On Strategy Guides

Today’s topic is sort of a follow up to the post yesterday about buying collectors editions of games. I posted this as a writing prompt to the blaugust forum yesterday, for the express purpose of doing this:

How do you feel about using strategy guides for games? Do you buy them or look for user guides online?

I’ll be honest that I do use guides from time to time. There are times where I just buy them to use on a second playthrough, or because it includes, or is bundled with, an art book. Now, I don’t really use the guides all that much, only if I really get stuck on something, or like I said already, a second playthrough. My main use for guides are for collectibles, which are probably one of my favorite things to do in games.

The second part of that topic is whether or not I buy guides or get them free online. I tend to do both. I like the physical guides, especially when they come with other things to them like artwork or other things beyond just a main story walkthrough. Most of the guides you find online only cover the main story, and maybe side quests if the person writing the guide is doing them. The thing is that you really only find guides online after a game has been out awhile, at least ones not written by the same company that puts out the print guide.

Now, if I can find a guide online that is well written and easy to navigate I’ll use it, but I still prefer print. I find there is something I like about using the table of contents or an index in the book to find what I’m looking for. Maybe it’s just that growing up we didn’t have places like Gamefaqs to find guides. It is certainly much easier to find a guide now, but I just prefer flipping through pages and the feel of paper.

I think the last guide I purchased was the collectors edition guide for Witcher 3. I didn’t really use it much, just for some of the crafting stuff. I mainly purchased it because of all the stuff that came with it. I really wish more guides would do that, but most collectors edition guides usually are just a hardback book instead of a softback. Maybe that’s just a personal preference, but I prefer to have all my books hardback if I can.

Now when I was younger I didn’t use them as much because I had family that said using them made me a cheater, and at the time I cared about pleasing everyone. Now I don’t care. I’d rather use a guide for a couple hints then get stuck on something for 5 hours and ruin my enjoyment of a game. That doesn’t mean I’ll try once and go “man this is too hard pass me the guide”, but I like to have one if I need it.

So to sum up, yes I like to buy guides. I do both physical guides and online, but I prefer physical books.

On a side note, there are just a couple more days left in August. I’m kind of surprised I’ve managed a post a day for the whole month so far.

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