Every medium has their aficionados: the ones that will pay hand over fist to get the most exclusive and rare items to show just how much they love their passion. Movie fans will tour the world for original movie posters from their favorite blockbusters; music junkies will see their favorite acts live, or hoard their EPs and albums as vinyls. For video games, there is the collector’s edition. Done right, it is a true collector’s item, worth spending your hard-earned money on and displaying on your mantelpiece with pride.
These are not those editions. That wouldn’t be entertaining at all. No, these are five of my worst ones. Whether they are too exorbitant, too sparse, too cheaply made, or all of the above, these are the collector’s editions that really don’t deserve your cash.
Fallout 4 – Pip Boy Edition
We start with what may be the cheaper of the collector’s editions we could talk about, and one of the more recent ones. It wasn’t the delays that caused this one to be such a disappointment. No, if you were one of the lucky few to receive one of these on time, you would be quick to realize that you had paid a hard earned US$120 on a piece of plastic shite. While one could argue that plastic shite is the benchmark for most collector’s editions, this one took it a step further.
You see, most Fallout fans see the words “PipBoy replica” and think “actual semi-legit working PipBoy” and not “garish plastic shell to shove your phone in and play pretend”. The whole thing looks and feels cheap, and you have to shove your own phone into the slot and download a separate app to use the item as advertised. It was salt in the wound when, not even a year later, they released an actual working PipBoy, complete with screen and Bluetooth. Being personally burned by this means I can’t not mention it, and a disappointment like that leaves me less than jazzed about Fallout 76’s special editions, Power Armor Helmet replica be damned.
Myst: Desktop Edition
What makes a collector’s edition something to hold on to is the longevity of its products. You expect a statuette, a lithograph, or an art print. You expect something that will hold its sentimental value over time, something you can frame or adorn your room with, and that feels special. And I don’t care that Myst was released in 1993: there is no excuse for having a screensaver CD and a mouse pad as your “collector’s edition”.
You would be hard pressed to find someone that uses screensavers anymore, much less a CD drive. And the mouse pad? Well, one of the key defining features of a collectible item is that you keep a hold of it as a collector’s item. If that mouse pad is anything like the ones I’ve destroyed in the last fifteen years, I can guarantee you that this precious collector’s piece has been worn away by this point. So what are you left with after such a long period of time? One of the best point and click games ever made? Sure. What else? Exactly.
Resident Evil 4: Chainsaw Controller Edition
Okay, I won’t lie: the idea of this one is pretty cool. To commemorate the release of the PS2 version of Resident Evil 4, some editions of the game came packaged with a special controller shaped like a chainsaw, alongside a copy of the game itself. If the next question you ask is “I mean, that’s cool and all, but how the hell do you turn a chainsaw into a functioning controller?” then you are very astute. The honest answer is you don’t, but you give it a good ol’ college try anyway.
While hilarious in concept, the design is terrible. The button placement means that hard points stick into your hands at strange angles, the analogue sticks are a nightmare to reach, and you have a big plastic chainsaw blade sticking out of the top to obscure your vision in do-or-die situations. It doesn’t help that the controller looks tacky as heck, with a shoddy level of detail on the design itself. Regardless of the intentions of the designers, what people received was the worst of cheaply made controllers that even Player 4 wouldn’t touch.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Collector’s Edition
It is par for the course for a collector’s edition to come with a statue of some description to denote the actions of the heroes and villains in a gorgeous tableaux of action and suspense. The best of these are Gears Of War 3’s Epic Editon’s statue of Marcus, or the Batman: Arkham Origins – Collector’s Editon with its insane Joker statue. But when they are bad, they are mightily shit. The first one to spring to mind is the travesty that was Dead Island 2’s bikini clad torso. But that is a low hanging fruit; everyone knows about that one. I am here to remind you of just how disappointing a statue can be. The Witcher 3’s statue is the benchmark.
It boggles the mind just how awful the statue is for this edition. It was a layup of a premise: just get Geralt in an awesome action pose, build him properly and print money. What actually happened was a shoddily-painted hunk of plastic that makes Geralt look like he’s posing on an animatronic beast, with a bored expression to match. What makes this edition so bad is how good the rest of the contents are. Every other part of the collector’s edition has a standard that one would expect the stature to share. Instead, it singlehandedly turns the coveted collector’s edition into an embarrassment. Save yourself the funds and just buy the game on its own. You’ll be far less disappointed in the long run.
Dying Light: The Following – Spotlight Edition
If one peruses through lists similar to this, they’ll likely come across Saint Row IV’s $1m dollar Super Dangerous Wad Wad Edition. This included, but wasn’t limited to, a full size replica Dubstep Gun, a full day of spy training as well as a hostage rescue experience, a trip to the Burj-al-arab in Dubai, and a Lamborghini Gallardo. This is ludicrously over the top, but it is the kind of ludicrous over-the-top that Saints Row IV leans into. For all of its bombast, at least it sticks with the theme of excess. I have no idea what prompted Techland to make its exclusive super special edition worth ten times that of Saints Row IV’s, but here we are.
Dubbed the Spotlight Edition, the theme was an upcoming, and as-of-yet unannounced, Dying Light movie. With that in mind, the $10m price tag offered the lucky buyer a supporting role in the movie, along with professional acting lessons, ten VIP tickets to the eventual premier, an off-road driving course so that you can do your own stunts, a voice acting session where you become the voice of protagonist Kyle Crane in your own personalised version of Dying Light, and much more. Oh, and four copies of the Enhanced Edition of the game. Can’t forget that.
While Saints Row IV’s hyper exclusive edition had us shrugging and asking, “Sure, why not?” This edition, made harsher in hindsight due to a lack of movie to show for it, makes us scream, “Why?” You can’t blame them for trying to bank roll their own movie, though.
And those were five of the most worthless collector’s edition ever committed to plastic. Have you got any other video game atrocities? Let us know in the comment section below!