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SummaryNow this is definitely worthy a title of Collector's Edition.
The GoodI won't try and describe Red Alert 2 game, its pluses and flaws, for that you can check my review under "Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2". This is mainly review for Collector's Edition, and what lies behind. But before I start, here's some info on units from Red Alert 2 that I was unable to put in my original "Red Alert 2" review.
Allied forces: there is no need to mention regular houses and units, so I'll only stick to important ones. On the contrary to soviets that have to have a radar, allied radar comes along with small airfield with four platforms for Harrier fighters. Also equipped with pillboxes against enemy infantry and patriot missile system made for air attacks. Yeah, there's one thing you should definitely know, and that is, that air-defence systems can now easily intercept any rocket you send, wether from your ship or truck. Also, there's no way you can shoot someone from lower grounds, as there's no way to hit it. Finally they made it as there was always needed. And planes are pretty high now, comparing where their shadow is :) Prism tower is something like laser beam tower, but it can combine with others to shoot far. Also, I forgot to mention that your units get ranks very rapidly, and when they reach the highest level, they're pretty much UPGRADED, so fear them. Gap generator has the same function as in RA, but it's mostly for multiplayer mode intended. Ore purifier is a building that increases amount of your ore with each new shipment, as it uses somehow better way of extracting pure ore then other refineries. Chronosphere now functions safely, with GREAT ability to chonoshift enemy troops (ie. you can chrono emeny vehicles right into the water and watch 'em sink, lol). Spy satellite uplink will show you the whole map, and weather control device will create lightning storm in a certain spot you choose. There's another thing here, every player sees counting to your special house control ability, and shroud removes on a certain house for all players. So basically, no special house can stay hidden :) As for the units, GIs are basic military, with ability to dig up and become more powerful. Spies now look the same as your soldier, so you must click on enemy soldier (or even a dog) to select their disguise. They can steal, or increase your units experience with production by entering in enemy factories. Chrono legionnaires cannot walk, but rather shift to locations, the further they go, timing increases. IFVs are like missile trucks, but if you put a GI in it, you'll get a minigun jeep, or engineer, you'll get a repairing vehicle for free. Chrono miner is a harvester that chronoshifts itself back to refinery every time, on the contrary to soviet machine gun miner, heavily protected from infantry assaults. Mirage tanks have the ability to look as a tree while staying. Aircraft carriers can hold up to three Intruder planes and attack ground targets pretty hard, etc. Let's see what soviet forces can do to prevent such assaults, or better yet, to invade heavily protected bases.
Soviet forces: most of houses and structures are pretty much for same purpose, but with different look, firepower or such things. Tesla coil is pretty much shocky as in RA, but with addition that your tesla troopers can now fill them with energy and that way improve the fire range, or fill it with energy even though your base is blackout. Soviet nuclear reactor is like ten times energy then tesla reactor, but once it explodes, the devastation can be quite fatal for soviet troops, so it's better to seel it, then let it explode. Soviet psychic sensor can sense any attack within a range, thus showing you where the enemy will strike. Cloning vats make every infantry unit produced in barracks doubled, or multiplied as many as you have your cloning vats. Nuclear missile is as same, but iron curtain can now be used on several targets if withing close range by each other. As for the units, crazy ivans are codenames for explosive managers, hehe, that can set the dinamite sticks on anything, including your troops and houses. Yuri and/or other psychic troops can control enemy units (excluding harvesters), but once your soldier is killed, the unit he controlled will be lost to your command. Flak trucks are mainly for air defense, and can carry to five soldiers, but beware, as allied seal units (which can swim as well) are easy on trigger, like commando in C&C. V3 rocket launcher is improved V2 truck, with thrice as large missile now. Kirov airships are rather slow, but heavily armored and really devastating. Terror drones are like mechanical spiders that can attach on enemy vehicle until they destroy it. They can only be removed on repair bay, if the time will let that happen :) Dreadnoughts are soviet missile ships with really long range and launch two missiles at once. Giant squids can attach to any ship until they pull it to the blue depths of a water, but can be easily desintegrated by a bounch of crazed dolphins, lol. Well, whadda ya waiting for, let's roll and find out about twice as much units that aren't mentioned here.
Now to mention what else we got nice in this Collector's Edition. Of course, the box does not have inside covers , but has metalic colors, which made me extremely nervous while trying to scan the covers for MobyGames, hehe (even the coins didn't help, Jimbo :)). First thing I searched for is to see which soldier I got. Huh, somehow I always find the badguy inside my box cover. In my Tiberian Sun (Platinum Edition) I got a Nod soldier, and now I got a Soviet tesla trooper. For Allies it would be chrono legionnaire. Now it's nice to see both of 'em, Nod soldier and Tesla trooper on my shelves, hehe.
The CD box is doubled in CE, and contains 4 CDs, well, three and one DVD. First two CDs are for playing Red Alert 2, but others are those that are extra :) One is a soundtrack from Red Alert 2 game that contains 16 tracks in total (I dunno why they put 18 on the back box cover, probably some typo). The other is DVD that contains many interesting things. First of all, it contains all the mission briefings, so you can spoil your game by checking them all in better quality (though they're in great quality ingame as well). However, there's no ending sequence nor ending animation, so you'll have to work for it, hehe, you couldn't think it'll all be that easy, or... ? You can check some trailers and commercials for the game, as well as see some interviews with Westwood team, including Brett W. Sperry. Also, there are two movies with behind the scene contents for Yuri (Udo Kier) and Tanya (Kari Wuhrer). There's also a bunch of pictures, and quite a few of those that are not used in the game. Too bad, some of them looked great, just check the screen shot section, I think you should find a few sketches there ;)
The BadSame as in my Red Alert 2 review, movies cannot stretch, the ending animations are pathetic, not well imagined, and there's no way to controll ingame speed (except in multiplayer mode). Also, I think they should put unused artwork on the DVD. That way we wish to have these units as well, and simply cannot. It's not fair to us .