It's no secret that video games have largely been responsible for shaping me into the person I am today. I spent a large amount of my childhood playing games and I continue to spend a lot of time playing them today. Which is why I've decided to start this series chronicling the various aspects of gaming that affected (and continue to affect) the person I am today.
What I want to talk about today though, isn't so much the GAMES that had a large influence on my childhood, but rather the boxes they came in. It would take me forever to come up with a list of the games that influenced me most, so that is a discussion best saved for another day. What I want to share with you are the game boxes, received as a gift or maybe purchased myself that I have fond memories of unwrapping.
These are the boxes that still give me a nostalgic tingle any time I see them.
#5 - Super Mario Land 3: Wario Land
When I first saw this, I wasn't sure what to expect. My first glimpse of it was in a flyer that I had found in the box of another game I had borrowed from a friend. Being a big fan of Super Mario Land 2: Six Golden Coins I was immediately intrigued by this new game. Wario was still a relatively mysterious character at that point in time, having only appeared as Mario's nemesis in Super Mario Land 2, so I was dying to take control of him myself. The box itself just oozed adventure with it's colorful art style and imagery of Wario escaping a mysterious tower with a bag full of loot while under the watchful eye of what appears to be a band of duck pirates.
As a kid with a Game Boy, it didn't get more exciting than that.
Hey- speaking of pirates, that brings us to the next one:
#4 - Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest
As the sequel to one of the most popular games the SNES had to offer, this game had a lot to live up to. I recall reading Nintendo Power articles as a child about how this game would feature much more hidden secrets than it's predecessor did. So you can imagine my young mind racing once this box found it's way into my hands. Our hero, Donkey Kong was trapped! The Kremlings had become a group of nasty crocodile pirates and it was now up to Diddy Kong and his new friend to save the day.
While my young mind raced, it certainly didn't race for too long as I never wasted any time in tearing this box open and slamming that cart into my friend's SNES, ready to uncover all the secrets hidden within.
Moving on, we have this beauty:
#3 - Sonic & Knuckles
So simple, yet so meaningful. A black background adorned only with a single symbol that both represented two of the coolest video game characters at the time and also the grand finale to the platforming saga that defined the Sega Genesis's life span. As my mother drove me back from the video store with this box in hand, I was more than ready for more Sonic action.
Special mention also goes to the covers touting of its "Lock-On Technology", which proved to be one of the coolest features the game had to offer.
Really, I could have mentioned any of the Genesis Sonic sequels as having memorable boxes, but despite being the most simplistic, Sonic and Knuckles stands out as having the most impact on me.
Next up is one of the most important games I played in the entire duration of my childhood:
#2 - Pokemon: Red Version / Blue Version
These games came out around Christmas time and they were the games that every kid wanted. I was lucky enough to receive Red Version as a Christmas gift while my younger brother got Blue Version for his birthday a few months later. Having already familiarized myself with the world of Pokemon through the popular animated series, I was beyond eager to tear into this box and begin my own adventure in the world of Pokemon. I was ready to capture and raise my own band of powerful monsters, and more than anything, I was ready to become the owner of that eternally badass Fire/Flying Pokemon gracing the front of the box.
I could go on all day about the incredible impact these amazing games had on my life, but I'm saving that for another article so for now we move on to #1:
A classic amongst classics
A game box that anyone willing to call their self a gamer immediately recognizes
#1 - Super Mario Bros. 3
Yes I realize the picture's big. Nice and big. Take it all in.
I shouldn't even need to explain why this box is so memorable to me to anyone grew up during the time period this game was released in. To have this simple yellow box presented to you was entry ticket into a world of adventure like no other. The precious treasure lying inside this box would provide hours of fun like no game that ever came before it.
That yellow color and Mario`s smiling face as he flew across the cover are forever ingrained in my mind and any time I see them, I am immediately reminded of a simpler time that played host to a grand adventure that was anything but simple.
I hope you all enjoyed this article and more than anything, I hope looking at some of these boxes invoked some sort of emotional response in some of you as they do in me. I'd love to hear about it in the comments!