Bad Video Game Box Art: TurboGrafx 16 Edition

Boy, did the TurboGrafx have some bad cover art. Lets get straight to it:

 

RetroSquat presents, in no particular order, some bad TurboGrafx 16 box art:

Legendary Axe II.jpg
 

Legendary Axe II (NEC, 1990)

Two loincloth clad gentlemen play a game of "Hold Thy Battleaxe Outward" as their faces personify the painful effort that their uncharacteristically muscular, baby-like arms must feel.  The axes barely touch, emitting a spark of indifference.  Maybe they're fighting.  Or blocking some evil doer from entering the freshly built castle through intimidation.  Look at the fresh stain on the doors and drawbridge.  Is that walnut?

The artist on this rad piece had a vision.  A vision that was most certainly no brought into our plane of existence.  It's almost as if there was a rough pencil draft of the cover was accidentally sent to the color artist and pushed forward.  Maybe NEC figured that the battle with Sega was lost and "who cares?  It's better than a blank box" won out in the end.

 

Worst part of the box: The complete lack of perspective.

 

Best part of the box: The realization that art can tell a backstory. Those axes are so glaringly similar that it can be surmised that these guys shop at the same merchant.  Is the merchant a mutual acquaintance?  If so, what does he think about their extracurricular activities?  They're standing on a drawbridge.  Maybe  there are alligators underneath.  Or a serpent.


Bomber Man.jpg

Bomber Man (NEC, 1991)

Every gamer knows what Bomberman looks like.  Thanks to NEC, we also know what Bomber Man looks like.  Question answered.  Splitting the name into two words apparently causes side effects of borderline realism, Lego helmets and fire.  Lots of fire.  Hey, like Military Madness, it is a strategy game.

 

Worst part of the box: Chubby Colossus sneaking up on big red.

 

Best part of the box: The origin of the old adage: "Is the red Bomber Man throwing the bomb in the foreground or receiving it?"


mini_Shatterhand.jpg

Double Dungeons (NEC, 1990)

Since there's no chance that two different people in the history of civilization could muster up this art style, it's rather safe to assume that this mysterious box artist was quite the workhorse in 1990.  Our hero seems to be wearing a similar half shirt chest armor and studded belt combo that our helmeted friend rocked on Legendary Axe II's cover. 

That skeleton is looking like quite the tall drink of elixir back there.  He or she would have had quite the hunch while running through those halls.  I guess that explains the skeleton state. 

Hey, nice pirate sword there, guy!  I'm certain it will take out The Nothing in this high vaulted foyer, but unless you're planning on exclusively sticking to stabby motions, you're not swinging that lanky thing in those Hobbit-sized hallways. 

 

Worst part of the box: The haphazard use of the early computer art airbrush.  

 

Best part of the box: That snake is marginally decent, but I'm giving it to the exquisite masonry work on those floor stones. 


Neutopia II.jpg

Neutopia II (Hudson Soft, 1992)

Surely there's a better scene going on the the left of that sword that would better elicit excitement to, you know, play the game.  Instead, we get a bride clutching an armored version of the singer from Warrant.

 

Worst part of the box: The blue diamond or sapphire peeking out from behind the "II."  If it's part of the logo, it's a bit awkward in its positioning.  If it's a part of the scene, it's a bit awkward in its positioning.

 

Best part of the box: That guy's hair.  It's obvious where the artist spent 75% of their efforts.  It looks immaculate.


mini_wizardsandwarriors3.jpg
 
 

Blazing Lazers (NEC, 1989)

Blazing Lazers deserves a better box.  The enemy ship comes off as a metallic, tentacled blob of a thing.  And that is definitely not what the player's ship looks like in the game.  Creative liberty gone too far.  

 

Worst part of the box: With all of the empty space surrounding the ship at the bottom, the title just had to be jammed up at the top.

 

Best part of the box: The title font is the same as the TurboGrafx logo font.  Cool stuff.