The Good and Bad of Collector’s Editions
Collector’s Editions are becoming more and more of a normal thing with games these days. If something doesn’t get one, then they probably end up getting a pre-order bonus thrown in. Their contents are always expanding and some are actually quite unique while others look like they were thrown together last minute.
Figurines, art books, soundtracks; it is all good stuff but presentation is key. It is what sets them apart from the rest of the games out there. Ranging close to 1.5x the price of the game itself, are these so called Collector’s Editions worth collecting though? We take a look at both the usual and unique items in Collector’s Editions and whether they are deemed fit to be worthy of their name…
Street Fighter IV, Resistance 2, Resident Evil 5; they all include an exclusive figurine in their packaging. This is one of the big items of Collector’s Editions. Fans are always proud to show their pride in a game and what better way than to have a figure of the main character standing tall for display? The fact that it is not something that comes either on paper or a disc makes it even more enticing. Figurines are definitely something to pack in as they will always be a big hit.
Art Books can be a double-edged sword depending on how they are presented. On one hand, they can be creatively put together and feature a great set of high resolution screen shots and are worth displaying in public for all to see. On the other hand, presenting an art “book” in the form of a still gallery on a disc is a big no-no. Digital media is nice for its size and portability but when it comes to Collector’s Editions, I want something physical. With the Internet, I can just view and save any screenshot. There is nothing that separates it from what is included on the disk. If it’s in print, you get a greater sense of awe as you flip through each page and gawk at the glossy pictures before you. You can actually tell that effort was made when creating the book.
Do people really watch these? If you do, why would you pay extra when this is something that either should be bonus content on the disc to begin with or featured online for free? Either way, paying more for a look at the creation of a game is ridiculous. Many times these features only run a few minutes so there isn’t even much for you to watch in the first place.
Soundtracks depend entirely on the game. If it has a disappointing score, then why would you want to have it on a CD? Games such as Devil May Cry 4 and Metal Gear Solid 4 have excellent soundtracks and having that in physical form would be great. If there is no soundtrack included, it’s not that big a deal. There is always YouTube to listen to your favorite in-game music.
The way the game is packaged comes in all shapes and sizes. Some games do this well by putting the game in a nice metal tin or lunchbox, as is the case with Fallout 3. While that can throw off your game display if you’re one of those types who like to keep everything looking sharp and organized, they are definitely eye-catching. Other Collector’s Editions don’t really change the case at all, piling everything into a bigger box with the same cover art and everything. The same goes for the ones that simply feature a plastic sleeve over the normal edition.
Other Unique Additions
There have been loads of other, rather unique, additions to Collector’s Editions. Usually this falls into the category of in-game items. Saints Row 2 includes a money clip and bullet flash drive. Resident Evil 5 will have a Tri-Cell messenger bag. This is the chance to be creative with the game and is usually what draws people towards Collector’s Editions. We’ve all seen figures and art books before but what about a Kijuju-inspired Pendant?
So let’s recap here. The stuff we want to see in Collector’s Editions include figure, art books, and whatever other unique ideas its creators can come up with. The digital media such as “making-of” videos, photo galleries, and soundtracks, are things that should be left out or at least not a key selling point for the product (I have yet to actually view the bonus disc that came in the Prince of Persia Collector’s Edition).
CE’s are continuously becoming bigger and better and we can’t wait to see what cool items are in store for us in the future, but what do you want in return for your extra investment? Tell us in the comments…