For the last five years, Limited Run Games has been putting out quality physical releases of games that would otherwise remain stuck in digital storefronts. It’s honest work, helping to preserve iconic indie games and niche international releases so that they aren’t at risk of being lost to time, should the digital console shops they’re available on shut down. For the most part, Limited Run Games simply releases regular physical editions of games like Celeste and River City Girls, combining them with sharp cover art, full-colour case inserts and gorgeously printed discs or cartridges.
More and more frequently, though, they’ve also been releasing mouth-watering collectors editions of fan-favourite games, packing in a huge variety of physical bonuses sure to please hardcore fans. Earlier this year, Limited Run Games opened up pre-orders for a special Paradie Box Edition of wacky old-school shmup Game Tengoku CruisinMix Special. The team at Limited Run Games recently sent us a copy of that jam-packed special edition, so come along as we unbox it and take a look at all of the goodies included inside the Game Tengoku CruisinMix Special Paradise Box Edition.
The entire affair is housed in a gorgeously lurid, bright pink cardboard box with a sleek gloss finish that is guaranteed to stand out on your display shelf. It’s a bit on the light side in terms of weight though, so you might have some trouble displaying it stood up, but regardless of how you show it off, the crisp unique artwork on the front of the box is an absolute delight.
Once you crack open the box, you’re treated to a jam-packed collection of goods that are sure to make any fan of Game Tengoku CruisinMix Special drool. Whether you’re into soundtracks, anime DVDs or artwork, there’s guaranteed to be something in this box for you. And if you’re a fan of all three of those things, then strap in.
The 2-disc soundtrack CD is likely the first thing you’ll notice in the package. It comes in a standard yet sturdy jewel CD case, complete with gorgeous art inserts on the front, back and inside of the case. For me, the biggest thing when it comes to collectors edition soundtracks is the quantity of music contained on it. I’m not a fan of special soundtrack CDs that are simply samplers of the full score, which is why I was thrilled by this dual CD soundtrack containing all 34 songs from the full game. The second CD even includes 9 original remixes of tracks from the game that are certified bangers.
Packed in alongside the soundtrack is a much more unique bonus, though. Back in 1997, a special 15-minute short anime based on Game Tengoku titled Game Tengoku: The Game Paradise! was released, and subsequently packed in as a VHS bonus in a later collector’s edition of the game.
This is a DVD version of that anime special, packaged in a big and beautiful replica retro longbox jewel case instead of a boring standard DVD box. Don’t expect any restorative HD magic with the anime itself, though. This is a standard definition capture of a VHS animation, so the quality is far from perfect.
Of course, this Paradise Box wouldn’t be complete without a physical copy of the game itself. This standard PS4 disc version of Game Tengoku CruisinMix Special has the entire game, as well as all four DLC packs, included. There was some minor controversy when this was originally put up for sale, due to the fact that one of the included DLC was exclusive to this Paradise Box edition. Limited Run Games had never done digital exclusives before, which irked some people. Thankfully, that DLC pack is available for all now.
My favorite bonus in the entire package, though, is this nearly 130 page full-sized artbook. Half of the book is made up of character profiles and in-game artwork of every character from the game, along with cheeky translated descriptions for each character. The 2nd half of the book consists of scanned design documents from the original version of the game, as well as a nearly 30-page tie-in manga. Unfortunately, neither of these parts of the book are translated into English, despite the book giving you clear instructions on which direction to “read” the manga from. I was really interested in reading this stuff, so I was left a bit sour by their lack of translation.
Finally, the Game Tengoku CruisinMix Special Paradise Box comes with 21 replica Jaleco Arcade Game Flyers, giving fans reproductions of the various posters used to promote many of the games that would come to inspire Game Tengoku. These are absolutely beautiful and glossy, and fans of old-school arcade artwork are definitely going to want to frame and display some of these.
Overall, I was really impressed by everything that was packed into the Game Tengoku CruisinMix Special Paradise Box. I always gravitate towards collectors editions featuring full artbooks, although the lack of translation in this one left me a little deflated. Regardless, this collectors edition is a fine example of the variety of unique goods and bonuses you can expect from a Limited Run Games release.