Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Blizzard Entertainment DVD Collection: Starcraft, Diablo II and Warcraft III - A Review

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The only DVD collections that I used to buy were pirated ones such as CSI Seasons 1 and 2, but sitting on my desk now is a unique (and original) DVD Collection which is not a compilation of feature films or tv series, but of in-game cinematics from three of the biggest computer games in history. Hints: Orcs, Elves, Demons and Very Ugly Aliens.

The name of this collection, if you haven't guessed it already? Blizzard Entertainment DVD Collection.

A realtime strategy (RTS) game that took the world by storm in 1998, Starcraft introduced three distinct races but with the benefit of balanced gameplay. More than 9 million copies of Starcraft and its expansion set Brood War were sold (Wikipedia article).

From the back of Starcraft Widescreen Cinematic DVD (which features cinematics from both Starcraft and its expansion set Brood War) case:
  • 60 minutes of cinema-quality digital animation rendered in widescreen letterbox format
  • Exclusive director's commentary
  • Original development artwork and never-before-seen storyboards from Blizzard's Cinematics Team
  • Cinematic trailers for StarCraft, Brood War, Diablo II, the Diablo II Expansion Set, and Warcraft III
Blizzard's 2000 release, Diablo II, is the sequel to 1996's hack-and-slash RPG hit, Diablo. This game has the distinction of being the first game to put me to sleep in front of the PC. It must have been an allergic reaction of RPGs. The other RPG to do that was Mario and Luigi: Partners in Time for the Nintendo DS.

The Diablo II Widescreen Cinematic DVD disappointingly doesn not feature cinematics from the Diablo II expansion set Lord of Destruction. Anyways, from the back of the DVD case:
  • The complete Diablo II game cinematics digitally re-mastered for enhanced picture quality on your DVD video player.
  • 24 minutes of cinema quality digital animation, rendered in widescreen letterbox format
  • View storyboards and listen to audio commentary from the Blizzard Cinematics Team.
  • Original cinematic trailers included, as well as early samples from the Blizzard Cinematics Vault.
Warcraft III probably needs no introduction. Released in 2002, its still being played today and along with its expansion set Frozen Throne, rates highly among contemporary RTS games.

As with the Diablo Cinematic DVD, the Warcraft Cinematic DVD does not feature cinematics from the Warcraft III expansion set, Frozen Throne. From the back of the DVD case:
  • The complete Warcraft III in-game cinematics, digitally remastered for enhanced picture quality on your DVD video player.
  • Over 17 minutes of cinema-quality digital animation.
  • Over one hour of bonus footage including trailers and a sneak peek at "World of Warcraft"
  • Director's commentary
  • Widescreen 16:9 letterbox format
  • 5.1 Dolby Surround Sound option
  • Bonus: History of Warcraft and Warcraft trivia game.
If you are buying this DVD collection, it's best that you skip the Starcraft cinematics and head over to the real meat of this collection, the Diablo II and Warcraft III cinematics. The Starcraft ones are exactly like the way you remember them to be...old, chunky and slow. The sheer horror of them all....

Other than the three DVDs, there's nothing much in the way of extras. However, I guess that Blizzard fan-boys (and girls) would lap this up, with the knowledge that their favourite cinematics are now worthy to be shown on their giant LCD TVs.

The DVD is region-free and it's available at Play-Asia. Click here for details.