Welcome to Box Art Brawl, our weekly bout to find out which regional box art variant is the best, according to you lovely lot.
Last week was the inaugural edition of the ‘Duel’ variant of Box Art Brawl, which saw two versions of Tetris for the Game Boy square off against each other. Despite a rather fetching entry from the East, it was the version that released in North America and Europe which won over 80% of your hearts.
This week we’re sticking with the Game Boy as the ‘Jack-of-all-trades’ plumber tries his healing hands at medicine in Dr. Mario, the puzzler that launched for both Game Boy and NES 30 years ago last week. It’s an unusual game that released across both home and handheld consoles, with box art that looked more-or-less the same on both. We’ve gone with the Game Boy just to keep things more compact.
If you’re after more info on the game, we recommend checking out Jeremy Parish’s excellent Game Boy Works video on the subject. In the meantime, the (alleged) doctor is in. He’ll see you now…
North America / Europe
Featuring a red logo with a serif font and the stylised prescription symbol ‘℞’, the version we got in the West shows a wall of capsules in the background as a trio of primary-coloured gribblies lark around. Mario stands in the foreground on the right against a circular orange something brandishing a clipboard, a thermometer and a big grin. In fact, he appears to be doing his finest Dr. Nick Riviera impression.
It’s colourful, the enemies look mischievous and fun, and–assuming you’ve got the same infantile sense of humour we do–it’s got a winning tagline laden with eyebrow-raising double entendre. A strong opener, although it’s arguably a bit busy, especially when viewed from a distance.
The Japanese version takes a more scientific approach, with ‘Doctor’ Mario looking far more scholarly and knowledgeable. The oversized capsule he’s pointing to is flanked by a diagram of the enemy virus as he lectures us on the subject. The subtle chemical formula in the top left adds extra weight to his medical credentials, to the point where you’d be forgiven for allowing the jovial plumber to perform complex surgery on you. Come on! He’s pointing at the red end of a capsule that he’s labelled ‘CAPSULE’ – of course he’s qualified!
The logo font still has serifs, although the bubble style doesn’t scream ‘professional medical practitioner’. Still, we like this a lot.
So, which doctor would you permit to examine you? Pick your favourite from the two options below and click ‘Vote’ to let us know:
That’s it for this week – Happy Birthday Dr. Mario! Which did you go for? Let us know below, and join us again next week for another edition of the Box Art-iest of Brawls.