Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Uncharted 3 Collector's Edition Review

     To start with, this will not be a review of the actual game. This will only be a review of the U.S. Collector's Edition. Other things to keep in mind. In the background of some of the pictures, you may see my crazy glue (used on base of figure) and my x-acto knife (used to open the package). You will also see, in most photos, a PS3 pad. This is intentional and is used for scale.

The Poster (a Gamestop Pre-Order exclusive bonus):

     A while back, Gamestop was offering an Assassin's Creed Revalations Pre-Order Poster. Like this poster, the art was done by Penny Arcade's Jerry Holkins. Unfortunately, the comparisons stop there. Jerry's Assassin Poster was far better in terms of the art asset used. In this poster, I do not really get the Uncharted vibe and the image comes off looking more like random fan art than a professionally done poster. The size of the poster is also much smaller than the AC poster and, unfortunately, the paper stock used is much thinner as well. Whereas the AC poster is right now framed and hanging on my wall, this one will likely find its way to a poster tube. All in all, I'm disappointed in this poster. It is, however, free. And for a free poster, it's quite nice when not being compared to the far superior Assassin's Creed Gamestop poster.

The Outer Box: 

     The outer box is quite nice. It features a great black & white graphic of Nathan Drake on two of the sides and shows relevant game information on the other two sides. Such information includes: install size, number of players, and descriptions of the Collector's Edition Content. All in all, it is a nice large box that should attract many a Christmas shopper.  

The Chest:  

Takes Up All Available Space

Looks stunning
     The chest that the contents come in is simply stunning. It is made of a fairly thin, yet sturdy cardboard material. The graphic feels as though it is printed on a large wallpaper type sticker. The structural design is more intricate than I was expecting with the box having curved lines at the top and actual feet on the bottom. The chest opens and closes with the help of magnets. This ensures that the door doesn't just open up on its own. As nice as it is, however, I do get the feeling that the money spent on this could have been better used elsewhere as this lovely chest will likely end up in my closet or garage due to a lack of storage space on my part. 

     Once open, the chest has neat little compartments for all of the collector's edition's items.

Steelbook on door. 

Belt Buckle Drawer
Ring Drawer
Well Protected Statue

     Again, as a presentation piece, it is very well designed and executed.

The Belt Buckle:

      The belt buckle is modeled after the one that Drake uses in Drake's Deception. It is well sculpted with good detailing. It is made entirely out of metal and has a good weight to it. I would have liked something a bit heavier, but this seems strong enough to be used as an actual belt without fear of it falling apart. It is a good and practical addition to the Collector's Edition.

The Ring: 

It fits.

    Drake's Ring, unlike his buckle, is pretty much the opposite of practical. Though nicely sculpted, the ring feels a bit cheap. I'm not quite sure what kind of metal it is made of, but it feels like pewter. It also feels like it could bend/break if I were to apply pressure to it in the wrong way. At least it was given a nice leather strap to allow you to wear it as a necklace. Though it's not a total loss, the ring is easily my least favorite part of the Collector's Edition. 

The Steelbook:

Spine label labeled!


     According to the Collector's Edition box, this is an actual Steelbook brand Steelbook. If that matters to you, then you should be happy to know that... I guess. The front of the Steelbook has an image of Drake's ring with some embossing on the letters. The back, uses the same image used on the chest. The back, sadly, has no embossing. The inside contains a code for a Starhawk beta of some sort, a manual that is criminally small, and, of course, Uncharted 3. Under all of the contents, you can see a very nice image of Drake in the desert. For those of you that might be curious, it IS a bluray sized Steelbook and will fit nicely on the shelf with the rest of your PS3 games. Though I'm not quite happy with the art chosen for the Steelbook, it is very well made and is a pleasant alternative to the regular logo covered boxes that are usually used for games.

The Statue:

The Base w/ Foot Peg
Drake's scale
Drake's Mug
More Detail
Even more Details
Sweet Shoes!
A gun

Sideshow Collectibles is Usually Great!

     This statue was the reason that I wanted the Uncharted Collector's Edition. But first, some back story. After getting the Infamous 2 Hero Edition and the Little Big Planet 2 Collector's Edition, and the Dead Space 2 Collector's Edition, I told myself I would no longer be suckered in by the promise of nice statues (or plushies). Infamous' statue was mostly a joke (however the backpack was phenomenal). Dead Space 2's gun replica was way too small and plastic-y to justify the price point. Little Big Planet 2's plushy was slightly deformed and the bookends were a huge disappointment. Why, then, did I get excited about Uncharted's statue? Two words: Sideshow Collectibles. These guys have been making high quality toys and collectibles for a very long time. Sometimes with great success sometimes not so much. So, how does Drake stack up?

     Even though I knew Sideshow was a good sign, there was still much to be known of the eventual quality. What was the size going to be? What would it be made out of? Was the paint application going to be adequate? I'm glad to say that on most every front, this statue lived up to my expectations. 

     The statue seems to be made of a good quality plastic. Though I would have preferred some sort of heavier material, the statue feels substantial and certainly not cheap. Drake's scarf, and bandolier are made of a much softer and pliable plastic that should seem familiar to anyone that buys toys on a semi-regular basis. The base is a hard plastic that is covered with a soft spongelike plastic instead of being just one solid piece. I was really hoping that the base would not have been done in this manner as a nice heavy base is always nice to have. 

     In terms of sculpting, though the likeness is a bit soft, the statue has a serviceable resemblance to Drake from some angles and a spot on resemblance from other angles. Drake is well proportioned and carries a sense of purpose that is not over stated. 

     The paint apps are incredibly well done and the photos I took do them no justice. The harsh light of my flash is very unforgiving. The only trouble spots for the paint were the bullets on the bandolier where there is some slop. It should be noted, though, that such slop is common in most statues in this scale. 

     On the whole, I am very pleased with this statue. It is not nearly as good as I wanted it to be, but it still manages to be good enough justify the asking price. It is easily my favorite Collector's Edition pack-in to date. Well, maybe my second favorite. The Infamous 2 backpack is really that good. 


     So was it worth 40 bucks. Yes and no. The Steelbook and the chest were probably worth about 10 bucks together. The Ring, I feel, is worth about 5. The Buckle was probably worth 10 to 15 and the statue was probably worth 30. These prices are based on what I consider to be a reasonable asking price for each item. If you put all that together, it comes out to about 60 dollars worth of product for a 40 dollar premium. If you add Gamestop's poster to the mix, it comes out even more favorably. 

     So, if I think all that stuff is worth 60, why do I think it is and isn't worth the extra 40? Simple. I don't want most of the stuff that came with this Edition. Truth told, I only really wanted to statue, and on that front I am more than pleased with what I got. The rest of the items are pretty nice to have, though, and that's got to count for something.

     I'm sure there will be people out there that feel almost the exact opposite and like the Buckle and Ring the best but could take or leave the statue. In many ways, this Collector's Edition is like Drake himself. It's kind of a Jack of All Trades and should please most Uncharted fans in one way or another. 

One Last Triumphant Set of Pics:

For Scale
For Awesomeness

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