Box Art Brawl – Mega Man 4

Image: Nintendo Life

Welcome friends to another edition of Box Art Brawl!

Last week, the N64 classic Pilotwings 64 was vying for box art supremacy. To be honest, the results were a little closer than we expected, but still, Japan’s vertical design got the lion’s share of the vote with 60%. No luck, North America and Europe – your projects were not bad, but they weren’t big.

This week, we’re diving back into the world of Capcom games. Megaman with its fourth NES game: Mega Man 4. Released back in 1991, it received strong critical acclaim, although many immediately noticed that it was not much different from previous installments in the series. Franchise fatigue began to show, but not before Capcom released two more NES sequels before finally moving to the Super NES.

There will be a three-way brawl this week – just the way we like it – over key art design differences between North America and Europe. But enough talk, let’s get down to business!

Further reading:

Be sure to vote in the poll below; but first let’s look at the design of the box itself.

North America

Mega Man 4 - North America
Image: Capcom

North American design for Mega Man 4, hmm… interesting, to put it mildly. There are hints here that the art style is moving away from the admittedly hellish approach used in earlier games, but there’s still something rather odd about Mega Man itself. Why are his cheeks so pink? Why does he look like… well, real? At least real compared to the more stylistic approach taken with other variants of the region.


Mega Man 4 - EU
Image: Capcom

Interestingly, the European design for Mega Man 4 uses the same composition as its North American counterpart, but changes the art style of Mega Man himself for something perhaps more traditional. The background is exactly the same, but Mega Man’s face looks less unsettling, in keeping with the visual style present in Japanese box art design.


Rockman 4 - JP
Image: Capcom

Speaking of which, Japanese box art uses an art style that is still used today to depict Mega Man. It also makes heavy use of landscape orientation, adding a few robot masters for a slightly busier composition. Mega Man himself looks pretty cool here too, engulfed in flames and about to unleash what we only assume is a charged shot.

Thanks for voting! See you next time for another round of Box Art Brawl.

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