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Lamentations of a Limited Edition (Or How Gears 2 Burned Me)

Some 2 and more years ago, I was sitting in this very work chair, shuddering with excitement. It was E-Day - November 7th, 2008, and I was ready to tear through Locust upon Locust with a Lancer chainsaw. The videos, screenshots, the overall GAR of it all - Gears of War 2 was my Call of Duty. The Call? To shoot aliens in the face (like I hadn't done that already with Halo). Hell, back when I was with GameSpot (shudder), I made a very...ummm...what do the kids call it nowadays? "Fanboyish" post on their Gears launch center. I'll never forget it -

"If you have an 360, but don't have Gears, than it's not a real 360."

Fun times, eh? Come to think of it, it's actually a sort "reverse fanboy" thing to say, as if to call down other folks of the same craft. Anyway...

I took my walk up to the mall from work after I got off the clock. Feeling the heavy shackles of the doldrum that is the Library release from me, I felt like "...a new man, fit and lean" (Tycho, Penny Arcade). I waltzed into the GameStop, said a hearty thank you to the gentleman at the counter, and sat at the bus stop eager to go home. In my hand was an admittedly gorgeous box. A used Lancer shined as it wrapped around the blood-red cardboard, grime filling in many of the red spots. I couldn't take my eyes off of it - even after the bus picked me up, even after I had gotten back home. I snapped out of it long enough to part the waiting plastic folds.

Now admittedly, I did do research on what was going to be in this thing (hey, for $10 extra bones you'd be an idiot not to). Of course my excitement blinded me to what was an overall dull package. I had never played the first Gears, so I guess my reasoning behind dropping the extra was to make up for missing out on number One. Shame - that $10 could've gone towards, lo and behold, Gears 1.

So - what came in that package? When I cracked it open, there was the Steelbook case - which I liked, and still like. I end the sentence of win there because afterwards, it was a downhill slide of mediocrity. There was the Dom and Maria Keepsake photo (I still ask myself what the fuck was I supposed to do with that), the artbook, which was a compilation of screenshots one could easily find on the Net (though nice that it was hardcover) and some garish DLC that, frankly, kinda made you look like a tool (Gold Lancer). There was a DVD with some extra artwork and commentary, along with a making-of vid that I watched once and didn't bother with afterwards. It was, again, the type of stuff one could find with a quick online search.

I was disappointed. I tried to psych myself out the first few days of purchasing it, waltzing around with a blinged-out Lancer rifle, telling myself I did good. That I made out with a steal provided by the good folks at Epic. I finally realized my mistake afterwards, but didn't bother taking it back. Too much of a hassle, and it was already opened either way. I know it sounds like much griping on my end (and I do apologize), and that there have been worse offenders than this. However, I like to think that this event has taught me to pay attention to what I'm getting into when I buy LE's or SE's (even [insert wacky name] editions). I've managed to watch for a balance between price of admission and content, and thus saved myself from some ridiculous decisions.

In a final word to publishers - if you're going to do a Limited Edition, do what Aksys did with BlazBlue, and what EA is doing with Battlefield - give up the extra content at no added cost. Trust me, your game will still sell. And If you must put a price tag on it, make it worthwhile (please, no Keepsake photos).

Guys, guys! ...Do this.

Thanks for reading.
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About LegendPenguinone of us since 1:01 PM on 06.15.2009

Hello! LegendPenguin here! I've been lurking around DToid for years (seven) but my posts have been massively sporadic. Seeing great things happening here keeps pushing me to try harder to make more out of my time.
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