Newest Review: ... IGN and Gamespot, and those aren't focused on just gaming help) to offer these kinds of services. ==---Layout---== Pages have a mainly w... more
GameFAQs - essentially the gamer's online library.
Member Name: Anti
Advantages: Information, guides, cheats for almost every game. Nice layout. Excellent community in forums.
Disadvantages: None of major note.
Let me put you into a scenario. So you're about an hour into your latest game, starting to really get into it. Then all of a sudden you're stuck. Maybe it's a really hard boss or tough enemies that you don't know how to beat, maybe you're trying to find an item to get to the next stage/level, maybe you just don't have a clue where to go or what to do next. What can you do about it?
One such option video game stores and other retailers would want you to do is buy the game's (official) strategy guide, or find help in a related magazine. However published strategy guides aren't always the most reliable sources of help- they can be vague, misleading, give incorrect facts and aren't available for every video game in the world (especially if said game is are old or obscure at its time of release). Besides, why waste £10 or so on a book of limited when there is a website which can tell you everything you need to get past that pesky boss/level...for free? This is where GameFAQs comes in!
==What is it?==
GameFAQs.com (created in 1998) is a huge database that hosts video game walkthroughs, FAQs (frequently asked questions for those not in a lingo), cheats, game saves and other media. It's probably the most popular and well-known website of its kind (along with IGN and Gamespot, and those aren't focused on just gaming help) to offer these kinds of services.
Pages have a mainly white background with the GameFAQs logo and blue banner at the top of the page, which is pretty basic. However there's a lot of info that fills the home page which makes it so professional looking: a daily update on the latest games and contributions, a small list of the top 10 games, and the Poll of the Day (which is exactly what it says on the tin!). There are adverts, but they tend to be small, fit in with the website layout and aren't intrusive while browsing.
All the content hosted on the site is free, having been created and uploaded by site members in the form of plain-text documents (or images for maps). Just type the game you're looking for into the search engine box and it should come up under the results. Practically every video game that has ever existed is on the database, with the ability to access cheats, game saves and guides for them. Admittedly not every entry will have much more than the basic game info, but these entries tend to be games that a) have only been released in one region (i.e. a Japan-only game) or b) too basic a game to require an FAQ or walkthrough to it. Using GameFAQs's search engine is very easy and fast, especially as you have the option to narrow it down by console which is good for multi-platform games. The walkthroughs themselves are easy to navigate and will be very detailed, as I believe the site's moderators check each walkthrough uploaded before they are published to ensure they're of good quality.
In addition to walkthroughs, FAQs and cheats, members of the site also post reviews of games they've played, which GameFAQs hosts alongside professional reviews for other websites. Obviously these reviews work in the same way as those you'd find on consumer websites like this one. 'Reader Reviews' (the term used) are also sorted by how long the review is, so you choose whether to read a long, detailed review or a short one that will highlight key points of each title.
GameFAQs have extensive forums; not only are there message boards dedicated to each video game, but also more general ones whether they focus on current events, television, or even for members that live in certain parts of the world. Most forums are accessible to guests on the site, although to contribute to them yourself requires you to register with GameFAQs itself. The forums are a great way to talk about a game in general, ask for specific help on something that a walkthrough or FAQ might not cover, or just have a laugh! I'm not that active on the forums as I used to be some time ago, but generally you will get answers to your questions, although as with any public place on the internet there will be "trolls" who are out to annoy you and cause trouble. Generally though they are well-moderated (swearing is censored) and you have to be 13 and over to register anyway.
Related to the forums, GameFAQs also set up an 'Answers' section a few years ago which works similar to Yahoo Answers, so you post a question and wait for answers. It does seem a little redundant combined with the message boards, but anyone passing through the site and looking for a bit of help should find help as many people will tend to ask the same questions over and over, so it's may save you posting on the board yourself.
Without a doubt, GameFAQs is invaluable for any type of gamer; whether you're an experienced 30-something or a parent who just wants to help their children out. Furthermore, it's a great source of information for video game news and updates in general, so combined with the message boards makes it a website you can visit on a regular basis rather than every now and again that you need help for a game. If you play games and have never heard of this site before...where have you been in the past decade!? Check it out now and save you time for another hobby (or not :P)!
Summary: The perfect go-to place for whenever you're stumped by games.