Saturday, November 03, 2012

Overview and Review: Zone of the Enders HD Collection US Limited Edition (w/Pics)

Note: This review is for the US Limited Edition of Z.O.E. HD Collection and NOT the game itself.

Controller for Scale

Y’know that saying about how sometimes you get what you pay for? Well, it’s true. Sometimes you do.
Sometimes you just barely do. Like many other Kojima Productions fans, I was expecting a repeat of the slightly overpriced but really slickly put together Metal Gear Solid HD Collection Limited Edition. What we ended up getting was more of a repeat of the Peacewalker Limited Edition for two times the mark-up of the aforementioned edition. Z.O.E.’s LE costs an extra 20 dollars and what you get for those 20 dollars is not quite enough to make it a worthwhile investment. Let’s find out why that is.

What’s Included:
1) Zone of the Enders HD Collection (w/MGR demo)
2) Soundtrack of Remixed Music
3) 100 page Artbook


Tray on Left and Slipcover on Right

            You can’t tell from the promotional pictures released by Konami, but the packaging for Z.O.E.’s LE is incredibly flimsy. The packaging consists of a cardboard tray made to hold the game, soundtrack, and art book. The tray is housed within a cardboard slipcover. The cardboard used, however, is so thin that it could easily be mistaken for simply being a fancy cardstock. 

Thin Cardboard Tray Crushed

            The cardstock was not strong enough to withstand Amazon’s less than perfect yet still adequate shipping. The cardstock wasn’t even strong enough to withstand the brute force that I used to pull the remixed soundtrack from its clever flaps. Thankfully, none of the edition’s contents were damaged in any way and the box should be commended for keeping all of the contents safe, but the box loses some praise for being too delicate to protect itself.

Not the Greatest Way to Hold a Disc

And it Tears Easily Too

            The packaging isn’t all bad, though. In fact, in terms of appearance, this box is simply stunning. The first thing that catches the eye is the gold and orange foil. The foil looks brilliant and reflects light in a pleasing way. The artwork used is also exceptional. The black coloring against the gold and orange foil is all class. The choice to include necessary logos and package contents on a separate sheet of paper instead of on the actual box was also a thoughtful idea.




Paper Slip for Content Info

            So, the box is a mixed bag. It’s a flimsy creature. It is also a beautiful piece of packaging design. Maybe that was the trade off. Though the foil is brilliant, the thick sturdy cardboard of the Metal Gear Solid HD Limited Edition’s slipcase is sorely missed.

Soundtrack (sort of):

            The included CD includes 8 remixed Z.O.E. songs.  I hesitate to call the disc a soundtrack because none of the original Z.O.E. music is actually there. The disc is nothing but remixes. Even worse is the fact that with only 8 tracks, the remixes don’t even present a comprehensive look at the music of the included games. As it stands, I’m far more comfortable referring to the disc as a remixed sampler.

Nice CD Art

Track List Via iTunes

            But does it sound good? Well, for me, no. For me, I will likely never find a use for this disc. Will you ever find a use for the disc? That depends. If you like techno music that sounds like it should be blaring from an underground club in a Blade Runner styled future, then there’s a good chance you’ll like this disc. I guess huge fans of the soundtrack may also get a special kick out of the remixed tracks.

Art Book:

Familiar Cover for Art Book

            The art book has a lot going for it. It comes with a beautiful cover and back that mimics the box design almost completely. The only difference is that the art book does not have a single logo on it. A nice gesture except that a spine label was also omitted. Owners will just need to remember which book on the shelf has the shiny orange and gold foil. 
            The art book is also a bit oversized when compared to the art books found in most Limited Editions. Where most editions come with undersized (DOA5, SCV) or comic book sized offerings, this art book has dimensions that are very close to those of a typical Rolling Stone magazine. It’s a very good size that unfortunately ends up being somewhat of a problem when coupled with the book’s lack of a hard binding.
            Because the book is soft bound, the oversized nature of the book helps to give it a somewhat floppy consistency. The thin 100-page sized spine does not help.

Too Thin, Too Flimsy

            The book’s art is divided into two sections. The first part is for Z.O.E. and the second part is for the Second Runner. I haven’t done a page count, but the 2nd Runner has the edge by taking a little over half of the book. Each game’s section is split up into two parts. There are areas for Official Illustrations and Concept Art. Neither part completely outweighs the other and there is a good amount of content for each art type. The artwork used is almost all amazing. There are about 8 pages of useless game-engine renders in the 2nd runner section, but almost everything in the book is of great quality. The artwork is also well presented due to the nice semi-thick glossy paper that the pages are printed on.




Why use game renders?

            Softbound and with only 100 pages to it, the art book is a modest but very nice addition to any Z.O.E. fan’s collection.


            The Z.O.E. HD Limited Edition is overpriced. It’s about 10 to 15 dollars overpriced. I compared it earlier to the Peacewalker Limited Edition and that edition was only 10 dollars extra. This set is 20 dollars extra and I’m not quite sure where the extra money went. Even though the size of this edition’s art book is larger than the Peacewalker set, the print quality of Peacewalker’s art book was better than this one so that’s obviously not where the extra cash went. The only thing that could explain the discrepancy is the inclusion of the remix sampler because the Peacewalker set did not come with a CD of any kind.


Very Similar

Though it’s true that the CD could easily be worth 14 dollars and the art book could easily be worth the same, the flimsy packaging, floppiness of the art book, and the uselessness of the CD make it seem as though the set just barely manages to be worth the 20 dollar mark up. Game special editions have never been known for their overwhelming value, but I feel that this set does not in any way justify its premium pricing. This set is only for the fans that need to have all things Zone of Enders. Everyone else should just stick with the budget priced regular edition.

Only for the fans.


1 comment:

enesis said...

Thanks for unboxing it