A look at the Final Fantasy XIII-2 CE

My pre-order for January was Final Fantasy XIII-2, & aside from some irritating mix ups on behalf of Gamestop, I’ve really been looking forward to playing it. Being a video game collector & Jrpg enthusiast, picking up this collector’s edition was a no brainier. Here are the contents & my review of FFXIII-2’s Collector Edition, as well as the pre-order bonus.

The outer sleeve w/ alternate cover.

The shell has a nice feel to it. A very soft, yet durable, type of material.

Front cover. What seems like an art book is actually the game case. Featuring a stencil etched design of both Lighting & Caius on the front & back respectively. Even though it doesn’t fit with other PS3 game cases, it would still look great in anyone’s collection.

Back cover.

The spine look’s great on a bookshelf as well.

Inner game folds. When opening the case you are greeted by two nice pieces of the game’s more featured concept art.

Art book. By far the most disappointing part of it, the so called art book featured in this edition is little more than a joke. Loosely bound into the games packaging, it only contains 20 pages. Not even considered an art book in my opinion. Could have easily been left out without much of a difference.

Sample of the art book. Although limited, the concept art is rather nice.

4-disk soundtrack. The main reason anyone should pick this up. Unlike some soundtracks that get included in CE’s that are only a sample of the game’s full track list, FFXIII-2’s OST is complete on 4 disks featuring over 5 hour’s worth of music. The Final Fantasy series has always been known for the amazing music included in their titles, & XIII-2 seems to be no exception. I was considering spending $30 just to get the soundtrack for FF XIII, so for only a $20 upgrade this soundtrack is pretty much a steal. From the handful of track’s I’ve heard so far you can expect some exceptional orchestration & ambient tracks. A surprisingly strong amount of J-pop tunes have also found their way into the game & thus the OST. I personally love this addition even with the disappointing English vocal tracks. But to someone who is not keen on Japanese culture & music, I can see this music (& the game itself for that matter) to be a turn off.

Serah in the Summoner’s Garb costume with Genji Bow

Gamestop pre-order incentives include the alternate “Summoner’s Garb” costume for Serah, as well as the exclusive Genji Bow weapon for PowerUp rewards members (glad to see that purchase finally paying off for something). The costume is cool & is visible even through cut scenes. The weapon is stronger than the earlier ones, but I can’t see any need to use it later in the game. These would be nice in game exclusives for collectors like myself if they didn’t release them as separate dlc back in March.

Overall this is a nice collector’s edition. The packaging is exceptional & look’s great on a bookshelf or as a stand out piece. The full soundtrack makes this a must buy for fans of Jrpg game music. Unfortunately the art book is pretty much nonexistent. The few pieces of concept art they’ve attached to the games case ends up becoming more of a hindrance than the fan fared addition it should be. I enjoy the small pieces of dlc from pre-ordering & they do make up for the lack of bonus content in the CE itself; although I would of preferred to pick this up from Best Buy for the Novella or Amazon for the boss battle. For the $20 upgrade this is a highly recommended deal for any collector or Final Fantasy fan. The soundtrack is worth $30 by itself & the case goes above & beyond what you would expect from a CE. Just forget about the mediocre “art book” & buy the dlc on the marketplace if you really wanted some in game swag.