From one half the the legendary #TeamBuried comes Quark’s Corner, your weekly destination for my seething thoughts on trends in the video game world today!
After writing my magnum opus regarding The Last of Us I did what anyone does after completing an amazing game – sell it while it’s still hot! The money I got from trading what is arguably 2013’s Game of the Year was used to buy 2011’s Game of the Year, Duke Nukem Forever! You may ask “Quark, how do you not own this amazing game that redefined what it means to be next gen”? Well guys, I did buy the game back when it was new, but this time, I bought the “Balls of Steel” edition. Originally priced at a whopping $100, I bought this bad boy now for only $20! Oh, and when I say bad boy, I’m kidding. As a special edition, it’s horrendous. Yeah for $20 it’s great, but when it was $100 what were they thinking? All you got for $40 dollars more (remember $60 is the game itself obviously) is a bust of the Duke, a comic, two atomic die, two poker chips, a mini pack of playing cards, a foldable paper craft, a bent to hell nuclear decal, an art book, postcards and of course, a certificate of authenticity. My number was 132,381 – so if you have the same number, well, you got a fake. Seems like a lot of great stuff for the 20 bucks sure, but for the 130,000 people before me who spent the full $100 – insane. My purchase of the Duke Nukem “Balls of Steel Edition” brings up several topics about special editions.
Not so special editions
Back in 2011, I was at my local Best Buy when I saw the Halo Reach limited edition for $10 less than the standard edition. I had to do a triple take and I asked one of the workers why in the world it was cheaper. What she told me is true with a lot of these limited and special editions. She said, “We have a whole bunch in the back, more than the regular game and we literally can’t give them away“. That same edition I bought for $100 was being sold for $50 not even 6 months after the initial release. The same can be said about other limited editions. How about the Saints Row: The Third ’s Headphone Edition that was still sitting on shelves a whole year later, and people wonder why THQ went out of business. Because let’s get real, we buy the game for the game itself, do we really care about big purple headphones or Dr. Halsey’s journal? No, not at all. These are completely arbitrary items that aren’t even cool enough to display. What’s worse, is that some of these limited editions are so bad, the cases could break you’re game! I’m looking at you Halo 3 and Dead Rising 2. As a matter of fact, many of my limited editions are so lame, they’re sitting in a closet..
Go big or go home
However, there are some special editions that are must buys and are the only ones that should be manufactured. I’m talking about the ones that usually have an extremely limited run (Mass Effect 3 and Bioshock Infinite’s special editions come to mind). They are the ones that make you say, “I really wanted this game, so I spent an entire day’s pay on it”. Usually these at least have one item that was worth it, even if it really wasn’t monetarily worth it so to speak. Something like the Fallout 3 lunch box and the Halo 3 Master Chief Helmet are worth the arm and a leg, but it begs the question….
Do all games need special editions?
No, and especially not multiple versions. Does Watch Dogs, a brand new IP, need several special editions that will be sitting on the shelf a year down the road due to over production? Does every single game that comes out need one? No, but we are starting to see it more and more and it’s just being used to dry you of your funds. Too many special editions depreciate the word “special” and now they are simply becoming cliché. But I guess an Assassins Creed IV: Cliché Edition doesn’t exactly move units. Special editions, they’re a rotten crowd, but Infamous 2: Heroic Edition you’re worth the whole damn bunch put together.