Box Art Brawl: Duel # 97 – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: Back From The Sewers

Image: Nintendo Life

Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening; welcome back to another edition of Box Art Brawl!

Looking back to last week, we put Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards to the test with two similar-ish boxes, save a different color scheme and some character placements. And, well, we at Nintendo Life Towers should probably stop trying to make predictions, as it was (again) a lot less close than we thought – Japan won the pink puffball’s latest fracas with 67% of the votes! And you can now go and experience the game on NSO if you have the expansion pack!

We should have really included the PAL box art here, too, even though it’s very similar to the North American one – just with a huge black border around the box and a lot more blue plaid on show. We’ll be sure to keep on top of that going forward, as we know some of you have been tallying up the results over the years! (In fact, we added “& Europe” into several previous articles and polls just to keep things 100% prim and proper.)

Anyway, on to this week! We’re going to be putting the heroes in a half shell under the microscope with the Game Boy game Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: Back from the Sewers. Amazingly, we’ve never done a Box Art Brawl for a turtles game before, so for such a momentous occasion, you’re probably thinking “why not one of the more famous ones?” Well, because it’s the game’s 30th anniversary here in Europe! There’s still plenty of time and opportunities to see the other TMNT games here – it’s the Year of the Turtle, after all. This week’s combatants are very different too, which means it should be a juicy one.

Be sure to cast your votes in the poll below; but first, let’s check out the box art designs themselves.

North America & Europe

TMNT II NA Box Art
Image: Konami

The turtles mean business in this one! The art on the North American and European boxes is pretty close to the original comic’s art style; they’ve got a bit of grit about them, and Michealangelo isn’t even taking the time to look at us! Oh, and we have to point out the logo here because we adore it – the four pairs of eyes peeping out from the sewer is a nice little touch. Donatello looks like he’s just made a hole in the wall, too. Yeah, these are turtles that you do not want to mess with.

There is one slight difference in the European box art – the title. The turtles were still known as the Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles in PAL regions back in those days. Remember that? That was a long time ago. Sigh.

Japan

TMNT II JP Box Art
Image: Konami

In contrast, Japan’s box art is anything but gritty. It’s colorful, it’s goofy, and and it’s fun. Simply known as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2, this is much closer to the 1987 cartoon series that many (including us) grew up with and loved. All four of the turtles are facing the front and all of them are riding on skateboards – Raphael and Michealangelo’s red and orange look a bit too similar here, though. Leonardo also is not practicing safety rules by having his dual katanas out. The muted blue city skyline here really makes the quartet pop. The only thing we do not really like about this one is the ‘2’ in the logo – it does not match the classic logo unlike the ‘II’ in the English box art.


We do not think you can go wrong this week regardless of what art you vote for – it might come down to whether you’re more attached to the comic books or the cartoon. Do not forget, this game will be included in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection when it launches later in the year, so you’ll get a chance to experience (or re-experience) a classic handheld beat ’em up soon.

And hey, happy 30th Back to the Sewers! We raise a slice of pizza to you!

Thanks for voting! We’ll see you next time for another round of the Box Art Brawl.

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