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Cover Critic
Cover This
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on October 03, 2002   |   Episode 39 (Show Archive)  

A lot has changed since the last time we featured an episode of the Cover Critic. Both Sony and Nintendo have released new portable game systems, long time companies have shut their doors forever, and the world has been reintroduced to a certain lawyer named Jack Thompson. Heck, even this site you're looking at has changed in many ways. So maybe it's time we take another serious look at video game covers, letting you know which ones we like and which we hate. After two years I invite you to embrace a brand new Cover Critic, one that isn't afraidto tell you what we really think. So enjoy five new covers and one new look!

Marvel vs. Capcom 2
Oh me oh my. Capcom has managed to make another ho-hum cover to one of their best properties. Why is it that Marvel vs. Capcom has never been able to find a cover that both represents the 50+ characters in it's roster, as well as show off the wonderful comic book artwork. But this cover only does one of those two things. The artwork here seems rough, and isn't entirely interesting. Actually, when I think about it, this artwork is about as interesting as this review. Perhaps I should be using more exciting words, but frankly, this just doesn't compel me to.

The Documentary of Metal Gear Solid 2
Alright, before I get mail about how this is not really a game, I consider all covers when making this section. This Metal Gear Solid 2 cash cow, er, Documentary may not be much, but at least it has a cool cover. Konami has provided a fairly simple look, while still keeping a very hard edge to their characters. This distorted picture adds a little mystery, and might actually make somebody buy this cover. If anything it'll make you look, because it's just so damn attractive. Now if only the real games covers looked so good.

Up to this point in this long awaited episode you've probably wondered why it's been so damn boring. I mean, Cyril, all you're doing is rehashing the same comments you've used over and over and over and over. And well, you may have a point there. But you see, I actually have something to say about GunGrave. Say what you will about this game, I don't care, this is a game that should have a kick ass cover. Why? Well, because this game is all about looking good, and having style. Being the game fully uses it's anime roots you'd think the cover would just blow everybody away. But that's not the case with GunGrave. Oh sure it's an anime cover, but it's a really really REALLY weak one. For one thing the picture is over powered by the amount of yellow all over. And I'm not a huge fan of how willing Sega is to show the "heroes" face. You also can't really see the Guns or the Grave!! Compared to the amazing Japanese GunGrave cover, this American cover is utter crap. In that cover Sega was smart enough to include both the Guns and the Grave, not to mention also hides the mystery of the walking dead. Is this what Sega thinks gamers are looking for? Do we really want dumbed down artwork? Ladies and Gentlemen, I tell you, this cover is just awful. And the bright yellow side?? What were you thinking Sega, what were you think??

Fatal Frame Zero
Every so often there is a cover that makes me sit up and notice. For somebody who has not experienced the original Fatal Frame, this might take a different meaning. But when I look at this it's both unsettling, and unbelievably beautiful. For one thing the artwork on the cover alone makes me want to own this game, no matter the quality of software. After all, with a cover like this, how can the game be bad? There is something sinister about the image, something that makes me very tense. As a friend pointed out, it's almost Suicide-chic. But after everything, there is a certain calm this picture offers. It's a nice quiet example of how profound a video game cover can be. This is simply one of the greatest covers of all time, and it's a shame if it get's altered when released in the United States and Europe. One can only hope this will not be the case.

So you look at a cover like Ostostaz, and you say to yourself, "what exactly am I looking at?" I'm not sure if this is on purpose, but if I saw this game in a store I would probably stare at the cover for longer than the security guard would feel comfortable with! I'm serious gang, this cover is just one of those covers that makes you wonder what the heck the artist was thinking about. Or better yet, what kind of game is this? It's like South Park meets Godzilla, but still staying lodged in a world all it's own. So stare at it, get inspired by it, and remember, it's only a game. It's only a game. It's only a game ...



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