Final Fantasy fans have never lacked for quality merchandising. In fact, Square Enix‘ marketing department has a long and storied history of securing high-end licensees. From action figures to full-color art books, playing cards to collector’s sets, the series has enjoyed some of the most consistent – if not necessarily the most abundant – merchandising efforts around.
The first port of call for any franchise enthusiast is of course the game itself, with special edition sets often offering an early, exclusive batch of collectibles. Recent FF entries have even started to standardise these offerings, removing extraneous trinkets and toys in favor of soundtracks, art cards and in-game items.
The latest Final Fantasy title, Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy 13 eschews many elements of this standard CE package, including the ability to purchase the title from retail. Instead Square will be selling the set directly, from the publisher’s own North American website (no word on a Euro edition, as yet), for the grand total of $89.99. The full pack, available for both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 platforms features the following items:
- Premium packaging featuring artwork from the Japan release
- 80 page hardcover artbook containing Tetsuya Nomura’s original sketches of Lightning, a foreword from art director Isamu Kamikokuryo, and concept art from LIGHTNING RETURNS: FINAL FANTASY XIII
- Silver embossed pocket watch
- DLC code for FINAL FANTASY VII’s Aerith Gainsborough’s “Midgar’s Flower Girl” outfit
- LIGHTNING RETURNS: FINAL FANTASY XIII Game Disc
*For an additional overview, including a look at the content in action, check out the newly released trailer up top.
The Aerith garb marks the second time a Final Fantasy 7 costume will appear in the title, following news of Cloud Strife’s quasi-reappearance, courtesy of the game’s pre-order incentives. Here, as there Lightning’s hair remains largely unchanged, meaning die-hard Aerith resurrectionists may be disappointed by the resemblance.
While the limited edition pocket watch is a nice touch, its inclusion — and associated production costs — probably forced Square into cutting another expected feature, that of Masashi Hamauzu’s OST on CD. Given the high quality of Final Fantasy‘s soundtracks this could prove to be a major loss for fans of the series, though a standalone release could also be on the cards.
What part of this premium package excites you the most? Is the game’s Collector’s Edition missing out on any vital items? Have your say in the comments below, and be sure to check in with all of the latest Final Fantasy news, right here on Game Rant.
Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy 13 will be released on February 11, 2014 in North America and February 14, 2014 throughout Europe. The title is available for both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 platforms.
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