Game manuals are a complete and utter waste of space.


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HairyArse
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Is it just me, or are game manuals getting worse and worse?

They're now usually only about 10 pages long, in cheapo black and white, with next to no useful information in the game and we're epexted to pay £40/£50 for a game? I took the CoD4 manual to the bog the other day because I wanted something interesting to read while curling one out and it was dog shit.

/fondly remembers PC games in big card board boxes with novel like manuals.
#1 at 16:59:29 - 19/11/2007
Whizzo
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#2 at 17:00:43 - 19/11/2007
ilmaestro
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These days it does seem that the 'EA manual' has become the standard over here. The situation is generally a lot better in Japan, don't know about the States so much but I presume theirs are at least generally in color.

You should see your GP about that dog shit, though, you might have rabies.
#3 at 17:01:36 - 19/11/2007
ilmaestro
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Whizzo said:/tuts

Dear me, that's Hairy's second in a day! He recreated a thread of his own making with that 720p vs 1080p one!
#4 at 17:02:19 - 19/11/2007
peej
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They are getting worse. Not worth the paper they're written on. It's a cost issue. EA's stance on this is that no one reads them so why put any effort in, which seems like a bit of a chicken and egg situation to me.

You will never see the excesses of the likes of the old PC manual days in the early/mid 90s. Those days are gooone baby.

Peej
#5 at 17:04:54 - 19/11/2007
HairyArse
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Ha, I have no excuses either - I posted in Whizzos thread. The thing that prompted me to create this (apart from CoD4) was that I just Guitar Hero III on the 360 and it suffers from the same cost cutting cheapness.

I don't remember creating 2 1080p threads.

/might be going mad
#6 at 17:05:32 - 19/11/2007
peej
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I think what's even worse / more insulting is the Special Edition games, where the manual is exactly the same but has a nice free piece of tat that also gives you bugger all information of worth.

I guess it's why Prima are still in business (I've always wondered what kind of "special" you have to be to spend 14 notes on a prima guide for a game)

Peej
#7 at 17:11:59 - 19/11/2007
ilmaestro
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What recent games do we have that actually haven't come with shit manuals? Halo 3 would be one.
#8 at 17:15:29 - 19/11/2007
peej
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ilmaestro said:What recent games do we have that actually haven't come with shit manuals? Halo 3 would be one.


MySims (on the Wii)

A couple of other Wii games have quite nice manuals.

Uh....can't really think of much else tbh.

Peej
#9 at 17:17:18 - 19/11/2007
Syrok
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Some of them are quite nice and useful actually.

Best manual in my opinion was the one for Donkey Kong 64. I don't remember if it was useful, but at least it was funny.

Oh, and I haven't yet seen a manual that wasn't colourful.
#10 at 17:18:09 - 19/11/2007
ilmaestro
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peej said:
ilmaestro said:What recent games do we have that actually haven't come with shit manuals? Halo 3 would be one.


MySims (on the Wii)

Is that an EA game? If it is, I'm impressed, their sports game manuals are a joke.
#11 at 17:25:48 - 19/11/2007
peej
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ilmaestro said:
peej said:
ilmaestro said:What recent games do we have that actually haven't come with shit manuals? Halo 3 would be one.


MySims (on the Wii)

Is that an EA game? If it is, I'm impressed, their sports game manuals are a joke.


It is indeed - I was quite surprised. I wonder if there was some sort of development on the manual side from the dev team rather than EA proper. It definitely broke the mould (and weirdly, no other EA games on the Wii seem to have manuals that nice).

Maybe it was the audience it was pitched at...

Peej
#12 at 17:27:13 - 19/11/2007
Kay
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The Rayman Raving Rabbids manual was probably funnier than the game itself.

K
#13 at 17:27:45 - 19/11/2007
Rhythm
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ilmaestro said:What recent games do we have that actually haven't come with shit manuals? Halo 3 would be one.


Late to the party but Civ IV and its expansions are meaty affairs, plus the manual pack for Company of Heroes was nice.

I'm sure I had a title on the 360 that came with a good manual but I can't remember it right now...

#14 at 17:27:49 - 19/11/2007
Hughes.
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I think Ratchet & Clank is the first colour manual I've had for a next gen game. I'm always disappointed when I open up the manual to see cheap grey, grey and more grey.
#15 at 18:28:23 - 19/11/2007
kentmonkey
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At least they're accurate.

In the in-game PES tips they have the shoot and cross button round the wrong way (PS3 version anyway).
#16 at 18:40:28 - 19/11/2007
Khanivor
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Most manuals these days are little more than a warning not to stare at the screen if yer a spaz and how to install/start the game if you're a double spaz.

Bring back Microprose.
#17 at 18:44:44 - 19/11/2007
ilmaestro
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kentmonkey said:
In the in-game PES tips they have the shoot and cross button round the wrong way (PS3 version anyway).

Maybe they'd been playing too much FIFA?
#18 at 19:03:24 - 19/11/2007
kentmonkey
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ilmaestro said:
kentmonkey said:
In the in-game PES tips they have the shoot and cross button round the wrong way (PS3 version anyway).

Maybe they'd been playing too much FIFA?

Nah, PES was shit this year! ;o)
#19 at 19:21:19 - 19/11/2007
Tabasco
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Heh- one of the main reasons I like PC gaming so much! They are still not bad, not like console versions anyway. What was that game again...had a cardboard cutout for the keyboard and a massive bible of info. You were a commando or something....ach, I'll try and Google it later...
#20 at 20:46:20 - 19/11/2007
nekotcha
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kentmonkey said:At least they're accurate.

In the in-game PES tips they have the shoot and cross button round the wrong way (PS3 version anyway).


That's likely to be the exception rather than the rule - the manual generally gets sorted long before the game goes gold so there's a much better chance of the manual containing mistakes than the other way round.

I think they should be dropped entirely though. Nobody reads them, they're a waste of paper, and there's no reason why a game couldn't just provide all of the information in-game anyway, even if it was just via a front end option that was 'read manual'.
#21 at 21:47:24 - 19/11/2007
kentmonkey
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I actually like reading manuals before I play. I read the backstory, plus all of the controls.

I also like the XBOX manuals where they often had the quick-reference controls on the back of the manual, very helpful for when you haven't played a game in a while and can't possibly remember the myriad of buttons.
#22 at 22:18:38 - 19/11/2007
quedex
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I find manuals serve two purposes. The first is to help satisfy that new game itch but you're nowhere near the console, like reading it on the bus home after just buying it, for example.

The second but more useful purpose is for when you start playing a game again after a few months gap, and you need a quick refresher on the controls but don't want to replay the tutorial just to find out what magic incantation you need to recite when you want to throw a grenade.
#23 at 22:25:14 - 19/11/2007
ilmaestro
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nekotcha said:
I think they should be dropped entirely though. Nobody reads them, they're a waste of paper, and there's no reason why a game couldn't just provide all of the information in-game anyway, even if it was just via a front end option that was 'read manual'.

Good grief no! Even if you're not odd like me and buy games at least in part as a collection as well as to play, reading stuff on paper is so much nicer than reading stuff on a screen! Plus, most in-game tutorials are absolute pap, and the option to skip them if you've read the manual is the thing that should be changed.

Next thing you'll be advocating having all games sold via download. :/
#24 at 23:38:31 - 19/11/2007
bunglebonce
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Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri: what a manual.

/wishes Brian Reynolds would make a pseudo-sequel
#25 at 23:41:53 - 19/11/2007
Hughes.
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If I'm buying a second hand game and there's a cheaper version with no manual, I won't buy it. Opening a game box and just seeing a disc with no manual in there always feels like the game is naked, somehow, and not in the good, naughty way.
#26 at 01:16:58 - 20/11/2007
disusedgenius
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Electroplankton is worth a mention for having a lovely ittle pamphlet of niceness tucked betwixt it's outer casing.
#27 at 01:28:03 - 20/11/2007
Feanor
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ilmaestro said:These days it does seem that the 'EA manual' has become the standard over here. The situation is generally a lot better in Japan, don't know about the States so much but I presume theirs are at least generally in color.


I think most of the manuals I have are in colour, but Capcom USA's manuals are almost as bad as the insulting photocopies EA turns out.

The American Odin Sphere manual is lovely as you'd expect, and I think all my GC manuals are full colour. Animal Crossing and Chibi-Robo are particularly nice to look at.
#28 at 02:19:50 - 20/11/2007
ilmaestro
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The Japanese Super Paper Mario manual is great, so I hope that got carried over.
#29 at 02:59:13 - 20/11/2007
Retroid
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Hughes. said:If I'm buying a second hand game and there's a cheaper version with no manual, I won't buy it. Opening a game box and just seeing a disc with no manual in there always feels like the game is naked, somehow, and not in the good, naughty way.

Agreed. I've picked up a few games over the years which don't have a manual and they pain me so :'(

I absolutely won't buy a game without the box though! :o
#30 at 03:40:37 - 20/11/2007

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