It would be an understatement to say so Capcom has managed to make a bit of a name for itself in the gaming industry over the years. First established in 1979, Capcom quickly grew into a giant in the industry and has given the gaming community a handful of beloved cult classics and series that Resident Evil, Mega man, Street Fighterand Monster hunter.
While Capcom has an entire arsenal of fantastic titles and series, there are a few games that didn’t get as much time in the spotlight as some of their bigger releases. While these games didn’t get as much attention, it would be a shame to overlook the amazing artwork that came with them. Here are some forgotten Capcom titles that have the best box art.
9/9 Viewtiful Joe (2003)
Among all the amazing games released for the GameCube, the colorful side-scrolling beat ’em up Prospective Joe was a hidden gem that came out in 2003. The art style of the entire game is incredibly iconic and easily stood out among all the games that aimed for realistic or gritty graphics and aesthetics.
The cover art for Prospective Joe is a perfect representation of the game as the in-game graphics are exactly as seen on the box art. The unique art style focused on chibi-like character designs with unrealistic proportions, bright, vibrant colors, and an explosive combination of Japanese sentai and American superhero aesthetics.
8/9 Final Fight (1990)
The arcade debut of Last match was way back in 1989 and was released alongside fantastic arcade cabinet art that paints Last match like a motion picture rather than just a beat ’em-up video game. Aside from the amazing arcade cabinet art, there’s the box art that came with the Famicon released in 1990.
The 90s was an era of amazing hand-drawn illustrations of more realistic art instead of using in-game graphics or cartoon-like digital art. Last match is a good example of typical 90s box art from this era that isn’t as well remembered as the other Capcom titles.
7/9 Dino Crisis (1999)
This particular title might not ring any bells for new players, but might bring waves of nostalgia to those who have been playing all their lives. Dino crisis is a survival horror action adventure game that was first released way back in 1999.
While the North American covers for Dino crisis is pretty simple, it’s the Japanese box art that really stands out by just showing a pair of dinosaur feet by a pool of blood. The Japanese cover art for Dino crisis really sells the simple horror of prehistoric creatures wreaking havoc among humans. While Dino crisis may not be as well known as its counterpart, Resident Evil (created by the same Capcom team), the 1999 cover is a stunning display of minimalism that creates something both aesthetically pleasing and terrifying.
Often overshadowed by Marvel vs. Capcom series, Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars is still very much worth mentioning when it comes to Capcom’s arsenal of fighting games. Tatsunoko vs. Capcom was released back in 2008 for the Nintendo Wii, and while the title may have been forgotten by many, the cover image is still one of the best fighting game covers out there.
Japan is known for creating overly decorated, busy art for its game covers; and while some art directors may miss the mark and make their pieces look jumbled or messy, the art team behind Tatsunoko vs. Capcom artfully managed to showcase his amazing roster of characters without overwhelming the audience.
5/9 Section Z (1987)
The arcade art of side-scrolling shooters, Section Z channeled a bit of a mysterious sci-fi vibe for its big debut in arcades in 1985. But for the Famicon release two years later in 1987, the art directors ditched the mystery and went for a fun, more action-packed sentai-esque piece for covers instead.
The cover art from 1987 for Section Z focuses on the futuristic setting and theme of the game and puts the player character (the astronaut) front and center as the heroic star rather than a character who simply served as the focal point of the art (as in the arcade flyer).
4/9 Struggle (2014)
Based on the 1989 original Struggle games that were released in arcades, Atari, Genesis, and much later, Playstation, 2014 Struggle the reboot didn’t get nearly as much praise as the original. While the 1989 original was often praised, the 2014 reboot received generally average reviews, as its older counterpart was difficult to live up to.
Although the game didn’t leave a huge impression on the public, no one can deny that the cover art was one of the best out there. Using gentle and darker colors to keep the red highlights as a vivid contrast, this piece was definitely worthy of sitting front and center. From the composition to the color palette, 2014 Struggle the cover art did a fantastic job of painting Strider Hiryu as the awesome ninja protagonist that he is.
3/9 Chaos Legion (2003)
Chaos Legion is a third-person hack-and-slash game released for the Playstation 2 and Windows back in 2003. The title had new cover art for each debut: one for its Japanese release, one for its North American release, and one more for its Windows release (all in 2003).
Each rendering of the cover image is stunning in its own way. While the Japanese cover art is black and white, aiming for simplicity/minimalism, the North American version uses the full, vibrant colors of protagonist Sieg Wahrheit’s design while using a dark background for contrast. Meanwhile, the Windows cover perfectly blends the themes of the Japan and NA releases into one cohesive piece.
2/9 Darkstalkers (1996 and 2013)
Some fighting game fans may already be familiar with Morrigan, Felicia, and maybe even Hsien-Ko, but many audiences only recognize them from Marvel vs. Capcom series instead of their original series, Darkstalkers. The original from 1994 Darkstalkers: The Night Warriors (known as Vampire: The Night Warriors in Japan) was released in arcades and later for Playstation in 1996 along with beautiful art, with shades of cool colors contrasting the red title logo.
Aside from the original cover art, the 2014 collection, Darkstalkers Resurrection, also has impeccable cover art; once again using a cool-toned palette that gives the series its signature ghostly underworld-like look.
1/9 Clock Tower: The First Fear (1995)
The original Clock Tower: The First Fear was released for the SNES in 1995 and scared audiences right from the start with its creepy cover art. The game’s cover art is haunting and also subverts the audience’s expectations. The Clock tower The series is notable for the Scissorman (Bobby Barrows) antagonist who chases Jennifer around during the game as his own personal boogeyman.
Instead of showing off their villain and giving him the spotlight for the cover art, the art team decided to go for a terrifying, haunting portrait of a woman in icy tones against the iconic clock tower itself, shining a light on the Barrows mansion, the game’s true star.
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