Awful Box Art: Street Fighter series

Street Fighter III: Double Impact
Dreamcast | 2000

We like the clear, functional logo, but once more the fantastic art reserves are left untapped and we get a title floating on a nondescript background. It assumes too much, that you’re going to buy the game off the logo alone, and one barely noticeable sketch of Ryu in the distance isn’t going to help it fly off shelves. This is, thankfully, the last of the WTF covers.

Street Fighter Alpha 3
Dreamcast | 2000

Yet another massive disap… wait a sec… holy shit they actually used the art they paid someone to create! Here, at long last, is a perfectly acceptable Street Fighter cover using original art of several key characters on a snazzy background. Also, compare the logos of Alpha 2 and Alpha 3 – even that’s cleaned up considerably, making this one of our all-time faves. From this point on, SF has its act mostly together.

Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike
Dreamcast | 2000

Three mainline Street Fighter games in one year, and that’s not even counting Marvel vs. Capcom 2. Clearly, Dreamcast was meant to be SF’s new home, and this final piece of art somewhat redeems Double Impact. We would’ve preferred, y’know, Ken and Ryu actually fighting or striking any kind of “graaa!” pose at all, but when the precedent is just a logo on black, we’ll count this as a small victory.

Street Fighter EX 3
PS2 | 2000

The third EX title was released during the PS2 launch, putting it in direct competition with Dreamcast’s 3rd Strike. We love the sense of speed and the “split-second reaction” idea it conveys. Our initial response was to hate on EX 3, citing overall ho-hummery as the offending issue, but looking at it now, it’s a different take on a series with so many covers, and that’s worth applauding.

Super Street Fighter II Turbo Revival
GBA | 2001

A surprisingly faithful GBA port also happens to sport the best box Super Street Fighter box art to date. Everyone’s on there, the logo’s simple, no crap effects or lame backgrounds to speak of. This more than makes up for the worst on the list, the SNES Super art.

Street Fighter Anniversary Collection
PS2 | 2004

As if meant to wash away all the unkind memories of box arts past, Anniversary Collection proudly displays the original cast in a piece of old-school art. Only the mandated ESRB logo gets in the way. Hats off, Capcom.

Street Fighter Alpha Anthology
PS2 | 2006

Very strange, this one. Half the characters (Chun Li, Zangief etc) look perfectly fine. The others (Bison, Ryu) look like google image search results, not official submissions. Otherwise it’s a powerful image, just good enough to symbolize the Alpha series as a whole.

Street Fighter IV
360/PS3 | 2009

Part four lands next week, nearly eighteen years after SFII revolutionized fighting games. Strange that in all that time Ryu and Ken have graced so few covers, and even when they have shown up, they’re usually not fighting each other. For the latest entry, there’s no mistaking who’s who and what’s about to happen. Where’s also thankful for the logo, as it covers up Ryu’s wide-stance cowboy legs.

Our review’s going up next week. Check back to see how the latest SF compares to its modern competition. Hint: it’s really goddamn fun. And it’s a whole lot better looking than this:

Feb 10, 2009

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The sounds of Street Fighter
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Why Japanese box art is better…
…except when it’s not. Nine astounding differences between east and west


  • morningcrapper - February 17, 2009 11:53 p.m.

    I hope whoever wrote this is doing it as a joke. Most criticisms in the article are extremely petty and hold no substance or weight when you put into consideration the era these prints came out in. It was not just printing tech, but international marketing awareness
  • mEgAzD - February 13, 2009 10:45 p.m.

    and a baby sound effect for Mr Elston's comment
  • nash1991 - February 12, 2009 4:26 a.m.

    I remember playing Street Fighter 2 at the arcade when I was a kid about 7-8 years ago.. I miss those days.. I haven't played any other Street Fighters since then. I feel ashamed. But I am definitely gonna buy SF4.. just to relive that experience once again ;-)
  • SkinnyJr - February 12, 2009 2:10 a.m.

    whoa idk what the hell I was saying up there ^ EDIT!!!! ****The kool aid impression was a priceless form of heartfelt laughter. Very nice work once again****
  • spolasi - February 11, 2009 10:49 p.m.

    show up
  • ronliu75 - February 11, 2009 10:22 p.m.

    love the game
  • Sash - February 11, 2009 1:33 p.m.

    Does anyone else think Street Fighter EX Plus @lpha cover looks a lot like a Jin Kazama pose. I am sure he has been drawn in a pose like this. I dont have any pictures though =[
  • SOLIDSNAKE1983 - February 11, 2009 1:06 p.m.

    Don't mind any of the snes boxes (apart from the boring brick wall), best cover is definitely the GBA one though, alpha covers are cool too. Double impact is the worst-no effort whatsoever!!!
  • mattface - February 11, 2009 10:10 a.m.

    The European box art for champonship edition is the best, in my opinon. It just looks so awesome.
  • Shifty1001 - February 11, 2009 7:38 a.m.

    Aww I feel bad for Brett now. It's okay Brett, I didn't think Tyler wrote the article. You're way cooler anyway. Regarding the article: Good god DAMN SF box-art used to be godawful. Though there's still something about the SF4 art that bothers me... Maybe it's just that Ryu looks more like a toddler who's just been put in the corner than a large man who's decided "Fuck The Bullshit, It's Time To Throw Down".
  • garnsr - February 11, 2009 5:17 a.m.

    USE the FLIPPAH!
  • Rasy2kG - February 11, 2009 3:52 a.m.

    the SF Pinball ad is wrong and terrible to look at in so many ways
  • iKOemos - February 11, 2009 3:29 a.m.

    Bring on Street Fighter IV!!!
  • Red - February 11, 2009 2:11 a.m.

    I remember seeing the Street Fighter 2 box art on the wall at my local video rental store when I was a kid and being completely terrified of the face "the big ugly green guy" was making.
  • GamesRadarTylerWilde - February 10, 2009 10:18 p.m.

    Oh, Chun-Li, why are you always stuffing footballs under your dress?
  • Thequestion 121 - February 10, 2009 10:18 p.m.

    It's cool how the art started out awful and getting better as time went on. SF IV art looks so cool.
  • LionheartAce - February 10, 2009 9:25 p.m.

    Oh lawd. Anniversary Collection is the best by far of the old art, I'm so glad they changed the IV box art instead of using Chun-Li as the main focus.
  • kicking222 - February 10, 2009 9 p.m.

    1) Who gives a damn who comments first? So many other web sites just delete comments that have no content, so why doesn't GR? 2) I love the box art for the new game. I'm never going to play it, because I'm not a fighter guy, but the cover for "SF IV' conveys a great sense of speed and strength, and the swirl effect is just plain cool.
  • paranoidemdroid - March 31, 2009 5:37 p.m.

    hahahah i love the attention to the giant R. box art designers make some funny decisions.

Showing 1-20 of 36 comments

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