I've been duped not once, not twice, but count it, three times into purchasing a "Collector's Edition" of a videogame that I was oh-so-eagerly anticipating. Okay, so the first time was a gift, but either way, someone dished out an additional $10-$20 for unnecessary merchandise and flare.
The culprit that serves as the inspiration for this piece is none other than the Collector's Edition of Dead Space 2, a game that I've been pining for nearly a year since it's first official announcement. Heck, I was there at my local GameStop on Monday at midnight for my copy-- 'cause I'm hardcore like that. Only, when I saw the size of the Collector's Edition (CE) box that evening, my heart practically sank. At around 7.5" tall and 5.5" wide and 2.5" deep, all I could think was "how the hell did my Plasma Cutter fit in that?" And that's when my buddy who works at GameStop pulled out his own copy to reveal the as-advertised plasma cutter replica, no larger then then the length of my hand from wrist to tip of the middle finger (and I have some of the smallest hands I've ever seen). Utter disappointment for this die-hard fan.
Funnily enough, I had told myself that the Resident Evil 5 CE was going to be the last one I ever purchased. I should have learned my lesson then...
So, why did I tell myself that I would never again dish out the additional money for a CE after purchasing the RE5 version? Well... pretty much the fact that all the extra stuff is just plain useless, and no matter how damn cool and appealing it sounds at the time there are usually one of two eventual realizations for the purchaser (from my personal experience).
1) The bonus content is poorly constructed, cheap, and easily broken.
2) If it happens to be "well-made," it's just going to end up on your bedroom shelf taking up space and collecting dust.
The case of RE5 exemplifies outcome number one. The RE5 CE which came with an assortment of interesting goodies, the majority of which turned out to be poorly constructed. The Chris Redfield mini-figure was horribly ugly, painted sloppy, and broke within 5 minutes of being unboxed. I accidentally dropped it (rather gently) onto carpeted floor. His knife fell off. I believe I tried some krazy glue, but it fell off my desk at some point and broke again. What about the sweet Tricell bag? The material was thin, and the inside was riddled with loose strings along all of the seams. It was an utter mess! My pens would always get tangled on the inside. There was also spare fabric hanging off the edge that I had to safety-pin in place otherwise it would flop around and get in my way constantly when opening and closing the bag (which could never be fastened in place with the buckles due to how oddly shaped the bag was). Nevertheless, I'm a sucker for representing RE, so I toted that bag with me for about two years... it made for a decent school bag on days when I only had one class, but it was never worth the $90 I paid for the CE...
A few of the other materials were a bit nicer. The BSAA badge is a nice keepsake that I've yet to use, but I've never worn that Africa-shaped "Kijuju" pendant. Dunno what Capcom was thinking there. I watched the making of documentary once, and probably could have found it somewhere on youtube.
In the end, the bulk of the package was the game and the bonus materials could have easily been done without.
Point number two is based mostly on observation. Modern Warfare 2 probably had one of the most ludicrously awesome Collector's Editions of all time. Night vision goggles. Thankfully I didn't buy them myself, but I knew several people at school who were uber excited to get their hands on them. About a month ago, I discovered that numerous people where attempting to sell their MW2 goggles on good ol' eBay.
http://shop.ebay.com/i.html?_nkw=modern+warfare+2+night+vision+goggles&_sacat=0&_odkw=modern+warfare+night+vision&_osacat=0&_trksid=p3286.c0.m270.l1311 This product fits in with expectation number two perfectly. It looks like a badass purchase at the time, and the consumers probably got a few fun moments with it during the first five minutes of unboxing. But really? Night vision goggles? I guess they might be fun to put on display, until you realize just how much damn space it's taking up and how dusty it's gotten over the past few months. Then it's placed back in the box and into the closet until a year later when it's placed into an online auction. I know it's not a personal experience of my own, just a generalized assumption. But the 10 MW2 goggles on eBay don't lie. Give in mind that these 10 are probably just a fraction that have been put up on eBay over the past year, and many people likely don't bother since they know it's hard to sell.
After my RE5 CE experience, that's when I told myself "No more Collector's Editions. The game is all that matters, dammit!" I should have remembered that let-down...
Enter Dead Space. I fall in love with the series, and EA is clever enough to cash in on it's popularity. I purchased the shitty DVD movie "Downfall" and eventually a Dead Space T-shirt. I eat up all the knowledge I can about the sequel when it was announced and immersed myself in the lore and universe of the series... sometime later, a CE is announced for Dead Space 2 and my initial response is that NONE of the content even interests me.
A replica plasma cutter? Meh, I could always make my own like others I've seen online.
DLC? Probably nothing spectacular.
Lithograph? I'd rather have an art book.
And yet, somehow, I ended up splurging $86.19 (with tax) on all that shit I didn't even want.
I remember making my pre-order, and this impulsive reaction just told me to get it. It was like... I almost had to prove just how big of a fan of Dead Space I really was. Which is just plain silly, since I obviously know how much I've obsessed over the arrival of this game.
I suppose all I hoped for was something worthwhile. I mean, this was DS2. All signs pointed to a phenomenal game backed by a phenomenal team. I put my faith in Visceral that they wouldn't sell their biggest fans a pile of crap. I was so very, very wrong.
Here's me "proudly" displaying my Plasma Cutter replica. I have tiny dwarf hands and I can only grip two fingers around the handle. I can't image a guy so much as being able to put their pointer finger on the trigger. The paint job also sucks and the quality is no better than a MacDonald's Happy Meal toy. And it didn't even come with batteries, which happen to be AAA. Who the frak has AAA batteries lying around? Certainly not me, so it looks like for the time being I can't even use it as an obnoxious, uncomfortable flashlight.
This is NOT a lithograph, it's a glorified post card. I was expecting a nice quality print on some heavy duty paper with a small cardboard matting around it. Uh no, not even close to my expectations. And yes, my fake enthusiasm is pretty ugly!
Well... I guess the box is cool. $90 for a really pretty box.
Isaac's not the only one suffering from dementia. Oh wait, that's regret I'm feeling.
The only nice addition turned out to be the DLC... but I honestly could have lived without it. I've got a red Unitology suit, but the irony is that I like the look of the "Advanced Suit" a lot better.
Overall, the DS2 CE falls into category one... the bonus material is cheap, forgettable, and certainly not worth the additional $20. I could have purchased a freakin' one-year-old used game for that price or even a brand new Greatest Hits title with that!
So, anyone else feel ripped off with a CE purchase that they've made? I'd be interested in hearing any other thoughts on the DS2 CE in particular.
Anyway, long story short... lesson learned. No matter who badly I'm fangirling over my next anticipated game release, I sure as hell won't be caving into the promises of another inevitable Collector's Edition. In the case of DS2, the plasma cutter will probably break before it even has time to collect dust...