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Old 09-20-2010, 04:01 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Black Box Games

Nintendo didn’t enforce specific box art trade dress for its licensees, or at least nothing beyond the inclusion of a little gold sticker to indicate that, yeah, this company’s publishing license is all paid up. Nevertheless, the system’s early years in particular saw a number of publishers gravitate toward common box designs: the Konami silver stripes, the Ultra black borders, the Capcom grid, etc. But none of these designs are more iconic, more quintessentially NES than Nintendo’s own 1985-86 releases.

Beautiful in their simplicity, Nintendo’s “black box” packages created a sense of unity while playing up the visual iconography of the games within. The black box style was perfect for the console’s early years, presenting a striking visual identity for the console’s key early releases while playing off the effective sprite design of Nintendo’s early game efforts.

Toastyfrog.com: Compendium of Useless Information : Games - G5-Black Box Games browse
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Old 09-20-2010, 04:25 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Black Box Games

I got the feeling that the 'black box' games were almost like the early Atari 2600 games; they seemed to put minimal effort into the creation and presentation in case the whole thing flopped.
The other thing was the 'Nintendo Vs.' games in the arcade - they felt like they were experimental somehow.
Perhaps it had to do with the fact that you had 8 - bit games competing with 16 - bit and higher games that made it seem experimental {in my opinion}.

Also, the 'little gold sticker' was a joke - it should have read 'Quality control inspected by #__' , because that seemed to be all it amounted to; they put their 'Seal of Quality' on LJN games - what does that tell you?
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