Sometimes the extra goodies provided offered by limited editions are genuinely compelling and are worth at least a look, even by casual fans of a franchise or license.
Mostly, though, limited and collector’s editions are totally unnecessary. They’re usually a means to simply get some extra cash out of the hardcore by luring them with some extra knick-knacks that would be of zero use to anyone else. Because it’s more fun to think about things to make fun of, this is the angle we’re taking.
So here we present you with several limited editions not worth a damn.
Batman: Arkham Asylum
This is by far our favorite game on the list. If not for Uncharted 2, we’re convinced that this would have been the runaway Game of the Year for 2009.
The Collector’s Edition seemed to be on the same track – some extra DLC, a 48-page journal, a behind-the-scenes DVD, and, best of all, a 14-inch replica batarang matching the one seen in-game. Unfortunately, the batarang ended up being a hunk of cheap plastic crap, with many people saying theirs were scratched. Eidos said that this was to give it a worn look, but the scratches only exposed the cheap white plastic underneath.
It’s almost as if Eidos went out of their way to balance out the vast amount of greatness pressed to the game disc, all while screwing people out of an extra $40. Isn’t that the kind of injustice that the Batman stands to fight against?
Several recent EA games
Battlefield Bad Company 2, Medal of Honor, NFS Hot Pursuit are all recipients of EA’s prestigious Limited Edition designation, which in this case means every single copy printed in the game’s first run.
It’s hard to justify complaining when the game is the same $60 you’d normally pay while offering you some extra DLC, throwing the term “Limited Edition” around so haphazardly causes it to lose any meaning, while in some instances causing confusion. For example, the upcoming Dead Space 2 also has one of these $60 Limited Editions coming, but it will also be accompanied by an $80 Collector’s Edition that includes an admittedly bitchin’ plasma cutter. If you ask anyone what the difference is, they’ll be hard-pressed to tell you without looking it up.
We imagine that EA does this to drive their games’ first-month sales up by enticing them to buy a new copy early, but it’s a confusing practice. We’re not so sure that they’ll be stopping anytime soon, though.
Street Fighter IV
I’ve personally sung this game’s praises before – I love the fact that it brought back the deceptively deep gameplay reminiscent of the Street Fighter II series that was lost with SFIII. But we can’t have a franchise reinvention without a gaudy collector’s edition, no can we?
In this case, Capcom whipped up what seemed like a pretty sweet deal for an extra $20 – a Blu-Ray featuring the anime Street Fighter IV: The Ties that Bind, along with a Ryu figurine. Unfortunately, the anime was a huge disappointment. The animation was shoddy, the plot was thin and uninteresting, and it was edited in such a way that little of it made sense. To top things off, the Ryu figurine is a microscopic 3 inches tall. If I didn’t know any better I would have thought that it came with my nephew’s Happy Meal.
Thankfully Capcom learned their lesson with Super Street Fighter IV by not only forgetting about a collector’s edition, but by selling the game at the value price of $40. Atta boys.
Prince of Persia (2008)
OK, so we only went one entry before complaining about a free limited edition. You’ll survive.
Ubisoft provided a couple of neat extras with this edition – an art book and the game’s soundtrack. In a weird turn, though, they put these things on a separate Blu-Ray. If you ever wanted to see the art or listen to the music, you’d have to boot up your PS3. Whatever the reasoning behind a soundtrack that you can’t listen to on your MP3 player or in your car may be, it’s lost on us.