Ben's Week In Review: September 13
People say summer is almost over. I say I won't be happy until the average daily temperature is well below 60.
Mirror's Edge: Catalyst Collector's Edition too pricey? I guess
Firstly, let me say I haven't bought any sort of special or collector's edition in years. I actually can't remember the last one I purchased. I definitely would've bought more back in the day, had they existed (like for every PS1 Final Fantasy) but I can't see spending the money these days.
That being said, I'm not sure I understand the complaints concerning the prices of these special collections. People obviously don't like the $200 price tag for that Mirror's Edge: Catalyst Collector's Edition; the general consensus is that the little collectible trinkets aren't worth the cost. Well, it has to be worth it for some people, right? I mean, these companies aren't interested in pricing something to the point where it's unattractive, where it doesn't make the publisher a healthy profit. You can't call it "price-gouging" because it's purely a luxury item and it isn't necessary for life; if you don't want it, if you think it's too expensive, don't buy it. That's the surest - and maybe only - way of ensuring cheaper special editions in the future. See, that's how a market works.
I think the biggest hurdle down the road will be the increasing lack of collectors. They say there will be a time when digital eradicates physical media. If that's true, it stands to reason that many gamers won't even associate their hobby with having a real library. A game can be a file on a screen, sure, but a figurine or some other limited edition bonus can't be. It's my belief that the overwhelming majority of people buying these expensive collector's editions are collectors and 99 percent of them are proud of their physical library of games and aren't looking forward to the days of all digital. At that point, I guarantee it'll be harder to sell these special launch bundles.
Hearts of Stone is a top priority for me in October
I basically never buy DLC or expansions. I think I've bought two in my entire life and I've certainly never bought a Season Pass or anything like that. And yet, I'll be all over the Hearts of Stone expansion for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt when it launches next month. It's hard to find story-based single-player expansions and almost impossible to find one that adds a reported 10+ hours of gameplay. This is why I'll definitely get Hearts of Stone and I can't wait to see if there are some challenges included in that extra content. My Lv. 37 Geralt fully outfitted with Mastercrafted Wolven Armor (and blades) and various Superior potions (love Dancing Star and Thunderbolt) killed everything with ease. There's nothing left to fight. But as the missions in the expansion are designed for Lv. 30+ characters, I'm expecting something tougher.
Actually, the only other October game I really care about is Assassin's Creed Syndicate. It's a little odd that the majority of the huge titles this fall arrive in November; in the past, October has been the busiest month. Doesn't seem that way this year, as Fallout 4, Star Wars: Battlefront, Need for Speed, Call of Duty: Black Ops III, Rise of the Tomb Raider, etc. all drop in the 11th month.
Personal gaming update
Mad Max can be lots of fun but really, it can't compete with Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. It's just night and day. In between, just as a relaxer, I'm actually playing a fun old PS2 game, Splashdown. I saw it for four bucks last week and I figured I could use something like that, as arcade-style sports and racing games are few and far between these days. I sort of miss games like Jet Moto, Destruction Derby, ATV Off-Road, and some later titles like Split/Second, Burnout and MotorStorm. Not everything has to be a simulator but whatever.
I've also been playing NHL 16 because I need to do a review for it, and I'm looking forward to trying Leo's Fortune. I have it downloaded but I haven't gotten to it yet.
9/12/2015 Ben Dutka