GTA4 Special Edition Unboxing Porn

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I’m not even that big a GTA fan – I’m the sort who does a few missions, loses interest, and then just drives around the city raising hell and seeing how long I can fend off the police – yet there I was last night, in line in front of a local game shop, waiting to get my hands on GTA4. I guess I just like the community aspect – lineup events remind me there’s an actual physical community out there; real people, not just semitransparent swearing poltergeists floating around on Xbox Live and PSN.

And oh what a community we are. Actually, I was surprised by how diverse the turnout was: all ages, all races, and a range of economic classes were represented – the only scarce demographic being, unsurprisingly, females. In the line of 75 or so people, I counted about 8 women – and two of those, interestingly enough, were moms there to purchase the game for their accompanying underage sons.

(By the way, that’s some fucking balls; when I was that age I didn’t even want my mom to pick me up at school. Not only were those kids able to bamboozle mommy into sitting in line with them for a couple hours on a Monday night to buy them an M-rated videogame, but they clearly didn’t give a shit if the whole rest of the line saw it.)

The other girls were wives and girlfriends along for the ride, the one right behind me so insanely stoned out of her mind (I’m sure I got a contact high from just breathing the fumes coming off her stained sweatshirt), she was there a full 20 minutes before the daze lifted a bit and she asked her boyfriend:

“So we’re buying a videogame?”

Genius.

Anyway, I picked up the Special Edition. Yes, the big boy. Yes, the one with the $90 price tag. Save your snide, smart-ass “must be nice” bullshit, because it’s not like I have all the money in the world or anything. In fact given how lukewarm I am on the series it’s probably downright stupid I bought it… but I did, because I have a terrible (and expensive) weakness for collector’s editions of games, DVDs, albums… you name it. It’s a disease. Truth be told, you should pity me1.

So for everyone else with my proclivity but without my means, I took pictures of the whole un-boxing ritual for you to stroke yourself to. Enjoy!

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So here’s the whole thing unopened, right from the store. There’s a bunch of shit in it that rattles around, making you worry the disc is loose and being gouged with scratches with every vibration, but fortunately it’s only the other, sturdier stuff.

To keep all the maniacs quiet and behaving, the store had drawings for GTA4 faceplates (Xbox 360, obviously), and I managed to win one, seen here.

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I don’t want it – my 360 is horizontal (so it would look wrong), and I don’t do the whole faceplate thing anyway – so I’m giving it away. If you want it, e-mail me (gwhodges@hotmail.com) a single-page, 5-paragraph essay on the topic “America Is A Nation Of Laws” with the e-mail’s subject reading “For a bigger, thicker joystick!”. Assuming I get more than one applicant… well, that’s pretty unlikely, so I’m not going to worry about that.

Back to the Special Edition…

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Here’s the box from the back and opened, with the safety deposit box/case removed. This is how it’s packed – the case is just in there, not wrapped in anything. The white thing up front is just Styrofoam holding a handle in place.

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The box is all metal, but not too heavy-duty – it’s like a lunchbox more or less. You can see the game title and Rockstar logo embossed into it.

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Opened for the very first time. There is a keyhole, but the box isn’t locked – obviously it couldn’t be, since you don’t have the keys to it (yet). And now you can see what I mean about all the loose items – this is what makes all the racket when you move the package around.

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Everything removed from the deposit box. From the upper left, clockwise: The Art of Grand Theft Auto IV book, the game itself, the Rockstar duffel bag, the soundtrack CD, and a Rockstar keychain.

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The keychain is actually pretty cool – it feels sturdy and heavy, and has a nice sheen to it (which of course you can’t tell from this picture). Not like I would actually use it, though – I’m not that big a geek.

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Here’s the art book. It’s actually pretty cool to flip through, but there is one little quirk…

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Umm…

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Am I the “lucky” one, or are they all like this?

Here’s the soundtrack, in a cardboard sleeve:

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The track list is pretty good – not comprehensive obviously, but there’s no question Rockstar can pick out some tight music.

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The game... as far as I can tell, identical to the standard version.

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I was beginning to wonder if there were no keys at all for the lockbox, but finally found them: taped in a little baggie to the packed-up duffel bag.

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I have to admit, they don't inspire confidence. The keys are really, really thin, and the lock feels just a little tight and stiff – making you wonder if someday the key might break off in the lock, and maybe, just maybe, you’d have to resort to cracking open the box like a thief… ironic, maybe, but also shitty. My recommendation: don’t go crazy locking and unlocking the thing.

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The duffel, with unattached strap. It’s actually not too bad a bag, and looks alright, assuming – like the keychain – it’s something you’d want to actually use in public where women might see you. It’s not the sturdiest thing in the world, but that’s not such a big deal, for reasons I’ll get to a couple pics from now.

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Not sure about this lining, though. It’s a bright golden-yellow, bedazzled with thousands of little Rockstar logos. It’s a bit like looking into King Midas’ colon. And as you can see, even my cat is stunned by the gaudiness.

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But as I mentioned before: though it’s not very heavy duty, that doesn’t really matter since you wouldn’t be able to stuff much into the bag anyway – it’s pretty small. I didn’t measure it, but here’s the game case for scale.

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And here’s the faceplate for scale.

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If it helps, here’s a 12” zombie action figure for scale.

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If you’re still having trouble picturing it, here’s my lucky wampa paw for scale.

See? Small.

So there you have it. Worth $90? Well, that all depends on you. Personally, I think the lockbox and the art book are the only worthwhile knickknacks in the thing – everything else is the sort of shit they pass out for free at trade shows and stuff, and barely figures into my estimated value. Are those two nice items worth $30 more? Eh. Barely, maybe. $75-$80 seems more reasonable to me, unless of course my upside-down book is one-of-a-kind and I can eBay it for mad cash.

It might make a pretty cool box to hide your weed in, though.

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Footnotes

1: Plus I can write it off, so nyah-nyah-nyah!

- Gary Hodges

For more on gaming by Gary Hodges go to JoystickDivision.com.

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