Qui-Gon Joe wrote:
I'm also wondering if there's a decent amount of artwork present in these nicer guides. I know somebody here (Angela, maybe?) said they picked up the Mario Galaxy one - how's that?
Yep, 'twas I. The Collector's Edition makes a great first impression; it's gorgeous looking, decked out in that totally sleek, all-black motif. And it's got good weight, too; folks like their guides to have weight to them - heavier weight means more content, and therefore more value for the money, right? ;)
Content-wise, it does the job well enough. The format is very much like the Twilight Princess guide, and though it still suffers from a bit too much "wordiness" (as per the Prima standard), I'd say it's quite a bit easier to follow than TP, given the more straightforward gaming aspect of Galaxy. The table of contents breaks down the guide by Observatory location, and then by all the featured galaxies within that location, hidden ones included. They cover each galaxy with a 3D-rendered flowchart of the level's planetoids, and then they run through each portion as you'd go along in the game.
Those additional sixteen pages exclusive to the Collector's Edition..... about six of those pages are dedicated to conceptual artwork. What's there is nice, but is a massive tease, because it's just a small taste of what likely went into the production of the game. (They really do need to release a dedicated artbook for Galaxy.) The rest of the pages are dedicated to a Star checklist, which simply consists of a single shot for each Star's location, and the location names themselves. To me, this section is completely useless, because 1) You already KNOW that each galaxy has at least one star to be found and 2) The guide already covers, in detail, on how to get those stars.
Do I recommend the Collector's Edition over the regular edition? I would from a strictly aesthetic viewpoint; the hardbound cover quality is top-notch, plus it includes that nifty, large-sized, glow-in-the-dark poster, depicting an expanded version of the game's U.S. cover. I had put up the poster at my place, which you can check out here:
http://img301.imageshack.us/img301/3583 … tergb2.jpg
I'll try and get a glow-in-the-dark shot of it tonight. ^_^
EDIT - Snagging a decent glow-in-the-dark shot is proving difficult. It's just too dark to capture the image properly -- and turning on the flash pretty much lights up the whole room. Ah well.... just know that Mario looks pretty smokin' in all his phosphors-induced glory. ;)