24 Video Game Covers That Will Double Your Testosterone
Nothing catches a consumer's attention like wanton violence. It's why JC Penny employees are encouraged to get in one screwdriver fight with a customer every 30 minutes. It's also why the video game industry is constantly boxing its products in stupidly awesome pictures of mayhem. In fact, over the years there have been so many super tough video game boxes that I had to design an artificial intelligence just to sort through them all. Its name is the T.oughness R.ating C.omputer, and while I cheered it used its advanced toughness evaluation systems to select the 24 toughest of all time. Pussies may want to look at these with their eyes closed.
Barbarian: The Ultimate Warrior (Amiga, 1987)Men, if your woman is lucky, you just saved this to your desktop as future_sextape_cover.jpg.
Bad Cat (Amiga, 1987)Oh, damn. They mean really bad cat. They don't even make vests, headbands, and sunglasses for cats-- Bad Cat had to murder the world's coolest baby in order to get that outfit.
Cho Aniki (WonderSwan, 2000)Sometimes I see the things Japan does and I'm like, "Why does everyone talk about how weird these people are?" Those two in the back simply got nude and are using dance to express how they can't deal with how awesome this situation is.
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Blood 'N Guts: Ancient Barbarian Games (Commodore 64, 1986)
Contra Force (NES, 1992)The four guys from the Contra Force seems pretty tough, but there's no way any of them lived through this. SMITH is inches from a falling bomb, BEANS is literally standing in an explosion with a tank of napalm on his back, IRON is picking a gunfight with a helicopter, and BURNS is about to fall onto a kitchen knife. And speaking of, who the hell is kitchen knife guy? He's amazing! He's watching an entire air force drop bombs on four idiots and he's charging into it with a kitchen knife! For what? Is his restaurant serving blackened dumbass chunks today? Is he trying to impress a hot coroner? I really wish this game was about him.
Aaargh! (Apple IIgs, 1989)
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Dino City (SNES, 1992)It's all totally rad right now, but as soon as that dinosaur catches a glimpse of himself in a mirror, he is going to bite that little son of a bitch in half. To be honest, I'm not sure how this fruitloopery got on a toughest cover list. Those two are probably listening to the book on tape version of Jane Eyre. What I think happened was some kind of logic error in the T.oughness R.ating C.omputer that put the scoring system into an infinite loop when it detected a kid technically skateboarding on a dinosaur. That's the problem with robots-- any human would have taken one look at
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Ninja Cop (Famicom, 1989)This might make me sound like a clumsy lover, but this is the first time I've ever seen a ninja cop ejaculate.
Donkey Kong (Atari 2600, 1982)The first Donkey Kong was released on every video game system in every country and the cover of all of them featured an adorable cartoon ape flinging barrels at a maintenance man. But when they marketed it to Atari 2600 owners in the UK, they decided to make it this awesome picture of Hephaestus sharing a keg of beer with what is so obviously five gorilla vampires that merged to form one big one. Here, I'll put the two boxes next to each other.Look at the cover on the left-- what a whimsical adventure they're having! There's even a rainbow bar above Donkey's head to let everyone know that whatever he's planning to do with that woman, it won't involve anything worse than beating her to death. On the other hand, with the improved Donkey Kong cover on the right, you look at it and know that whatever happens next, it ends with someone or something getting fucked.
Ikari Warriors (Amstrad, 1986)That's a grenade going off on a man's mouth while there's a completely different grenade already in it. When you're this tough, it's the only way to shave your chest hair.
Drug Wars (Philips CDi, 1996)An out-of-work actor with a gun is always at his most dangerous when his blindfold is falling off. This is a game made entirely out of footage of real people by a company called American Laser Games. I think they called themselves that because the name
Rival Turf! (SNES, 1992)Gulp. We're sorry we disturbed your youth group's skit about drug safety, boys. We didn't know anyone was using the gym tonight. Please continue.
Space Pirates (3D0, 1994)From the makers of Drug Wars comes a game with an even less complicated title.
Ikari Warriors (Atari 2600, 1989)
Legendary Axe II (Turbo Grafx 16, 1990)When the cover of your video game is a picture of two guys high-fiving with battle axes, I've seen everything I need to see. Here is my money. The artist must have been worried about some other barbarian game stealing his kick ass idea, because he finished it before he even learned how to paint. I haven't seen anyone misunderstand anatomy and foreshortening this much since my middle school girlfriend let me go down on her.
Ikari III: The Rescue (NES, 1991)By the time they were in their third game, the Ikari Warriors might have become a little overconfident. They came to war straight from yoga. They didn't even bring weapons. The only thing they had time to pack for their trip to the wartorn jungle was a spin kick and a dance belt, and that suited them just fine. These guys are so tough that they can stay underwater and tenderly kiss long enough to fall in love 23 consecutive times. The Ikari Warriors men that can achieve orgasm simply by yelling at each other's nipples.
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Super Street Fighter II Turbo (Amiga CD32, 1996)Take a moment to really take in everything that's happening on this box. Cammie is doing kata surrounded by default-settinged Photoshop filters and an exploding city. T-Hawk is either sucking the souls of Blanka and Chun Li into some kind of Indian pouch, or they've learned how to kick so hard their feet are jet engines. Both scenarios are equally plausible and sweet. Emotions are being expressed in every direction from grim determination to demonic rage to Caribbean rapist. And to think that the artist's 7th grade art teacher gave him a C+ on this project.
Power Blade 2 (NES, 1992)This was all that was recovered from the combat journal of Captain Saver:
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X-Man (Atari 2600, 1983)X-Man might have the most descriptive box cover in the history of electronic entertainment. Teeth, scissors, and a crab chasing you through a maze to cut your dick off is exactly what this game is about. The T.oughness R.ating C.omputer included it because this guy is facing down one of the worst ways to die and laughing about it. This brave idiot has decided that if he's going to die a gruesome and insane death, he might as well do it from inside a slut, and we can only hope to have that kind of clarity in our final moments. Before X-Man, no one had done anything like that since Catherine the Great's horse.
Crack Down (Amiga, 1990)When there's an ape, a storm trooper, and Satan exploding right next to you, then whatever made you turn the other way has got to be utterly indescribable. And whatever it is, you'd have to be some incredible combination of Rambo and Steve McQueen to even shoot at it with your gun instead of your pee. Oh, wait. Holy shit.
International Karate + (CBM Amiga, 1988)This game was labeled "Ages 80 and Up" because it wanted to be sure you had lived a long and full life before it kicked your throat closed. Plus, if you got the IK+ box near a woman whose body could still menstruate, Steven Seagal would smell her weakness and charge. This box is so manly that when I asked my girl to carry it in her purse, I could see the universe ripple a little bit.
Two Crude Dudes (Sega Mega Drive, 1992)When the world lies in ruins, every t-shirt is a child's extra small. I thought this looked more like an ad for a private masseuse than a video game, but the T.oughness R.ating C.omputer pointed out that Two Crude Dudes
Warwolf (Famicom, 1991)
Wow, the werewolf prosthetic limb industry doesn't give a shit! And if it's this tough when a handless man turns into a werewolf, you don't even want to think about it when a guy in a wheelchair gets bitten.
In this great country of ours, we called WARWOLF "Werewolf: The Last Warrior," and this is no-bullshit how the American version ended:
America was saved and he got his hands back! Obviously not before he castrated himself, but I wouldn't worry about that. If lycanthropy works the same way in reverse, he should change back into a man and have a 9 foot sword growing out of his crotch.
Jim Power in Mutant Planet (Amiga, 1993)Jim Power lives in a place so horrible that its sky grew a face just so it could scream. When Jim Power comes across a star hobo dying of radiation poisoning in the trash, his reaction is to stop and flex. This guy looks tough even while he listens to you die. Almost suspiciously tough... hold on a second.Nice! Jim Power is the left Jean-Claude Van Damme from the Double Impact poster! That's the one without a shirt-- great choice, Jim!
Seanbaby invented being funny on the Internet at Seanbaby.com. You can follow him on Twitter and read his reviews of bad games in every issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly.For more of his Cracked hilarity, see 10 Toys from the 80s That Just Didn't Care, The 4 Most Irresponsible Sex Advice Books of All Time, and Your 3rd Grade Science Textbook As Written by Gary Busey.