Box Art Brawl: #102 – Resident Evil Gaiden

RE Gaiden Box Art Brawl
Image: Nintendo Life

Hello everyone, and welcome to another edition of Box Art Brawl!

Last week, we took a look at Final Fantasy VI for the SNES. It was quite clear that you fine folks preferred the more “traditional” visual style of the series, as the Japanese box art won the week with a resounding 90% of the vote. Perhaps renaming the game Final Fantasy III in the US and giving it a drastically different box art design was not the most wise decision…

This week, we’re back in the world of Resident Evil. We’ve covered off most of the major games on Nintendo systems already, but have neglected to pay any attention to one of the most bizarre, maligned entries in the entire franchise: Resident Evil Gaiden.

The game launched in PAL regions first back in 2001, with other regions following in early 2002. It’s not held in particularly high regard by fans of the franchise, and indeed is no longer considered to be part of the wider canon. In terms of gameplay, you explore a luxurious passenger ship called the ‘Starlight’ in which all the inhabitants have turned into zombies, with the environment displayed via a top-down viewpoint. When you encounter zombies and other such nasties, the camera shifts to a first-person perspective, with a reticle moving from side-to-side to indicate your attack accuracy.

Enough about the gameplay, though – you’re here for the box art! We’re going to throw all three major regions – North America, Europe, and Japan – against one another this week. Europe and Japan share a very similar design for their respective box arts, but the Japanese ‘Biohazard’ moniker justifies its own standing in the competition.

So with that all said, let’s all board the Starlight and take a peek at some box art!

Be sure to cast your votes in the poll below; but first, let’s check out the box art designs themselves.

North America

RE Gaiden US
Image: Capcom

North America stands as the outlier in this week’s brawl; the box art here depicts Leon S. Kennedy looking all moody and macho with his signature R.P.D uniform. The R.P.D badge is also seen to the right against a dark red background. Overall, it’s a pretty good depiction of what Resident Evil might be like as a franchisebut perhaps doesn’t do well to indicate what Resident Evil Gaiden is about, specifically. On a more positive note, however, we love the ‘classic’ font used for the RE logo; it’s iconic for a reason and we’re glad Capcom has returned to it in recent years!

Europe

RE Gaiden EU
Image: Capcom

This is perhaps the more “iconic” image related to Resident Evil Gaiden. We see here a life ring adorned with the ‘Starlight’ title, giving a strong indication of the game’s setting. But there’s something wrong… What could it be? Oh yes, the blood smeared over the ring and streaming down the wall – lovely.

Something random to note here, too. The game was actually published by the now defunct Virgin Interactive in PAL regions, whereas Capcom itself published the game elsewhere. It was one of many Capcom games to be handled by Virgin, including the likes of Dino Crisis, Street Fight Alpha 3and the core PS1 Resident Evil titles.

Japan

RE Gaiden JP
Image: Capcom

So as we said earlier, the Japanese box art for Resident Evil Gaiden is more or less the same as its European counterpart, but with a few key differences to note. First, the obvious one: it’s called Biohazard instead of Resident Evil. The font is the same, of course, but there are plenty of fans who simply prefer the Japanese title, which is cool! Aside from this, there are minor differences in colour, such as the column down the left-hand side, plus a few extra bits and bobs in the Japanese language. The image in general is slightly more zoomed in, too.

So that’s it! Despite the fact that Resident Evil Gaiden sits close to the bottom of the franchise in terms of quality, there’s no denying that the box arts are at least pretty interesting. Make sure to make your voice heard and vote for your favourite one in the below poll!

Thanks for voting! We’ll see you next time for another round of the Box Art Brawl.

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