If January and December were disappointing months for video game collecting, February should be more than satisfying. We have two major JRPGs, two major action games, a niche game (on the PSP no less), a premium anime set and one major flop. The month is shaping up quite nicely for swag-loving-gamers. As a bonus February is slightly controversial with shortages and a bad game from a capable studio. Love is definitely in the air! I’ll leave you, fair readers, to create your own definitions of “love.”
So how about that Fire Emblem: Awakening? Unless you’ve gone out of your way to shop around or you pre-ordered, you’re most likely having a difficult time finding a physical copy of this game. For whatever reason Nintendo didn’t manufacture enough copies to keep up with demand. The game was heavily advertised and even has an excellent demo, so the demand shouldn’t come as a surprise. I wrote about Fire Emblem’s supply issues a few days ago. If you can find it, there is a gorgeous limited edition Awakening branded 3DS (the original, not the XL) with Fire Emblem installed on the system. If you’re in need of a 3DS and you don’t care about the XL this bundle is perfect– provided you can find it. Amazon has a few 3DS bundles in stock selling for well above the MSRP of $199. If you managed to pre-order at GameStop (before the retailer stopped taking orders) a small glossy art book was included as a bonus. If you simply can’t wait for Nintendo to iron out its manufacturing problems the game is available on the eShop for the same $39.99 as the retail version. If you just want the art book copies are floating around on eBay for various prices. Fire Emblem: Awakening was released on February 4. Alas, poor Chrom and his troops have had trouble capturing store shelves since then.
Dead Space 3 has drifted away from its original survival horror roots. Instead, fans are left with a third-person shooter. Despite the genre change the game has been well received and is generally enjoyable. If you haven’t read it yet, Geoff did write a demo impression for the game. Surprisingly, EA put out an extremely limited edition set for DS3. The Dead Space Dev-Team Edition doesn’t include the game and only 5000 copies were made. They include a 13-inch tin crate, an 8-inch black marker statue, an aluminum data pad, a water bottle, a jotter, three posters, six post cards and a 96-page art book. Many of the collectible goodies for the latest iteration of Dead Space are replicas of in-game items, which is always nice. The Dev-Team Edition was only announced three weeks before Dead Space 3’s February 5 release and retailed for $100 directly from EA. Since then the limited edition has been sold out although copies are available for inflated prices on Amazon and eBay.
Aliens: Colonial Marines is a game with a long development history. The game originally got its start in 2008 when Gearbox announced they would be developing the title while Sega handled the publishing. Gearbox is best known for the Borderlands series. Surely the developer and Sega could make a blockbuster game based on the movie franchise. Unfortunately, the reviews are coming in and the game is scoring quite low. It seems only the hardest of the hardcore fans will find enjoyment with this newest Aliens title. If you’re one of those fans with a bit of cash to spare you may have opted for the Collector’s Edition of the game. For $99 or $40 more than the standard edition, Aliens faithfuls will receive the game, a powerloader figurine, a replica dossier, in-game content and a special collector’s box to house everything. The long anticipated but shockingly disappointing Aliens: Colonial Marines was released on February 12.
A few months ago Konami released the Zone of the Enders HD Collection with the Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance demo. That was the fastest way to get a feel for the game before the demo was released digitally. Metal Gear Rising has changed quite a bit since it was originally announced in 2009. Frequent readers of this blog know Geoff has writtenextensively about the game over the years. It’s almost Revengeance time and Konami has an impressive Limited Edition for fans. The LE includes the game, the entire soundtrack on CD, a two-sided steelbook and a katana blade plasma lamp, all for a cool $149.99. If fans pre-order at GameStop a 24-page art book will accompany the game. Raiden is sure to slice and dice his way into stores on February 19.
The PSP is the little handheld that refuses to go down without a fight although it was left for dead in the West years ago. Fortunately for niche Japanese game fans there is still a small
amount of support from third-party developers and publishers. The latest rare PSP release to hit retail is Hakuoki: Warriors of the Shinsengumi. Last year’s Hakuoki: Demon of the Fleeting Blossom was a romance title aimed at a primarily female audience. Warriors of the Shinsengumi is an action game similar to the long running Dynasty Warriors series. Any fan who decides to pre-order the game will have a stylish bandana included as a bonus. This newest take on the Shinsengumi legend will battle its way on to store shelves on February 19 and the spectacle will cost you $29.99. (If you’re curious about other PSP games releasing in 2013 Geoff has written a comprehensive list.)
Atlus fans are no stranger to the Etrian Odyssey series. If you haven’t played a game directly in the series you certain know of the games. They are renown for their old school gameplay and tough-as-nails difficulty. Hell, you even have to draw your own map in order to explore. Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan hopes to nab both new and old fans with multiple difficulties and even a casual mode. The series has also shifted to the 3DS allowing for fans on the fence to try out a demo of the game for the first time. On the ball as always, Geoff has meticulously written about the game for the past year or so. Thankfully Atlus is spoiling fans with a selections music CD featuring rough drafts and outtakes of some of the game’s soundtrack and an art book. The catch? You’ll have to pre-order Etrian Odyssey IV before it releases. The journey to the Yggdrasil tree will only cost you $39.99 and will begin on February 26.
No Treasure Hunter column would be complete without the mention of anime. The month is rather light for special editions but I did manage to find one. Nisemonogatari is the direct sequel to Bakemonogatari and once again stars Koyomi Araragi as he finally begins to pick up the pieces of his life after surviving a vampire attack. This time the poor third-year high school student is kidnapped by a strange man. Later, he discovers his two younger sisters are involved with the supernatural world for some reason. Koyomi’s supernatural life isn’t over just yet. Nisemonogatari aired on Japanese TV a year ago and Aniplex of America is finally releasing the entire series. In standard Aniplex fashion this blu-ray release isn’t cheap with an MSRP of $149.98 for the 11-episode series. The BD set includes a 36-page art book and a gorgeous box to keep everything in. Rightstuf has the series for a slightly more reasonable $119.98. Koyomi’s fight for a normal life will resume on February 26. (One saving grace to Aniplex’s high prices is the ability to try the
entire series out via legal streaming before buying it. Nisemonogatari
is no exception and can be found on Crunchyroll.)