Pretty Strategy Guides

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Bilge Rat
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Pretty Strategy Guides

Post by Bilge Rat » Wed Jun 10, 2015 6:10 pm

Am I the only one who still appreciates the art of the printed strategy guide?

I remember way back in the 20th century when my friend and I chipped in to buy the BradyGames guide to Final Fantasy VII. That book was absolutely packed with interesting information and cool tips that really enhanced the game for us. Ever since then I usually try to acquire the official strategy guides for my JRPGs.

I remember when FFX came out and I was blown away as I flicked through my new full colour, hard bound book to get glimpses of what I would get to experience in this highly anticipated (though ultimately disappointing) game.

I bought the collector's edition strategy guide for FFXIII-2 before I even purchased the game itself. I only just got round to rescuing it from the depths of my coffee table in order to actually give the game a shot. I'm glad that I did, because not only is it full of useful information but the book itself is a work of art. The cover is simple yet stylish and has a wonderful 'give' when you touch it due to the padding.

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Today I saw a picture of the Lightning Returns strategy guide and it looks even more stunning, so I immediately went to buy a copy from eBay. Again, I don't actually own the game yet! :P

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My least favourite guide has to be the Piggyback guide for FFIX. For some reason they decided that paying for the guide wasn't enough and you should have to type a bunch of secret codes into their website in order to access certain information :roll: I was also disappointed with the guide I bought on eBay for Tekken 6 since it was basically just a load of printed move lists with almost no actual discussion of strategy or anything else. However, it did come with a bookmark showing the provocatively-dressed girlfriend of its previous owner :)

Unfortunately I am not the most delicate person so by the time I have finished a game the guide tends to be a tatty compared to when I started.

I don't know what it is, I just really appreciate the effort that goes into making these printed guides :D

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sleepery jeem
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Re: Pretty Strategy Guides

Post by sleepery jeem » Wed Jun 10, 2015 7:06 pm

:? could swear I had more than this, must be in a box somewhere.


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The best of the lot has to be the Secret of Mana guide, though guide isn't really the best word for it as it reads more like a story book....

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:!: wait a mo...is this where Joss Wheadon got the idea to name his slayer...

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Its mostly black and white but with 12 pages of colour in the middle detailing all the bosses and a small selection of maps that appear elsewhere.


Like you its been mostly for the secret stuff that is missible in bigger games that said I didn't bother with the Witcher 3 guide buying the compendium instead.
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retro74
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Re: Pretty Strategy Guides

Post by retro74 » Wed Jun 10, 2015 8:26 pm

I buy them too, again more to look at the great images rather than help with the game

I have Dark Souls 1&2, Bloodborne, Ni No Kuni (never played it), MGS4, quite a few Resident Evil ones too

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Bilge Rat
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Re: Pretty Strategy Guides

Post by Bilge Rat » Wed Jun 10, 2015 8:30 pm

Oooo :D

I own Ni No Kuni but I haven't played it yet, so I probably have to get that guide as well :)

I tend to find the guides less necessary for Western RPGs since they are normally designed in a way that prevents things from being missable. It doesn't matter if you overlook a unique weapon in Skyrim since you can just go back and pick it up at any point. Compare that to FFX-2, where 100% completion is effectively impossible without constantly referring to a guide, or FFXII where the ultimate weapon is effectively lost forever if you open certain treasure chests that give no clue that you shouldn't be opening them :x

I'm not at home at the moment but I will see if I can do a proper photo some time.

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Re: Pretty Strategy Guides

Post by merman » Thu Jun 11, 2015 4:14 pm

Mixed feelings. They can be expensive.

But then I picked up the excellent Soul Calibur II guide cheap and it was really useful (especially as it covers the console-exclusive characters).

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Re: Pretty Strategy Guides

Post by retro74 » Thu Jun 11, 2015 5:23 pm

I've picked up most of mine pretty cheap except for the Souls ones which I've pre-ordered

The MGS4 was less than a pound brand new. Just looked on the shelf. Inexplicably I have Fallout 3 also (despite not getting on with the game)

Also have Scribblenauts (again not sure why)

The Resident Evil ones are 4 (2 different guides), 5 and 6 plus the Resident Evil archives vol 1 & 2

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Bilge Rat
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Re: Pretty Strategy Guides

Post by Bilge Rat » Tue Jun 23, 2015 5:08 pm

Here we go:

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To my horror I am reminded that my Final Fantasy VII guide is not the same beloved book from my youth but, in fact, a crappy imposter. I think I ordered it on ebay and assumed that it was the right one, but it turned out not to be. The image below shows the cover of what I believe to be the correct one although, bizarrely, it is also made by BradyGames :?

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For some reason I never threw out my Vagrant Story guide even though I got rid of the game years ago. I remember that there is an amusing 'how to play' section detailing about 20 steps that you need to go through to prepare to fight even the most basic of enemies. The combat system in that game was weird.

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sleepery jeem
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Re: Pretty Strategy Guides

Post by sleepery jeem » Wed Jun 24, 2015 5:16 pm

8) oooh Vagrant Story, still got a complete set of maps I culled from game mags of the time.

:D if I remember rightly my highest chain of hits was 112 against the practice dummy.
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Bilge Rat
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Re: Pretty Strategy Guides

Post by Bilge Rat » Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:59 pm

I finally got around to securing the proper version of the Final Fantasy VII guide.

Apparently Brady Games decided to do some major revisions when the game was re-released for the PC, which is why my first edition guide was so sparse compared to the one I remember from back when I was in high school. The good version is on the right:

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There is a bunch of stuff in the second edition that just didn't exist in the first one. A detailed chocobo guide:

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A proper explanation of the materia system:

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Pictures and stats for each weapon:

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Details for each piece of materia with descriptions of their effects and pictures for the summons:

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The only downside is that most of the guide is in black and white this time around, although they have moved all the maps to the back of the book in order to provide those in colour:

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It is great to have a copy of this again :D

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Re: Pretty Strategy Guides

Post by sleepery jeem » Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:51 am

:? one thing is puzzling me though, my FF7 has a red circle on it saying this...


"Don't settle for anything less. Get all the secrets straight from Squaresoft"


:? it looks like the same Bradygames cover as your first one, bar that, I wonder if its a later issue the date on the back is 1997.
The goal of our culture now is not the emancipation of the individual from the group, but the permanent definition of the individual by the group.
We used to call this bigotry.
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Bilge Rat
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Re: Pretty Strategy Guides

Post by Bilge Rat » Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:06 pm

Oh yeah. Now that I look, all of the photos online have that red circle. Mine still says 1997 on the back and in the publication info near the start.

I got that version on eBay, probably about nine years ago. Goodness knows where it came from originally.

Also, not all of them have the yellow 'Over 1 million copies in print' circle (which makes sense). Mine can't be the very first version then :P

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Re: Pretty Strategy Guides

Post by One-armed dwarf » Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:46 am

Only one I owned was the X-2 one because it was impossible to 100% that game without it. :x

I remember they tried to upsell me on the XII guide when the game came out originally in gamestop. Little did I know they played the same bullshit in that game with that fuking Zodiac Spear :x
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