Dreamcast Covers that Go Hard (and Some More that Can Go Straight in the Bin)

Like the greatest album covers in the world, some games make a great impression even when sitting on a shelf. Whilst previews in the media, video trailers and word of mouth are vitally important, it would be wise not to underestimate the immediate impact a game’s cover can have on those with more impressionable minds. Generic artwork or uninspiring stylistic choices may be fine if the game has loads of pre-release hype or a big name license, but stick some glorious artwork from a talented artist on the cover and you're near enough guaranteed some extra interest.

The Dreamcast's small but beautiful library of games is jam-packed with turn-of-the-millennium style and innovation, and this is present in some of the artwork which adorned gaming shelves worldwide. Some are of course, iconic - Ulala's presence on the Space Channel 5 artwork, the striking simplicity of the PAL/Japanese covers of Crazy Taxi, Shenmue's epicness - but there are some that deserve more attention. These are works of art - they deserve to be blown up to a larger size, framed and hung in the finest of art galleries. So it's time to put my best gallery curator hat on and showcase why I think these fifteen choice cuts of Dreamcast cover art glory are examples worthy of so much praise, followed by five duds that deserve the complete opposite...

All covers used in this article come from Sega Retro, unless stated otherwise. Let's get into them...


The Dreamcast covers that go hard...

Spawn: In The Demon's Hand

I could have picked any of the cover variations of this release, as they are all absolutely epic in nature, but I've chosen the standard Japanese cover. Looking more like some great, unknown fantasy war metal album cover, this puts Todd McFarlane's comic masterpiece centre stage with a swirling mass of metal, cloak and spikes. Spawn is the ultimate badass antihero, an imposing demonic hellspawn, and a character that is designed to be visually interesting in whatever angle, pose or situation he is depicted in. As a game, In the Demon's Hand falls a little short, but the cover art surely must have led to a few extra sales.

The artwork for the standard Japanese version, as well as that used on other examples of the game, seem to have been taken from Spawn issue 95. The limited first print edition of the game released in Japan came with a cardboard slipcase with artwork similar to the US and PAL releases - all of which are based on the cover of 95.

The Japanese limited first print edition slipcase artwork (Credit: PlayAsia)

The US cover has the same artwork as both the Japanese slipcase and the PAL release. It's a bit cleaner than the standard Japanese cover, and not as impactful.

The cover art for Spawn issue 95, the artwork of which was the basis for the game covers above.

Mars Matrix (Japanese cover)

Takumi's underrated shooter delivers a depth to the genre that's unrivaled on the console, and has the best cover of any shooter on the system (particularly the Japanese version's cover). I will take no criticism of that viewpoint! This cover is a dynamic, colourful burst of energy which breaks away from the usual clichés seen on the covers of other shoot 'em ups, whilst never going so far out there that you'd be confused as to what genre of game it actually is. Taken as a whole, it's a piece of art; from the fonts used for the title (to continue with the metal references of this article, this text wouldn't look out of place as the logo for some sort of cosmic math metal band), to the colour gradation, to the sleek sci-fi lines and shapes in the background. The US cover (below) isn't awful either, but it lacks the eye-punching appeal that the Japanese release displays.

The US version does many things the Japanese version did, but the change of colours diminishes the appeal somewhat. Still, a decent attempt.

The Nomad Soul (PAL German cover)

The David Bowie video game vehicle that is The Nomad Soul (or Omikron: the Nomad Soul for our US readers) is an underappreciated game which, despite some performance and technical issues, is still well worth a play, if only to see an early example of Quantic Dream's ambition on display. There were a variety of covers used throughout the different releases regions, with the US version (featuring David Bowie) being pretty average, while the PAL versions (of which there were three!) are far more interesting. The standard PAL and French versions (both below) look good, but it's the German version seen above that I've featured as the standout cover here. Similar to the standard PAL version, it takes a monotone approach, which is quite striking, and is a bit more mysterious and gothic in its design. This cover was also used for the German Windows release.
This standard PAL version isn't far behind the German version. Striking, effective and definitely would have appealed to me on a shop shelf.

This French cover is in some ways just as good as the German version. It is probably the PAL version which most closely mirrors the sort of experience you would get in the game. Decent. 

EGG (Japanese cover)

Elemental Gimmick Gear is yet another game which deserves far more attention than it gets, and the cover of its Japanese release is just superb. The intricate design is appealing, the colour scheme - whilst somewhat different than the game itself - which is bold and bright - works really well and it manages to convey a sense of mystery and intrigue in the final product that the US version... does not. I've included that version below and whilst it's not as bad as some of the very worst cases on the console, and indeed conveys the game quite well, it still comes across like the cover of a third-rate '70s sci-fi novel. The Japanese version manages to avoid that completely and is stylish as hell.

The US cover in all of its outdated glory.

Ikaruga 

There aren't many shooters featured in this list, not because their covers are awful (far from it) but because whilst striking, they sort of get lost in what you'd expect from the genre. Ikaruga is a bit different. The contrast between the warm colours of the left hand side and the blackness of the right hand side; the mysterious illustration which is intriguing enough to make you take notice; the stylistic throwbacks to classic cinema posters lends it both a futuristic and stylish element as well as a nod back to classic Japanese design aesthetics. It's a remarkable piece of work. The game as a whole is probably only beaten by Rez in the “dripping with style” stakes, and should be held up as a top tier piece of art.


Sword of the Berserk: Gut's Rage (PAL cover)

As appears to be a trend with the games listed in this article, Sword of the Berserk is another criminally underrated title for the Dreamcast and one of the best narrative-driven experiences on a system which is quite short of similar examples. Based on the late Kentaro Miura's "Berserk" manga, it is a blood-soaked, giant sword-wielding adventure with some seriously impressive source material. The game was released in all three regions, and whilst the Japanese cover is decent and the US version is a bit of a CGI mess, it's the PAL release which deserves a place here. Minimalist in design, this cover highlights all the important details of the game (Guts, the sword, blood) whilst remaining enigmatic enough to grab some attention. Clean lines and a great use of colours mark this one as a striking cover. It would not look out of place as an early heavy metal album cover - a compliment.

This Japanese cover is closer to the source material, but lacks a bit the flair you'd expect it to have.

The US cover relies heavily on CGI which just makes it look a little tacky.

Plasma Sword: Nightmare of Bilstein (Japanese cover)

Plasma Sword: Nightmare of Bilstein is often forgotten about amidst the extremely high-quality Capcom fighter lineup on the Dreamcast. It's not an awful game by any means, but it's not the spectacular genre hit that the publisher is well known for, and it doesn't exactly have a title that rolls off the tongue, either. Whilst the Western release makes it sound like a new franchise, this is actually a sequel to Star Gladiator, a 1996 Arcade and PlayStation release, and the Japanese release retains that title and makes clear that it is a sequel. It also received a much better cover in Japan, a fantastically illustrated collage; an epic piece of art that  far more appealing than the otherwise bland Western covers.

The US cover is so uninteresting compared to the Japanese release. You have to wonder sometimes just why so many Western publishers decided that the North American market deserved such inferior artwork.

Silver (PAL cover)

Now this is epic. Another example of a relatively simple idea visualised superbly, this PAL cover for Silver successfully sells the game as some operatic adventure capable of giving the player god-like powers in a classic confrontation between good and evil. It's a masterclass of design - the character is centralised, shrouded in light, with arms steadfastly holding aloft dual swords as evil minions cower underneath. Sure, it's a bit clichéd, but then sometimes you need some well-known tropes in the design to make it work so well. Silver is yet another underappreciated game on the system, and I'd definitely pick it up at random if I saw this epic fantasy metal-like cover on display - and in fact, I did, from Woolies back in the day. Now if you're from North America, I'm afraid the great US cover curse strikes once more, as Infogrames did you all dirty with a CGI-heavy cover that doesn't even compare to the artistic PAL masterpiece. 

What a disappointment this is. Vague, boring and without any real texture, this is a sham compared to the PAL cover.

Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation (Japanese Cover)

Some of you may think I've lost my mind picking a Tomb Raider game for this list but I can fight a strong case for its inclusion. There's something a little epic about this cover, as if the contents within are about to unleash some sort of ancient Egyptian-themed power metal (I'm labouring the metal connections in this article now, but it remains the best comparison I can make - epic album covers and epic game covers are one and the same, and awesome with it). The sun shining down over the dusty pyramids, Lara clutching her guns as she surveys her next quest, the desert wind blowing through her hair. It recalls classic adventure movie posters (yes, including Indiana Jones), and the almost incidental inclusion of Lara, rather than her face being the main focus, just adds to the sense of adventure, helped by a really well-chosen choice of colours. The PAL cover, seen below, is less interesting, although still not totally awful. There's a bit too much emphasis on a couple of assets (ahem) and the entire thing is a little too pre-rendered CGI for my liking, but it does try its best.

I wonder what the focus of Eidos' Tomb Raider marketing was at the turn of the century...

Cosmic Smash

The ultra-stylish Cosmic Smash is a Dreamcast classic with timeless gameplay - not bad for what basically amounts to a futuristic game of squash. Joining Rez and Ikaruga in the top ranks of cool on the system, it also has a unique packaging design. Featuring a semi-translucent DVD case inlay with a minimalist design on the front, it allows the illustrations on the manual to show through, which is a perfect representation of the futuristic design aesthetics that the game aims for. Everything is stylised, mechano-organical in nature, and it's striking in both its simplicity and coolness. The splash of colours merely adds to the appeal, creating an eye-catching design that is very unique. This is one game where I'm glad it didn't receive a Western release - whilst the PAL version could have probably been quite cool, heaven knows what monstrosity the Americans would have had to contend with. 


Resident Evil 2 (PAL cover)

So many lists on the Junkyard always end up with us displaying our unwavering love for Capcom's awesome lineup on the Dreamcast, and this continues with the ever-popular and genre-leading survival horror sequel Resident Evil 2. For a change, the cover of the Japanese release (Biohazard 2) is outshone by that of one of the Western releases, namely the PAL version you see above (the German/Dutch PAL release shared the US release's design, which, whilst okay, isn't nearly as good as the main PAL cover). This is a great example of a minimalist, striking design which leans heavily into the horror genre (it would not look out of place as the movie poster from some '70s low-budget horror picture, which no doubt is what Capcom were aiming for. It's memorable, slightly gruesome, and excellently visualised. The game isn't too bad either.

The Japanese version of the game is adorned with a cover that, whilst successfully conveying the game itself, is just not as exciting as the PAL version.

This US cover is not bad at all (compared to some US covers, it's a masterpiece) but it can't quite match the PAL cover for its impact.

Heavy Metal Geomatrix (Japanese cover)

Whilst I've never been a fan of the Heavy Metal comics, I am a fan of one-time 2000AD contributing artist Simon Bisley (ABC Warriors, Slaine), who, along with Kevin Eastman (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) designed the characters used in this game. The Heavy Metal magazine is an outlier of American comic books, with a distinct European influence, and its known for its superb artwork. While the characters in this game are not known quantities from the magazine's past, they all pretty successfully recreate the leather-and-metal, sci-fi-warrior stylings of the publication. The cover here is just a great, classic cover which collates the characters in an ensemble arrangement. It's fantastic artwork first and foremost, and is visually very appealing - sadly the game itself isn't as strong, a pretty average arena fighter very much like Spawn: In the Demon's Hand, with its fair share of control and camera issues. Banging cover though.

The US and PAL covers have the same artwork as the Japanese cover, but with different crops which lose some of the detail.

De La Jet Set Radio 

De La Jet Set Radio is the re-released Japanese version of Jet Set Radio which includes the extra content of the Western releases, plus some much-needed bug fixes. It is without a doubt the definitive version (on the Dreamcast) of this all-time classic which oozes style, flair and attitude. Much has been written on this blog about the artistic glory of the game, and this is immediately evident as soon as you see the cover art. It's very similar to the original Japanese release's cover but replaces Beat with Gum. The collage of graffiti in the background, the outstretched spray can, the mix of colour and art which beautifully represents what the game is all about. You may be wondering why I've chosen the De La Jet Set Radio version rather than the original - well the reason for this is due to the limited edition box art for the re-release. This oversized box includes a T-shirt, which is frankly cool as hell, but the colourful, pattern-based box art is simply sublime. While other limited edition boxes are relatively plain, the designers of this one knew to play to the game's strengths. A work of art. 

The limited edition box artwork.

The original Japanese cover. It's every bit as cool as the De La Jet Set Radio cover (...because it's basically the same, bar the character change.)

Zusar Vasar

Sometimes you just want some cheese. I've rallied against overly CGI-centric artwork in this article, so this is a cover you'd expect to be low down in my estimations, but there is something very appealing about it. On first glance, you would perhaps think it looks like an album cover of a semi-successful  mid-'90s heavy metal band singing songs about giant mechanised lions, but no, this in fact, the cover of a video game. It's all a little odd and confusing if you're unfamiliar with the game itself (robot animals pulling chariots racing against each other), but somehow is a great representation of the title, both in its actual depiction of the action, but also in the metal-loving madness you can expect to enjoy. 


Sonic Adventure

I wanted to end this look at great Dreamcast covers with something a bit more "obvious" than some of my other choices. Sonic Adventure was the first system-selling title for the console, and a lot of that was due to the eye-popping demos and trailers which heavily promoted the 3D transition of our favourite hedgehog with some screen-grabbing set pieces (namely the still-impressive killer whale segment). Visual appeal was key to the success of the game and the system, and with the cover of Sonic Adventure - which remained pretty similar across regions - Sega knocked it out of the park. An iconic Sonic pose and almost dream-like background visuals successfully summed up the game and the concept of the console, while at the same time functioning as a welcoming first look into this adventure. It's a pretty simple design but packs in so much style and so much promise for what this new console would bring for Sega's loyal players. I could have gone for any of the versions here (and have indeed included them all below), but the Japanese "International" version is the one I've picked.

The PAL cover is pretty much the same as the Japanese version.

The typical US cover theming means this one is a bit more cluttered, however it's still fantastic.

The standard Japanese cover. This could very much have been the first cover of a Dreamcast game for a large number of players - a pretty good first impression.

The Dreamcast covers that can go straight in the bin...

Of course the Dreamcast also lived during that period of time where computer-generated artwork sometimes didn't do justice to the subject matter it was trying to advertise. We all remember the haunting visuals of plastic-faced fantasy characters in weird, unnatural poses that graced all sorts of media in the mid-to-late-'90s, promising us a future that none of us really wanted to embrace. Here are five cover atrocities which take their subject matter in some bizarre stylistic directions that somehow publishers signed off on. Just to keep things interesting, I'm leaving out the usual suspects - so no licensed sports titles here.

Power Stone 2 (US cover)

Our first entry into the hall of shame is this CGI monstrosity which demonstrates just how bad some of the US covers were. Whilst the PAL and Japanese covers were good (the Japanese cover nearly made it into the "covers that go hard" list above; I've included it below so you can bask in its awesomeness), this is an example of the simplified, soulless cover which some games were lumbered with rather than displaying beautiful anime-influenced artwork. Featuring Ryoma as the sole character on display, it looks clinical and completely misses the point of this being an ensemble-cast fighting game with multiplayer as its real selling point. Also - could the logo be any bigger?

Some ten years ago, Barry from SEGAbits ripped this cover a new one in a great article which is well worth checking out.

The Japanese cover is much, much better, and could easily have taken a place in my main list. Glorious artwork, an explosion of colour... quite why the US version is so bad is hard to answer.

Rune Caster

What can be said about this one? A Japan-only release that's not that hot; a game logo designed by someone who was trying to make something as Metal as possible but didn't quite meet the brief (that T should be inverted, missed opportunity) and a character lineup that looks like the worst band in the world ever. You know the type, overly eager young guitar player who has watched Conan too many times, a pretty-boy singer who is only into this music until he can find pop stardom, a veteran bass player who has seen (and taken) it all, and a scantily clad female keyboardist who is way too emotionally invested in the band. Oh, and a dragon. It's not the worst example on the Dreamcast, but it's just a mess of clichés and visually unappealing.


Tech Romancer (US and PAL covers)

Capcom making another appearance in this list of shame, this time with their underrated one-on-one fighter Tech Romancer. In Japan, the game is titled "Choukousenki Kikaioh" and the cover aptly displays the pilot and mech dynamic of the title, as well as being a pretty great piece of artwork. For the Western releases, however, something went badly wrong. First of all, the US curse hit again with the above abomination. Not only is it completely unclear what is being depicted at first glance, and the artwork bears no resemblance to the heavily anime-influenced gameplay, but even the title text itself is cut off. It's a proper amateur attempt and not appealing in the slightest. 

Then we have the PAL version, pictured below. It's just a mess, with no real attempt at context given to the layout, randomly placed mechs, a weird colour scheme, and title text that blends in with the actual background. It's certainly colourful and represents the anime element of the game better than the US version, but if I had seen this in a shop back in the day I would have walked right past it (as apparently many other people did, considering it wasn't one of the the biggest sellers on the system). Tech Romancer manages a rare honour of two regions having poor - yet different - covers.

The more I look at the PAL cover, the more it annoys me.

The much superior Japanese cover.

Zombie Revenge (PAL)

I could have chosen the Japanese version of this cover, which is in many ways just as bad, but I've instead plumped for the PAL cover. It's a CGI mess, which, whilst depicting the characters of the game, just comes across like a poorly constructed collage with ugly visuals. When in-game graphics in the 3D era hadn't really mastered "real life", we had numerous examples of this sort of uncanny valley-like monstrosity. It's no surprise that Zombie Revenge didn't set the charts alight when this was the first thing people saw of the game.

The Japanese version is a little better constructed but still looks like a cheap collage.

For once, the US version is not the worst. It's a bit more appealing, although that text is bloody awful.

Pen Pen TriIcelon (all regions)

I really find Pen Pen to be a creepy mutated animal-led game which misses the mark with some really odd character designs. Whilst this Japanese cover for the game is not as bad as many other Dreamcast examples, it's the character themselves that just make me feel uneasy. Random hats, oversized limbs, warped physical proportions... I'm overthinking it no doubt but if I was told the entire artwork was designed by someone who had just taken their first ever batch of mushrooms, I would not be surprised.

The PAL version isn't any better, although it is slightly less messy.

The Dreamcast has taught us that Americans can't handle more than a few characters on their artwork at once. Poorly positioned, characters cut-off; the usual visual design atrocities.

Bonus cut: the best indie Dreamcast game covers

Ghost Blade

Hucast's Ghost Blade is a decent indie shooter that, like the other European indie shoot 'em ups for Dreamcast, delivers a tremendous soundtrack, solid visuals, and slightly average gameplay. What these indie developers do exceedingly well, however, is presentation. There are numerous examples of sublime artwork on display in the scene, easily enough to have made this entire list solely on German indie shooters, however I've gone for Ghost Blade as the first example due to the difference in styles across the editions and the quality of each one. The standard cover depicts an epic sci-fi battle, the limited goes for a slightly different approach with characters and a lighter colour scheme, but both are done really well.


Witching Hour

I waxed lyrical about Witching Hour in my review, and whilst it is not a game that everyone will enjoy, I do think the cover of the now hard-to-find physical edition is under-stated horror genius. Taking some cues from the likes of the Resident Evil 2 PAL cover, this presents a weird, skull-like bestial face on a black background, with scrawled writing for the title. Very simple, yet very effective. 


Gunlord

I miss NG:DEV.TEAM. Whilst the gameplay of their releases was always a bit difficult for me and my aging reflexes, their artwork was, without exception, sublime. Gunlord, a game held in high regard to this day by indie enthusiasts, has some incredible release covers that both convey the game itself and stand out as just great pieces of art themselves. Above is the limited edition cover, a colourful science fiction composition which elaborates on the core concepts of the game like only the best fantasy artwork can do. It's incredibly well done and highly enticing if you've never played the game before. Below is the standard artwork, a fiery mass with a conquering hero positioned in front - possibly the most "metal" of all indie covers.

Standard cover for Gunlord. Gloriously fiery.

Yeah Yeah Beebiss II

This is an excellent cover for a good little game. It's colourful, sharp and clean; expands on concepts in the game to create an exciting piece of artwork (in the grand tradition of classic arcade titles), and is a great piece to entice people into playing the game. The two Jiangshi are presented with plenty of character and the whole piece is just loads of fun. 


Neo XYX (limited edition)

As I write this, I am starting to convince myself that this may be the high point of indie covers. Whilst the game has its fair share of issues, it is an enjoyable shooter with an excellent organic-industrial Gigeresque style that ticks all of the right boxes. For the cover art of this limited edition of the game, these artistic influences are prominently displayed. It's an epic cover, with bright and bold colours, and an intricate illustration that leaves you in no doubt what to expect, but still retains enough enticing mystery to make you want to experience it yourself. A superb cover. 


Another bonus cut: the best and worst of Russian bootleg covers

A bit more bonus cover content for all of you here. Thanks to the folks at SegaRetro, there is a readily available catalogue of Russian bootlegged Dreamcast titles that you can peruse. As with any other form of media that is bootlegged, these range in quality from cheap, nasty looking budget release-like examples, to random artwork thrown together in a jumbled approximation of what the game has to offer, with some examples even going as far as to actually improve on the official release's artwork. 

Whilst I'm looking at presenting a more exhaustive look at these Russian bootlegs in a later Junkyard article, I wanted to display some of the most striking - both in a good and bad way - examples, especially as it's not an area of the Dreamcast which is covered all that much. I have to admit that I have a fascination with these; how an entire country's experience of the console were formed by unofficial releases, and in turn, their cover art. There's quite the story behind some of these Russian bootleg companies, which edges into the sort of black market, underground crime territories that you'd probably expect - but for now, enjoy some of these (or stomach them, depending on your point of view).

It's obviously worth noting that in some cases, these covers pinch from fan-made designs on the internet, as is always the case with some bootlegs.

I actually prefer this cover of MDK2 more than the published versions. Obviously taken from official artwork, it puts Max at the centre stage, which is the correct choice. 

Whilst both the official US release of "Reel Fishing | Wild", and its Japanese equivalent "Fish Eyes | Wild", have relatively serene covers befitting the aim of the game, this bootleg just sticks an ugly-looking fish on the cover, making it look a bit more like the other fishing titles on the console.

This is another one by Vector (one of the "companies" producing these bootlegs), which is a bit of a mishmash of artwork.

Clearly taken from a sci-fi source that I'm not immediately familiar with, this cover fails to demonstrate what the game is about, and doesn't come close to the quality of the official cover (which is one of the finest on the Dreamcast). Despite this, it does have its own sense of epicness.

Can't lie, this is pretty awesome. Absolutely not reflective of the game, of course, but I'd buy a title with this cover!

One of the cool things about these bootlegs is that you'll see a few Japan-only releases renamed, with titles and covers that aren't that far away from what we'd probably have seen had these been officially released in the West. "My Tennis Life" is actually a literal Japanese-to-English translation of the title of Bimboosoft's game "Boku no Tennis Jinsei". It's not the best cover, but a glimpse into possibly what could have been.

It's probably a more interesting cover than the official version, but it does look a little janky. Also, it's been a while since I've played this but... isn't that just a Jem'Hadar ship from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine?

Can't lie, this is a great cover. No doubt taken from official artwork, this would have been a very decent Western release cover if we'd ever been lucky enough to have been graced with such a thing.

Random cars which seem to be drifting rather than rallying? Fair enough.

I mean... they know why people played Tomb Raider at least, right? Bonus points for emphasis on the fact that Lara is basically a thief.

It's a shitty game, so this cover with a seemingly constipated Hawk Manson seems on point.

Not sure why they added "Final" as a subtitle, but RGR Studio's bootleg of Illbleed has a rather haunting cover and is pretty effective.

Well now. Here's a cover which improves heavily on the official one, despite looking a little like some sort of power metal album cover (probably about beasts in the snow or something). It's not really very representative of the actual game (although its been a while since I played it) but hey, I'd buy it.

Not a patch on the official Sonic Adventure cover, and Sonic looks like he's a member of the Ministry of Silly Walks, but this isn't too bad.

Another example of a bootleg of a Japanese-only release, here we have Undercover AD2025 Kei. It's a pretty terrible game, and even the Russians forwarding the game forward two decades doesn't help matters. I'm also not a fan of anime so I had no idea what the source of the image was, but thanks to the investigative talents of my Junkyard colleague Lewis, we've discovered that this character is Maya Jingu from the Burn-Up series.

You'd have to be terrible to mess up a Godzilla cover. This leaves no doubt what the subject of the game is.

Sometimes these bootlegs miss the mark. Case and point: displaying a skier on the front of a game with... no skiing.

I'm not entirely sure of the source of this image, or if it's even from Berserk at all (it's been a while), but this is a pretty decent cover.

I have no idea what the source of the images on this cover is either. I presume stills taken from some sort of spy film, but unless I'm being stupid, I can't identify either character. Either way, this sure as hell isn't Confidential Mission. Looks positively boring.

The official covers aren't exciting, and this one is no better.

Now, this is a pretty cool cover! I can't quite shake the thought that I'm sure these people are the members of a Ska band that I've seen live once before. Album title would clearly be "The Ska-taxi" and the bassist is clearly in a hardcore band as well. Good cover though.

This is a pretty decent cover. Doesn't really represent the game, but looks good.

One of my favourite bootleg covers. I don't know Macross well enough to know the source of the image, but it's a cool cover.

A bit of a bizarre, trippy cover for The Nomad Soul, but quite cool.

This appears to use official artwork, but doesn't quite match the mood of the game itself.

There's a couple of examples of Shenmue bootlegs out there, and this one featuring Joy is about the same quality as most of them; that is, pretty average.

There are loads of games with numerous examples of bootleg covers, usually from different bootleg companies, and Sonic Adventure has some great examples. This one presents DJ Sonic, obviously the main focus of the title...

Taxi 2 - Le Jeu is not a great game, but at least the cover of the actual release pretty much sums up the concept (driving fast in France), unlike this attempt by RGR Studio which is highly generic.

So that wraps up this extensive showcase of the best and worst covers that Dreamcast games have to offer. Which covers do you love or hate? Let us know in the comments below or via one of our many social media channels.

3 comments:

Neil said...

Kinda prefer the non us cover art of zombies revenge compared to what we got. I can't even tell what kind of game it is.

Lewis Cox said...

Some underrated picks for covers here, Mike. Amusingly one of my favourites is Radirgy, which doesn’t explain what the game is whatsoever, but that’s actually why I like the cover so much!

Le Rowe said...

The Crazy Taxi black and white chess board aesthetic always makes the yellow pop. So eye catching.

Dino Crisis also had great, evocative box art; like something from the Criterion Collection.

Shenmue is also a great composition with pleasing blending techniques.