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!
Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly
Last week we featured a few good games with crappy covers, this week we are reversing that trend. We have a few ho-hum games with some absolutely amazing covers. To start us off we have the brand new Spyro adventure. This time on the GameCube (among others), Spyro is ready to set fire to more than a few baddies. But who's talking about the game here? I mean, we're sitting here looking at this cover, after all. And you know, of all the covers we've seen on this site, this is one of the most beautiful. You may want to click on the picture to see it up close, just to savor the fine artwork (and subtlely) that went into this cover. This is one of those "serious" covers that's more than a little misleading. Or perhaps it's not misleading but rather ironic. Either way this new Spyro has one of the greatest covers of all time.
Mario Party 4
Usually I'm not one of those fans of busy covers (I mean, look at my review of the horribly busy Sonic Adventure 2 Battle cover), but this is an exception. I know Mario gets a lot of free passes, but trust me, I actually think this is one of the better Mario covers in recent memory. It also features more than a few familiar faces. But this picture isn't just chaos. Oh no, it's actually put together with care. And I'll tell you one thing, it'll stand out on the shelf. There just isn't another cover like this out there right now. (Note: This cover looks even better after you've knocked back a few drinks for your own Mario party).
There are few party games better than Worms. With it's turn based action, cute graphics, and hair raising weaponry, it's hard to resist Worms. And that's exactly why the cover to Worms Blast works so well. Sure the game isn't much more than a puzzle game, but still, this cover is one of the finest examples of "cute" I've ever seen. There's not much about this cover I don't like, it's attractive to look at, it's filled with great detail (take a look in the barrel of the gun, for example). And it's just a funny cover. That face the front and center Worm is making is priceless. There just aren't enough covers like this one.
This simple cover may be one color, but it offers a mood, perhaps even a style unlike anything I've seen come through this section. One look at the commercial and you'll see that it's anything but a moody, self exam. It's more like a kissing game. But that's okay, because this cover makes me think. It also makes me stare off into space and ponder. Not really ponder about anything, just sort of think about how many covers aren't worth their weight in paper. How so many covers may as well be printed in black and white. This is one of those special covers that is great looking, detailed beyond anything I could hope for, and nearly perfect. It's sad, yet, at the same time hopeful. It's a shame there aren't more covers like this.
SSX: X-treme Racing
For the most part I hate SSX covers. It's a great series, but the covers have been truly tragic. But this cover (and the Japanese Xbox version) is something special. See the pencil and the artwork and the ... oh, I confess, I can't do this anymore. Always the same thing. Over and over and over. You can see the artwork, it's pretty. You like it. You know it's better than the U.S. one. So let's not rub it in, okay. Enough with this, I need a drink.