Game Guides Galore

I always define myself as a collector. I relish the thought of the next video game, poster or figurine just waiting to be snapped up. Of all the things that I currently own, I truly love my video game guides and the amazing content/tips that they display should you need them.

But, I have two questions to ask all of you readers out there,

‘Are video game guides used for what they were originally intended for or are they another piece of merchandise being pushed purely for the monetary gains that come with a new game release?


Do you enjoy buying guides?’

I have rarely used any of my guides to find secret locations/objects or to help me on my quest to completion. In fact the only thing I use these guides for on a regular basis, are to gaze upon the amazing game stills, artwork and more often than not the delicately created extras that come with the vast majority (cloth maps, limited edition artwork cards and photographs). I am what you might call an avid collector and publishers such as Brady Games have my money locked away in their back pockets when they release a new Limited Edition guide for a new, or even old game title.

The plain guides in my collection.

I have found that game guides have evolved from the few pages in a magazine, to a small book with a ‘Free Large Poster!’ included, to a book the thickness of the last Harry Potter novel.  Guides have become more of a collector’s piece rather than something which is generally needed by gamers whom struggle with game completion. Publishers are packing extra content into these books more than ever before, even releasing special edition cover art.

As a lover of these books, I thought it would make for good conversation to ask what other gamers thought.

My conclusion is simple, game guides are no longer just a source of information of  how to complete a game, but a source of valuable information that you wouldn’t achieve from buying the game or visiting an official website (i.e. special artwork or developer thoughts). Everything is evolving!







5 responses to “Game Guides Galore”

  1. Mark P avatar

    I’ve bought a couple of guides for games and found that they were really lacking in the areas that I didn’t want them to be. Specifically the achievement descriptions and collectable locations. The Modern Warfare 2 guide in particular didn’t list all of the collectable locations so you had to find the last few yourself. Admittedly, a few isn’t much of a challenge, but it’s annoying when I’ve spent a tenner to eradicate the challenge – only to get an incomplete guide.

  2. The Rook avatar
    The Rook

    I have only one game guide and that’s for Saints Rows 2 and it was part of the special edition of the game that I bought when it came out. It was a Brady Games guide, and while I didn’t use it for completing the main game, I didn’t find it useful to help with the other achievements that I was trying to get.

    I never think about buying a guide for a game because I have the internet and can usually find great advice, maps, pictures or video guides to help online. Maybe there are some great guides out there and I just don’t know about them.

  3. Duncan avatar

    The only game guide I own is for Command & Conquer: Retaliation on the PS1. I bought that on release day and learnt then that they were not worth dropping the extra cost on. 😛

    Though I have been tempted by the up-and-coming Borderlands special edition guide… You know what Amber? I’m going to buy it, just based on this blog, and will give you full credit/balcklash if it does/doesn’t pay off. 😉

    Regardless though, great blog! 😀

  4. Amber avatar

    Ah Duncan, I will look forward to you shouting at me if you don’t like it.

    I just love guide books, and I don’t know whether I just like them to a point where I cant flaw them or whether I have just been lucky thus far with the guide books I have purchased. The best one yet has to be Alan Wake due to the fact it shows you where at least 90% of things things in the game are.

  5. Dean avatar

    I’m currently working my way through Star Ocean: The Last Hope, using the Brady guide, which is pretty comprehensive (it’s about as long as War and Peace and onyone who has played this game will realise that it needs to be). Of course, as The Rook quite correctly mentions, i could find far more thorough guides by OCD geeks with too much time on their hands on Game FAQs, but somehow the nice layouts and pictures sugars the pill a bit more than a bloated plaintext file with ascii art the only thing to break up the words.

    The Alan Wake guide is intriguing for its tie-in art style, which mimics a novelists manuscript. Maybe it’s not as functional as a guide but as a collectors piece it’s definitely very interesting. Gamers have an impulse for collecting things, ever since Mario jumped up and caught his first gold coin, so it totally makes sense that this would also apply to merchandise.

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