Collector’s Cabinet: Steins;Gate Limited Edition

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.

Just this week visual novel fans learned that they’ll soon be able to play the critical darling Steins;Gate on PS3 and Vita. Sure, many English-speaking players have already blazed through the game on PC, but there are many fans of games like Danganronpa and Virtue’s Last Reward on Sony’s consoles who haven’t had the chance. Today we look at the limited edition of the game for PC, which will hopefully hit consoles as well.

Steins;Gate comes in a surprisingly thin rectangular box. The box itself has a satin matte finish which makes it more appealing than similarly-sized VHS tape covers. The cover showcases some fine artwork, although the back is completely blank. You might expect some sort of slip case, but the outer box is actually hinged so it opens like a book. Inside fit both limited edition goodies and a copy of the PC game. It’s impressive how snugly everything fits into the low profile box.

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As is so common with limited edition games these days, Steins;Gate comes with an “Original Fanbook.” It’s more or less a standard artbook, though there are some interesting design-related pages, including in-depth examinations of each character’s different facial expressions. Character profiles are also included alongside a variety of full page color illustrations. It’s worth noting that the art book is softcover and unfortunately seems prone to smudges and tearing.

There’s also a manual included, which is definitely a rarity these days. Unlike the Original Fanbook, this is entirely in black and white (aside from it’s attractive outer cover). As per manual standards it also doesn’t say anything much of interest aside from explaining how the interface functions. After the booklets are removed it’s hard not to feel a bit let down by the game disk’s relatively sloppy presentation.

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The blue-tinted Steins;Gate art printed on the disc looks really stylish, but that’s not the issue here. The game doesn’t even have any sort of special disc cover! The completely plain slim jewel case feels almost like an affront next to the other contents of this lovely package. I don’t know what non-limited versions of the game look like, but I expect they have better attention to detail than this.Still, the outer box does give you something nice to put on your shelf.

The set is redeemed somewhat by two included Future Gadget Lab Member Badges. These penny-sized pins look nearly indentical to their in-game counterparts, and are perfect for cosplay. The only disappointment here is that the finish is a little dull. They come in a nice, Steins;Gate-branded display case.

This isn’t the best limited edition out there, but Steins;Gate fans will probably jump to pick this up – if only for the sake of cosplay. For the rest of us, it’s probably best to wait and see on possible special editions for PS3 or Vita, as the original PC release now commands a much higher price than it should on eBay.

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For Hardcore Fans Only