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Ugly cover bonanza

The games industry is swamped with ugly game covers. We have dived into the garbage heap to bring you ten of the ugliest examples of cover design.

10. PRO WRESTLING - Sega Master System
For some reason Sega decided to put a grid on the cover of their Master System-games, together with some simple cartoonish drawings. Probably some marketing moron who thought that associating products to your math homework would somehow stimulate your shopping reflexes or something. In a series of ugly Master System covers, this one wins the award. It's a game about wrestling, but I just can't understand why the fat guy has his own head under his arm. And why is he trying to lick his own nipple? Bizzarowrestling, this is.

09. TROUBLE SHOOTER - Sega Mega Drive
Oh my god, where to start? Perhaps the spaceships, looking like they've been built from objects the "artist" has found on his desk. Or the horrific city breaking all the laws of perspective. The terrible logo looking like it's been drawn by a 12 year old who has just discovered graffitti. Or worst of all, the two grim women in tights standing in thin air with the worlds worst hairdo. Mix it together and you have a cover so ugly the Sega Seal of Quality-logo looks like some nasty photoshopped parody.

08. STREET WARRIOR - Playstation 2
Phoenix makes the worlds worst PS2-games, and their cover designs match the crap they put on the disc. Street Warrior looks like some anti-steriod-campaign made with no budget. To tough guys in their tracksuit pants and overdimensioned boots posing with their dog. The worst part is that the designer probably thought the two goons looked tough. "I wanna be that guy, he looks tough, wow, Street Warrior, this sounds hardcore, gangsta shizzle fo sho!" you're thinking until you see the 7+ sign down in the corner. Doh!

07. ANIMAL SOCCER WORLD - Playstation 2
One more Phoenix-title for good measure. There is a Disney-movie called Bedknobs & Broomsticks where a modern witch travels to a cartoon island with some kids and they watch a football match between some animals. Animals that are 100% identical to the animals in this horrible travesty. Monkey goalie? Check. Lion captain? Check. It's such a shameless rip-off, it's not even funny. Except that bear having a good time with the pig at the bottom of the cover. Thank God the drawing isn't showing me what they are doing, I can only imagine what makes them so happy.

06. ICO - Playstation 2
American covers are big and ugly, and when it was time to launch the critically acclaimed videogame Ico in the U.S. they just as well gave the cover design to some fumbling idiot who didn't know what to do with it. The result? A cartoon of a stupid kid with a headband holding a stick. Unique art style? Screw it. Just put a drooling kid on the cover, it's a marginal artsy title that won't sell anyway. And they were right. Who in their right mind would buy this game based upon the cover? I'm sure Team Ico considered a new Pearl Harbour when they saw this cover.

Capcom are fast turning Resident Evil into a cash cow, in fact they did it from the very start. This edition of the first game was just released to get some quick cash from fans desperate for a sneak peek at Resident Evil 2. And the cover really shows how rushed this product is. Who is that ugly guy, and why does he look like someone just inserted a buttplug in him? His silly face makes us sick, he looks worse than most zombies in the game. And the lovely white outline against the black and yellow background is just the final evidence that this is something someone at Capcom or Virgin or whoever put together in 30 minutes just to meet a deadline.

Volleyball is a terribly boring sport, and it doesn't get any better if you paint it green and put the players on top of a computer chip. And it gets even worse if you place a giant guy looking like he is about to vomit in the background. And to top it all of we just put some lightning and stars even further back. That ought to show the punters how futuristic and modern our game is. Too bad it's about volleball.

03. BLOOD'N GUTS - Commodore 64
Here is the situation: - Hey, mer Prouducer. We need to hire an artist who can draw a cover for our kick ass gory sportsgame! - No worries, my kid brother is great at drawing. He can draw everyhing, I'll ask him to do it, we'll just give him a game for it and everything will be cool.
And that's how it went. One piece of horrible Manowar-inspired "art" was the result. Skillwise it reminds me of one of those drawings kids send in to kids television shows.

Homoerotic and strange. - One day you'll reach the stars, son, the coach says with his arm around his athlete, both of them crying. Rarely have we seen a cover so filled with emotion, aspiration and the need to tell a dramatic story that goes beyond the games genre. But you know, I don't really need all that emotion in a cover for a crap sportsgame. At least not when it looks like it's been ripped from some erotic fan-art for an obscure anime.

01. BOMBERMAN - Turbografx
A smorgaasbord of bad cover design, Hudsons series about the little bombloving guy in the helmet is handled with all the seriousness of Schindler's List when the game is converted to Turbografx. Forget about cute cartoon characters, we need realistic humans in big bulky suits. That fat guy in tha background is the worst, he looks so terrible, his wholw posture, his short arms. It's just bad bad bad. This cover totally fails to reveal what the game is about, it's just poor all over.