A combustible mix.

Popular import outlet Play-Asia and game publisher eastasiasoft have already been delivering limited physical releases to gamers for a short time now - starting with the popular Söldner-X 2: Final Prototype on the PlayStation Vita.

Now the duo are currently on their fourth release together; that being Alchemic Jousts for the PlayStation 4 (which is still available to purchase at time of writing).

Limited to a mere 1,888 copies - and in turn now being one of the rarest titles on the system - the game is developed by the Barcelona-based, Lunatic Pixels.

Whilst Alchemic Jousts originally saw a digital release on the PlayStation 4 late last year, now courtesy of eastasiasoft - who have also graciously sent us a copy to peruse through - they have a very special physical release to go along with it.

Rather than being sold standalone - as a mere standard PlayStation 4 clamshell case - Alchemic Jousts comes encased in a more meatier, presentable package, with its contents housed in a cardboard box dressed in a resealable plastic sleeve - perfect for storing and keeping the dust off of it.

Though I will say the cardboard is a little on the thin side, and can become easily creased when opening, so I’d definitely recommend prying the lid open slowly with something long and flat (by sliding it under the tab) to negate any possible damage.

With the package opened it’s time to delve in.

Unlike most limited releases, the ones through Play-Asia and eastasiasoft have thus far - bar one - come with a few extra goodies, namely soundtrack CD’s. Alchemic Jousts in no different, containing a very official looking 6-track jewel case soundtrack.

Now it’s definitely a little strange why they decided to invest the time to create such a product when there is only 6 tracks available on it, but once you come to understand that Alchemist Jousts is very much a gameplay-driven title through matches against the AI opponent, on the couch with a friend or online, it kind of makes sense - but it still remains a little strange.

The entire 6 tracks themselves are purely of the instrumental variety with 4 being complete scores, my personal favourite of the bunch from composer Victor Riera was #2 The Lab, providing a far more mellow beat to the rest.

Whilst our press provided copy is merely marked as a sample, the official card certificates within the Alchemic Jousts package will be marked with your own unique number (out of 1,888) emblazoned with some artwork on the back.

You'll also notice on the front of Alchemic Jousts game cover sits a Taiwanese age guidance rating.

For many collectors (especially in the future for those aiming to complete a full set) it's an important distinction, with the title going through official channels it marks itself as part of the full PlayStation 4 set - rather than a more homebrew release many limited games abide by, which will likely be segregated to a different category in future by fellow collectors.

Within the standard PlayStation 4 clamshell game case you’ll find an instruction manual for Alchemic Jousts, unfortunately it’s only a few pages long with the rest being space for notes, but the addition is still welcomed in a world of digital-only manuals.

What is also highly welcomed is the reversible cover artwork, something that the PlayStation 3 generation ushered in, and has become a mainstay for many publishers looking to include controller layouts in their PlayStation 4 games.

Thankfully the instruction manual covers that, so we get a nice change of Alchemist Jousts artwork depending on your fancy, with both sides including all the important information on both sides.

Even just a year ago, purchasing every staggered limited release was doable for practically every gamer or collector out there, times have quickly changed though, with the market becoming increasingly competitive.

Limited Run Games, Signature Edition, iam8bit and more have joined the fray, but the Play-Asia and the eastasiasoft partnership has them all beat on pure value for money.

Aside from just offering you more within the product - a soundtrack CD for instance with Alchemic Jousts - and at a lower price than all there competitors, buying from an official and well known store means added security and benefits such as stickers and discount coupons thrown in for good measure with your purchase.

If you’re looking to dip your toes into the ever expanding world of game collecting, or a veteran looking to pick and choose based on what is offering the most for your money then the Play-Asia and eastasiasoft combo releases are really a no-brainer.

A copy of Alchemic Jousts was provided by the publisher for review purposes.

Are you going to pickup Alchemic Jousts? Let us know in the comments below.

NewsInfo

Eastasiasoft are a games publisher based in Hong-Kong that was founded in 2007; since then they have a plethora of titles under their belt such as the Söldner-X series, Rainbow Moon and most recently Lost Sea.

For each limited release, Play-Asia offer gamers the chance for a pre-sign up, to get the item at an even lower cost.

Lunatic Pixels are a two man development team based in Barcelona, Spain.

The first three Play-Asia and eastasiasoft limited releases thus far are Söldner-X 2: Final Prototype, Blue Rider and Cursed Castilla EX.

Opinion of: David Robinson
Twitter: @5ypher

Posted on 26th June 2017