With 2020 doing 2020 things, I kind of forgot about this. But hey, that doesn’t mean I wasn’t happy to get a game about sad girls! (Wait, that doesn’t sound right…)
Warning: image-heavy post ahoy!
CLANNAD Collector’s Edition
Key / Sekai Games
Release Date: July 4, 2020 (Switch digital), October 2020 (physical)
MSRP: $44.99 (digital), $49.99 (physical, Standard Edition), $89.99 (physical, Collector’s Edition)
CLANNAD was originally released in Japan in 2004 and had several ports and updated versions released over the years. In 2014, Sekai Games raised enough money through crowdfunding for an English Steam release in 2015, and physical copies with a CD and a book were available. Japan has seen some dual language physical versions using Sekai Games’ script, while in the West it was added to PlayStation Network and then Nintendo eShop. In 2020, Limited Run Games had preorders up for six weeks for a physical Switch release in either a game-only version or a package with the game and the artbook and CD from the Kickstarter version. Those (and this Collector’s Edition) were based upon the first press edition of the original Japanese PC release.
The anime adaptation of CLANNAD is beloved by many, so it wasn’t surprising that Sekai Games raised enough money to release the visual novel in the West — or that the game itself was also highly praised. CLANNAD‘s pricetag was on the high end for a PC game without cutting-edge graphics or realistic physics, although the price has been dropping as time goes on. But I couldn’t resist picking up a physical copy, especially since (excluding shipping) it wasn’t that much more than the digital Switch version. Yes, there was the option of the dual language PS4 or Switch versions, but this also might help get more of these type of releases.
The cardboard box is a little thin for a decent size package (about 10.5 x 7.25″ or 27 cm x 18 cm) like this. Maybe it’s just because I hate the way it opens — or rather, closes. It’s very easy, kind of like a pizza box, for the top and bottom of the interior to be on the outside when you go to close it. So you have to hold the top and bottom to make sure you’re closing it properly. Even the side with the tab you might have to push in. Just a little too fiddly, and I wish we could just lift the cover off. I think the original Japanese game had a box like this, but I’d rather have convenience over authenticity.
Opening it up was another bit of an oddity. You have to pull the entire insert out to get to the contents, and then you pull what you want from the side. The opposite side of the direction you open it by the way. Seems like the more natural way would have been to have a recess for the artbook on top that could be pulled out and get to the CD and game on the bottom. This looks like a collector’s edition, but yet it feels more like a Day 1 edition like you’d get from Aksys Games or PQube or something.
CD… yeah, not much to note here except it’s really hard to get out.
Game case looks nice. This cover is not used on the Switch version in Japan, but it was used on the Kickstarter packaging. Definitely gives off that gal game vibe.
Finally, the guidebook. I didn’t study it too closely because I wanted to avoid spoiling everything, but it’s pretty much what you want out of an included artbook: character designs, data, background art, staff comments. Very nice book that I’ll love to truly look at later. The only thing is that this Tweet says the artbook is over 80 pages, but the book ends on page 70. Comparing it to this video, the discrepancy comes from the fact the Kickstarter artbook included a section where names of backers were included. Several pages did match up, and it is after that section that the page numbers diverge. So I guess Sekai just saw their original was 80 pages and promoted it like, forgetting the backers section would be removed.
I know Tomoyo After, the CLANNAD spin-off, has recently been released in Japan as a dual-language Switch game. Hoping Limited Run Games also does preorders for an English physical edition to match. I’d definitely pick it up to go with this CLANNAD set. Yes, it’s a little on the high end considering the Steam edition has gone below $20 during sales, and a similar physical package for Steam went for $50 in 2014. But Switch games almost always cost more than the PC version, and just don’t like playing games on my computer. So a bit of a premium, but it’s also not going to be available outside of third-party sellers now.