Categorized | PS3

Rare Finds: A Look at Limited Edition Games for the PS3

There are games, and there are ‘the’ games. While most video game fans would be more than happy to get a regular copy of their favorite titles, die-hard collectors will certainly want to get their hands on some of the more impressive and proportionally pricier limited editions.

These special versions are named in a wide variety: limited editions, collector’s edition, director’s cut, gold edition, game of the year edition. Each release has its own extras and freebies –uniquely chosen by the publisher and developer of the game. To get a better understanding of what these freebies are and what the terms mean, here’s a quick reference guide that will get you started.

Game of the Year: now this is a label that you will see pretty often. These are not limited versions of the game. Instead, they are special re-release versions of an existing game that often includes plenty of valuable extras. DLC such as expansions, in-game items, extra characters, are often packed into the GotY versions of a game. But be wary, some versions are better than others. By default, games with the extra content included within the Blu-Ray disc (such as the Fallout 3 GotY) are more valuable than a GotY edition that comes with a special voucher for downloads (such as the Borderlands GotY edition). Do note that not all games use the GotY tag, some games use their own unique names; such as Dragon Age which uses the term Ultimate Edition.

Collector’s Edition, Limited Edition, Special Edition – now these are all used by various publishers, but they usually mean only one thing: it comes with plenty of extras. These specials usually include a bonus disc which contains an in-game soundtrack or additional media (such as a behind-the-scenes or developer interviews), an art book, posters, cards, and in many instances, very special items. These items can range from vinyl discs (Bioshock 2), to digital Pip-Boy clocks (Fallout 3: Special Edition Amazon bonus), to spiffy looking USB flash drives (Force Unleashed 2).

Speaking of which, there are “DLCs” and “Pre-Order Bonuses”. Now these are not always made part of special editions, but they do add some collectible extras for real fans. As in the example mentioned, ordering from Amazon (and many other stores, such as Gamestop) will often net players some exclusive freebies –and yes, there are some gamers who would order from various stores just to get the exclusive extras. Some require more than just ordering from a specific store, some extras will need you to pre-order (to sign up and pay for a game before it is launched).

The most common form of store-exclusive extras would be DLC or downloadable content. These are software add-ons to games that provide players with additional in-game content as opposed to something you can display on your shelf. For the most part, store exclusives that are physical objects are given more value since some DLC content are only timed exclusives (they may become available for everyone, at a price, much later on), and there is a very active online community for the sale and trading of pre-order bonus PSN redemption codes.

Steelbook editions are games that come in special cases. These metallic cases are manufactured by the Steelbook Company (which also creates special editions for movies, and other disc based media). These cases have a very solid feel and look quite impressive on a display shelf. However, PS3 owners should be aware that the inside clip that holds the manual on some games may be a little brittle, and Steelbook’s two-disc holder makes it hard for people to take the Blu-Ray discs out of the tray (so be wary when a special edition has multiple discs like Capcom’s Dead Rising 2: Zombrex Edition). Still, it is hard to deny that Steelbook editions of games are visually superior to regular releases.

As one might expect, these editions are often priced higher than regular versions of the game, after all, you are going to be paying for so much extra content. The real question is: do you want it? The answer to this question differs a lot from person to person. Some extras are quite practical while some are simply eye-candy for hard core fans. Getting them also means having to line up early in a store or making sure to get a pre-order slot. A good rule of thumb for an average gamer would be to stick only to special versions of your own favorite games, this makes all the effort, time and resources spent acquiring the game will be well spent.

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