I was sitting here in front of the keyboard just staring into space, not sure what to write about. I wasn’t having trouble coming up with an idea, but the problem was elaborating on the idea. I took a look inside my cabinet for some inspiration and started admiring the box art for all my games.
There were simple ones that gave me a feeling of nostalgia, like Super Mario World. There were ones that really well done and I just couldn’t help but admire, like the reverse image of “Enter the Gungeon”. Finally, there were the GameStop boxes. These cases are really only cases in name and not so much in functionality when compared to the original—these GameStop cases seem even worse. With the case, you get a pretty generic piece of GameStop cover art, that says the name of the game with what ever title you bought it for. Up until a couple of years ago, my collection was littered with those cases and cover art. At that point I decided that these games had to look as good as possible.
To me, if you’re going to have a physical collection, you want everything to display nicely. It doesn’t have to look like the original, but having your games in a nice case with the correct cover art always feels good. I needed to remedy my situation. With the help of Google, I was able to find a website called The Cover Project and man, did these guys take the guess work out of everything. Full resolution scans, the overlay for the system information if you wanted to make custom box art, sizes to cut things, where to get cases and more. It was really awesome how nice every one was. I had a halfway decent photo printer so I decided to buy some nice paper and give this a shot
So after a few failed tests and printing on the wrong side of the photo paper, I finally got a decent print out. It doesn’t look perfect when compared to an original but I also don’t have a commercial printer so I’ll take my wins where I can get them. Honestly, the thing I notice the most is I have some slight banding issues which is where a gradient (a gradual transition from one color to another) can look a a little blocky instead of smooth, creating different color bands. If you glanced at the case, you’d probably never notice but because I’m insane, I groan every time I see it. It’s out of my power and would cost too much to rectify so at least it’s better than a blank case.
The harder thing to do is to track down original cases or nice reproductions. Older stuff like SNES, NES, Genesis,Game Boy have a decent amount of companies that will either make you a production box like the original, (this might be important to people who have NES or SNES games and want them to be in the cardboard boxes) or make you a clam shell case with custom cover art that reflects the game you chose. For newer things, like PS3 and up, it can be fairly difficult to find reproductions even though cases from the past two generations all have varying sizes and color. I was looking for some PS4 cases and found a nice deal on Ebay where I was able to get PS4 cases for $12 bucks. I can’t say I was super surprised that when I got them all, they all had some sort of holographic sports league sticker on them denoting that these cases all had sports games in them at some point. I’m sure the person probably sold them somewhere and then sold the cases separate. He also probably made more from the cases than he did the games.
Once I did the original batch I had, I slowed down on doing it, but almost every time I order something from GameStop, I always get at least one generic or banged up case. It’s an occasional hobby now, to see if I can get the case looking better than last time. Maybe different paper, or a different setting in the printer may help.
I’m curious about you guys though. What do you do? Does generic box art bother you? Do you fix it? Will you look for a complete box or try to print the art your self? Am I just a crazy person with nothing to do? Shoot me a message on Twitter @kimono_vestlord and let’s talk! I’d love to see what you do.