I remember buying 8-bit Nintendo games the day they came out. Oh yeah, I’m an old-school gamer through and through. One of the things I loved about getting those games was that the manual explained things that perhaps the game had no way of going over. They also had sections on items and their uses, weapons and the damage they dealt, characters and a bit of backstory about them. It was awesome! Talk about bathroom reading material! Oh, and if I was ever stuck? Well, no worries! Loads of times, these manuals came with hints for some of the more difficult areas!
I was playing video games before I could read. If I got stuck, I would ask my parents to help me read through the manual to find some kind of clue. By them helping me leaf through them, I started picking up on words and associating them properly. So, game manuals actually aided me in my quest to learn how to read. But that’s not the case anymore. In fact, it’s pretty much the complete opposite. Take for instance Silent Hill: Downpour (which I just purchased and can’t wait to play). The manual is the same few pages but repeated in English, French, and Spanish. Know what’s in those few pages? A warning page, a “Table of Contents”, a controller lay-out, and a warranty. That. Is. It. Were this Twitter, I would add “#bullshit”.
Where’s a little something about the main character? Where’s a map of the town? Maybe an item list? Maybe a little bit of a backstory? How about the freaking credits so I can know who designed the monsters? Don’t game companies want to give credit to the employees who busted their ass to put out this game???
No. That’s not what people get these days. Hell, you’re lucky if you get an insert at all. As a matter of fact, I think some games are abandoning printed manuals entirely in place of putting the manual on the disc. Thanks, but no thanks. I want my booklet so I can actually leaf through it.
It seems like anything that even closely resembles a manual of worth is only included in the special editions of games. But why should I pay extra for that? Basic instructions and advice should be made available to ALL the players, not just the ones who shell out an extra $20!
In summation, I miss awesome manuals. That is all.
Got any thoughts/questions/concerns for Jonny B.? Shoot him a message on Twitter!
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