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Strategy Guides, Yay or nay?

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17 replies to this topic

#1 of 18 OFFLINE   DeathStar1



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Posted March 28 2003 - 05:19 AM

Am I the only one who uses these things first time through in order to get the full experience, or do most gamers go in 'blind'? It's usually more helpfull for 3D Games than 2D, since most two D's are side scrollers. I remember playing OOT, and I was so bad, I got stuck on the blasted Deku Tree Level Posted Image..

For 90% of the 3D games I buy, except for simple ones like Mrs.Pac Man Maze Madness, Star Wars: RS, Sonic Battle Adventure 2, Pac Man World 2, etc, I usually have a guide handy.

Wouldn't think of playing Metroid or Zelda without one Posted Image..

#2 of 18 OFFLINE   Damien


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Posted March 28 2003 - 05:30 AM

nay, gamefaqs suffices.

#3 of 18 OFFLINE   Chris Rock

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Posted March 28 2003 - 05:45 AM

My wife can't play without a guide.

On the other hand, I like to use guides only when I get stuck. And in those cases, I use the internet, mainly.

#4 of 18 OFFLINE   JamieD


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Posted March 28 2003 - 05:51 AM

Will likely never buy one unless it has one hell of a "dictionary" type listing of enemies, items, etc, and I'm too lazy to check online. I rarely get really stuck in games, and I'm broke to boot!
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#5 of 18 OFFLINE   GlenHaag


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Posted March 28 2003 - 07:20 AM

I don't buy them all that often, but I do stock up when EB or Best Buy has them for .01

I did buy the Zelda one from CC for $5 bucks, because I just found that to be a good deal.


#6 of 18 OFFLINE   Scott L

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Posted March 28 2003 - 07:22 AM

Gamefaqs is great but I really wish it had pictures to help us along. In the future I see GF's guides having that but also movies for things such as detailed instructions or glitches.

With the Zelda guide only being $10 with the game I couldn't resist. :b

#7 of 18 OFFLINE   JoshF


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Posted March 28 2003 - 07:44 AM

I have problems with Guides. I try to play without them, and only go to gamefaqs.com as a last resort. In my opinion, it ruins the experience of figuring it out for yourself, as it was meant to be. If you have to use a guide, the game is probably poorly designed.
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#8 of 18 OFFLINE   Richard_D_Ramirez


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Posted March 28 2003 - 08:27 AM

Yay, they make good bathroom reading...

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#9 of 18 OFFLINE   Krystian C

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Posted March 28 2003 - 09:19 AM


I find them a necessity for RPG's. Even since FF 7 I have picked them up. After finishing the game and thinking I was very thorough, I looked through the guide and decide to buy it and play again. 40hrs to beat it without the guide. 92hrs with the guide.

So personally I think they enhance a gaming experience, more that spoil it.

My wife is usually navigator. She will check off all the little things we may miss, and we usually skip most of the straight walk-through stuff, and stick mostly to the secrets, and side quests that may get missed. And Never, look at enemy strategies or such. That I do find spoils the fun.

Guides are great when used properly.

That being said, I am finding that I am going to Gamefaqs for a few things now and then. On a borrowed game from a friend, I rarely play it un aided, I just want to get it done and back to them in short order.

Or for things like all getting 100% in Metroid, or that last couple stars in Super Mario Sunshine.

Just my 2 pennies.

#10 of 18 OFFLINE   DaveGTP



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Posted March 28 2003 - 12:58 PM

I find that guides spoil and rarely use them. Exceptions are RPGs. Ever since I walked past the Bahamut materia in FF7 and could never get Neo-Bahamut, I started using them for FF games. I got the guide for DW7 for the useful class, spell, and item listings, as the class system is very freeform and complex. And DW7 had a lot of sometimes-frustrating-to-find shards required to advance the game.
I use guides (or preferably gameFAQs) only to ensure I catch items the first time through now, as I rarely have the time for a repeat play and more (with full-time work and college). I also use guides for frustrating puzzles, as I am a mediocre puzzler.
I avoid reading the boss strategies, walkthroughs, and the like if I can. I felt like I wasted my time using the FFX guide, yeah, I got all the items, etc, but the game was so frickin easy that I wish I hadn't....
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#11 of 18 OFFLINE   Morgan Jolley

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Posted March 28 2003 - 01:47 PM

For RPGs, I usually buy a guide.

Otherwise, I only get one if it's free, extremely cheap, I get stuck, or the internet doesn't have enough pretty pictures.

#12 of 18 OFFLINE   Rob Lutter

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Posted March 28 2003 - 04:05 PM

Nay... it ruins the experience of figuring out something for yourself Posted Image

#13 of 18 OFFLINE   Dave F

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Posted March 28 2003 - 04:22 PM


It's really handy to have maps and the occasional pictures to help find something. I usually hit gmaefaqs first, but sometimes a screenshot is worth a 1000 words.

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#14 of 18 OFFLINE   JamesH


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Posted March 28 2003 - 04:38 PM

I like guides/gamefaqs since they allow me to tailor the style of challenge to my liking.

If I play Suikoden 3 for example, I'm playing because I enjoy the story and like building characters. I'm not playing because I like wondering from room to room in the castle trying to figure out how to trigger a cut scene and move the story forward.

If I play Morrowind though, wandering aimlessly is most of the fun and I'm likely to use a faq as a reference for spell and item making.

It really depends on the genre, but overall, I use guides quite a bit to eliminate or minimize gameplay elements I don't particularly care for in the context of the game.

#15 of 18 OFFLINE   Graeme Clark

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Posted March 28 2003 - 06:36 PM

I usually use Gamefaqs for games where I get stuck, however I find the text only FAQ kind of frustrating when it's not descriptive enough to figure out what it's talking about, or if I'm trying to find one specific helping hand (IE, playing through Zelda: OOT and I couldn't figure out how to get into one part of a dungeon. Since most of the FAQs were written in a walkthrough style, they weren't much help since the instructions tended to be "Enter the dungeon, kill the enemies, go right, get the key, go back, go left...."

I got the Brady guide for Zelda: Wind Walker and have found it to be good reference for stupid little things that get me stuck, and I also like to use guides for going back and finding the stuff that I missed on my own. I don't typically use it while I'm playing though.

My main problem with most strategy guides is that they don't usually have the kind of information I'm looking for. Usually, I'd like information on how the game works and advanced tips on actually playing the game. Instead, I usually just get a walkthrough.

For examply, I bought the Dungeon Siege guide hoping that it would fill in some of the information I wanted to know about the inner workings of character building, how experience was dished out, and how everything in the game was calculated. Instead I got some nice charts on the items, a huge walkthrough of the single player game (which I never played) and a tiny section for multiplayer.

#16 of 18 OFFLINE   Carl Johnson

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Posted March 28 2003 - 06:45 PM

Nay, I don't like games that are so difficult that a strategy guide is necessary. I like to be challenged but anything I have to study for had better come with some college credits or something. My best recent example of this is Hitman 2. If the game doesn't leave enough clues on how to beat the first freakin level without reading a study guide I'm likely to get frustrated and quit altogether.

#17 of 18 OFFLINE   David Williams

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Posted March 28 2003 - 07:59 PM

My only problem with GameFaqs is that if the game just came out (and hasn't already been released in Japan) then you have to wait for a guide or if the game isn't as popular as other games it may not even have a guide or a complete one (recent experience - Die Hard: Vendetta rental).

I use GameFaqs for 95% of my gaming needs, but if its a FPS with lots of secrets to unlock (like TS2) or a platformer of a depth like Zelda's, I'll usually plonk down the cash for the strategy guide.
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#18 of 18 OFFLINE   Bob McElfresh

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Posted March 29 2003 - 08:35 AM

I'm a typical guy in that I dont have the "read the instructions" gene. Posted Image

I always try a game blind and give it a few hours of play before even reading the manual. Only after I get stuck/lost/confused do I go on-line or buy a guide.

Anyone remember "InvisiClues" for the old Infocom Zork games? These text-only adventures had a suplimental hint guide with questions like "How do I ....". Beneath the question were several hints written in invisible ink. You could use the included magic-marker to make the hints visible in order, and the last hint always told you how to solve the problem. (This was before the Internet and very valuable at 1 am).