Can you survive An Unholy Return: The 31 Games of Halloween?
Cover Critic
Dear GameBoy Advance, Wish You Were Here!
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on June 10, 2003   |   Episode 43 (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!

Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow (GBA)
I could talk about the names of Castlevania games for hours probably ... but when it comes to box covers, they are somewhat hit and miss. For example, the Harmony of Dissonance cover was well done, with some beautiful artwork. Whereas Symphony of the Night and Circle of the Moon were pretty lackluster in the box department. For the most part Aria of Sorrow has a good cover, though relying too much on the black and white aspect in my opinion. The artwork comes from a much larger piece, which looks a little funny chopped to hell. But hey, it's still a good cover, with beautiful artwork and a rather attractive, though a little TOO attractive, man with a sword. Though Soma is somewhat of an ambiguous character throughout the game, that doesn't seem to matter much to this cover. If anything, I think it may help sell a few copies. Without a doubt, this is one of the better covers when it comes to GameBoy titles.

Worms World Party (GBA)
If there's one thing we can all agree on, it's that Worms is fun. It's easy to pick up and play, it's great with friends, and it has some of the cutest characters thet ever wanted to kill each other. It's hard to fit all that on a GameBoy Advance cartridge, but at least the artwork is still tops. Problem is, this cover is kind of old now, since they've used it on almost every version of this game. But still, it looks good and has no problem letting you know Worms is NOT a simulator. I especially like the look of the Worms leader, who was obviously modelled after John Wayne. In all this is a decent cover, but I wish it would have had new artwork.

Hardcore Pinball (GBA)
Take a good long look at this cover, I'm not kidding when I say this is a REAL cover. I did not make this simply to make fun of it. Nope, this is a honest to goodness cover for a very real game!! You've got to believe me! This is a real cover. Even though it is quite possibly the worst cover to ever grace a cardboard box!! Ladies and gentlemen, you have to admit that this Hardcore Pinball cover looks a lot worse than this fake cover, or this one, heck, it even this early one looks more realistic than this Hardcore Pinball box. My only guess is that the game is targetted at the blind. Take a good long look folks, this is by far the worst video game cover there ever has been. If you can find a worse cover, feel free to send it over, because I can't see it go much lower than Hardcore Pinball.

Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising (GBA)
I always considered Advance Wars to be something of a hard sell, considering it seems to lack any of the assets that make popular video games popular. But like the first Advance Wars, Nintendo sells people on the idea of cute characters with guns. Black Sun Rising has a much darker tone, with two layers of people, a group of "heroes" in the front, and an almost black and white group behind them. But even more interesting than the picture is the name, which sounds like a strange cross between the Soundgarden song "Black Hole Sun" and the Creedence Clearwater Revival album "Bad Moon Rising". Whether you like or hate the name, the game has a pretty memorable cover.

Wario Wares, Inc.: MEGA MICROGAME$ (GBA)
Alright, we could talk about Wario Wares, Inc.: MEGA MICROGAME$ all night, about how it's possibly the most addictive game since Tetris, or how the two hundred mini games will drive you completely insane. But instead of talking about that, we thought we'd wax about the weather. I understand it's summer and all, but this last week has seen record highs in my area! For a full week we were subjected to almost 100 degree temps, making the Defunct Games office a rather miserable place to be. After dragging out three fans and drinking a lot of ice water, it still was one of the worst weeks in memory. The good news, though, is that it's all over with, and I can get back to my life in the freezing cold. Oh ... and that Wario Wares cover, man oh man, it's a busy one.



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