Even with most media and entertainment being available digitally (or streaming) these days, I’m still a big fan of physical versions and collector’s editions when it comes to games and movies. I still collect most Marvel (MCU) and Pixar Blu-rays, and any time I’m excited for a big new game release I always check what physical versions will be available (if any).
There’s something a little strange about not truly owning a digital version of a game and that sort of freaks me out a bit. The studio can, for any reason, decide to take a game away from everyone if they wish to. Although this is very rare. Still, I do own many of my games digitally. I’m also a fan of when my Blu-ray purchase brings a digital version for convenience — but I also like having that back up physical disc.
I have always loved “The Art of” and “Making of” books. At some point in life I will need a big house with many coffee tables to display all of these art books I have acquired over the years. When it comes to my favorite bands, I even go all out and pre-order special formats of new albums. I guess I may be a bit of a collector (or I just enjoy buying stuff). There’s just something cool about opening boxed physical media. Why do you think so many people create (and watch) “unboxing” videos on YouTube?
*Check out this article from last year, when I explored the Physical vs Digital phenomenon in more detail.
Limited Run Games • LRG
I’ve been a big fan of the games and products from Limited Run Games for quite some time. I even shared some of their recent projects in other posts — Limited Run: The Complete Run Vol 1 • Gaming Books. Limited Run Games (LRG) is a premium publisher of physical games.
LRG publishes and distributes physical versions of many indie and digital-only titles. They have even brought back retro and retro-inspired games to both new and retro consoles. I’ve ordered everything from Game Boy Color to Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64 and current console titles from them. They also usually release multiple versions of games from the disc or cartridge only version to the special, collector’s and ultimate edition of games.
Limited Run Games is not the only publisher/distributor out there. I recently talked to the team at Mega Cat Studios, who publish and distribute as well as develop their own original games (which we’ll be sharing more about soon). I’ve always been a fan of iam8bit and their physical editions as well as their vinyl and other game-related products. I’ve even come across a few other companies in recent years and hope to talk to some of them.
The Art of Boyfriend Dungeon & Collector’s Edition
I originally received a review code for Boyfriend Dungeon on the Nintendo Switch from Kitfox Games. We posted our “Game Diary/Review” a few weeks ago. Limited Run Games later sent over both the art book and collector’s edition of Boyfriend Dungeon for us to check out.
Last year, I wrote about how Cyberpunk 2077 was the first game in a long time to actually bring some extra swag with its normal physical edition. There was a time when games came with pull-out maps, stickers, puzzles, music and other fun stuff. Today, the bonus gifts usually come in the form of digital content, in-game outfits or some amount of in-game currency.
I love that the collector’s edition of Boyfriend Dungeon came in a cereal-sized box. Even though the game itself is a Steam download code on a card, it’s the other bonus gifts that make this a fun collector’s edition. Plus, the box is just nice to display (if you have the space). In this large box I received an 8 GB romantic rose USB Drive. There was also a sticker sheet with cute versions of each bae blade character from the game, a game soundtrack on CD, and a limited-edition enamel pin.
Most Limited/Collector’s Editions bring a few items to display and show off. I was very impressed with the romantic rose USB drive. First off, I expected it to only have four or less GB of storage. It’s also a nice sleek and stealthy piece of desk décor that doubles as a secret USB storage device. They keep making USB drives smaller and smaller, which is nifty but also makes them easier to lose. While the USB drive itself is small and thin, it’s housing is a nice safe haven for it.
When you’re a child, stickers are great and you use them immediately — on everything. As an adult, I’m still a big fan of stickers, I just don’t want to waste a great sticker on some notebook or item I may get rid of one day. I now want my stickers to last forever. I can only fit so many stickers on my Yetis and my skateboards. My current MacBook Pro is clean from stickers, but my last one was full of them. I guess stickers have become a lot like tattoos to me lately, if an item has no stickers it should stay that way, but once you pop even the tiniest sticker on something you must keep going until the item is covered.
The Art of
I was really excited about the art book for Boyfriend Dungeon, because the game itself features a few different art styles. First, we have the dungeon (or “dunj”) design, which features an isometric view with simple, stylized visuals. What initially got me excited to play Boyfriend Dungeon was seeing some dungeon gameplay footage.
The outside world is made up of more colorful backgrounds, and the characters themselves feel straight out of an anime (or manga). The character intro videos are intense, like a pre-special move in a fighting game video. The book also features concept art for different characters, dungeon bosses and baddies, and backgrounds.
I love seeing the concept art behind different projects. It’s fun to get a behind the scenes look at what the art team had imagined early on, and see how it translated or transformed and made its way into the game.
The last big collector’s edition of a game I purchased was The Last of Us Part II. The original The Last of Us was the best story I had ever played in a game up until that point, and I didn’t get to play it until I owned a PlayStation 4 and picked up the Remastered edition. I just put all of my trust into Naughty Dog and The Last of Us Part II and pre-ordered the Collector’s Edition with the Ellie statue.
Anytime I find myself at Best Buy I always go back to the video game section and search for whatever collector’s and limited editions of games they might have. I usually come across a few games that didn’t really sell, now at a lower price. These are usually games that I have never heard of, but I still think of buying them just for the fun collectibles. I have yet to purchase any of these.
Many AAA game studios that create limited and collector’s editions of their big releases go all out with beautifully made sculptures and premium accessories. What makes companies like Limited Run Games, Mega Cat Studios, iam8bit and all the other publisher/distributors truly special is that they didn’t develop these games. They are fans creating their dream physical versions, coming up with sometimes wild and crazy ideas of what to include in these sets.
Since I’ve been reviewing games over the past year, many of them come in the form of digital codes. I hope to feature more of these physical editions, and the great companies that are bringing these titles to new audiences.
*In the past, I have purchased items from Limited Run Games and other publisher/distributors like them. These two Boyfriend Dungeon items (The Art of Book & The Collector’s Edition) were given to myVGBC.com for review.