All information on this site is through my own findings and is believed to be correct.  Any corrections, errors or admissions that need to be made, or artists that would like to be involved in BOX=ART, please feel free to contact me.

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About BOX=ART

BOX=ART is a site dedicated to the history of video game box art/ cover art and the artists responsible for them.

Box arts are profiled from a variety of angles using high quality scans and with the intention of acknowledging the men and women who have played such a major role in shaping our gaming experiences.

Not only for video game enthusiasts, BOX=ART is for all who enjoy quality artwork.


Box art by Yoichi Kotabe

Japanese artwork, first published by Nintendo in 1992.

Designed for the Japanese Famicom market.

Also available on: na.


The well-documented history of Super Mario Bros 2 had Nintendo of Japan (NOJ) take its abandoned attempt for Mario’s first sequel and fashion Fuji TV’s then mascots into it calling it Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic (1987).


These changes were made only for Nintendo of America to request it be made into Super Mario Bros 2 (1988) after the Japanese release of that game (The Lost Levels) was deemed too challenging. Subsequently, after the game’s success in the West, it was brought back to Japan as Super Mario USA (1992).


Interestingly, NOJ would take Doki Doki Panic’s original box art, with character art by Tadashi Sugiyama and an unknown Fuji designer, redraw the piece, so it would be more in line with Mario’s previous box arts, and replace Fuji’s characters with Yoichi Kotabe’s Mario designs.  


Being of Mario heritage Doki Doki Panic and Mario USA share obvious design traits with other Famicom Mario cover arts such as bold colouring, distinctive line work and chaotic characterisation (see Super Mario Bros 1 and 3 on the Famicom) while the box layout is vertically designed instead of horizontally, as found on the vast majority of Famicom releases.  


To finish, its pink border (which also extends to the game’s cart) is a stark reminder of how daringly colourful Japanese box art can be.






BOX=ART review

 >Super Mario USA

Other notable Yoichi  kotabe box arts

1988

>Super Mario Bros. 3 (JP) Famicom.

1989

>Super Mario Land (worldwide) Game Boy.



If you like Super Mario USA you’ll love…

1997

>Yuke Yuke!! Troublemakers (JP) Nintendo 64.

1989

>The NewZealand Story (EU) NES.


Sources and further reading:

>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Y%C5%8Dichi_Kotabe    

>http://www.mariowiki.com/Yoichi_Kotabe



1991

>Super Mario World (EU/ NA) SNES.

1999

>Super Mario Bros. Deluxe (EU/ NA) Game Boy Color.






Related BOX=ART pages.



2002

>Ultimate Ghosts ‘n Goblins (worldwide) PSP.



Posted - 4/4/14, by Adam Gidney

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