Mass Effect Limited Edition Box Set Hardcover – 23 Nov 2007
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The art book contains a lot of gorgeous concept art that really shows how much attention has gone into the design of this fabulous game. Mass Effect has one of the best game stories I've encountered, and if you love the story as much as I do, you'll enjoy reliving the game via the artwork and seeing how the design of the characters and aliens evolved into their final versions.
The chapters cover the gamut: characters, races, environments, vehicles - there's even a "details" sections that covers miscellaneous stuff like furniture. The pages are dominated by the pictures, descriptive text is present but minimal; the way it should be.
I would give the art book a 5 star, but overall the set receives a 4-star because the guide is pretty straightforward, and there's nothing really special about this so-called collector's edition.
That being said, there's a lot of good in this package. The art book is very professionally done - hardback, clear text, and what everyone who would care for this product should expect - detail, description, and knowledge. It was very entertaining to see prototype images on the faces, species, vehicles, and even weapons used in Mass Effect. It was also interesting to read the ideas that became the various species and creatures. I'm very glad to have the art book in my possession.
The game guide is, well, another game guide. It gives nitty-gritty detail on the stuff you can figure out on your own, and skims over the areas that might challenge you, but that's the nature of the beast. My only complaint is that - as I have seen with many of these guides - is frustrating print issues. In some of the side-tip text boxes, the text overlaps itself - words are printed on top of words and the entire section is completely illegible. There's little reason why an error like this should slip through product quality testing.
In the end you've got a product that's good but not great.