A light going post for a change. Yes you heard me, a post void of the deep rooted queries of gaming life such as ďdo we have the right to call horses we ride in games dumb annoying glue wobblersĒ
I was having a conversation with a young man called Panzadolphin (who I also happen to share a podcast http://www.facebook.com/ScaryGranules?ref=hl with, because the courts deemed sharing so), about collector editions of games, whether some are worth the time and what types of goodies we prefer. In the last few years collector editions have gone a bit crazy. While undoubtedly awesome and if youíre a fan doubly so, games like Borderlands 2 and Call of Duty donít hold back when it comes to hard case goodie bags for gamers. Overall thereís little that can be said in a negative light about this, except for itís not as if theyíre given you anything for free, you pay a price, sometimes a hefty one for every aspect of a special edition purchase (rightfully so of course) and at the end of the day whether you buy it or not is a choice.
It would be easy to try and suggest that some games go overboard with their alternative editions of games in order to increase sales, thinking that to make up for game play cons toys and posters will suffice, but in fairness do you really think that Borderlands 2 needs to give shooter fans or fans of the first game any further incentive?
So while I thought about expanding this topic to discuss the merits and possible cons of collector editions, there arenít any. At least none that are justifiably Ďbadí per say. The only emotion of sadness or resentment you can have in this area is when you want to get a Collectors but canít afford it and thatís not really the marketing teams fault, though some pricing decisions are quite questionable.
For me if Iím investing money in a Collectors edition of a game it usually is based on two factors.
1)that I really want this version of the game and that comes from being really interested in the game itself. For example I obviously love Mass Effect so I want the Collectors Editions, but I am fond of Dishonoured and yet have no interest in anything other than the regular edition of the game.
2) The items included have to be something I am interested in. Personally I prefer the physical goodies, like figurines, nice leather bound books and nick nacks. I am all about those nicks Ďní nacks. Lately Iíve been interested equally in in-game items on console versions, but see until the recent year or two, being able to access downloaded in game items was pretty contrary due to awkward access if any to Xbox Live. So I would have a bunch of free gold trials, skins and multiplayer maps I could do nothing with for a while.
The list below are some of the collector editions of games I either own, like or think more effort could have put in to.
Best: Batman Arkham Asylum
This is the edition I got for the Xbox 360
But in the same manner as Mass Effect 3 special edition on PS3, the boxing was far more impressive on Playstation.
I keep the funky bat-wing symbol stand above my tv at home.
snap shot taken from Crime-Watch documentary <_<
Assassins Creed Brotherhood
The Assassins Creed series has a bittersweet ordeal, I find personally, that accompanies its special edition marketing. They all look really cool, contain interesting goodies and the packaging is really awesome. But there are too many options. Assassins Creed III alone offered too many choices, that if I could have afforded anything beyond the standard copy I would have difficulty picking based on aesthetics alone. Basically when it comes to this games series collectors sets I want them all. I only actually own the above image of Brotherhood. When I opened up I thought it was pretty fricking great. Whilst re-organising some games over the holidays, I looked through it again and found a renewed appreciation. The box contains a Ďsecret compartmentí where the game itself was kept. The leather book inside is interesting and beautifully craft as is the box itself, with itís soft cushiony lining.
Mass Effect Trilogy
In terms of packaging the first games collectorís editions was my favourite, mainly in terms of practicality. The tin case alone is pretty cool, but also durable. It keeps everything in itís place, stands up well and also hasnít snapped or bent out of shape. The third game box suffers from the glue being a crappy adhesive, my own particular copy peeled off and so it wouldnít contained the hardback art book and steel case within very well and so I had to whip out the super-glue. Which I only do for activities that require absolute darkness and a safe distance away from local authorities. The second game had a similar boxing situation but I havenít had any issues. Overall I found the second collector edition looked cooler, but if they all had of stuck with the similar 1st game tinned theme the set would look a lot nicer when assembled together and preserve the contents within a lot better.
I donít own any version of this game, not even the standard copy. I borrowed the game of someone smaller and weaker than me. But it seems to be a pretty sweet set, especially for people who are fans of the series. Big headed cutesy figures are usually appreciated by even the most cold hearted of people. Yes even you.
This is a pretty brilliant game and a lovely alternative edition. Thereís some nice little features and some DLC, plus the packaging looks like book. Though I would have suggested grooving the Ďpagesí slightly to make it more realistic. But thatís just me being fussy.
Note: Letdowns does not necessarily mean Ďbadí.
Halo 3: Limited Edition The black case was cool, the other parts were bleh. Bleh is the word Iím sticking with.
Now if youíre a fan of artwork relating to games, this is I suppose fine and dandy. To me the contents are a bit bland, but the box is quite nice. But not nice enough to shell out extra for.
Bah this is one of those games I was talking about where you canít reap anything without Xbox Live connection, also to give is a label such as Limited Collectors Edition is a stretch. The covers kinda nice and thatís about it. I think I still have this game, time to offload!
Alan Wake Oh donít get me wrong, itís still one of my favourite owned collectors, but have you seen how they packaged the actual game inside the box? Itís just a plain cover. Doesnít even say 360 on it. Kinda looks like a used PC cover.
Star Wars: Force Unleashed II
That big ass packaging for that one USB? Stahp!
Fan of the Fear series I am. Fan of having a figurine of a glowing pregnant psycho lady in my life? Nope. Who wants that and enough to spend extra money on it?!
Undecided: Alien Colonial Marines
This game hasnít come out yet, so itís not as easy to make harsh judgements. The image of the contents looks pretty sweet, though having a power-loader without Ripley is just dumb. I would ideally love to get this edition being a fan of the Alien series and given that Iíve been looking forward to this game for a while. I think the reason this is labelled as undecided is because I donít have it yet and it all seems a bit too good to be true. The packaging the load, the in game goodies are all pretty fun, but whether the physical items hold up require up close inspection. You guys remember that gun you got with Dead Space 2? Yup.
Also the 4 additional characters is cool, it depends purely on your tastes, but I donít really care about them. Vasquez is the bad-ass and Ripley is the Queen!
Oh who am I kidding it still looks sweet!
Any game where the needed controller for the game is considered the Collector part Steel Battalion, Tony Hawk ect. Reason this isnít in Letdown is because Iím not sure if they are technically even allowed to get away with being labelled as Collector Editions.
What about you guys Ė what is your favourite or least favourite collector edition of a game? Do you think that theyíre all overrated, worth the money or have some games gone too far and focused more on the busts and artwork postcards than they do the games themselves?