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Cover Critic
The Return of a Familiar Face
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on December 12, 2003   |   Episode 46 (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!

XIII (GCN)
XIII (GCN)
If there's one thing XIII does right, it's the presentation. Though the game is slightly disappointing, I don't think anybody can complain about this first rate cover. Though this is the GameCube version, all of XIII's covers are exactly the same, each with the Roman numerals in very large text, each revealing their own pictures. The figure with the gun wraps everything up nicely, as he is the only figure that is not fragmented. It would be nice if the game was as high quality as the cover, but who am I to complain? If anything, this cover should catch a few people off guard. It's also worth noting that XIII is one of the only games that has its name pointed horizontally, as opposed to the more common vertically, on the spine. An impressive cover all around.


Warhammer 40,000: Fire Warrior (PS2)
Warhammer 40,000: Fire Warrior (PS2)
Believe it or not, this is another cover I actually really like. Though it's filled with violent imagery, this Warhammer picture is actually very simple in design. Though I don't particularly like the look of the "figure" kneeling down, what the picture shows may just be enough to get somebody to seriously look at the game. There is a lot of destruction in the background, with the city and the fire bellowing up from what looks like a devastated tank. The skulls themselves are all well designed, and require some close inspection to find imperfections. This is another disappointing first person shooter for the PlayStation 2, but that doesn't mean the cover can't be attractive.


Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles (GCN)
Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles (GCN)
Oh goodness, what happened here? It looks like the Kingdom Hearts characters, but without all those Disney characters. And what's with the skinny figure with the Madonna cone-bra thing? She looks like she has Bjork's swan dress from the Oscars a few years ago. The rest of the characters aren't as ugly, except for maybe the short one that looks like a vegetable. Outside of the shoddy character designs, Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles manages to have a very simple design, one that doesn't overload your eyes with information. Though this is something I usually like from a box, the simple look just highlights how terrible the character designs are in this game.


EverQuest Online Adventure Frontiers (PS2)
EverQuest Online Adventure Frontiers (PS2)
Sony's Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing series has never had very good box art, even before it became a huge disappointment on the PlayStation 2. In its first console expansion pack, EverQuest Online Adventure has spruced up the cover art a little . and when I say "little", I mean it. It features yet another barely attractive girl backed up by a collection of European body builders. You can't argue with the new, sexier look, though. Her top has mysterious fallen down, cleavage hanging out, and not much covering the midriff. It's almost as if this year Sony said, "hey, if the Price is Right can do it, so can we". Even though she's not all that attractive, and kind of looks like a descendant of Spock from Star Trek, compared to the motley crew behind her, she's going to have to do. But then you realize, there's an episode of the Price is Right on right now, and later there will be six straight hours of Star Trek episodes, so what am I doing talking about EverQuest?


Carmen Sandiego: the Secret of the Stolen Drums (GCN)
Carmen Sandiego: the Secret of the Stolen Drums (GCN)
If there's one thing XIII does right, it's the presentation. Though the game is slightly disappointing, I don't think anybody can complain about this first rate cover. Though this is the GameCube version, all of XIII's covers are exactly the same, each with the Roman numerals in very large text, each revealing their own pictures. The figure with the gun wraps everything up nicely, as he is the only figure that is not fragmented. It would be nice if the game was as high quality as the cover, but who am I to complain? If anything, this cover should catch a few people off guard. It's also worth noting that XIII is one of the only games that has its name pointed horizontally, as opposed to the more common vertically, on the spine. An impressive cover all around.


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