18 ridiculous(ly expensive) video game special editions

Tekken Hybrid’s Extreme Edition

Cost: $249.99

Tekken Hybrid Extreme Edition

Here, we have another game with a fight stick, although Tekken Hybrid’s is a more subdued number from Mad Catz. Look at it. It’s so quiet and unassuming. It’s like while the other fight sticks were out getting their crazy decal work done, this one went, “Nah, I’m good. My buttons don’t even need to be different colors.”

As for the rest of the PlayStation 3-exclusive, pre-order-only bundle, it included a soundtrack CD, an art book, and Tekken Hybrid, which itself contains Tekken Tag Tournament, a demo (they call it a “prologue”) for Tekken Tag Tournament 2, and the computer-animated film Tekken: Blood Vengeance 3D. So basically, developer Namco made a game that was a bundle and built a larger bundle around it.

Tekken Hybrid’s Extreme Edition is the turducken of video games.

Call of Duty: Black Ops II’s Care Package Edition (UK)

Cost: £159.99 ($254)

Call of Duty Black Ops II Care Package Edition

The Call of Duty series returns to the list with its most recent offering: a whole lot of swag contained in a giant box modeled after the ones in the game. Black Ops II‘s Care Package Edition, which cost American gamers $179.99, cost our British friends about $75 more. The rest of Europe got off relatively light with a price tag of “only” €179.99 ($229).

This special edition is pretty exemplary, and by that I don’t mean that it’s pretty good, but that it pretty much hits all the salient characteristics of a Big Box Game. It contains a steelbook case, a soundtrack, two commemorative coins, virtual content in the form of multiplayer maps and a little prop for your Xbox Live Avatar, a remote-control drone, and that giant, fancy box. The contents read like a list of things that developers like to sell with their games.

And it was more expensive in the UK, so we can check that off, too.

The Idolmaster 2’s Limited Edition

Cost: ¥19,800 ($261)

The Idolmaster 2 Limited Edition

It’s been a while since I’ve thrown a wall of Japanese at you, so here’s another one.

The Japan-exclusive Idolmaster simulation series (they spell it “Idolm@ster,” but I know how my editors feel about that sort of thing) puts players in the role of a producer tasked with establishing and nurturing the careers of 13 burgeoning pop idols. The PlayStation 3 received a limited edition of The Idolmaster 2, which is actually the third game in the franchise — kind of like how Assassin’s Creed III is the fifth installment in that series.

That big, girly box has the game, a Blu-ray containing Volume One of the obligatory anime spin-off, a soundtrack CD, a standalone (and slightly creepy) “gravura mode” photography minigame, some postcards, and some booklets. I’ll be honest: I don’t really know what else to say about this one. I hope another crazy remote-control-vehicle bundle will come and rescue me.

Oh, hey!

Ace Combat: Assault Horizon’s Helicopter Edition

Cost: €189.99 ($261)

Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Helicopter Edition

For the same relative cost of all that pink stuff up there, you could pick up the fairly on-the-nose named Helicopter Edition of the arcade-style flight game Ace Combat: Assault Horizon. This was the first entry in the 20-year-old franchise to let players take control of an attack helicopter, and developer Namco (the same company who brought you all that pink stuff up there) decided to let Europe celebrate this landmark by letting players fly a really small copy of a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter.

If you’re looking at the tinycopter and thinking, “Yawn,” good news: You also get a key chain and a pen. This edition also includes a soundtrack CD, a developer-signed notebook, a steel case, and a downloadable bonus jet. These things were all also available in the blasé Limited Edition, so they’re really trying to wow you with the helicopter.

And, you know, that key chain.

BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger’s Prestige Edition

Cost: €199.99 ($268)

BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger Prestige Edition

OK … we have another bundle that comes with a Hori fight stick. What’s interesting about this one, however, is that it was only available in France, and they only made 150 of them. That’s interesting, right?

Alright, what if I tell you that it also comes with a 42-song soundtrack? Soundtracks don’t do anything for you anymore, do they. Hmm … well, how does an art book grab you? No, that’s pretty standard at this point. OK, Mr. or Ms. Unimpressed: They’ll throw in a T-shirt. And a bag. How about a bag? But only for the Xbox 360 version. Nothing? Alright, my bosses are going to kill me for this, but this is my last offer:

How about a sheet of 12 stickers? Yeah, I thought that would do it. Now you know where your money’s going.

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning’s Signature Edition

Cost: $275

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning Signature Edition

This is where things get a little sad. If you weren’t sure how much now-defunct (and still news-making) developer 38 Studios had poured into its first and only title, Kingdom of Amalur: Reckoning, just look at that picture up there, which shows the contents of the game’s $275 Signature Edition. The SE was the most expensive of three special versions of the game; they also offered an $80 Special Edition and a $200 Collector’s Edition.

This version had a very limited run of 300 units, and what did your money get you? This set had so many items that I have to switch to a bulleted list. So here goes:

  • a parchment map of the in-game world
  • a seven-piece dice set
  • a set of 40 “Destiny Cards” based on ones in the game
  • the soundtrack
  • a foot-tall resin troll figure
  • a concept art lithograph signed by Ken Rolston (lead designer on The Elder Scrolls III and IV)
  • a custom sketch by artist Todd McFarlane
  • either McFarlane, writer R.A. Salvatore, or studio head Curt Schilling would sign your foot-tall resin troll figure.

The Signature Edition had enough swag for several games, including the one you made up using those dice and cards.

Here’s a bonus fun fact: 38 Studios accidentally sold 12 more Signature Editions than they’d prepared. Instead of refunding those orders, they upgraded the first 12 customers to reply to an e-mail to the super-extra-rare (because they just made it up) Exclusive Edition, which was like the SE except that it also included one of 12 unique McFarlane screen prints.

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