Welcome back to Box Art Brawl, our series of retro box art polls to decide the best regional variants from two or more territories.
Last time we celebrated the 30th anniversary of Rare’s Battletoads on NES. Europe and North America teamed up with the same cover on that occasion (same as this week, in fact) and utterly overwhelmed the Japanese version after winning a whopping 90% of the vote. We can’t recall a win quite so decisive in the 86-bout history of the brawl to date.
Today we’re going to take a look at Metroid: Zero Mission, the 2004 GBA remake of the original NES Metroid that half the world is revisiting if our social media feeds are to be believed — the announcement of Metroid Dread for Switch has all of us going back to the previous four 2D Metroid titles.
Grab your Varia suit and let’s get hunting in one of the very best remakes ever made.
North America & Europe
It’s another Duel this week, and another tag team of EU and NA sharing the same art. We like the thick black inking and retro lines of this cover, with Samus positioned dramatically in front of an explosion (always cool) amongst the rubble and dust of Zebes.
Samus’ suit, the big yellow blast and the arc of yellow light might draw your attention away from the statues on the right, as well as Ridley subtly swooping in behind the logo. It’s a strong opener from the West.
The Japanese cover also features Chozo architecture, but it’s much more subtle here: a ‘frame’ housing three red screens. Knelt in the middle is our favourite bounty hunter, with her Zero Suit silhouette on the left (this was the game that debuted Samus’ Zero Suit, after all) and three of the series’ eponymous creatures on the right.
Subtle, colourful and evocative. The fact it’s got a Metroid on the cover will probably be enough to swing it for lovers of more literal covers, but both efforts are decent this week. A hard choice to be made!
So, you’ve seen this pair of ‘roids, but which cover do you covet? Click on your favourite below and hit ‘Vote’ to let us know:
Thanks for voting — you may now return to playing the game. It’s this writer’s opinion that Zero Mission is the very best 2D entry in the series, so any excuse to play it again is most welcome. We’ll catch you next time for another Box Art Brawl.