Are Game Guides Worthwhile?

Dragon Quest 9Recently I have been absolutely hammering Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies and I have to say there’s loads that I like about this game like the graphics, storyline, levelling structure and more.

I have managed to play the game for about 95 hours now but only since my 40th hour did I realise that I was playing the game completely wrong. My characters were nowhere near as powerful as they could be, the armour and weapons that I was using just weren’t great. The only thing that I think was good was my party structure in that I had someone for buffs and distractions, another for healing, a tank for taking the damage and the inevitable glass cannon who can make huge strikes but take a Ken Dodd tickling stick to him and he’s rendered useless.

After carrying out some reading I had to make the decision whether or not to just drop the game and play something else or try to get my characters up to scratch. After all, 40 hours is quite a long time to find out that you haven’t been doing things correctly. 55 hours later I’m glad I stuck with it because all my parties are bigger and better plus I can take on larger challenges to gain even better gear.

Unfortunately this isn’t the first time I have done this! I remember playing World of Warcraft not long before the first expansion, The Burning Crusade, was released. I managed to level up my Warlock up to around level 48 which was only 12 levels away from the cap at that time.

From there I decided to create a rogue and levelled him up to 60 just in time for the release of The Burning Crusade. Also, at this point I decided to get my Warlock up to level 60 and when I went back to him I realised that he was really badly created as well. He may as well have been wearing jeans and a t-shirt and carrying around a wand bought from the local joke shop.

BradyGamesThere is mixed opinion about game guides in that some people think they’re cheats, or game breakers and others think that spending the time making discoveries in games is the way forward. I suppose this is all down to opinion.

Personally I think that in some cases game guides can enhance your experience of the game you’re playing. I don’t think it’s good to pick it up as soon as you start a game and just work your way through it because it will take some enjoyment away. However, if you just pick it up for pointers then it can certainly help develop your game.

I think that the genre of the game has a big influence on whether I will read a guide before or after playing it. As I put more gaming years behind me I think that a lot can be said for being well educated before going into epic role playing games because generally you’re going to be there for the long haul anyway. As for other games, for example Call of Duty games, I don’t think there is such a requirement for guidance until you are well in to the game.


4 responses to “Are Game Guides Worthwhile?”

  1. asamink avatar

    I must admit I use guides to help me out when I’m stuck, or when I need a map of all the hidden objects that I would never be able to find on my own (GTA, inFamous etc). However I do object to buying them when I can get the same information online for free online.

  2. Mark P avatar

    Personally, I often find that game guides aren’t always 100% helpful. The few times I’ve bought them, there’ll be exactly the wrong mistake here or something not explained clearly enough there.

    I never understood why I ever bothered buying them anyway – everything they offer you can get for free on GameFAQs or a few other places, and 9 times out of 10 they explain things perfectly and any mistakes are soon enough pointed out and corrected.

    Kinda goes back to the “why buy a physical newspaper if you can get the same thing for free online?” argument.

  3. Leon avatar

    As Mark P said, there are usually better guides available online – in fact some of the guides I have bought have managed to leave out huge chunks of information at times.

    However, I collect the official guides for more sentimental value, as I also love the high-quality artwork that can be found in them. Some guides have been useful, though – so all the better when they are.

  4. Lauren avatar

    I mainly have RPG guides. RPGs are crammed with extras and I want to be able to get everything on the first go, so I will part with £10-£15 to get one.

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