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...of the CE.
"Lantern, I thought you weren't playing GW2, why do you have a CE?"
Never you mind that, my ecentricities are my own.
So, something I think I'll do regularly is review the Collector's offerings of various MMOs. I also have a pretty good selection of offline games that I may share my opinions on for you as well some time.
First off, I'm sure most of you have seen Felecia's unboxing video by now, but I can't stress enough how BIG this freaking thing is. All of my CEs are on display boxed, so packaging is very important to me. The box is nice, albeit plain, with a large window on front and top to display the cat-guy inside. Nothing special, but it is presentable.
First out of the box is the cat-guy statue, (Rylock?), not totally into the lore yet, but I think he is someone special. Like Malagus, not my first choice for a statue, but what do I know. Anyway, he is very well detailed and sculpted, has a nice removeable sword that I hope is obtainable in game for the players. HUGE. This thing is a beast (no pun intended). However, it's no Gentle Giant (TOR) or Kotobukiya (Arkham City), it's more in line with the DC Direct Batman from the DCUO CE, quality-wise. Not saying that is a bad thing, or that the quality is somehow poor, but I would have preferred a smaller, higher-quality offering.
After removing the statue, you find their version of the Steelcase. In this instance, what you have is a very nice, embossed, over-sized tin containing all of the other CE goodies. It doesn't seem to be a cheap offering, in that it is not flimsy and weak. The embossing is of the world map and really sets off the package. For those taking their CEs apart, this will make a fine display for your game, unlike most other CE offerings.
In the box, you have your game in a cardboard case, nothing special. There is a quick reference in the game case, and I assume that it is included in the regular editions as well. If it wasn't for the metal game case, this would be a bad thing for me, as I don't really like this style of disc casing.
Under the game is a soundtrack "selection". 8(?) tracks from the official soundtrack. Once upon a time, you could get the majority, if not all, of a game's soundtrack in the CE. Current trend for profit is to put a teaser in the CE and hope to sell the full version elsewhere (they even include a flyer to tell you about buying it). I haven't listened yet, but the track names are compelling and I likely will have a listen soon.
Beside that is the "making of" book. This is a rather interesting concept, as most CEs include an artbook and/or a making of DVD. Here, the two are combined. I've read through most of it, and I must say that I prefer this method to a DVD. I won't sit down and watch a DVD of your develpment, but I will read about it. The book is well made, includes some nice art and develpment insight, but it really should have been longer. I'd have given up anything else in this CE to have this book be twice as big as it turned out.
Aside regarding the book: after reading, it is apparent that Anet believed in their own hype that they were going to revoltionize the genre. At times they were so full of themselves it was almost sickening. I know a dev has to "toot the horn", but...... /shudder.
Last, but certainly not least, is the frame and it's prints. This is truely unique and really stands out. The frame really doesn't seem special: base-white, high-school wood-shop kinda thing, but the prints are astounding and the concept really got me. Though I may never be the type to display game artwork in my office, giving me the ability to do so is really cool. The prints are packaged up nicely with slip-sheets in between each one for protection; all contained in their own little binder. A nice addition that would be cool if it caught on.
I can't speak to the digital items, because I don't play and they are far from my list of cares in any CE.
As far as scoring goes:
The statue gets a 8.25. I'm loathe to compare it to other offerings, and base it's score on them, but I would have prefered something a bit smaller with a better build quality.
The steel case brings the packaging score up to 9.5. It's a large case, perfect for storing the items if you have the statue on display separately. The embossing really pulls the score up here, too. They could have taken the easy way out and saved money by just glossing their logo on the box, but they didn't.
The soundtrack gets an abysmal 6 at this point. Dont' tease me and try to get more money from me. Especially when I shell out this much money for a CE.
The book is an easy 8.75. I would have preferred more art and more develpoer comments. If you're going to go, go all out. The only thing worse than a small offering, is no offering. There is even a comment in the book that they didn't have room for all of the devs to take part. Make room. No excuses.
The prints/frame gets a 9.25 for concept alone. If the frame quality had been a bit better, I would have scored this a 10.
Fans of GW2, or fans of CEs should feel good about thier purchase here.
I want a mmorpg where people have gone through misery, have gone through school stuff and actually have had sex even. -sagil