Whilst I loved Batman: Arkham Asylum, I wasn’t too impressed with the collector’s edition of the game. Warner Interactive seems to have done things a little better this time for the Batman: Arkham City Collector’s Edition.
I reviewed Batman: Arkham Asylum way back for Game Console with the code so fresh that it needed a debug console to play (I’ve re-posted the review here) which meant I was left without a copy of my own. Having played though the game already, I was buggered if I was going to pay full price for the privaledge of a replay. I did end up getting Arkham Asylum on PC via a Steam sale. Later, I picked up a copy of the Batman: Arkham Asylum Collector’s Edition cheap from Mighty Ape (which, as mentioned above, I was less than impressed with).
For Batman: Arkham City I wanted to savor the game, I wasn’t interested in the pressure of playing though for a review. I was also quite keen on getting the Dark Knight Returns (being such a Frank Miller fan) skin and the Kotobukiya Batman figure available in the collector’s edition. And so that is exactly what I got.
The first thing I noticed was just how compact the box was, with little Batman crouching down, almost doubled up, peering out though the plastic window. This was far cry from the massive box for the Arkham Asylum CE containing that shitty-looking batarag that everybody hated.
Pulling off the clear plastic covering, the box’s side flaps fell open (rather like Joker’s surprise parcels in Arkham Asylum) to reveal the little plastic-clad Batman figure .
Rocksteady are seeking forgiveness for ripping us with that awful plastic batarag by this time providing fans with a half-decent Kotobukiya Batman figurine.
I say half-decent because, as usual the face looks a bit shit. It this case a bit too white (even if they are trying for a black and white look), making the caped crusader look…well…a bit ill.
Whilst the face does let it down a bit, the rest of the figure is rich with the sort of detail that Kotobukiya are famous for.
The Dark Knight’s iconic pose is captured perfectly, realistically conveying the weight of his stooped muscled form.
The gloves, boots cape and cowl are made from separate parts giving the model a more prestigious look, this is no cheap-looking painted blob of plastic.
All in all I’m very pleased with the Kotobukiya figure, which will have pride of place amongst my other gaming tat.
Whilst the figure is the main draw of the pack, there are also some other nice items. Little drawer in the collectors box opens to reveal a card-sleeved copy of the Batman: Gotham Knight movie on DVD (I believe the PS3 version has a Blu-ray). The animated movie is an anthology of stories by top Japanese anime auteurs in a similar vein to the Animatrix and the recent Halo Legends. Being anime, the film is a bit of an acquired taste and not for everyone.
The other big draw for me was immediate access to a skin for Batman as portrayed in Frank Miller’s seminal graphic novel, The Dark Knight Returns. Strange that I’d be so excited to run along the rooftops of Arkham City as the panting and wheezing, retired, fifty-five year old Batman; but there you go. The pack also contained early access to The Penguin’s Iceberg Lounge challenge map and the Catwoman downloadable missions (included with all versions of the game). There was also a bit of paper with a code for downloading the soundtrack (which would have been better if it was included on a disc).
The pack also comes with an art book. Whilst rather nice, it mainly contains images that you’ll have seen before or will unlock in the game. The art book also doubles as a case for the game disc, which I’ll rant about below.
Again, just like the Uncharted 3 Explorer Edition, fans playing a premium for the special version get short-changed in the disc containment department. As much as I like those little hard-cover art books that almost every gaming special edition comes with, I’d rather the game disc was stashed in something a little more robust…like a steelbook or, fuck it, just a regular case. I’m not putting a bloody art book on my games shelf as it’ll get buggered up.
The Batman: Arkham City Collector’s Edition isn’t cheap at $200. If you discount the included DLC, which’ll end up being bundled with other DLC packs (that you’ll be buying anyway), you are buying the game for $120 and paying $30 for a DVD movie and $50 for a statue.
As a Batman fan, I’m pretty happy with the package, but it’ll not be for everybody. The Kotobukiya figure is a bit special and a worthy piece of memorabilia for gaming fan and comic collectors, alike. I’d recommend the Batman: Arkham City Collector’s Edition to anyone that really enjoyed the first game and would like to own something a bit different.
If it was a lesser game I probably wouldn’t be so excited about the collector’s edition, but it’s not, it’s Batman: Arkham City and it’ll probably be one of the better games I play this year.