Art Appreciation: Street Fighter II’: Special Champion Edition on Sega Genesis

I swear I’ve totally owned other video game consoles over the course of my life, but apparently none of them were quite as 90s Cool as the Sega Genesis.

Anyways.

Just like I did last November when I appreciated the box art for Double Dragon II: The Revenge, today we’re going to take a look at the box art for the US release of Street Fighter II’: Special Champion Edition on the Sega Genesis.

NOTHING ELSE on the Sega Genesis had a box like this:

I mean, sure, there were covers with gorgeous paintings representing the characters in hyperrealistic style — I can’t deny Julie Bells’ gorgeous art for Golden Axe II, Splatterhouse 3, or Strider Returns, but none of those are as dynamic as this.

Plenty of Genesis games had boxes that depicted action like SF2: SCE, but weren’t nearly as technically well painted.

There were covers that had the characters breaking the boundaries of the border like this. But nothing else had that teal/black dressing.

Hm, maybe I should do a gallery post of a bunch of cool Sega Genesis box arts, ‘cuz now that I’m thinking about it, there’s a bunch of really cool ones out there.

But!

Nothing that I can recall was this gorgeous AND this action-packed. This box just SCREAMS excitement.

And hey, the Mega Drive version had that cool “official” painting of Ryu and Bison; I actually used to have this poster back when I was a kid.

Below are the European release, followed by the Japanese release. They use the same art, but different trade dressing:

Random fact! In Japan, Street Fighter II Champion Edition is just called Street Fighter II’, and that apostrophe is pronounced, “Dash.” So the JP version of this game is “Street Fighter II Dash Plus.”

Anyways. I really love the box for the US release of this game, and it’s one of the few that I made sure to keep when I cleared out most of my Genesis games.

Hey, what are some of YOUR favorite Sega Genesis box arts? Let me know in the comments. Maybe I’ll take a look at them in the future!


UPDATE: I posted this on Friday, 17 September 2021. Just two days later on Sunday 19 September 2021, the artist of the Bison/Guile piece for the US release, Mick McGinty, passed away from cancer.

McGinty also did the box art for the SNES releases of Street Fighter II, Street Fighter II Turbo, and the SNES/Genesis shared cover for Super Street Fighter II, as well as boxes for other classic games such as Streets of Rage 2 and 3.

I’m glad I got to highlight his work just before his passing. Rest in Peace, Mr. McGinty, and thank you for your contributions to the art world.