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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…except when it’s not. Nine astounding differences between east and west


  • zymn - February 10, 2009 8:40 p.m.

    it seems they got Janet Jackson to model for the Pinball game cover...
  • sixboxes - February 10, 2009 9:06 p.m.

    That SF Pinball artwork is going to haunt me in my nightmares. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that marketing for the arcade versions were handled by different groups than the home console ports. Hence the wildly varying artwork. Not saying it's an excuse.
  • GamesRadarTylerWilde - February 10, 2009 10:19 p.m.

    @kicking222: Because we're lazy. And we put a "report" function in. Enough reports and you never know what could happen to those "first" comments.
  • GoldenMe - February 11, 2009 12:05 a.m.

    Chun-Li is only sexy when she's NOT trying to be sexy. Great article, Tyler. And can't wait for SF4!
  • Corsair89 - February 11, 2009 1:06 a.m.

    SFIV is going to be amazing. Only 7 more days... @GoldenMe- I agree completely, compare Chun Li on the previous SFIV cover with the Chun Li on the pinball ad. Major difference.
  • GamesRadarBrettElston - February 11, 2009 1:07 a.m.

    Did you know: Tyler didn't write this article? cry....
  • ssj4raditz - February 11, 2009 3:18 a.m.

    Very nice. I'm so glad SFIV's boxart is awesome! Can't wait to play it.
  • Sycomycole - February 11, 2009 3:25 a.m.

    wow, this brings back so many awesome memories... those days were good. thx GR!
  • mirthor - February 11, 2009 4:26 a.m.

    i love me some ghetto sf covers. im going to school for video game development particularly in the art department and i really enjoyed this article. another home run gamesradar keep on being the best site out there!
  • Vagrant - February 11, 2009 6:04 a.m.

    SFIV does have fantastic box art. But is just me or does his eye look a bit weird? Like he's not actually looking at Kenny?
  • GamesRadarJoeMcNeilly - February 11, 2009 3:52 p.m.

    pinball hadouken: left-flipper, both flippers, right-flipper, plunger TILT TILT TILT TILT also, i agree about Chun Li. the harlot look does not become her.
  • SkinnyJr - February 11, 2009 5:09 p.m.

    The kool aid impression was priceless from the heart laughter. Very nice work once again
  • Dr.Salvador - February 11, 2009 5:22 p.m.

  • cdukes13 - February 11, 2009 9:51 p.m.

    the Street Fighter EX Plus @lpha cover looks JUST LIKE the Tekken 3 cover
  • ronliu75 - February 11, 2009 10:48 p.m.

    can't wait for SF4!
  • paranoidemdroid - March 31, 2009 5:37 p.m.

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

Showing 1-20 of 36 comments

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