Looking towards the Weekend and LE Review Debut

Well, not too much of importance going on right now.  I’ve been playing through the first Battalion Wars throughout the week, choosing to stick to the action/strategy title throughout the work week and leave the slower-paced RPGs for the weekend.  I do have Monday off so I have a three day weekend which should give me plenty of time to finish what I have planned and maybe start something new.

At the moment, I’m aiming to complete the first Battalion Wars, Baten Kaitos, and Tales of Symphonia by the time I have to go back to work on Tuesday.  After that, I’ll continue playing through Battalion Wars 2 (I finished the first campaign before deciding to go back and finish the first) and maybe continue through some F.E.A.R. (I want to finish it so I can jump into F.E.A.R. Files).  However, I’m sure I won’t get too far into either of those titles as Metal Gear Solid 4 comes out on Thursday, which I’ll pick up after work and then plow through over my four-day weekend (I have next Friday and possibly Monday off).  I’ll see where I stand after that.

I still have my 4800 Microsoft Points in my account.  Since I have the points, I want to start playing through Oblivion again, which I put down after twenty-five or so game hours.  I’m pretty sure I’ll pick up every piece of content for it…yes, EVERY and let’s just leave it at that.

I’ve been reluctant to pick up Penny Arcade Adventures even though I’ve been wanting to play it for a while.  Maybe its because I expect a retail-disc version to be released containing all four Episodes for $50 or $60 for the 360, which I’d snatch up in a second.  Paying $20 a piece for four releases is just kinda pushing it a little.  Granted I’m not forced to get them all, which is one of the advantages of episodic gaming, but I’m sure I would want to play them all so its either get each one as they come out for $20 each, or wait and hope for a collection at $60.  I just may be willing to wait.

Speaking of which, Gabe and Tycho have been pushing Dungeons and Dragons 4th edition on the site recently.  While I’ve never played a proper game of Dungeons and Dragons before, I do have a 3.5 Edition Player’s Handbook and have played the D&D Miniatures game and currently collect the Icons series of Miniatures, which  are fairly large and impressive.  The Colossal Red Dragon stands about a foot and a half high with amazing detail in the sculpture.  Anyways, Gary Gygax, one of the original creators of Dungeons and Dragons died earlier this year and Penny Arcade gave him a respectful my link memorial in their own style.  I’m planning to order up a print of that comic, get it signed by Gabe and Tycho at Comic-Con this year and just keep it in my Player’s Handbook.   Hmmm  Amazon has the boxed set of D&D 4th Edition Rule Books for under $60 right now (normally $105)

Anyways, its time to debut my new feature:

Limited Edition Review

I was going to post just one review today, but as I was preparing to write this blog UPS showed up and dropped off something and since this is the debut and all, I figured I’d make this a double review to start the feature off.

Now, I wanted to start the feature on a high note so I decided to start with what I consider a good Limited/Collector’s Edition.  It is by no means the best, but I think its good and probably hasn’t had the press some of the more recent ones have had so I thought it made a good choice.  Anyways, now presenting:

Robotech: Battlecry Collector’s Edition

Robotech Battlecry

First off, let’s list the contents of this bugger:

  • The game: Robotech: Battlecry (of course)
  • Soundtrack CD
  • Lenticular Art
  • Concept Art
  • T-Shirt
  • Numbered Dog Tag

And now let’s take a look at each one individually:
The Game:  Nothing too much can be said here.  Its the standard copy of the game.  Like it, love it, hate it, its in here.  No alternate artwork or anything.
Soundtrack CD:  I haven’t opened this myself and once again its a bit subjective.  If you like the music from the game, then I guess its great to have, if not, then you probably don’t care.  Either way, I’m a fan of soundtracks so I’m glad it was included.  Also,  the soundtrack comes in a jewel case like any music CD you would go out and buy as opposed to being included in the game case or in a cardboard sleeve.  This fact earns it a few extra points with me.
Lenticular Art: Eh.  Nothing too impressive here.  Its just a postcard-sized moving image of the Veritech Fighter.  Nothing Much to say about it.
Concept Art: Including concept art in a game is nothing new.  Many game include it as an unlockable and Limted and Collector’s editions often include an art book.  Robotech includes it here on a series of five post cards in a small envelope (along with the lenticular art).  While I can’t say I was impressed with the amount of art you are given, I at least applaud the presentation and the fact that they did something different.  If they had made it a little dossier or something, I would’ve been impressed.
T-Shirt: Normally I wouldn’t look at a t-shirt twice.  Yes I love a good gaming T and most of mine I leave unworn, instead keeping them as little collector pieces and the shirt included here is no different in that respect.  What sets this shirt apart however, is the way its presented.  Yeah a neatly folded shirt is nice and all, but here they vacuum packed it into a disk-like shape around the RDF-Logo.  At first I couldn’t imagine it was the shirt because the thing is packed in so tighly that its pretty much solid.  I haven’t had the heart to unseal it yet.  I just think it looks cool in that disk shape.
Numbered Dog Tag: This Collector’s Edition also happens to be a Numbered Limited Edition according to the box.  They chose to number the game with a nice dog tag (mine is number 25,884).  Unfotunately it doesn’t say of how many, but if mine is any indication, then there are quite a few out there.
Overall, I like this Collector’s Edition even though many of the items included aren’t all that interesting.  This is a case of the thing being more than the sum of its parts as much of what it includes isn’t of the typical Collector’s edition fare.  I was impressed with the shirt and included a soundtrack, which is always a plus as far as I’m concerned.  The dog tag was also nice and the artwork is decent.  Everything is presented well, which goes some way as far as I’m concerned.
Of course this all depends on how much you paid for it.  After some research, I discovered that the reatail price at launch was $79.99 which you might be able to stomach if you’re a big Robotech fan and really enjoyed the game, but I couldn’t see myself paying that much and fortunately I didn’t.  If memory serves correctly, I bought it for around $25 on eBay a few years ago, which sits pretty well with me.  As of right now, I cannot find any copies of this edition on eBay.
Next up:

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots Collector’s Edition Guide

MGS4 Guide

 

This is what UPS just dropped off a few minutes ago. I’ve taken some time to thumb through it but haven’t read it in depth, mostly because I want to avoid spoilers. Still, I’ve seen enough to give the guide a good review on what it includes. Anyways, here’s the list of features for the Collector’s edition:

  • Hardback
  • Numbered Lithograph
  • Solid Snake Art chapter

I’m going to skip the item-by-item just because they’re pretty much self-explanatory, athough I will make mention of them during my analysis.

Prima’s guide is pretty simple really. Its basically just the guide in hardcover with the lithograph and an extra chapter. The lithograph itself is nice. Its printed on textured paper as opposed to the run-of the mill glossy stuff and thus can almost pass off as an original drawing. The lithograph is also numbered on the back (mine is 40,728/43,000). The art chapter is nice to have but at only 16-pages it feels a bit short. The description of the chapter on the back says it includes a selection of the best art from the series but it lacks MGS3 completely.

As far as strategy guides go, it is fairly complete, although to avoid spoilers, I didn’t read too much of what was there. Surprisingly, the walkthrough itself only takes up like 75 of the 200 pages. Aside from that, it includes a How to Play section that basically runs through the various aspects of the game with you. Inventory covers weapons and items. There is a chapter on Metal Gear Online that describes the game-types, gameplay tips, and map layouts. The Extras chapter includes Emblem unlock requirements (similar to the end-game ranking in previous MGS titles), descriptions of secret weapons and items, but more interestingly it includes a Synopsis of the Metal Gear storyline beginning with Metal Gear Solid 3 (the first game chronologically) and ending with MGS4 (the last chronologically). Immediately following the synopsis is a list of character biographies covering every major character in the seires and includes images of them from each Metal Gear Solid game they appeared in (no pixel art for those of you hoping for it) and uses images from the Twin Snakes for the characters’ MGS appearance.

The guide retails for $29.99, which is $10 more than the regular edition. At that price I would be on the fence and probably begrudgingly buy it. Fortunately, I didn’t pay that price. It is currently available at Gamestop.com for $19.99 (online price only, apparently. Also you can get another 10% off with an EDGE card) plus shipping and maybe tax and on Amazon.com for 22.79 with free shipping if your order totals over $25. They both say pre-order ships 6/12 so why I got mine now, I don’t know but I’m not complaining. Anyways, at the online prices this is an easy buy. As a hardcover, the book looks very nice. The lithograph is well done and the art chapter, while brief is nice to have. On Gamestop.com the guide is only $6 more than the regular guide (which they’re selling at $13.99 online) and on Amazon its $7.20 more expensive than the regular guide (which they’re selling for $15.59)

Those are my debut CE/LE reviews. I’ll iron out the kinks as I go. Sometime later, I plan on buying another tab and archiving all the LE Reviews there for quick access.