Archive for March, 2009

The high price of strategy

Monday, March 16th, 2009

Astute readers might remember that some time ago I gave the existence of strategy guides a hard time. Mostly because I like figuring stuff out and having step-by-step instructions takes some of the fun out of that.

But, I still get them on occasion.

Why? I know that GameFAQs exists, and it’s usually a pretty good resource. But it’s got some flaws. The guides are posted by the site’s users, which is fine until you’re trying to play a brand new game. Then you have to wait for someone to buy it, play it through at least once, and then type up everything you wanted to know about it. That takes time. You also run across the occasional FAQ author who omits information, fails to fully describe what you need to do to to proceed, or just plain gets things wrong somehow. But they are free, and generally usually mostly correct-ish so they have that going for them.

But, I occasionally go for the pre-printed guides for a few reasons: They’re in book form, so I don’t have to sit in front of my computer to read it, which is pretty nice if your console isn’t near your computer. They’re usually pretty complete from day one, which is kind of nice. And they have pictures, which might sound kind of lame, but there are lots of situations that are pretty hard to describe with words alone, and pictures certainly help (incidentally, that’s one of the reasons I started Pro tip of the Day).

But, the problem is, I’m cheap, and guides are ridiculously expensive… We’ll take a recent game, Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon. Game: $30 Guide: $20