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.
BOX=ART copyright ©2013 Adam Gidney. All rights reserved. Hosted by Dathorn.
BOX=ART quick menus
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.
The diminutive company started up in the early 90’s founded by ex Konami employees and quickly made a name for itself on Sega’s hardware developing explosive arcade-scrollers such as debut Gunstar Heroes (1993), Dynamite Heady (1994) and Alien Solider (1995).
These early box arts, of Japanese origin, – including Light Crusader (1995) and Guardian Heroes (1996) – would be partially used for the European market (see Alien Solider, Light Crusader and Guardian Heroes) but would be completely disregarded by the North American publishers who typically favoured their own artworks.
They would also vary greatly in tone and artistry with the Japanese version of Gunstar Heroes displaying classic manga, to the Japanese version of Light Crusader complete with western-looking art (again very typical of Japanese Mega Drive RPG box arts of the day, see Phantasy Star and Saint Sword).
Mischief Makers (1997) would see Treasure working with Nintendo for the first time and its box art would glaringly exhibit a classic late 90’s trait of computer renders being used for western box art. Its Japanese equivalent would be a wonderfully chaotic ensemble and would deliver the game’s charm far more successfully.
Responsible for the Japanese cover art would be one of the company’s founders, Tetsuhiko Kikuchi (HAN). HAN’s distinctive style can also be seen in Gunstar Heroes, Guardian Heroes (including Game Boy Advance sequels), Bangai-o (JP and NA ver), Silhouette Mirage (1997) and Rakugaki Showtime (1999).
After the uninspiring box art for Silhouette Mirage, Treasure would hit a high point with the classic Radiant Silvergun (1998). Criminally only made available for the Japanese market its box art showcased a level of maturity that previous cover arts had lacked (or required?).
It would also be a change in direction displaying a fine art, photo quality finish that games such as Ikaruga (2002), Slipheed (2000) and Gradius V (2004, Hidetake Tenjin) would later adopt, and would lack Treasure’s usual insistence on character art (Silvergun’s in game character art would still be created by HAN).
After the wonderful 80’s kids TV/ Gundam inspired Bangai-o’s (1999) cover art, made exclusively for the N64, Treasure in the 2000’s would split its development time between original titles such as Ikaruga and Sin and Punishment (2000, both with excellent box arts by artist Yasushi Suzuki) along with sequels and games using existing properties. Cover arts for titles such as Astro Boy (2003, Osamu Tezuka), Bleach (2006, Tite Kubo) and Wario World (2003, Hiroji Kiyotake) would use their prospective artist’s characters and art works.
Treasure’s last great box art to date would see artist Yasushi Suzuki bring back his smoky, sketchy characters to Sin and Punishment: Star Successor. The Japanese version depicts the game’s heroes using an exquisite palette of colours complete with a bold title, while the western version ramps up the energy with a size-defying beast caught in action. Both cover arts end up being great works of art that thankfully have none of their regionalism dumbed down.
A varied pot of manga, mecha and Japanese sci-fi, Treasure’s original box arts have been daring, colourful, fun and managed to perfectly represent their games’ explosive nature.
>Gunstar Heroes (JP) Mega Drive, Game Gear. (HAN)
>Yuke Yuke!! Troublemakers (JP) Nintendo 64. (HAN)
>Radiant Silvergun (JP) Saturn.
>Bangai-O (JP) Nintendo 64.
>Gradius V (worldwide) PlayStation 2. (HT)
>Wario World (JP) Gamecube.
>Sin and Punishment (JP) Nintendo 64. (YS)
>Ikaruga (JP) Dreamcast. (YS)
>Gunstar Super Heroes (JP) Game Boy Advance. (HAN)
>Sin and Punishment: Star Successor (JP) Wii. (YS)
>Sin and Punishment: Star Successor (EU/ NA) Wii. (YS)
Notable Treasure Co. box artists
>Hidetaka Tenjin (HT)
>Yasushi Susuki (YS)
Sources and further reading:
Related BOX=ART pages.
Specialists in run and gun games and the arcade shooter, Treasure Co. are masters of fun and chaos.
Yuke Yuke!! Troublemakers by HAN
Published by ENIX in 1997.
Designed for the Japanese N64 market. Also available on: na.
Gunstar Super Heroes by HAN
Published by Sega in 2005.
Designed for the worldwide Game Boy Advance market. Also available on: na.
Ikaruga by Yasushi Suzuki
Published by ESP in 2002.
Designed for the Japanese Dreamcast market. Also available on: na.
Updated - 19/03/16, by Adam Gidney
Sin and Punishment:Star Successor by Yasushi Suzuki
Published by Nintendo in 2010.
Designed for the Japanese Wii market. Also available on: na.
Notable box arts published by Treasure Co.
Published by ESP in 1998.
Designed for the Japanese Saturn market.