There’s nothing quite like owning physical goods, but they can be expensive, and shelf space can come at a premium. Every Wednesday Hardcore Gamer picks a premium collectible from our cavernous swag vaults and tells you whether it’s worth a spot in your Collector’s Cabinet.
Bandai Namco might not always have the best localizations, but when they release a big game on our shores, you can bet they’ll do right by collectors. Ni No Kuni had a beautiful collector’s package (which many fans were unfortunately robbed of thanks to distributor Digital River), and every one of their major releases since then has topped it. Tales of Xillia came with a figurine, soundtrack, and classy hardback art book. Symphonia Chronicles brought with it an embarrassment of goodies, including five mini-figures, a classy steelbook case, and a light novel. Now with Tales of Xillia 2 they’ve outdone themselves again. With a figurine, a full-sized artbook, a plushy, and a stylish faux-pocket-watch compact, his Collector’s Edition puts nearly everything else on the market to shame.
The first thing you’ll notice about the Xillia 2 CE is that it comes in some mighty classy packaging. Not only is the box itself big and beautiful, the figurine of Ludger comes in a classy, individually-numbered purple show box that wouldn’t look out of place on a store shelf in Akihabara. The replica pocket watch comes packaged in a slick black jewelry box, and the game itself has a gorgeous steelbook case to call home (which also has a spot for the included CD soundtrack). If you’re the sort of collector who likes to show off in-box items, you won’t be disappointed. The figurine packaging in particular is a nice step-up from the drab white boxes that held the mini-figs in Symphonia Chronicles and the figurine of Milla in the original Xillia package.
Speaking of Milla, the Ludger figure looks right at home on a shelf along-side her. The two models are made of similar mid-grade plastic, and stand on matching hexagonal bases. As far as details go jobs go, the quality is about even. There’s a bit of paint bleed around the weapons and on smaller details like buttons, but overall the paint job is decent – not unlike that of Milla. Both figurines have seams in their hair, but they’re disguised well enough that you won’t find them if you’re not looking. Where Ludger is set apart from Milla is in his pose, which is much more dynamic and exciting than her straight-backed stance. Ludger isn’t nearly as nice as Alter’s line of Vesperia statuettes, but as game pack-ins go he certainly outdoes the likes of Aiden Pearce.
The replica of Elle Mel Marta’s pocket watch is a snazzy number done up in shiny brass, with an artful gear-themed design on the front and the Tales of Xillia 2 logo etched into the back. On the inside, the watch face is well-sculpted and painted, looking more or less exactly like it does in-game. The mirror… well, it’s a mirror. I wish this was a functioning watch rather than a simple compact, but obviously that wouldn’t be feasible in a package this cheap. As it stands, the compact is a well-made prop that looks nearly identical to in-game counterpart, and will surely become a staple weapon in the arsenal of Xillia cosplayers the world over.
Plenty of games come with art books, but most are rather insubstantial. It’s nice to have any sort of art book, mind you, but with smaller ones it can be a little difficult to appreciate the full scope of the work. While at 77 pages it doesn’t quite measure up to the Dark Horse book that came packaged with the Last of Us, Xillia 2 does at least come with a full-sized, hardback book full of high-quality illustrations. I especially like the cover art, a tasteful sketch of the main cast. Every character in the game is represented, as well as several props and environments. Here’s hoping Bandai Namco brings us more books like this in the future.
Also in the package is a plush version of the game’s mascot, a pudgy black and grey cat called Rollo. Rollo seems fairly cheap in comparison to the rest of the items in the box, but he’s stitched together from quality materials. With a flat face and distended head the chibi plush is far from on-model, and you can’t actually get it to stand up on its stubby legs, but it’s a nice bonus on top of everything else in the box.
As collector’s editions go, Tales of Xillia 2 has one of the best on the market. Not only are the collectibles inside of higher quality than most of the figures and props you see in things like the Watch_Dogs CE, it contains more items than just about anything else at a comparable price. If you’re looking for a snazzy way to express your love for the Tales of series, this is a solid purchase.