Star Craft 2: Ultimate Experience

Having gotten my copy of the Star Craft 2 Ultimate Wings of Liberty Experience, I immediately opened it up and tried to install the game…

Sadly, the game itself actually knows what time it is and promptly alerted me that I have to wait until midnight tonight to be able to install it… and as such I’ll start my review taking one step back… to the Ultimate Edition itself.

Collectors Edition Box

Quite a nice box it is, as you can see by the pictures of the box that I quickly put it back together.  As a quick run down here is what is contained within:

Open box

  1. DVD install disk
  2. Behind the scenes DVD with developer interviews, all 13 minutes of pre-rendered cinematic, and 32 minutes of in game “story mode” movies (with director commentary).  *NOTE* if you are interested in playing the story without spoilers, do not watch this first
  3. Soundtrack
  4. Starcraft comic Issue 10
  5. Art book (176 pages)
  6. Jim Raynor “dog Tag” USB Drive
  7. World of Warcraft cosmetic pet (Baby Thor)
  8. Battle.net downloadable exclusives

contents

I’ll go over each one in turn and we’ll see if this box is worth the 100$ price tag.

First off is the game itself, which retails itself for the standard 60$.  With this in mind we can move on to the other 40$ of potential content.

Behind the Scenes DVD: This item is a hit or miss type of deal.  I know some people who love this sort of thing.  Getting designers insight to the game, and watching all the wonderfully rendered cinematic over and over and over again.  (You know who you are)  Then there are those who would toss the extra disk aside never to be pulled from the shrink wrap as they can’t wait to play the game.  Personally, I have the DVD playing while I write this part of the review, but only because I can’t install the game itself for another 11 hours.  Don’t get me wrong, the movies are every bit the visual orgasm that you expect it to be, and Blizzard can officially give Square Enix solid competition for CGI.  With that said, if not for this 11 hour gap I have no need for this extra piece.  If it was at the register counter for an extra 2$ I would pick it up, so that is what I’m going to place its value at.

Soundtrack: Here is another extra of questionable value.  Once again, the quality here is high.  However, I doubt that I will ever be driving in my car, and feel the need to listen to the sounds of battle.  I’m not sure I would even pay 1$ for this one.  But, as I suppose it has to have some value for nerd sake to have this on your shelf… 1$ it is.

Comic: Issue 10?  Really?  I doubt I would read it if I had the first issue, but I definitely don’t have a need for a comic book 10 issues in, it doesn’t even have nerd value unless you have the first 9.  No value here.

Art of Starcraft:  Now this is worth something, hard cover, nice jacket, and 176 pages of art (with almost no pages wasted on text).  Even if you don’t collect art books, the fact that you are thinking about buying the Ultimate Experience box means you are probably a Star Craft fan.  All in all, this little piece might make the entire thing worth the price.  But since I started this review I’ll give it a price tag of 25$.  To some it may seem like a lot, but that’s what art books cost, and this one is a pretty good one.

art of starcraft

Dog Tag USB Drive: 2GB – Not a bad size.  Design – Pretty good.  And if you are a Star Craft nerd it comes with a nice surprise.  Star Craft and Brood War expansion set are preloaded on the drive.  The game may be old, but I’ll slap a 10$ price tag on this just for nostalgia and a useful 2GB usb drive.

usb  drive

In game Baby Thor for World of Warcraft: While WoW might be the most played MMO, if you are about to get serious into SC2, then I suspect you won’t have much time to log on.  Still, there will be a few thousand players who are bound to be willing to trade off quite the few Epic level items to get this.  I would say it’s worth at least a few thousand gold worth of items in game.

Exclusive Battle.net content: ah, now here is something worthwhile for SC2 players.  Army icons, Avatar portraits, exclusive version of the in-game Thor unit.  Nothing that unbalances the game, but all things to let other players know that you picked up the Ultimate edition and they didn’t.  Now all that’s left is to Zergling rush them into oblivion.

All in all, it looks like there is 41$, an epic ring or two, and on and offline nerd cred.  To be honest, as far as Ultimate/Special editions of games go, this one really is quite good.  I would personally recommend picking up the Ultimate Experience pack.  So with that said, I’ll see you all online tonight.  Hope you like my special edition Avatar as my exclusive skins for the Thor units shoot you dead.

Chris Hori

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