Archive for August, 2012

The Beast In The Box

Ten o’ clock of the morning rolled around and I burst from my computer chair, snagged my keys, and raced for the door as quickly as decorum would allow.  The day was already muggy and warming towards hot.  I would have to be quick, fifteen minutes only I had.

Key in the ignition, roar of an engine, pop the clutch and shift the gears.  I was off, from my workplace to the local game store.  I parked and dashed inside.  The place had only just opened and already there was a slow-talking farmer type monopolizing the only employee in sight.

Fifteen minutes, but I could be patient.  I browsed the used games, cast a jaundiced eye over the pile of PS2 discs, and generally slouched about looking put-upon.  Then I saw it.  It was hiding in plain sight.  Among the other outlandishly large Guild Wars 2 display boxes squatted a large, square box.  Through the clear plastic window snarled Rytlock Brimstone.  I would know his glowering countenance anywhere.  Sohothin burned just beside him and I bounced on the balls of my feet, willing mister farmer to hurry up with his sports games purchases.  I wanted that box, I wanted it in my clutching, covetous claws.

Finally it was my turn and the box was brought to me.  It was large, larger than I expected.  I hefted the ungainly package, surprised at its weight.  “I don’t suppose you have a bag big enough for this?”

I think the employee wanted to laugh at me.  No bag was found, but he was able to produce the original shipping box.  I didn’t want to carry my prize, uncovered, through the halls of monotonous white-collar America.  I also didn’t want to leave it in my car, growing hotter by the hour, and risk having Rytlock melt.  This was mine, something to savor.  So the nondescript box sat by my desk for the day, staring tauntingly at me the whole while.

Finally the time came and I made it home.  I had dinner, then took the box upstairs and began.

First I sat it on my chair, and marveled anew at the sheer size.  Believe me when I say that the shipping box fits the game box like a glove.  I had to upend it to separate the two.

There he is, just look at him!  Ready to take on the world, to take on the dragons.  This guy doesn’t need flaky friends, he’s got all he needs right there.

My Guild Wars 1 Collector’s Edition decided to come say hi to its big brother.  Then one of my cats had to come investigate.  I think she approves.

I open the box and pull out a cardboard buffer.  This is an exceptionally nice touch, to make sure that any bangs or dents on the corner won’t harm the figurine inside.



The interior sports a beautifully muted rendition of the Black Citadel.

Rytlock is held in place by five coated wire ties.  Two encase Sohothin, bringing the total to 7 ties.  They are wrapped tightly and quite securely.  As you can see, there is also a piece of soft plastic between the figurine and the harder plastic case.  More protection. I approve.

Finally, Tribune Rytlock Brimstone of the Blood legion is free of his plasticky prison.  It is at this point that my husband comes to visit, admires the figurine, and wonders aloud that it was a box with just Rytlock.  Well, no, there is more, let’s find out what.

Under a separated partition at the bottom of the box lurks something shiny.

A Handsome metal tin, embossed with a relief map of Tyria, is the only other thing in the box.  You may notice Rytlock has already claimed a spot on my computer desk.  I couldn’t very well leave him on the floor.

The presentation is very understated and minimal.  Classy.

I thought this was just a card on top of everything.  It’s a pouch.  Even the string matches the color scheme, but I am eager to see what’s inside.

It’s art! Beautiful, luscious art!  I count four pieces, then I count again.  I could have sworn there would be five.

I would not be disappointed.  The final art print hides for me in the included picture frame.  If I don’t miss my mark, this scene is one of Daniel Dociou’s handiwork.  I am quite happy to let it stay.

There is a protective film on each side of the ‘glass’.  It’s not glass though, it’s very thin plastic, but once I removed the film it served well enough.  The back is held on with sturdy swivels and the stand even has a ribbon.

Under the picture frame I find the ‘making of’ book, and the game.

I especially liked the drawn map of Tyria.  It’s not terribly useful if you’re actually trying to navigate, but the personality it exudes is undeniable.

The signatures at the beginning of the book made me smile.  I’m tempted to bring the book with me this weekend when I go to PAX to get some real ink signatures.

At the end of the book is a company photo.  I love looking at these as well.  It’s wonderful to be able to see the people who so lovingly crafted this wonderful game.

The box still holds one more secret, a ‘best of’ soundtrack CD.  There are only six tracks on this disc, but I will savor every one of them.

And finally we have all of the Guild Wars 2 Collector’s Edition unboxed and laid out.  I have been playing Guild Wars since the original Beta Weekend Events.  I was fortunate enough to be able to participate in the Guild Wars 2 Beta Weekend Events, lending my voice and helping to make it the best game it could be.  Now that the wait is finally over and we are unleashed on Tyria, I expect to be playing this game for years yet to come.

Congratulations ArenaNet.  I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you this, but you have made a wonderfully fun game with an honest pricing model that I can respect.


Holy Sketchdumps Batman!

You’ve probably already seen a few of these, and if you pay attention to my tumblr you’ve DEFINITELY seen almost all of these.  BUT! I like having them all in one place.  It’s like a dragon, hoarding shinies, except I’m an artist, hoarding sketchies.