Monday, February 11, 2013

Entry#5: Is That a Joystick in Your Pocket?

Is That a Joystick in Your Pocket?
(Part One)

Despite the 3-D Whizz-bang of today’s video games, they lack something the old 2-D games of yesteryear had; they lack heart. I’d gladly trade the first-person run-and-gun games of today, for a blocky robot smasher like Atari’s Berserk. Granted, there’s a certain redundancy to a lot of these games. Many of them were knockoffs of Space Invaders and Pac-Man. And many of mid and late 80’s games were knockoffs of Super Mario Brothers (a subject for another post). But there’s a certain charm that comes with these games. And part of that charm was the cover artwork.

I feel like an old rocker, complaining about the loss of album sleeve art. And in a way, the two arguments are one and the same. This is much like the loss of movie poster art in the 90’s. It’s rare that we see anything comparable to a Drew Struzan or Frank Frazetta painting gracing a movie theater lobby. Come to think of it, we don’t even see quality artwork on the DVD or Blu-Ray boxes either. We don’t even get mail order offers for posters. Nor, do we get them in stores, unless given away as a promo.

There’s a certain frenetic pace to today’s video games. And that same pace seems to have found its way onto the box art. Though Atari’s Baseball couldn’t match the graphic quality of the box art, it didn’t matter. You were in the zone when that cartridge went in the consol. The same applies to Missile Command, Frogger, Enduro, and any number of classic titles. These were our first glimpses into the video world. They deserved the fantastic artwork on their boxes. Should we honor their legacy with anything less?

Below is a gallery with some fine examples.

End of Line.


For more Box Art, please see the following links...


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