Judging a Game by its Box: Harvest Moon 3D: A New Beginning

The other day, I happened to be browsing the shelves of my local game store (as one does), and I happened upon a curious sight. See, when you’re as obsessive about stopping by the game store every time you go out as I am, you generally know what to expect, so a box that looks out of the ordinary usually jumps out right away. Well, in this case, I was blown away by how appealing a certain game cover looked…

Why, it’s Harvest Moon 3D: A New Beginning! But instead of the ugly anime boy and girl on the Japanese and North American covers, this one’s covered in an adorable farm animal pattern! I must admit, I’m a little disappointed at the fact that I already own the North American version, as I totally would buy this one for the cover alone! Yes, the Harvest Moon logo itself is still garish and horrible, but I definitely think the European cover of Harveset Moon 3D: A New Beginning is a major step up. Here’s the North American version:

Oh look, some farmers and animals. Something really irks me about this illustration style! The animals themselves are cute and all, but their pastel shading style (which I prefer, actually) totally clashes with the darker colors used on the boy and girl in the foreground. Though the Japanese cover uses much of the same assets, it’s a definite improvement:

The logo still isn’t the greatest game logo I’ve ever seen, but it’s still a huge step up from the English Harvest Moon logo. The characters also look like they fit into the overall image more, which has me convinced that they decided to amp up the saturation for the North American cover for whatever reason. My favorite part about the Japanese cover, though, is that the logo is located at the bottom and is surrounded by all sorts of lovely flowers and vegetables!

It’s not usually the case, but I think this time the European cover steals the show for having the best design, with the Japanese cover coming in at a close second. I have a feeling I may be in the minority, though, especially since there are definitely some weird things about it, but basically it comes down to the fact that I just adore patterns and cute animals. Now, this reminds me that I should finally dig into my copy of the game…

About Anne Lee

Also known as apricotsushi. Anne can be written with the kanji for apricot (杏), and sushi was the most quintessentially Japanese thing I could think of when I was 13, resulting in my goofy, albeit memorable, nickname.