If there’s anything long-time readers know about me, it’s that I love me some Persona in general, and Persona 4 in specific, so it was pretty obvious that I was going to go all-out attack on Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth. I picked up the Collector’s Edition of Persona 4 Arena Ultimax, after all, mostly because it came with a punchable Teddie (and he kind of deserves it), and really, what sense is there in not completing the tarot card set? Go big or go home, or something appropriately silly like that. So it made perfect sense to pick up Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth: The Wild Card Premium Edition, to fill out the tarot cards, and to see what else it came with in the process and how rad it all was. Since I figured I was picking it up anyway, what better way to enjoy it than to share it with all of you out there, so you could see if it was worth trying to find on the secondary market, or (for those who bought it and want to keep it as a collector’s piece) if it’s worth the asking price in general.
So, let’s get started.
Here’s our wonderful official box shot for the Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth: The Wild Card Premium Edition:
You will note that I have the limited edition Persona Q 3DS alongside it, which Alex already took the liberty of unboxing for your enjoyment, so we won’t get into that too much, except to use it as a size reference. Still, as Alex noted, it’s pretty rad, featuring a Persona Compendium top and an illustration of the PQ cast on the backside, so fans should probably pick it up if they have the chance. The Wild Card edition of PQ is about the same size as the PQ 3DS box, but a little thicker, so it’s almost certainly stuffed full of goodies.
Here’s a shot of the artwork on the back of the box; it’s obscured by the packing label until you open it up, but it holds up well on opening and looks pretty great.
Once again, I’ve opened up the PQ 3DS for a sense of scale, so you can use that as a general frame of reference for how big everything is. Inside of the Wild Card edition package, you’ll find the game, the second tarot card package (though regular edition preorders also came with this), a soundtrack, an artbook, and a PQ carrying case. Not a bad haul, in theory, but let’s break it down a bit.
The tarot cards are, again, the second set available to fans, and rounds out the set included with P4AU for those who acquired the game. The cards feel durable enough, and the artwork looks functionally identical to that which appears in the game, so there about as accurate a representation as you can expect for free, though it should be noted that there are punchmarks on the edges in some places, so they look obviously mass-produced. I mean, obviously they are, but it looks obvious, is the point. Anyway, the artbook is forty pages, containing artwork of the characters and bosses, the DLC Personas you can download (for free and at cost, depending), and some novelty artwork of the cast interacting with each other. It feels sturdy enough and the artwork looks very nice, as every section is separated obviously from each other through the artwork itself and through page colors, to give it an aesthetically pleasant feel. The soundtrack, on the other hand, is… questionable. On one hand, it’s only four songs on a CD, which seems silly considering that it’s basically data pressed to a disc and there’s no good reason you couldn’t add more. On the other, the songs are at least unique; the CD features remixes of songs from the soundtrack, most of which are around the 4-6 minute range, so it’s a little better than it seems, and it’s not like they’re just picking and choosing songs from the official soundtracks to dish out. If you’re the sort of person who wants to have every possible version of a song available, this ends up being a neat collectible, since the four remixes here aren’t part of the official soundtrack, but for those who were hoping for that, well, none of it is here.
The most interesting thing that comes with the Wild Cards edition is the carrying case. While I haven’t received any indication as such, it’s consistent with the Hori P4G carrying case so I suspect it’s at least a suitable facsimile (the tag inside says “Sega Atlus” though so who knows), for those who are wanting a quality case. Whether it is or not, however, it is a fabulous case regardless. The exterior features a colorful front with the game logo on the right side (as seen above), while the back features a cast portrait of the default cast artwork, and the zippers are little exclamation points. It’s solid enough that it should protect your 3DS well, and while it doesn’t feel like it could survive a drop, it’s pretty, and will keep your 3DS decently safe, if nothing else.
The inside of the case is also rather nice, featuring an illustration of Teddie on the inside top and Koromaru on the inside bottom. There’s only one large pocket, so those hoping for a little more organization to the case will be disappointed, but it’s pretty adorable looking at least.
The 3DS XL also fits inside of it quite nicely, though for those of you with older style systems, it’s going to be a loose fit, and the case doesn’t come with a workaround.
Finally, just for reference, here’s what you can expect from the artbook; there are a few pages that are handled by other artists, but for the most part it’s all cast art and small bios.
All told, it’s difficult to know if the extra thirty bucks was worth it for Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth: The Wild Card Premium Edition. The core game comes with the tarot cards (and costs $50), so really, the extra cost nets you a case, an artbook and a CD, all of which are nice, but whether they’re $30 nice is harder to judge. Personally speaking, I like the case and artbook, but I’d almost certainly want a case that can survive a drop from a decent height for normal use, and the artbook feels more like a free preorder gift than an at-cost add-on. The soundtrack is nice from a novelty perspective, but something closer to the original Persona 4 soundtracks Atlus gave away with those games would be more compelling.
It’s kind of telling that this particular limited edition feels a little… uninspired, given that this is the first where I’ve been able to find Sega’s name somewhere on the product. I was absolutely the first person to defend the fact that Sega’s purchase of Atlus didn’t mean we’d see less releases (and so far we haven’t), and the first to point out that rerelease floods also weren’t Sega’s deal when that Persona 4 Platinum parody was released (I mean how many versions of Persona 3 exist?), but this might hurt some people’s feelings. The Solid Gold Persona 4 Golden release was equally upscaled, but in the end was ten dollars less than this is, and the case and novelties were a little bit nicer in comparison, so it seems like a bit of a step back, overall. It’s not bad per say, but it’ll be interesting to see if later releases are more in line with Catherine, Devil Summoner 2 and Persona 4 Golden, or if we’re going to see more releases that leave one scratching one’s head. It’s possible that y’all think I’m crazy, and maybe I am, but while I’m not disappointed with the Wild Card edition of Persona Q, I’m not as impressed as I have been by prior releases.