Games Meet Metal: Slayer World Painted Blood Deluxe Edition Review

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Sunday, November 8, 2009

Slayer World Painted Blood Deluxe Edition Review

Ladies and germs, here is your mandated public service announcement:


Instead, this is an examination of the deluxe edition goodies and if they're worth the extra moolah they're asking.

Special editions are the norm now. Every big band or game developer does a more expensive special edition of their big releases to give the hardcore fans a little extra for a bit (or sometimes, a lot) extra cash. It also gives the company another reason to get the consumer to buy a physical copy of a game or cd. Someone buying it will be less likely to pirate it, you see. Even though the special edition has become the norm, hardly anyone has given them a good skeptical overview. Most reviewers just kind of brush them off as simple extras. But if you're contemplating getting that prestige edition of Modern Warfare 2 for $150, you'd kind of like to know if those night vision goggles work properly, right?

Well, that's what I'm here for. I've been burned on many a special edition in the past (The expensive versions of Street Fighter IV and Resident Evil 5 still raise my ire) and others I treasure to this day (Bioshock Big Daddy figure FTW!!). I really wished that someone could tell me the positives and negatives of these sets, but I have come to accept the fact that I'll have to do it myself. So, if my wallet takes a hit for consumer advocacy to help you make a better purchasing edition, then so be it.

Special editions will be graded on three area of criteria:

1. Packaging: One of the main draws of special editions is the deluxe packaging the sets come in. Some can be really nice. Remember that lock box for GTA IV? Maybe not aesthetically pleasing, but it's one of the handiest extras ever. Plus, it held the game good and tight. On the flipside, the special edition of Prey didn't even have a case for the cd, instead using a rubber button on the back of the special case tin to hold the disk. Cd scatches ahoy!

Packaging will be judged by originality, good disk storage, and aesthetic looks. This will be a good time to ask game developers to stop with those steelbook cases! The art on them may look nice, but everyone uses the damn things now! Please, start varying it up now.

2. Digital Goodies: The most common extra with special editions is the bonus dvd. Usually it's a "making of" documentary but some put downloadable goodies on them too. Most common are gamer pictures or avatar goodies for the game system of your choice. Some game companies offer in-package codes to be used online to download game extras. Super armor, character skins, maybe even a soundtrack.

Digital goodies will be graded on usefulness for in-game play for downloadable stuff, while bonus dvds will be judged if they're even entertaining enough to be included. I know some band members and game programmers have the personality of a wet piece of wood, but get a good filmmaker in their, and you can turn that drabness into gold! If you can afford it, that is.

3. Extra Crap: T-shirts, posters, stylus pens, figures, art books, helmets for your cat, perv goggles, your own freaking island. Game companies sure do throw a lot of other crap at ya in these special editions..... except the island. Some are neat, others would make Amy Winehouse wince. And that's what this score will be about. Will that bonus Slayer shirt make you look like a bad ass, or will you be condemned for the lame hipster who latches on to any novelty doo-dad?

All these scores will be averaged out to a final grade

Got all that? Good, because I'm not retyping it all.

So, anyways, onto that Slayer gift set! First, a look inside the cd package itself.

And now, the grading.

1. Packaging: The case itself is a standard digipak set with a see-through red slip cover. The ads for this set were touting  a "Blood Specimen O-card", which I'm guessing is the fancy name for the slip cover. I don't see what's so damn "O" about it, looks way more square to me. Plus, the touted expanded booklet looks pretty much like any other booklet. Lyrics, band pictures, song credits, nothing out of the ordinary here. The art on the casing is rather gruesome, but in a good way. Dried blood splotches hide a map of the world totally made of skulls and bones. The disks themselves get the treatment with blood spots on their face side and even some faded printing to show some age.

Verdict: Cool art, shitty marketing selling what didn't need to be sold. At least the blood spotches will look good in your metal library. Grade: B-

2. Digital Goodies: The bonus dvd is a 20-minute animated feature called Playing With Dolls. It's a photographic stop-motion piece about a serial killer. The film's been getting some major hate for being a suckfest and just totally out of place for a Slayer cd. While I do agree that the inclusion is a little puzzling, I'm gonna be "that guy" and say the film isn't that bad. I'm an animation nut, and the presentation is original enough for me to have a look and enjoy. I don't think it holds up after multiple viewings, but this is the fist attempt at this, so it's gonna be a little rough around the edges.

Verdict: Instead of an extra, the film should of been used as a marketing tool for the cd. Maybe use Youtube, perhaps? In the end, some live footage would of been a better pick. Grade: C

3. Extra crap: If you're buying this sucker in a store, well, sorry. NO EXTRA CRAP FOR YOU! For those who preordered through the Slayer website, that's a different story. Early birds get a 24X36 poster of the skull and bones map from the cover art. Let me tell ya, this thing is pretty bad ass.

If you're willing to shell out another $20, you can get yourself a new Slayer shirt! Once again, it's the album art, but it reflects the O-card treatment.

Hey, nothing wrong with a new Slayer shirt. And at $20, that's a lot cheaper than what they sell for at a show!

Verdict: Nice extras here, but it's up to you if you want to show the extra love for the shirt. Hey, a consumer choice! What a novel concept! Grade: B+

Final  Verdict: I really hate dogging on Slayer, but I gotta do it a bit here. This special edition just doesn't add up to the moolah you gotta spend. The extras are the real treat, but only if you buy online. The Slayer store says that you can get the extras even if you buy the standard edition, so I would go that route.

Final Grade: B-

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