By Mike “The Birdman”Dodd
One of the great things about video games in 2016 is that we are not stared for choice, be it digital or retailer exclusives or the “oh so collectable” collector’s editions. Collectors editions are the edition of the game that come with something beyond the regular boxed copy you’d pick up at the store and usually take up massive amounts of space in your house but look really damned cool.
The earliest collectors edition I can remember owning was “Robotech:Battlecry” for the original Xbox. The idea of owning something special really appealed to me and at the time I was huge into Robotech, it was an easy sell. I loved the idea of owning some special artwork and even more so by having something like wearable dog tags and a t shirt. It was something neat to feel like I had a part of the SDF-1 in my living room and I still have my dog tags today but the rest have been lost to moves, ex girlfriends and things just up an disappearing.
1) Call of duty: Black Ops 3 Juggernog edition
The last few years the CoD bug has bitten me, HARD and this year’s particular one got me into the store minute ONE the pre orders went live. The “Call of duty” franchise is known for some extreme collectors editions from remote control cars to flying drones and even night vision goggles but can it compete with a fully operational mini fridge?
No. The Juggernog collectors edition of Black Ops 3 came with a bunch of the usual stuff like season’s pass, some exclusive digital content and even weirder things like drink coasters and art work. The working mini fridge with authentic CoD zombies sounds is sold it for me. I loved the idea of having a little piece of CoD zombies in my house and having it filled with insane amounts of Mountain Dew and other energy drinks. This collector’s edition I felt was worth owning because who doesn’t love CoD zombies and better yet, it’s a fully functional mini fridge that also lights up and is actually useful when sitting in your living room or gaming set up. Highly recommend it if you are a Call of Duty player or fan of the franchise.
2) Aliens Colonial Marines
Now, before you stop reading this article out of disgust, hear me out. Aliens Colonial Marines is a terrible game to a mediocre game when it actually has its moments BUT it does have an amazingly well done collectors edition. Gearbox really did the fans of the Fox franchise something special when they picked up this multi console title both good and bad.
This special edition features digital content like you expect like the Ripley’s pulse rifle / flame thrower combo and even stuff that was briefly mentioned like the S.H.A.R.P. stick which was mentioned by Bill Paxton’s character Hudson. The things that really stick out with this edition are the physical goods and it starts with the wonderfully crafted statue. The Power loader is an iconic part of “Aliens” and one of sci fi’s more memorable vehicles and here it is depicted fighting off a Xenomorph drone and it looks amazingly cool and detailed. You also get a small in universe dossier and something neat you can wear, UNSC patches so you too can show your allegiance to ‘the corps and Weyland-Yutani.
3) Saints Row 4
This is singlehandly one of the stupidest and most amazing games to ever grace a console and I will fight anyone who disagrees with me. Developer Deep Silver has put together one of the WEIRDEST games ever and of course it deserves an equally screwed up collector’s edition that features a gun that shoots dub step…that’s right, it’s a gun that shoots wubs and sick bass beats. This collectors edition comes with an amazing amount of stuff to fill your shelves and life with.
The aforementioned “Dubstep gun” is a small scale replica of the ingame weapon and actually lights up and plays a small loop of music and fires a small laser point like beam. The Dubstep gun is one of the cooler replicas I’ve seen simply because it is so unusual that I did not expect it to be a physical thing. There is also a small button that is the “dubstep doomsday” button that is very much a switch that requires a key to open and activate and is equal parts stupid and fun. It wouldn’t be a collectors edition without some sort of a digital package and this includes an in game weapon that is a mini gun, flame thrower and a rocket launcher all rolled into one called “ The ‘merica gun” and a jet that looks like a bald eagle.
The collection rounds out with a statue of the fallen Third Row Saint, Johnny Gat and is small enough to be in scale to be a nice addition to your desktop without taking up too much space.
4) Metal Gear Rising Revengeance Limited Edition
The Metal gear franchise is known for grand storytelling and epic cut scenes that can last a half hour or more and a story so confusing that a game came with an indepth guide to explain it all. This off shoot of MGS tells the story of the cyborg ninja, Raiden and his game comes with one of the more unusual but still rather impressive collectors editions because it comes with a plasma sword.
This collectors edition comes with one of those electric plasma lamps and this particular one is meant to reflect the deadly nature of Raiden’s signature weapon, the high frequency blade. The lamp is pretty bad ass on it’s own but its rare you find one that is coolly crafted around an idea like a sword and carrying the signature badassness of the Metal gear name does a fair amount to the cool factor. However one of the things Revengeance was known for was an amazing soundtrack and of course, you get a CD copy of it here.
Jamie Christopherson was able to craft an amazingly energetic soundtrack that gave each encounter it’s own feel and made it feel so much more epic then it really was. You had some amazingly cool standout tracks like “It has to be this way” and “The hot wind blowing”. Just imagine swinging around a sword that puts a lightsaber to shame and slicing your way through your foes and doing with a dramatic flair and sly smile on your face.
There was also some artbooks and steelcase but it was dramatically overshadowed by the sword and the kick ass soundtrack. All in all, this was a great collectors set and can be found for a steal of a price if you look around hard enough for it.
5) Halo Reach Legendary Edition
This last one was a toss up between the other big “Halo” collectors edition which was affectionately known as “the cat helmet” but ultimately this was the that won out due to its sheer size and attention to detail. Halo: Reach was a game that told the story of a Spartan team that was left to defend a planet against what would be one of the worst defeats suffered by humanity by the Covenant. If ever there was a collectors edition that brought the HALO universe to life, it’s this one. Bungie did not skimp on any details when putting together this package for their final HALO game on the Xbox 360 console.
This package includes an amazingly crafted statue from the artists at McFarlane toys but also in universe items such as technical documents and journals that go indepth into the characters and the canon. There was also some in game items that would fill out some of the ingame Spartan customizations for helmets and armor bits for multiplayer. Another bit of digital content included stuff such as commentary from the team that worked on Reach to give additional insight into the game and it’s setting.
Halo:Reach’s statue is a whooping 10 pounds and is fairly large and detailed and it’s easily one of the most impressive pieces in my collection today even alongside HALO 5: Guardians. The level of detail on each member of Noble team is amazingly well done and attention to little things like armor dents and scratches and notches has not been overlooked.
There was even a limited edition Xbox 360 console that was in essence a companion piece to go with the legendary edition. The console featured custom Reach themed controllers and artwork on the console that would be consistent with the in game organization “Oni” and even had custom power up and power down sounds.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Prestige Edition
Night vision goggles! Need I say more? One of the best games in the series for Modern Warfare and arguably in CoD history also had one of the best collectors editions.
This particular collectors edition gets mentioned because you would be surprised how OFTEN the goggles have proven to be in situations like power outages or even more unusual activities. This edition basically included all the content from the hardened edition such as the steel case and DLC codes and the artbook but we all know why you want this one…NIGHT VISION GOGGLES!
I can’t mention this one enough simply because of the cool factor HOWEVER this is one that is quite pricy on the secondary market and is really only worth it to DIE HARD fans of the franchise. You can actually buy a version of the Night vision goggles that are basically the same minus the headstrap and the CoD branding if you look hard enough.