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The most mediocre box art

This entire page is dedicated to the infamously deserted covers of the Sega Master System. Each and every one is devoid of content; looking at them all side by side it’s pretty damn easy to see why the SMS never touched the NES.

Can it get any worse than this? An all-too-literal representation of what it is you’re about to buy? The F-16 was one of the baddest jets around in the mid-‘80s, and this is the best they could come up with? If anything this would deter buyers, as it basically says “You are about to spend $40 on a piece of rectangular plastic.”


We’re not afraid a’ no ghost, but we are a teensy bit weary of the vast amount of copyright information that commands as much real estate as the friggin’ logo. Priorities, people.


The Ninja: The Mega Cartridge: The Letdown.


Hm, if this is their idea of exciting, maybe Fighting Falcon was better off not depicting the jet. Look at all that empty space; you could make your own pen and paper RPG with that much grid paper.


Vroom vroom. Can’t wait to take this sexy bitch home.


Even in the rare occasion where the box is serviceable, covert artists manage to lame it up by barfing an unnecessary “SHOOTING!” blurb in the corner, as if we weren’t quite sure what we’d be doing in a Rambo game. Might as well add “RUNNING” and “JUMPING” to the list.


Compare these snoozefests to the early NES boxes:

Blocky, even ugly by today’s standards, but you knew what you were getting. Mario’s throwing fireballs while leaping over lava, that duck is screaming through the humid Midwestern sky and Samus is frying up a spiny alien omelet. Our eight-year-old allowances were begging for the privilege of buying Nintendo products.

Sega apparently learned from its mistake with Genesis, replacing blank white covers with great custom art while keeping a muted grid for consistency’s sake. And they still lost.

12 comments

  • Sjoeki - October 4, 2011 1:14 p.m.

    I can still remember playing that shinobi game, one of the first games I played on a color tv! Those were the days.
  • ichigoame - February 24, 2011 8:48 p.m.

    @millsanimation yeah i thought because it said 'xxx' on the box they didn't put anything too saucy on the cover,added a bit of curiosity I think
  • MillsAnimation - August 30, 2008 7:33 p.m.

    I find it strange that BMX XXX is on this list of "mediocre" box art. As from what I recall it had the BEST EVER. Just open the box, take out the sleeve flip that B over and BAM... Giant stripper butt that was branded with the game logo on her butt cheek. So perhaps this should be updated and added to BEST BOX ART EVAR. :p I know every time I visit a blockbuster or game store, I flip over every copy I can find to share this easter egg with the world!
  • SwampRock - May 22, 2009 5:15 a.m.

    Family video will sue you now! stolen property recaptcha: newtax peskier
  • Maikeru_Go - February 12, 2009 9:13 a.m.

    That F-16 Fighting Falcon art looks about as exciting as the MS Excel box from that era. Also, what's with the usage of clip art for Outrun?
  • oreopizza47 - February 10, 2009 12:24 a.m.

    counts* sorry grammar nazi
  • AA95mp - January 28, 2009 2:15 p.m.

    i found the startropics one relaxing
  • ultimate_asswoopin - December 15, 2008 8:33 p.m.

    hey bmx xxx didnt suck because how many games do you play not counting on the internet that has two ramps that are put together and painted up to look like a pair of BOOBS huh? oh and the ninja from shaodow dance looks like its wearing a part of storm trooper armor
  • Wolf007 - December 13, 2008 1:10 a.m.

    Since MillsAnimation didn't say it, I will 1st. And by the way, BMX XXX SUCKED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • oreopizza47 - February 10, 2009 12:23 a.m.

    yah mon, Amplitude=epic WIN. although, it is a teensie bit repetitive after *ounts on fingers*.... the first area. amazing music though and a truly great idea. could have pulled it off a bit better though.
  • ultimate_asswoopin - December 15, 2008 8:35 p.m.

    sorry for the double post
  • ultimate_asswoopin - December 15, 2008 8:34 p.m.

    hey bmx xxx didnt suck because how many games do you play not counting on the internet that has two ramps that are put together and painted up to look like a pair of BOOBS huh? oh and the ninja from shaodow dance looks like its wearing a part of storm trooper armor

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