After almost five years, it’s here! (Although it’s been “it’s here” for a while in some locales…) But hey, at least it’s likely you’ll see some additional images not found in a lot of places because of the bundle I got!
Warning: image-heavy post ahoy!
Final Fantasy VII Remake Premium Deluxe Edition
Release Date: April 10th, 2020
This Best Buy exclusive bundle includes the Deluxe Edition of Final Fantasy VII Remake (game, artbook, mini CD, steelbook, DLC) as well as a metallic sticker set and a canvas pouch.
Usually, Best Buy is very good about sending non-standard games in boxes versus in envelopes, but this time, they sent it in an envelope. Fortunately, the game arrived safely, although the Best Buy exclusive items, which was sent separately, was crushed. It’s a cardboard box and the contents are soft, so no big deal, but if it had something like the GameStop tin inside, it definitely would have been damaged. I don’t understand why they didn’t ship both together in a box.
Best Buy seems to have bungled the Chocobo Chick DLC, which all preorders were entitled to, although they are blaming the vendor. People started complaining on Friday, early pickup day, that no code was included, but it seemed likely that they had just scheduled emails to be sent out on the morning of the 10th. Well, in the early evening, they said they have a batch for Deluxe Edition orders that were to be mailed within 24 hours, but standard edition orders are going to be waiting 7-10 business days. Huge screw-up since I know Amazon since theirs out ASAP while GameStop’s were on the receipts at pickup (and, I’m assuming, received emails). As of this writing, Best Buy has not sent out mine.
Nice shiny rainbow effect on the cover (and other main text) while the party members’ pictures and the Deluxe Edition items have a shine to them.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I do prefer when companies include both the standard packaging and the steelbook instead of only steelbooks in collector’s editions. Nice also that the reversible cover still has the back cover information. Many times reversible covers just have art on them that make it clear you aren’t using the default cover and almost looks fake.
I have to say, this is one of the most impressive non-full-size artbooks I’ve seen. It’s about 60 pages long, but they actually do cram a lot of art on each page. It isn’t just “here’s the same character renders that we use everywhere” but actual art. Party members, key characters, enemies, locations, weapons — quite a list. I didn’t study every page since even though I know the story of Final Fantasy VII, I wanted to avoid any potential Remake spoilers. So it may not include everything, but still very impressive.
What wasn’t impressive was that the corners were worn. It’s very common for books like this to have banged-up corners, but I was disappointed that every corner had clear white on an otherwise black cover. You can also see a scratch next to the Square Enix logo on the back.
I was going to let it go, but then I pulled out the steelbook. There’s a significant scratch on the back cover and some finer less scratching. That pushed me to call up Best Buy, and they took very good care of me. It wasn’t their fault since this was all clearly manufacturing and/or Square Enix packaging defects, but it was a big letdown to see quality control issues in my copy.
I do like the open steelbook of the iconic Cloud and Shinra Company on either half.
CD, some excellent tracks, but I don’t think the Boss fight theme is included? Odd exclusion. Doesn’t matter, going to get the full soundtrack someday.
Now, Best Buy’s preorder bonus was a $10 gift card. But, for an additional $20 versus buying the Deluxe Edition alone, you could get an exclusive pouch and some stickers. I wrestled over whether it was worth the cost, but I’m going to keep it now. Different makie metallic sticker sets are being sold for $8.99 at the Square Enix Store, so that means the pouch is about $11 if you get this retail.
So based upon that link the SOLDIER 1st Class part of the set seems to be an exclusive. Personally, I would have rather had the Shinra logo or something versus SOLDIER 1st Class.
The pouch is odd since it really isn’t made for anything in particular. I guess you could find a lanyard or something to string through the loop and store something while walking around. But it’s almost too large for that purpose, and you wouldn’t want to walk around with a phone or something of that size/weight around your neck. The front of the pouch has a little pocket, which makes it all the more bizarre. Because then the pouch doesn’t feel like it’s for safekeeping either. I do admit really liking the design text. It has that fun tongue-in-cheek quality while also feeling nostalgic. Nice canvas material though.
If I didn’t have my 20% off offer still active when Final Fantasy VII Remake was available to order, I would have gone to GameStop since I love the keycard tin. I’m hoping to pick up one somewhere. Best Buy also did a package deal with Animal Crossing: New Horizons where for an additional $5 you could buy a replica Bell pouch, so I’m wondering if Best Buy is going to have more “pay $x more for an exclusive” packages. I’d rather stick to free preorder bonuses, thank you very much, especially since I no longer have my 20% off and I’ll be looking for the best deal or best bonus. (Rest in peace, Gamers Club Unlocked — you won’t be forgotten.)
Otherwise, as for the Deluxe Edition, it’s a solid package. Contents may be relatively standard for a video game limited edition, but I’d rank it over Kingdom Hearts III‘s Deluxe Edition because the artbook is meatier in content.
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