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The Stranger Side of Special Editions
Gamers are passionate people. We love our games, and a lot of us tend to latch on to certain franchises that appeal to us the most.
That being said, it’s no surprise that publishers want to capitalize on a fan’s love of the franchise by offering incentives to the hardcore for spending a few dollars more than the standard MSRP of $59.99 for new games.
Usually called “special” or “collector’s” editions, these packs offer a fairly standard number of perks to consumers, including single-player mission DLC, character skins, multiplayer maps, art books, soundtracks, Avatar themes, and bonus content DVDs.
But sometimes, there are those who take things to a peculiar new level in their effort to draw in the dollars. Here’s a list of some of the more creative special edition perks in recent memory, ranging from interesting to flat-out weird.
Catherine: Love Deluxe Edition (7/6/2011)
Developer: Atlus Games
Catherine, Atlus Games’ bizarre action-puzzler, received an equally-as-bizarre limited edition release. Dubbed the “Love Deluxe Edition”, the pack included the game, soundtrack, art book, an “Empty Hearts” t-shirt worn by Catherine, a full-sized pillowcase featuring Catherine in lingerie, a pizza box (no real pizza inside, sorry) from the Stray Sheep restaurant frequented by the main character and his friends, and a pair of polka dot boxer shorts worn by protagonist Vincent during his block-tower-climbing nightmares. There’s no word on whether or not wearing the boxers actually place you in said nightmares.
Little Big Planet 2 Collector’s Edition (1/18/2011)
Developer: Media Molecule
Sackboy’s second installment on the PS3 not only gave us the chance to act as amateur developers and design our own custom-created levels and games, but also offered fans a collector’s edition upon release with a game disc, 11 DLC Sackboy costumes featuring those of Disney and PlayStation characters, and themed PSN avatars. But I ask you, what LBP2 collector’s edition is complete without your own custom book ends to organize your game collection and a 7” Sackboy plush to cuddle with while gaming?
Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword Gold Remote Bundle (11/20/2011)
Fans of Nintendo’s iconic Legend of Zelda series were offered a collector’s edition with the 2011 release Skyward Sword, complete with an orchestral soundtrack, copy of the game, and a (not solid)gold Wii remote Plus with a Triforce symbol accessory.
Of course, the only thing cooler than that would have been a master sword replica, but I’m not picky.
Fallout 3 Survival Edition (10/28/2008)
Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
Fallout 3: Survival Edition gave fans of the Doomsday RPG a making of DVD, art book, manual, game disc, a Vault-Tec lunchbox to make all the kids at school jealous, and a 5” Vault Boy bobblehead. The most exclusive pack, however, featured everything here plus a Pip Boy 3000 replica that acted as a digital clock. While cool in idea, the clock ultimately received mixed reviews, many claiming that the manufacturing was shoddy. It was only available for purchase through Amazon.com.
Resistance 3 Survivor Edition (11/6/2011)
Developer: Insomniac Games
Probably the largest collection of gear on this list, the fun simply did not stop with the Resistance 3 Survivor Edition. Sounding like the features of a made-for-TV ad, the edition contained a litany of bonus items. Along with Nathan Hale and SRPA Black Ops soldier skins, fans could read about Chimera and humans from protagonist Capelli’s replica journal, confuse hunters and sportsmen by taking aim at a Chimera firing target at the range, and carry a handy SRPA hip flask for beverages on the go. Still not satisfied? You can also spend your non-gaming free time by playing a game with the SRPA deck of cards, or re-enact your favorite moments from the game using Chimera and human toy soldier figurines. All of this could be easily toted, of course, in your replica canvas satchel similar to the one carried in-game by Capelli himself.
Probably the most impressive Resistance 3 item, however, was only available as a pre-order bonus from GameStop: A replica Chimera tooth necklace sure to wow the ladies (or guys) on any night out.
Infamous 2 Hero Edition (5/7/2011)
SuckerPunch’s epic PS3 exclusive Infamous 2 was released with its own “Hero Edition” bundle. With typical special edition ingredients like the game disc, soundtrack, mini-comic from DC, and a voucher for additional in-game content, the Hero Edition also provided fans with a 8.5” Cole statue to guard the stack of purchase orders on their desks and a replica of Cole’s sling pack to store your…whatever it is you store in a sling pack.
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves Fortune Hunter Edition (10/13/2009)
Developer: Naughty Dog Software
Fans of adventurer Nathan Drake were offered the Fortune Hunter Edition for the second installment in the series, Among Thieves.
Contained in the limited edition pack was the game disc, a collector case autographed by the developers at Naughty Dog, a collection of downloads for in-game content, and an exact replica of the Phurba Dagger (which doubles as a useful letter opener).
Halo 3 Legendary Edition (9/25/2007)
Developer: Bungie Software
With the third installment in the Master Chief’s epic saga, the special edition also came with two DVDs loaded with bonus Halo content, including cinematics from 1 and 2, Machinima’s Red vs. Blue, a behind-the-scenes look at Bungie, and a collection of Halo-based art.
No one can call themselves a true Halo fan, however, without a full-scale replica Spartan helmet like the one worn by the Master Chief himself.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Prestige Edition (10/10/2009)
Developer: Infinity Ward
The blockbuster FPS franchise is no stranger to odd inclusions in their special edition packs. Upon its release in 2009, Infinity Ward’s Modern Warfare 2 came complete with the game disc, a steel book with a metallic finish, multiplayer add-ons, an art book, game manual, a token to download the original Call of Duty, and a pair of real night-vision goggles for all your nighttime-based military mission pleasure.
Call of Duty: Black Ops Prestige Edition (11/9/2010)
Not to be outdone by its sister game Modern Warfare 2, Treyarch’s Black Ops gave us the game’s Hardened Edition, a collector’s medal, 4 extra co-op maps not included in standard copies of the game, and a fully functional RC-XD remote control surveillance car with audio and video capabilities that allow you to spy on anyone in the house.
And as a side note, the commercial (link posted above) for the COD: Black Ops Prestige Edition looks like a hardcore version of a 90’s Saturday morning RC-car commercial. All it’s missing is a chorus of “Wow!” from overly-excited kids.
Resident Evil 6 Platinum Edition (10/2/2012)
Probably the most outrageous on this list, the limited edition release for the upcoming Resident Evil 6 offers gamers the game disc, 4 phone cases featuring all three of the main characters and a “special secret case” (please be a zombie), and the chance to feel like a zombie boss by donning a leather jacket replica of the one Leon S. Kennedy wears in the game. Limited to only 500, the edition has only been made available through the Japanese Capcom e-store, and will set you back a whopping $1300.