Walkthroughs; to some people a saviour; finally a way to beat that impossible boss that you've spent three weeks on, maps that guide you through the never ending maze of tunnels and corridors, a list of every single move that will crush your opponents into oblivion; and to some a nightmare; a cheaters way out, an insult to all the hard work that you have put into the game and then some lowly gamer breezes past sections of the game that you have invested hours of gameplay in. I want to home in on one example, Piggybacks Final Fantasy 9 walkthrough. I never purchased this myself but instead borrowed it from a friend, and boy am i glad i did. This guide was atrocious in my opinion, it was a very basic outline of the game and went into no detail at all. Every time a secret came up it said, "go to playonline to find out what this monster really wants", or "go to playonline to find out how to master chocobo hot and cold". WHY CAN'T THE GUIDE JUST SAY!!! But i know from experience that not all guides are like this one, i have some very good walkthroughs in my collection, notably the resident evil walkthroughs. So whats my view?.....Play the game through once without a guide and then use it the second time you play the game.
FAQs are a lot like manuals, but they contain a lot much information, and the information contained in them is much more useful. An FAQ normally contains everything in a manual, a walkthru, any cheats for the game plus a lot of other useful information. The best place to get an FAQ for ANY game is www.gamefaqs.com. They have FAQs for every platform available. It is easy to navigate, and easy to find an FAQ for the game you are looking for, just use the search box on the left. The site itself has a good news page that is often updated and has all the latest gaming news. There is a forum with many members where you can talk about your favourites game, and ask for advice. Visitors to the site submit all the FAQs. They are all in .txt format but the layout for each one will be different (since they are written by different people). There are normally multiple FAQs available for every game, depending on the popularity of the game. The FAQs often first appear about a week after the game is released, however the quality of the FAQs gets better as time passes and people get more experienced at the game. I think that FAQs are a lot better than manuals, they contain much more useful information. The only downside to them is that they aren’t official and don’t contain as much technical information. FurtherReading --- http://www.gamefaqs.com
Gameguides.com is one of the leading guide-publishers on the internet. It is powered by ZDnet, and is aligned to its gamespot site. There are about 150 guides at the moment, and cover most high street AAA game of the last three years or so. Usually, a guide will appear a few weeks after the game itself has been released. This means you need to start off on your own, and when you are truly stuck, you can turn to gameguides to rescue you. There are two ways of getting your hands on the guides. You can browse through them online in your web-browser, or download the entire guide in pdf-format. Previously, there was a fee for downloading the guide, but this has been removed (probably because noone was willing to pay for it when you can read it online anyway). Mostly, the guides are quite good, and describe step by step the entire structure of the game. A walk-thru of all episodes/levels, all bad guys including their strengths and weaknesses etc. A separate chapter is usually dedicated to cheats, tips and or easter eggs. (And those will be come in very handy next weekend for sure!) The quality of the guide differs greatly, as each guide is created by individual authors. There is some quality checking though, but some guides are far superior to others. The Sims-guide in particular was very disappointing. The Baldurs' Gate one on the other hand is very thorough and complete. I find these guides very handy, and have used them often. They cover most of the games I like to play (from the X-com series up until Sacrifice). I am now eagerly awaiting their Black and White guide, so I can check out all details that I have missed out so far. It may sound like cheating, but there are so many good games out there, and so little time, that I do not want to spend hours and hours thinking on how to solve one particular problem or how to beat that darn difficult level at C&C. So every now an then, I rely on these guides to get o
n with the game. So decide for yourself whether you want help with your gaming or not. If you do, Gameguides.com will deliver the goods in usually good quality.
Well if you want to know EVERYTHING about a particular game, in this case Final Fantasy 9, there is always some cheeky scamp publisher willing to spill the beans. Not so much a strategy guide as a walkthrough - this skips the OH-SO annoying times when you don't have the slightest idea what you are supposed to do. Some say this ruins the game, but surely that is better than getting bored and angry at the game and stopping? Nobody is forcing you to buy this sort of thing, but I found it very useful - especially in such a complex game as the Final Fantasy series. To be honest I would go insane and spent three times longer playing the game if i didn't have this guide - and consequently have less fun. If you are like me, then buy these guides! It's worth it in the long run.