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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