Who else is irritated at the state of game manuals?

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#1 Edited by Chozofication (2922 posts) -

Many games these days don't come with a physical manual, and I think it's bs. If we're going to get a physical copy of a game, it should have a physical manual.

They should just make the manuals thinner instead of not having one. For an example of what would be acceptable, DK tropical freeze has a 10 page manual, and it gets the job done. Opening a game to find a flimsy single piece that tells me there's a manual in game or worse, online, irks me a little.

#2 Edited by Ish_basic (4029 posts) -

Seems like they could have a digital manual and make everyone happy - publishers don't have to pay for the printing costs or waste money on a boring tutorial gameplay segment and gamers don't have to put up with "press R3 to duck under the pipe" in every single game we play

....anybody else notice that? How every game has a pipe you need to duck under in the first five minutes. It's usually the only pipe in the entire game...all to teach us how to duck without having to pay for a manual.

#3 Posted by SlyRoxas97 (59 posts) -

I don't like it either, Sony has stopped including physical manuals altogether. I think the last game they published that included a physical manual was the Jak and Daxter HD collection two years ago. I always like to leave the codes in the case just to have something in there. I remember picking up Sly 4 and seeing literally nothing, just the disc, it's weird that it made me disappointed, but it did.

#4 Posted by amalager (119 posts) -

-It saves them money from printing the manual. It also saves them money from purchasing paper for the manual. Also saves them some more money from having someone really look at the game manual (editing). They also point out that not all owners read the manual. Boo~~

I like collecting manuals from games that I purchased. -_-

#5 Posted by yokofox33 (29871 posts) -

I'm not gonna lie, I like a good manual. Makes the game and purchase feel more complete. I don't really read them or go through them much, but it's still nice to have.

#6 Posted by RageQuitter69 (1297 posts) -

I agree, I bought Need for Speed Most Wanted (2012 of course) on Sunday and while I was waiting for the bus after buying the game I thought 'I will crack open the game and read the manual while I wait' so I was extremely annoyed when I cracked open the game only to see an online pass and an EA support guide which told me where to find an online manual.

It's laziness and indicates a digital future, something I don't want to happen.

#7 Edited by marcheegsr (2832 posts) -

I don't think I have looked at a game manual in the past 2 years, and I played a lot of games. They are pretty much useless to me.

#8 Posted by ristactionjakso (5730 posts) -

Me.

Every game should get a game manual. Completely out all forced tutorials. If we need help, we can look in the game manual like the old days. Miss them. I hate being reminded all the button commands every 6 stupid seconds. Sure we could just turn them off, but then to look at any sort of manual, you need to shut off the game then look at the digital one. Hate it.

#9 Posted by speedfreak48t5p (8134 posts) -

I want to agree, but then I realize I read them once, and never open them up again.

#10 Posted by DarthGumballs (194 posts) -

Manuals are a waste of paper just the same as DVDs and Blu rays are a waste of plastic. Get with the times and stop wasting resources.

#11 Edited by SoNin360 (5502 posts) -

Even though I get it's to save money and I usually don't glance through the things more than once, I kinda miss them.

#12 Posted by Bigboi500 (29999 posts) -

Agreed 100%.

#13 Edited by MasterTankallex (94 posts) -

I agree. It just feel wrong, like a something important is missing. I get really disappointed these days when I go to pick up a new game, and as soon as I hold it, I can feel the subtle difference in weight and know that there is no instruction booklet for me to flip through.

I remember when the booklets also used to have little stories of what's going on in the world the game is taking place, and character backgrounds as well. It's a shame we'll never get those again.

#14 Posted by wiouds (5255 posts) -

Many games you do not need a manual.

But, in a RPG if you do not need a manual while playing then how good is it.

Also on Disc manuals suck to use while playing the game.

#15 Edited by Ish_basic (4029 posts) -

@darthgumballs said:

Manuals are a waste of paper just the same as DVDs and Blu rays are a waste of plastic. Get with the times and stop wasting resources.

they could do digital manuals like a lot of PSN games are doing.

#16 Posted by MuD3 (1282 posts) -

If getting rid of them reduced prices i would be fine with it... i'm not so fine with paying the same and getting less however.

#17 Posted by VintAge68 (417 posts) -

@SoNin360 said:

Even though I get it's to save money and I usually don't glance through the things more than once, I kinda miss them.

Exactly the same goes for me :]

#18 Posted by CarnageHeart (18316 posts) -

Due to in-game tutorials, digital manuals and concept art (my favorite part of game manuals once upon a time) being readily available online I couldn't care less about the absence of physical manuals from modern games.

#19 Posted by finalstar2007 (25276 posts) -

First of all they cost them a lot of money to make and print and second of all seriously who actually reads them? i mean small percentage of people do the rest dont even notice them so its cheaper and easier to make a digital manual rather than physical ones.

#20 Posted by MirkoS77 (7572 posts) -

Shit I remember the days of Ultima way back in the day for PC that came complete with a cloth map. Simply shoving a disc in a box with no manual shows companies take no pride in the presentation of their product. I find huge enjoyment opening a game when I get a beautiful, 50 page, full color manual and other things. Just like foreplay before the main event. Long gone nowadays.....straight to orgasm, how exciting. Luckily there's still some developers out there who understand the attraction of physical, like CD Projekt. I'm curious what The Witcher III will look like.

#21 Posted by bussinrounds (2192 posts) -

To be fair, most games that come out today don't deserve anything more than a paper thin pamphlet.

#22 Posted by Sefrix (892 posts) -

Honestly at this point a full color manual makes me think more highly of the game. I am the kind of guy to read the whole manual, especially if they have stuff in there like character biographies, back story, etc. I'd do that before even playing the game.

#23 Edited by Chozofication (2922 posts) -

@finalstar2007 said:

First of all they cost them a lot of money to make and print and second of all seriously who actually reads them? i mean small percentage of people do the rest dont even notice them so its cheaper and easier to make a digital manual rather than physical ones.

It costs them to make the disc too, should they take that out next? Heh, I can see it now, there'd be nothing in the disc holder and instead there'd be a download code..

Actually, sony has done this already, i remember the gow collection, the one with 5 games had download codes for the psp games, and it wasn't said on the box. Not only that, the codes could expire. (granted, this was a big collection not a single game, plus it was cheaper than most new games, but still)

For collectors and people who value their games, this sucks and it's a load of shit. And just think of if you bought a game full price at launch, and still get no manual.. then the game turns around and costs half that in a matter of months. Yeah, they saved A LOT of money by not putting a manual in there lol

#24 Posted by Blueresident87 (5339 posts) -

@amalager: They cut so many corners to save money already, I don't really care what it saves them.

I prefer the way it used to be regarding game manuals, that will not change regardless of how much money they 'save.'

#25 Posted by udUbdaWgz1 (631 posts) -

I despise the lack of quality, in-depth, physical manuals.

as well, I love in-game "manuals" like the one's in sid meier games that include lots of pages, terms, gameplay, info and everything.

#26 Edited by widdowson91 (1237 posts) -

I'm one of the dying breed of manual sniffers. It makes me feel sad that you no longer get physical manuals with games. It's worst with Nintendo games, because they put so much shit in the boxes anyway that they may as well have a manual instead.

#27 Edited by Black_Knight_00 (18507 posts) -

I'm bipolar when it comes to game manuals and instruction booklets: on one hand I will never buy a game on ebay without the manual, on the other I haven't actually opened a manual in 20 years.

#28 Posted by ShepardCommandr (2735 posts) -

@darthgumballs said:

Manuals are a waste of paper just the same as DVDs and Blu rays are a waste of plastic. Get with the times and stop wasting resources.

#29 Posted by CrimsonBrute (23597 posts) -
@yokofox33 said:

I'm not gonna lie, I like a good manual. Makes the game and purchase feel more complete. I don't really read them or go through them much, but it's still nice to have.

I completely agree with you. It's better to have it and not need it.

#30 Edited by ZZoMBiE13 (22911 posts) -

As someone who's strongly in favor of a world that doesn't rely so heavily on paper goods, I'm actually quite happy that manuals have been in decline.

Back in the 8 bit days, manuals served a real purpose. They often set the scene or explained the history of the world. They'd show controls or special moves. But those things are essentially in game now. You pause the game and can view the controls in the vast majority of games and if special maneuvers are required there's almost always a control list. And since the game's story is now part of the game and no longer needs a few pages of context, that isn't needed anymore either.

Ultimately, less need for them seems like a positive to me.

#31 Posted by -ParaNormaN- (834 posts) -

@Chozofication said:

@finalstar2007 said:

First of all they cost them a lot of money to make and print and second of all seriously who actually reads them? i mean small percentage of people do the rest dont even notice them so its cheaper and easier to make a digital manual rather than physical ones.

It costs them to make the disc too, should they take that out next? Heh, I can see it now, there'd be nothing in the disc holder and instead there'd be a download code..

Actually, sony has done this already, i remember the gow collection, the one with 5 games had download codes for the psp games, and it wasn't said on the box. Not only that, the codes could expire. (granted, this was a big collection not a single game, plus it was cheaper than most new games, but still)

For collectors and people who value their games, this sucks and it's a load of shit. And just think of if you bought a game full price at launch, and still get no manual.. then the game turns around and costs half that in a matter of months. Yeah, they saved A LOT of money by not putting a manual in there lol

When I bought the GOW collection and saw that, I pretty much instantly went online and bought the 2 PSP titles on amazon.

#32 Posted by 1080pOnly (1986 posts) -

I think they should increase the price of games, include a bible-esque sized double-glossed manual, a voucher that enables you to kill 3 rare animals of your choice, a book of carbon credits and a box of matches.

#33 Edited by DarthGumballs (194 posts) -

@Chozofication said:

@finalstar2007 said:

First of all they cost them a lot of money to make and print and second of all seriously who actually reads them? i mean small percentage of people do the rest dont even notice them so its cheaper and easier to make a digital manual rather than physical ones.

It costs them to make the disc too, should they take that out next? Heh, I can see it now, there'd be nothing in the disc holder and instead there'd be a download code..

Yes, there is hardly any reason to even have discs anymore. Sure internet isn't great everywhere, but I think they should completely abandon physical copies of games. Microsoft had it right with their original Xbox One gameplan. Not only would there be less waste, but think of all the money saved from transporting physical copies, storing them, etc. Just go all digital. No one buys physical copies of PC games for Steam do they? Console gaming should go the same way.

#34 Posted by Archangel3371 (15732 posts) -

While part of me is sad to have seen them go it does help the environment and save publishers money so I can live with their absence.

#35 Posted by CarnageHeart (18316 posts) -

@darthgumballs said:

@Chozofication said:

@finalstar2007 said:

First of all they cost them a lot of money to make and print and second of all seriously who actually reads them? i mean small percentage of people do the rest dont even notice them so its cheaper and easier to make a digital manual rather than physical ones.

It costs them to make the disc too, should they take that out next? Heh, I can see it now, there'd be nothing in the disc holder and instead there'd be a download code..

Yes, there is hardly any reason to even have discs anymore. Sure internet isn't great everywhere, but I think they should completely abandon physical copies of games. Microsoft had it right with their original Xbox One gameplan. Not only would there be less waste, but think of all the money saved from transporting physical copies, storing them, etc. Just go all digital. No one buys physical copies of PC games for Steam do they? Console gaming should go the same way.

A lot of people have bandwidth limitations 50 GB console games would completely blow.

Consumers don't care about money saved if the money saved isn't theirs.

If MS had said 'We're going digital only but dropping games prices to 50 or even 40 bucks to pass some or all of the savings onto consumer' not all consumers would have gone for it, but many would have.

Instead it was 'Games will cost the same plus even physical games will only work if you connect to the internet every 24 hours in select countries and you have no ability to sell or lend the physical copies of your games'. What part of that did MS think was going to be attractive to gamers?

I think the move to digital will happen over time. Its not something that can or should be forced (sellers of luxuries can't dictate to consumers).

#36 Posted by osan0 (12739 posts) -

a manual on how to get a game up and running is pointless.

but i dispair at the state of the poor content of manuals in games today.

back in my day (yep....have a doze :P) games came with proper manuals...with backstory and an explanation of how the game mechanics work (because games were more complicated. that is not necessarily a bad thing). the manual to baldurs gate came in two sections: the nuts and bolts of the game and a literature to give more background to the world being explored.

ultima 9 came with 2 manuals...and a cloth map...and a deck of cards, just cause. the game was rubbish but it came with great packaging. i remember when PC games came in really big boxes and i would be dissapointed sometimes when i opened the box just to find a jewel case and a thin manual.

arcanum: of steel workd and magic obscura also had one of the great manuals. it took 18th and 19th century science and pondered what would happen to it if magic was applied.

i wish games today came with a proper manual and packaging. the last game to do it as standard that i can remember is the witcher 2 (the rome 2 collectors edition is quite a thing of beauty....but you would have to be clinically insane to buy it. .........ok i bought it :S). the withcer 2 manual was OK but not great. it came with lots of stuff though.

#37 Edited by udUbdaWgz1 (631 posts) -

going all-digital reduces consumer power and options and would usher in an even darker era of gaming.

#38 Edited by PetJel (3723 posts) -

I used to love manuals from games like Pokemon, Metal Gear Solid, Command and Conquer, they had artwork, backstory, overview of all the units, items, they were colorful, it was like reading a book about your favourite game.

#39 Edited by good_sk8er7 (4322 posts) -

I miss the big thick manuals with information about the world and characters.

#40 Posted by Chozofication (2922 posts) -

@PetJel said:

I used to love manuals from games like Pokemon, Metal Gear Solid, Command and Conquer, they had artwork, backstory, overview of all the units, items, they were colorful, it was like reading a book about your favourite game.

Oh man, pokemon red and blue manuals were great. So detailed

#41 Posted by Kevlar101 (6204 posts) -

This is the most disappointingly misleading game manual ever. Those who own Fallout 3 will understand.

#42 Edited by Arach666 (23042 posts) -

@Kevlar101 said:

This is the most disappointingly misleading game manual ever. Those who own Fallout 3 will understand.

At least it´s 45 pages long and fairly sturdy,pretty complete as far as game mechanics/features are concerned,detailed level by level skills descriptions and plenty of flavor text(and panels) to boot. Maybe what you expected was a longer,lore heavy sort of thing but even as is,I can´t really see why you´d think it´s the most disapointingly misleading manual ever,unless they differ by region and yours is completely different than mine.

Either that,or our expectations were completely diferent.

#43 Edited by Kevlar101 (6204 posts) -

@Arach666 said:

@Kevlar101 said:

This is the most disappointingly misleading game manual ever. Those who own Fallout 3 will understand.

At least it´s 45 pages long and fairly sturdy,pretty complete as far as game mechanics/features are concerned,detailed level by level skills descriptions and plenty of flavor text(and panels) to boot. Maybe what you expected was a longer,lore heavy sort of thing but even as is,I can´t really see why you´d think it´s the most disapointingly misleading manual ever,unless they differ by region and yours is completely different than mine.

Either that,or our expectations were completely diferent.

I bought the Game of the Year edition of Fallout 3, and the manual shows nothing but the controls. I was hoping for some lore and game descriptions , instead it was basically a piece of paper (one page long) with the controls and trademarks listed.

Seriously, why call it the "Vault Dwellers Survival Guide" if there is nothing of the sort whatsoever inside?

#44 Posted by amalager (119 posts) -

@Blueresident87: I'm with you there. Nothing beats the smell of a game manual fresh from its package.

#45 Posted by Arach666 (23042 posts) -

@Kevlar101 said:

@Arach666 said:

@Kevlar101 said:

This is the most disappointingly misleading game manual ever. Those who own Fallout 3 will understand.

At least it´s 45 pages long and fairly sturdy,pretty complete as far as game mechanics/features are concerned,detailed level by level skills descriptions and plenty of flavor text(and panels) to boot. Maybe what you expected was a longer,lore heavy sort of thing but even as is,I can´t really see why you´d think it´s the most disapointingly misleading manual ever,unless they differ by region and yours is completely different than mine.

Either that,or our expectations were completely diferent.

I bought the Game of the Year edition of Fallout 3, and the manual shows nothing but the controls. I was hoping for some lore and game descriptions , instead it was basically a piece of paper (one page long) with the controls and trademarks listed.

Seriously, why call it the "Vault Dwellers Survival Guide" if there is nothing of the sort whatsoever inside?

Ok,that´s pretty terrible,mine is also the GOTY edition but it´s certainly not one page long,must be some region thing like I said or perhaps a diferent print? I guess the one I have is what you expected after all.

#46 Posted by MirkoS77 (7572 posts) -

I will never understand why people would wish for physical media to go away completely. There's a lot of pleasure to be found in the physical. I love going to the store, unwrapping, the smell, browsing artwork. It's analogous to sex. Hell, let's just get rid of all the tastes and smells, the sounds, the warmth that come along with that. Let's just make it an injection like heroin that goes right to the pleasure.

Are you guys serious??

Maybe I'm in the minority here, but foreplay vastly increases the enjoyment. Physicality is a form a foreplay, even for the things we buy. Yea, what many games offer nowadays isn't really worth it, but games such as The Witcher 2 exemplify why physical will always beat only digital. That was one hell of a package. A great game released as just the disc or just digitally feels like half is missing. Thank God for Collector's Editions at least.

#47 Posted by treedoor (7648 posts) -

I'd rather a game be intuitive enough that I can pick it up, and play it without reading a manual that tells me how.

#48 Posted by KazeNilrem (14 posts) -

I am a fan of physical manuals as the next person but we must accept reality, it is a matter of nostalgia. The manuals of the past were done out of necessity whereas nowadays, they are done out of habit. With this sort of topic think we should really be asking ourselves is why we want them? If it is a matter of needing to know information on controls or other content, that can be included within the game. If it is a matter of information about the game such as characters, factions, etc., that too can be done within game (and often does).

Now, from my perspective, I would be more sympathetic if it is a matter of Collector editions and wanting something special (like artwork), that can and should be done via artbook. Special editions to do something more but in the end, they are just not necessary and are merely a costly nostalgic habit.

#49 Posted by lumzi32 (332 posts) -

Eh.

I used to really like manuals but these days I don't really care (though that is probably because I haven't seen any truly good ones in a really long time). It would have to be something truly above and beyond to make me care about one these days. Something that adds to game in some way (like adding to the lore or a code book for some in game puzzle of some sort)

What I really wouldn't mind having again are useful paper maps. The one in Skyrim was particularly great. It was a proper paper map that really compliments the less detailed aerial map in the game. Immersive. Useful.

#50 Posted by Byshop (11599 posts) -

@darthgumballs said:

@Chozofication said:

@finalstar2007 said:

First of all they cost them a lot of money to make and print and second of all seriously who actually reads them? i mean small percentage of people do the rest dont even notice them so its cheaper and easier to make a digital manual rather than physical ones.

It costs them to make the disc too, should they take that out next? Heh, I can see it now, there'd be nothing in the disc holder and instead there'd be a download code..

Yes, there is hardly any reason to even have discs anymore. Sure internet isn't great everywhere, but I think they should completely abandon physical copies of games. Microsoft had it right with their original Xbox One gameplan. Not only would there be less waste, but think of all the money saved from transporting physical copies, storing them, etc. Just go all digital. No one buys physical copies of PC games for Steam do they? Console gaming should go the same way.

Digital distribution is a complete non-starter for a lot of parts of the world. Don't assume that because you can easily download any game you want that the same applies for the rest of the population of the planet. In India alone (you know, that country that makes up almost 1/5th of the population of the entire planet?), it's common for internet providers to charge based on usage so downloading a 20GB game might could actually cost significantly more than purchasing a physical copy. Also, some poeple don't like the idea of owning a "license" to play a game rather than owning the game itself, as it the perception with digital distribution services like Steam or Origin.

For me, I like playing complex games. Games like NWN2 that had a thick physical manaul explaining all the perks, feats, and stats from the D&D 3rd edition system. Physical manuals and in-game tutorials are not mutually exclusive. There's no reason why you can't include both. That said, for your average FPS or arcade-y console game a physical manual is probably overkill because you could explain all of the gameplay concepts in a single page.

I'm an old-school gamer, so I remember the days that Mirko is talking about with cloth maps and "feelies" included in the boxes that really made the game even more interesting. The old text based Infocom games actually included feelies that you needed to beat the game (not copy protection, exactly, but more like props). Some of the clues in the detective games were actually physical objects included in the box that would be referenced in the game. You'd examine the physical object that you actually had in your hand and figure out what to do next (or not, as was the case often with this incredibly difficult games) based on real-world observations. This was a really creative solution to make your games more immersive, especially back because games had graphics.

-Byshop