting in the way. The art used for the reversible cover is great, if a little dark, featuring one of the ingame bosses (also shown on the disc in another pose). It’s a lovely picture indeed, but sadly, it just doesn’t work as cover art. The positioning of the Dragon God is poor, so you just get his wing for the front cover, and his features are too focused on the right for the back cover. If he’d merey been realigned, it could have been a great cover. Tragic shame.
**

Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

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Original
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Reversed

Again, Skyrim already has a pretty cool front cover. With a nice minimalist design and unobtrusive text, it does fairly well. The reversible art does away with any notion of minimalism, focusing on the Dragonborn standing on a mountain, overlooking the vast land of Skyrim. It’s an incredible piece of art, and the character is perfectly placed to make the front cover work. Dragons can barely be seen in the air on the back cover, tiny in the distance. It serves as an excellent reminder of the sheer size of Skyrim. Genuinely can’t criticise it.
*****

Metal Gear Solid 4

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Original
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Reversed

Featuring Old Snake and his glowing Solid Eye, once again the front cover is already pretty good, and I’d have been happy for the reversible art to just mirror it without the furniture. Instead, it takes the minimalist approach to the extreme, with just white text on a red background, with the Kojima Productions logo on the back. The barebones look isn’t overly appealing here and, what’s more, once again it’s hidden by a dust jacket.
**

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

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Original
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Reversed

All of the Uncharted games have reversible art, with the possible exception of Golden Abyss (would appreciate clarification) but I think Uncharted 2’s is the best. With the front cover featuring Drake hanging off a ledge; it’s decent enough, but nothing particularly outstanding, and along with the usual clutter we even have a box helpfully telling us it has online gunfights for up to ten players. Imagine that. The rear reversible cover has a good if rather generic image of Drake performning a sneak attack, but the front cover features the large star of one of the game’s puzzles, with a nice, frosty blue filter over it. It’s a good focus for a front cover and focuses on the best part of Uncharted’s gameplay; exploring ancient structures and marvelling at their wonders. That the box art is so cleanly split into a front and back is a nice touch.
****
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Re: Reversible Box Art

Postby illoominator » Mon Jul 02, 2012 12:49 pm

you make good points actually. I've never really even noticed reversible box art, but I'm gonna have a look at all my games now haha!
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Re: Reversible Box Art

Postby greasedupbadger » Mon Jul 02, 2012 9:18 pm

tbh i never really look at the box cover, other than the name of the game :mrgreen:
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Re: Reversible Box Art

Postby Musashi1596 » Mon Jul 02, 2012 9:24 pm

greasedupbadger wrote:tbh i never really look at the box cover, other than the name of the game :mrgreen:
I imagine the cataracts make it just look like a blur of colour anyway :roll:
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Re: Reversible Box Art

Postby dazzafett » Tue Jul 03, 2012 12:43 pm

I love some good artwork as well.
I am going to go over my entire collection when i have some time to see if there are any other hidden Gems.

Also i tried to confirm the Uncharted Golden Abyss but i cant seem to be able to find my box at the moment due to being in the middle of decorating and there is stuff everywhere.
I will confirm when i find it and if there is any will take pics. Unless someone else beats me to it.
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