Special Edition Unboxed – Final Fantasy XIII: Collector’s Edition
No, this isn’t a dream; Final Fantasy XIII is finally here! To celebrate, we’re taking a look at the Collector’s Edition, which is chock-full of Final Fantasy related goodies. As with Heavy Rain, this version of the game is exclusive to the PAL region, but fortunately is available from a variety of retailers in each participating country.
In the UK, the cheapest we could find it for was £49.99 at hmv.com, although it is also available from GAME and Amazon among others. That’s about £10 more expensive than the standard edition, but it’s a small price to pay if you’re a fan of the Final Fantasy series or other JRPGs, because the extra content is excellent.
As you’d expect from Square Enix, the quality of the additional content is outstanding. It’s all neatly packaged in a white cardboard box (see above), and along with the game itself, includes an ‘Original Sound Selection’ CD, three collectible art prints, a ‘Brand of the l’Cie’ decal, and ‘The World of Final Fantasy XIII’ book. All of the content is exclusive to this edition of the game.
Let’s start with ‘The World of Final Fantasy XIII’ hardback book. It contains 56 pages with images of the many characters and environments found throughout the game. The images are of high quality and act as a real showcase for Square Enix’s talent as developers. Similarly, the quality of the book itself is first-rate, so there’s no need to worry about it falling apart after you’ve only flicked through it once.
Next, there’s the ‘Original Sound Selection’ CD, which is a collection of 10 tracks from the game (totalling nearly 30 minutes of music), selected by the composer of the score, Masashi Hamauzu. He also contributes a written commentary on each track, highlighting his inspiration when writing them. One thing all Final Fantasy games have in common is a stellar soundtrack, and there’s certainly no exception here.
This edition also includes a decal of the ‘Brand of the l’Cie’, the sinister symbol that plays a major part in the game’s story. Each l’Cie is inexplicably branded with this symbol, and it is therefore treated with great fear by the residents of Cocoon. We don’t know how many people will actually use the decal, but it’s good to see it here anyway.
And finally, there’s the three exclusive art prints. These are highly collectible (it is a Collector’s Edition after all), and show each of the six main characters and their respective Eidolons in their transformed states. Lightning and Odin, Snow and Shiva, and Sazh and Brynhildr are on one side of each print, and Vanille and Hecatoncheir, Hope and Alexander, and Fang and Bahamut are on the other. Like the art book, these are of an exceptional quality and successfully highlight the game’s incredible visuals.
It’s also worth mentioning that those consumers who pre-ordered Final Fantasy XIII from GAME get the added bonus of seven exclusive postcards, which come in a Final Fantasy XIII-labelled envelope.
Fans of Final Fantasy and Square Enix would be crazy to not at least consider getting the Collector’s Edition of Final Fantasy XIII. Square Enix have clearly done their utmost to present users with the best content possible. The extra £10 is definitely a fair deal, although much more than that is arguably getting slightly expensive for anyone who isn’t a hardcore fan of the series. However, overall this edition is very well done, and is not to be missed if you happen to fall into this category, and is worth a look even if you don’t.
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