While I realize this wasn't the origin if this phenomenon, due to it being the best well-known and perhaps silliest example, I think we should dub this Angry Kirby Syndrome.Steven wrote: Bubsy was trying way too hard to be cool. Sonic was kind of cool, at least in Japan. In the USA a lot of his art made him look like he was trying a little bit too hard to be cool, but it still wasn't too much, I think.
In the US, perhaps the west in general but I'm not sure of that, Kirby games usually got their box art subtly changed so that Kirby looks angry instead of cute, not that Kirby can not look cute anyway.
And I think that was the same for Sonic; the Japanese art made him look more cute and fun while he had more of that smirky attitude in the western art.
Rocket Knight Adventures was the same way; the Japan Megadrive game had him smiling while he had that determined smirk on the US art. I might misremember, but was there some of the in-game art changed too? I also can't remember if Sparkster had similar changes.
I don't recall any changes in the Crash Bandicoot games, but Sony ran ads in the Japanese magazines with a guy in a Crash suit, and it was a much cuter style than the counterpart they used in US advertising.
And then there's Ratchet's bushy eyebrows in the Japanese Ratchet and Clank games. Did that finally go away with the PS5 game? Maybe the PS4 one too?
Funny bit about R&C on PS3: Those eyebrows are a console region-specific thing. With PS3 (and probably PS4 and PS5), if you take a Japanese console and set the region to US and language to English, it still is not identical to an US console; the O/X behavior is still the Japan standard, and some of the warning type screens the console generates will still be in Japanese rather than English. And Ratchet's eyebrows will be bushy, even if you are playing a western release of any of the games. I know this from experience as I have a Japan console but UK versions of all the games. I still get the bushy eyebrows.