There’s nothing quite like owning physical goods, but they can be expensive and shelf space can come at a premium. Every month, 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.
The Rez Infinite soundtrack improves upon perfection. Alongside the classic tracks fans know and love, the brand new Area X came with its share of totally new music from Hydelic. Sure, it’s a bit different, but it fits the divergent gameplay and visuals present in that section. Unfortunately, there was no easy way to get hold of this music digitally. After the PS4 launch, iam8bit created a Rez Infinite vinyl soundtrack. It included an 8” disc with a sampling of Area X’s best tracks. Unlike some of their offerings, however, a digital download version of that music specifically was not included with purchase.
This changed with the release of Rez Infinite on PC. To coincide with the announcement, iam8bit announced what appeared to be one of their first cassette tape offerings via the Rez Infinite PC Collector’s Edition. Unlike vinyl, cassettes aren’t looked upon quite as fondly in the modern era due to their penchant for breaking and lower quality audio. In any case, the oddity of the offering proved too alluring for folks such as myself who bought in on one of the 888 produced copies. It’s a single cassette which holds seven songs from Area X and nothing else – there wouldn’t be enough room for the main Rez soundtrack on one tape.
The purchase also included the songs digitally as well as a Steam code for Rez Infinite (hence the “PC Collector’s Edition” moniker). With that said, the Steam copy alone includes the soundtrack as free DLC so there was no music exclusivity tied to the cassette. Still, there’s no doubt it’s currently a fairly unique item when created in the midst of a vinyl resurgence. So, was it really worth a pick up as something more than just a collectible? It depends on your outlook.
The cassette itself is neat with its clear orange shell. The cassette cardboard insert also matches the Area X vibe with art from the game. It doesn’t offer much else aside from a track listing, though. For whatever reason, despite arriving sealed, the plastic case was already scuffed upon opening. Given its obvious status as a collectible item, this is a definite annoyance. In comparison, there didn’t appear to be scratches or scuffs on the cassette itself. At the very least, iam8bit did package the item well. It arrived in a tight cardboard box specifically tailored for cassette tape shipping.
How does it sound? Well, do you recall how cassettes ever sounded back in the day? They get the music across, but not in a way that is as good as modern music downloads or vinyl. Admittedly, there is something nostalgic about pulling out a Walkman and listening to Rez music. Most will probably opt to keep the whole package sealed and stick it on a shelf alongside their Trance Vibrator.
All in all, one can only hope that this was just a one-off for iam8bit. As weirdly cool as having Rez Infinite music on cassette tape is, it’s absolutely not the way anyone really wants to listen to their music. On the plus side, the package did include a digital download and Rez Infinite for Steam. When comparing the price of the game itself ($24.99) or game and cassette ($35), the cassette was an easy purchase. As of now, there are still a few copies available officially from iam8bit. Eventually those will dry up, though, so be sure to pick one up if at all interested.
Want to look through the rest of our Collector’s Cabinet? Head right here.