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Starcraft: Official Strategy Guide - Bart Farkas

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Genre: Sci-Fi / Fantasy / Author: Bart Farkas / Edition: illustrated edition / Paperback / 256 Pages / Book is published 1996-10-28 by Prima Games

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      07.09.2010 06:28
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      Good for beginners as a reference, veteran gamers will know it all already

      This is the official guide to Blizzard's well know classic video game Starcraft from the nineties. Iconic then and now Starcraft is still widely played even now years after its release. This handy guide goes into detail about the game, each races units and each single player mission.

      The first chapters of the book go into a detailed breakdown about the units available to each race. These races are of course the Terrans (humans to me or you), Zerg and Protoss. It runs through stats for every units as well as having hints and tips to there uses.

      The next chapters go into the different strategies that each race can use against the others (and of course themselves should you be facing an oppenent playing the same race). The section is informative but could have been much more in depths and this would have made this guide much more useful too more advanced players.

      The following chapters go on to detail each of the single player missions and strategy's to succeed in each of these. Whilst useful this does take a little away from the game as working out how to succeed is half the fun, still it can be useful for those stuck getting past a particulary tricky mission.

      It then has a section about the map editor contained within Starcraft, having never used this myself I am unaware as how useful this section is.

      The final appendix of the book gives tables for each races units and counter units to use against them, tech tree dependencies tables and lastly cheat codes. Personally I am not a fan of cheat codes and find they take the fun out of the game but I presume they have been included out of a sense of completeness.

      Well written and illustrated (though colour would have improved this) this is a useful book for people just beginning to play this game, veteran players however will fine it useful as a reference but little more. The multi player section could have been broader which would have greatly increased the potential of this book.

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        18.11.2009 15:41
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        Good but sort of flawed.

        Starcraft: Official Strategy Guide - Bart Farkas is a fairly decent and well put together strategy guide for massively popular real time strategy game Starcraft, 1996. Its very concise and definitely very thorough, its well illustrated with black and white screenshots, flow charts and visual aids.

        The book contains mission, upgrade and technology trees for everything to do with the first game, excluding its expansion pack, Brood War. Overall its a decent guide, but ultimately flawed, since strategy at games like this isn't really something that can be learned from a book, so the "Multiplayer Tactics" section really falls short, although does give some good information on exploitative and unexpected assault strategems.

        The Koreans wouldn't actually agree with me on this matter, and would argue that Strategy is something that CAN be taught and as a result, special "Starcraft Camps" have been set up there, where elite players are guided and taught by experts for a nominal fee.
        (They go nuts for Starcraft in Korea.)

        Its a decent book but not really worth paying over a fiver for, especially since the game is getting kind of old now, and a sequel is going to be released in the first quarter of 2010. Still worth a glance and certainly a few quid if you're a big fan of the game. Recommended for hardcore fans.

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        31.10.2009 14:20
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        Only of much use to novice players

        Prima's official guide to Blizzard's sci-fi themed strategy game Starcraft, one of the most popular RTS games of all time, is easy to read, well-structured and helpful, if rather basic.

        The book starts with a breakdown of the strengths and weaknesses of each and every unit in the game, complete with screenshots, as well as how and when to employ them in battle, before going on to list basic tactics for each of the three playable sides in the game (the Protoss, Terrans and Zerg) against all three possible opponent types.

        From there the vast majority of the book is given over to step-by-step guides on how to win each and every single-player mission in the game, complete with exhaustive in-game maps and other screenshots, and whilst these guides are helpful to beginner players, playing through the game in this way arguably makes for a far less enjoyable experience, with it being far more rewarding and fun to progress through the game in a trial-and-error fashion by employing your own tactics, learning as you go. The game isnt particualrly hard at any rate, and its missions can all be won fairly easily by all but the most useless of players just by persevering.

        The guide then gives some advice on playing multiplayer games, but this is so slight as to be almost patronising, and again will be of little use to all but complete beginners. There then follows a section on using the campaign editor to make your own levels, missions and campaigns, and this is a little more helpful, including input by one of the developers who used the editor to design the levels of the single player game itself. After this there are tables of unit statistics, 'counter' tables advising on which units to use as counters against others (but again its more fun discovering all of this for yourself) and some technology trees, which again are only really of any value to beginner players. Finally, a list of various cheat-codes are given as well.

        This guidebook is comprehensive and well presented but unfortunately does not go into sufficient depth to be of much use to experienced players, with its multiplayer section being particularly unhelpful in this regard. It can be bought very cheaply online, but unless you're new to the game you likely wont really need it, and even then its more fun just to learn as you play than to spend time poring over this book.

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