Last week we had a "Best Box Art" poll, so since the easiest way to come up with fresh content is to do the opposite of what you did last time, this week we're having an Ugliest Box Art poll. Not only that, but because ripping on lame box art is so much fun, I decided to slap it right here on the front page, with a brief summary of what makes Sonic's worst boxes the worst boxes. We're only including boxes from "major" titles, so compilations and pico/edutainment crap is left out. If you have comments or other nominees or just want to shake your fist in a text-based rage, hop on over to <a href="http://www.theghz.com/forum/">the forum</a> and join the discussion!
<b>Sonic 2 -- US version:</b> I didn't notice until just now that Tails' snout is freakishly long in the Japanese version, but it just doesn't hold a candle to what we have here in the west. Admittedly, this box is probably pretty well-liked (heck, I kinda like it), but seriously, look at it. That purple-to-green wash is pretty hideous, "Dead Eyes Eggman" makes his first appearance, and it's that off-model Sonic that appeared on all the early US boxes, drawn well or not. I actually have a poster I <i>paid</i> for of this image tucked on the wall behind my bedroom door. Why is it still hanging there? What was I thinking??
<b>Sonic Spinball -- Game Gear:</b> Edging out the MegaDrive versions, for the western Game Gear releases they airbrushed out that awful "dividing line" on Sonic's spines but replaced Dead Eyes Eggman with straw-moustache, cone-head Eggman. I guess they were just giving people what they wanted to see. Mean Bean Machine also deserves some credit in the conehead Eggman department.
<b>Sonic 3 -- US & PAL versions:</b> The US version has a lovely background that lacks any of the qualities that we actually associate with Sonic games, Sonic himself has a boring pose except maybe for his "three fingers up" hand, which looks uncomfortable to say the least, and we've got Tails in his classic "ready for anal" pose. Meanwhile on the other side of the Atlantic, they've got a more game-inspired background and a way cooler pose for Sonic, but the colors are not especially eye-catching, and Knuckles is not especially well-drawn. Also, Sonic seems to be holding up three fingers, but he's got a thumb in there too. Does anyone else find this confusing?
<b>Sonic Chaos -- US version:</b> The PAL Master System release of this one is actually quite attractive, though Sonic's arms need a bit of help and it suffers for including those ugly enemies that were in the game anyway, but we'll forgive it. The US version is all like "HAY guys lets br34k sum rox k!!!" Again the Europe version makes a slight improvement with an altered color balance, but it still reeks of that Sonic 2 hazy background wash, and Tails is in "bend over" pose again. It's really bad this time, his tails are "up" instead of in propeller position, and well, come on! In the game, you can plainly see how his weight is distributed, how he is clearly being held up by his posterior--but here it's all like "please take me!" Who draws this crap?
<b>Sonic Triple Trouble -- US release:</b> Fang of course never looks bad, but we've got conehead Eggman again and what's that down in the corner? What happened to you, Knuckles? It looks like you crawled out of the PAL Sonic 3 box! Shake that fist, Knuckles! Shake it text-based style!
<b>Sonic CD -- UK PC version:</b> Ok, what happened here? Let's take the awesome character art shown on the Japanese cover, and then paste it over some random 3D desert scene that has absolutely nothing to do with the game in question. I wasn't planning on including this one, but it boggles the mind in a way that other re-releases and ports don't.
<b>Sonic 3D Blast -- PAL version:</b> The US art (the Saturn version is ok) isn't exactly prizeworthy, but what happened in Europe? I guess maybe they were trying to come up with something like the stylin' Sonic & Knuckles cover, but they ended up with this hidegons instead. Sonic's spines are way off model and the tone of the box is dark and grim. It is undoubtedly one of the ugliest 3D portrayals of Sonic we'll ever see outside of a bad DeviantArt fanpage.
<b>Sonic Adventure DX --</b> Just the way the director wanted it, with nasty pre-rendered gumbies! Seriously, this wouldn't be so bad except it's an absolute mockery of Uekawa's stylish Dreamcast cover. You've got that snazzy background back there, and then prerendered Sonic and Chaos just kinda strewn wherever. This composition is seriously unbalanced and rather painful to look at.
<b>Sonic Gems Collection --</b> Sonic firmly locked into some improbable "punching" pose (seriously, even Sonic's bendy arms have got to follow at least a couple rules!) while Metal Sonic gazes into the lower right corner like a retard. The coloring is sort of dynamic but regardless of whether or not the games contained in this collection are "gems," the box is no treasure chest.
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