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We Really Need Game Manuals To Make A Comeback

Mark Butler: "I still have fond and vivid memories of the fun, informative game manual that came packaged with my PlayStation copy of FPS classic Doom.

"It had cool artwork. It had in-depth descriptions of enemies, weapons and environmental artifacts. And it had a really well-written short story that provided context and background for the cut-scene free campaign.

"I found my mind whimsically turning back to that manual this weekend, as I contemplated the trend for modern games to arrive pretty much free of any additional printed background or world-expanding lore – unless you happen to buy the Collector’s Edition, that is."

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shodan74808d ago

It seems weird now to think I'd sit there for ages reading about the game I was playing/about to play from a little pocket-sized book.

But I did. And I loved it. Anybody have any particular favourite manuals from back in the day?

Halo2ODST2808d ago

Halo CE mannual, i remember reading about pelicans & warthogs. Also the mercenaries playground of destruction mannual

Rocky5808d ago

Mine has to be, Rogue Trip: Vacation 2012.

Used to sit on the bog reading manuals when I got a new game & the above game has a secret at the end, that to this day I don't think any other dev has done.

It included a cheat after the credits, as a thank you for reading the manual haha

caseh808d ago (Edited 808d ago )

"Used to sit on the bog reading manuals when I got a new game & the above game has a secret at the end, that to this day I don't think any other dev has done."

Sega went a step further with Dragon Force on the Saturn with a little snippet of text in a .txt file on the disc itself. It basically said you should prepare to lose a month of your life to the game, which I did. :)

Der_Kommandant808d ago

Rogue Trip: Vacation 2012, Vigilante 8 and Twisted Metal . Oh man.. The golden age of car combat, i missed those days. :'(

BTW Twisted Metal Black Manual was amazing, like a journal from Hell.

starrman1985808d ago

I remember the ES: Oblivion manual got a lot of time, and the GTA manuals were always good fun to read, they often had hidden little jokes in them!

rainslacker807d ago

I used to be really into import games. On the Dreamcast, PC-Engine RPG's, and even a lot of PS1 games, they had some really thick instruction manuals that required special cases just to hold them. I couldn't read the text because I don't know how to read Japanese, but the artwork in them was always superb. It was like getting a free art book which you only see in day one or limited editions with every game. In western releases, most of those manuals were just black and white with a few pieces of art thrown in, and the basics of game play and probably some character portfolios.

I still go through those old games I have and just flip through them for the amazing art.

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DanJenkoFMV808d ago

Agreed, it's a shame getting a meaty text insight to the game you're about to play is only available for people who fork out for the collectors edition.

moldybread808d ago

every game should come with a digital booklet you can view online included.

Rebel_Scum808d ago

Nah not digital. Better to have paper, something you can touch and feel.

moldybread808d ago

digital can cut down on costs and more environmentally friendly. isn't that their excuse in the first place why they stopped including them?

OpenGL808d ago

The regular edition of The Witcher 3 came with a paper manual, stickers, and a map. If you pre-ordered the regular edition even came with a hard cover Dark Horse graphic novel.

shodan74808d ago

Yet another example of CD Projekt Red being utterly awesome.

starrman1985808d ago

My toilet trips haven't been the same since!

Rookie_Monster808d ago

Why? I say,leave them out to save a few trees. With everyone having a smartphone and iPad these days, I think a free manual that you can download from the game's main website is a better idea and cost publisher nothing.

IcicleTrepan808d ago

A lot of people are forgetting that the reason we had these manuals is because of a lack of an in-game tutorial. Now almost every game has an in game tutorial which is much better than a manual.

thunderbird86808d ago

Which equates to thousands of dollars. Gamers say they don't want games to go more than $60, but they sure do act like they want to.

rainslacker807d ago

per game, the average manual probably equates to 5 cents per copy sold. Hardly a reason to increase the price of the game.

In the bigger picture, it does save money when you add it up over a million copies or more sold, but the largest part of loss of profit is the inflated development costs that come from game development becoming too incorporated and the increase demand in technical prowess.

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