Re: Enhancing the Game? Strategy Guides & the PlayOnline Fiasco

by Cyre "Dekar" Ankleon 

I. myself, hated the Final Fantasy VII guide because every plot spoiler known to man was included in it. BradyGames made a big inprovement on the Final Fantasy VIII guide, because they made include the fewest spoilers they could get away with while giving a quality guide. I absolutly loved the idea that you could read the strategy guide, and still play the game to find out what happens. Final Fantasy IX's guide has been the best of them all. It allows you to play the game on your own, refer to the strategy guide for hints, and you only have to access the site if you are in dire need of help. I remember playing Lufia II when it came out. It was a long time before I beat the game because no one had a guide out that would help me get past the Treasure Sword Shrine puzzle. After I finally found a solution, I replayed the game and saw the fact that I had missed an important aspect that you could turn in place. A well-made Strategy guide comes with a section or two full of information you need to know to play the game, and helps you review if you only use a certain skill in a couple portions of a game.

I think that people who don't like having to look online for strategy guides and such should not look for them. I know many people don't have internet access. I didn't for a long time, and finding some secrets in a game is very, very hard (Master Magic in FF VII, I never bought the revive materia and had to go through every area before I found the only place to buy it in Junon Harbor) . Having the internet helps if you are indeed stuck, or don't have time to spend 80+ hours on FFVIII trying to find who has the Rinoa card, and finally losing your Ifrit card and next round you see the Rinoa Card, with the FF VIII guide I still spent almost 20 hours to get all the cards (stupid random rule). With FFIX, you can get hints from the guide without looking up info on the net, and getting information that will spoil parts of the game. And if you indeed need help, you can access the internet from home, or from somewhere that has internet access (Most public libraries have internet access for a short period free). If you truly hate the FFIX guide, though, wait until an unofficial guide come out with spoilers, or go download a Walkthrough from

Original Editorial : Enhancing the Game? Strategy Guides & the PlayOnline Fiasco
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