The impact of a boxart extends far beyond mere aesthetics; it can be the deciding factor in a game's success or failure. A well-crafted box art has the potential to deceive consumers into purchasing a subpar game. Conversely, poorly designed or misleading boxart might unfairly contribute to the game's unpopularity, as players may form prejudiced opinions based on initial impressions. Here are seven of the best boxarts for the PlayStation Portable (PSP).
PSP games with best boxarts
7. Space Invader Extreme
Space Invader Extreme stands out as one of the best games on the PSP’s library despite not boasting the most advanced graphics. This version serves as a remastered edition of a classic video game, and it doesn't require any extreme art overhaul.
The cover design is simple at its finest, resembling a pattern found in a knitting project. Whether it's a beanie or a sweater, the design looks fantastic. The art direction deserves commendation in its own right. What sets it apart is its clever use of the iconic "lining up" formation of the enemies in Space Invaders as the centerpiece of the cover, showcasing a clear understanding of its purpose. Most importantly, the game itself is enjoyable to play and serves as a perfect example of how to successfully remake a classic.
6. Hot Pixel
Hot Pixel is incredibly mediocre in all its facets except its Boxart, the American Boxart. The EU Boxart is, to be precise, ugly. At the time of PSP’s peak, chaotic covers with Transformers: Beast Wars type of 3D graphics were plentiful, but Atari went for a minimalist cover for this game.
The box art features a man on a cap inside a fire, this is on a white canvas. The “Hot Pixel'' font is not that great as compared to the overall package but the simple cover really gives it an appealing look.
As for the game, it is already mentioned that Hot Pixel is not a recommended game solely on its core gameplay. This is a collection of micro-games featuring pixelated art styles. The game is not that bad, it is also not as good as its box art either.
5. Brandish: The Dark Revenant
Now that we are discussing hot, Brandish has the exact definition of a hot box art. Unfortunately, Japan has it as it was the only territory that has a retail release of the game. Everywhere else, it’s a PlayStation Network download only. Nevertheless, the digital cover features the same art as the physical box art.
Now, about the cover itself, it exudes sensuality with its passionate all-red color scheme. Featuring a scantily-clad woman provocatively displaying her figure, especially from behind, it does embody temptation. Remarkably sultry, the cover manages to maintain a sense of tastefulness.
Turning attention to the game and away from that hotness, Brandish is a remake of the classic 90s action RPG. Despite its 2015 release on the PSP, it hasn't made its way to any modern platforms, which is peculiar. The game, although excellent, may face challenges with contemporary audiences and newcomers due to its archaic mechanics.
4. DJ Max Portable 3
No, not DJ Max Portable 1 and 2, the third game is what is going to be featured in the fourth slot. This rundown is not about objectifying women, where did you get that idea to begin with? Anyway, this is the opposite of Hot Pixel in terms of canvas. DJ Max Portable 3 is in black.
It is not just in black, it is in black and gold. The gold ring that houses the game’s logo is amazing. This is definitely a portion of a vinyl disc, with the gold ring being the label on the center hole.
DJ Max Portable 3 is a rhythm game, so it makes sense that the audio of this game is mind-blowing. Aside from that, the visuals are incredible. There is a replayability of these kinds of games, but since there is no way to add new music, the music just runs out.
3. Dungeon Siege: Throne of Agony
Dungeon Siege: Throne of Agony is another game that makes use of darkness and the color red to evoke this certain dread. Besides, the iconic gold Dungeon Siege font art is just stapled on top of the box art.
The Throne of Agony has this malevolent figure sitting on the throne. She has burning and bright eyes. The throne itself looks like it has legs: spider legs. It looks dreadful and dangerous, and somehow attractive.
The gameplay mechanics of Dungeon Siege: Throne of Agony closely resemble those found in other hack-and-slash RPGs, where a single button handles basic attacks. However, it introduces additional button combinations that execute a range of actions, from unleashing a high-damage attack to placing a healing beacon for both you and your follower. Notably, akin to its PC predecessors, the game incorporates a follower. Unlike other Dungeon Siege entries, this installment limits you to one follower, a practical adjustment considering the PSP's lower processing power and the limited screen size that could make managing a larger party challenging. With its enjoyable attack system, impressive special moves, and the inclusion of a follower.
2. Shepherd’s Crossing
The Japan box art is far superior to the USA box art, but we will feature the latter. It is still incredibly well done as it is only second to the Japanese version. The cover art looks like a cover of a children's book and that is what makes it so good. The simplicity, the lightheartedness, and the smiling animals will just make you relax.
As for the game itself, Shepherd's Crossing is a lesser-known PSP game and, for the lack of a better word, a lesser Harvest Moon. The game follows a traveler settling in a village dedicated to sheep farming. The gameplay involves trading crops and animals to improve your farm, with a focus on raising sheep. Despite some enjoyable elements like turn-based animal hunting, the overall experience is not that great as compared to its contemporaries.
“I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.”
- Joyce Kilmer, Trees
Certainly, much like the poem above, the cover of PoPoLoCrois, adorned with a grand tree, is truly enchanting. Amidst the splendor of this breathtaking tree illustration, it's easy to overlook the intricate details delicately woven into the cover. A slumbering figure beneath the tree, another individual discreetly hushing nearby, a whimsical creature hovering just beneath a tree branch, and the majestic presence of a flying dragon—all meticulously depicted and captivating to behold.
As for the game, PoPoLoCrois is an RPG that is both pleasant and engaging. Its narrative while starting slow unfolds a charming story. It evades the obvious JRPG trappings of ridiculous random encounters by having the ability to entirely avoid them. Just like its cover, the art direction of this game is its best feature.