Final Fantasy XIII was an incredible game- there I said it. It divided fans and critics alike, but to be fair, I would bet my video game collection that a high percentage of the game’s detractors have never even played the game, let alone gave it enough time to grasp it’s complexities. The issue of whether the game was worthy of it’s place in the franchise is neither here nor there, I thought the game was fantastic and am really looking forward to what SquareEnix gives us with XIII-2.
Really the only thing that pisses me off about the game is that over here in North America we were deprived of the collector’s edition version of the game. Thus, I had to import my copy from the UK. Synopsis? Worth every penny. Let’s take a closer look, shall we?
The Collector’s Edition contains a sample soundtrack. three double sided lithographic prints, a hard cover art book, l’Cie tattoos, and of course the game itself. This is all contained in an over sized box. Although not nearly as extravagant as other collector’s editions in recent memory (BioShock 2 comes to mind), it is still a nice package of extras in itself. Let’s take a closer look:
Final Fantasy XIII Original Sound Selection:
The sample soundtrack includes 10 tracks hand picked by composer Masashi Hamauzu. The tracks span a good sampling of music from the game, including my personal favorite the main battle theme “Blinded by Light”. I was a huge fan of the music in Final Fantasy X, of which Hamauzu was co-composer, and this has nearly convinced me to picked up XIII’s full soundtrack.
There are 3 individual prints, and each is double sided. The prints are of each of the playable characters riding their eidolon in it’s gestalt mode. The prints are banded together with a nifty paper sash. These are high quality and suitable for framing… it’s just a shame they are 2 sided.
The markings that identify a l’Cie in Final Fantasy XIII make up a fairly critical part of the story, and it’s nice to see them referenced in some context with the Collector’s Edition. These are obviously only temporary and my version came with two (both identical).
The World of Final Fantasy XIII Hardcover Artbook
More of a sample art book, this little goody none-the-less delivers a nice glimpse into the character art and environments in Final Fantasy XIII.
The book is a nice compilation of the 13’s beautiful assets, however even having this volume I would still prefer to get a more expansive art book, as this mini version is missing such tidbits as detailed text and conceptual drawings.
Lastly there is the game itself. I am actually a big fan of the UK version’s manual cover. This would have even made a nice cover for the game itself.
Select retailers in the UK sold their pre-ordered copies of Final Fantasy 13 in a cardboard sleeve. The sleeve is primarily blue in color and features artwork used mostly in European and Austrailian marketing of the game. I managed to finally track one down, but as of the publishing date of this article I have not received it. I will amend this article when it finally comes, however.
Check back for Day Two of Final February this Friday!