Personally, Collector’s Editions have always interested me. It was not until I had some disposable income that I was able to start collecting these editions. Over the past four years I have probably dropped a few thousand on CEs; some good, some bad, and some I am indifferent on. CEs of games are usually a version of game at launch that come with extra goodies. These can include art books, soundtracks, figures, and whatever other weird thing the company decides to throw in. A good collector’s edition generally strikes a balance between what items it offers, the quality of said items, and the cost of the entire thing. It should go without saying, these editions will cost more than the base game.
A Bad CE usually have a few things wrong with them. The first point is when it cost way too much compared to what they come with. No one wants to drop a large some of money for items they may not care about. This can lead to many places dropping the prices to the point where they are worth it, Final Fantasy X for example. The second point is when the focus of the edition is on something no one will care about. This can be something like a figure of character no one cares about or when one item gets more attention than others. And then Red Dead Redemption II. That one does not come with game. Why would you pick up a CE of a game that does not come with the game? Examples include:
- Dissidia Final Fantasy NT. Originally 190 dollars buyers will receive an 84-page art book, three cards to the Dissidia card game, an exclusive Steel book, a sound selection CD, the season pass, and a statue of the Warrior of Light. This edition put a bit too much focus on the statue while skimping out on everything else. The art book does not really contain much when it comes to developer notes or concept arts, instead just dedicating two pages to each character. One for the character’s standard outfit and the other page for the alternate outfit. The thing I hate the most here is the steel book. The base version of the game had three different versions of the steel book each with a specific set of Final Fantasy characters. Which one did the CE get? An exclusive one that only has the Warrior of Light and Golbez. Both characters are not doing anything interesting on the case, they are just standing there. The worst part is that it cannot be traded because it also doubles as the case for the CD.
- Red Dead Redemption II (2018): For 100 dollars the collector’s box comes with a bunch of awesome physical items. It does not come with the game though. That is kind of a deal breaker for me and many other people.
A Neutral CE is one that does not offer anything amazing but does still seems worth it in the end. These editions usually do not come with physical items to make up the cost difference. Instead it offers digital content such as season passes and usually a steel book with them. These editions are great for people who are going to buy all the digital content anyway. There are few of these editions that include other items instead of a season pass. Examples Include:
- Most Pokémon CEs are usually just a dual pack that comes with both games in the set. Usually included is code for something like 200 Pokéballs split up between both games. The one that was interesting is for the Let’s Go games. For 100 dollars you get a copy of either Let’s Go Pikachu or Eevee along with the Pokéball Plus controller. Purchasing both separately will cost 110 so saving an extra 10 dollars is nice. But there is nothing much else offered here.
To me, a good CE generally follows a good balance between the items it comes with, quality of said items, and how much it costs. Are the extra items worth the extra cost? Each person is bit different in what they like in a CE, so it is up to everyone. Personally, I am a huge fan of art books. Show me a good art book with developer notes and how designs changed over development. I will throw my wallet at it. But other people are bigger fans of collectibles that come with them. Others love the soundtracks/sound selections that can only be obtained through these. While others sometimes just love the box they come with. Everyone has their own reason for picking one up. Example Include:
- Xenoblade Chronicles 2. At 100 dollars this one is a little basic. The contents of the box include a sound selection CD containing twelve tracks, a steel book, and an art book. The sound selection and the steel book do not really mean much for me; the art book alone makes up the additional 40 dollars for me. Being a massive 220 pages hardbound, this book contains so many different things. This book contains hundreds of pages breaking down each element of the main characters and villains. It shows so many concept designs for the environments. Individual enemies have small section for them. This artbook goes so in-depth that even food that appears in game have their own section. Easily one CE I found to be well worth it.
- Octopath Traveler. For 100 dollars the Wayfarer’s Edition comes with a sound selection, A double sided map, a replica of the currency in game, and a book. Despite the book here only being 8 pages, it is a pop-up book. With one page dedicated to each character, this pop-up book sets the stage for the amazing journey each character has. While the sound selection CD is only 14 tracks; Octopath has one of the best orchestral sound tracks I have listened to. Great for studying or doing other tasks. This is one CE I find myself popping open quite a bit.
- Life is Strange: Before the Storm. At 40 dollars, this edition contains the complete season, the bonus episode, outfit packs, a 32-page art book, and a soundtrack. Picking up the physical versions of a point and click adventure game should be a given. The art book for this, while small, does contain quite a bit of content. While having a large focus on Chloe and Rachel, this art book shows a great amount of detail that went into Arcadia Bay during its design. I also love how the developers gathered a bunch of indie songs for its soundtrack. Each song feels perfect when it comes to this game and has created in interest in all these indie artists. Because of the low price point and decent content, this is one of the better CEs for someone getting a collection started.
Do bear in mind that all of these are following prices in USD. As well as prices at launch. Many of these prices have gone up since then due to being highly collectible. Everyone has their own reasons for purchasing a CE, to me these editions are like a piece of gaming history. When one of these editions are worth it, it shows how much of an impact specific games have on me.