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Joystiq presents

DS Daily: Do you use player guides?


Something faintly unsettling happened to this blogger recently. For the first time since Grim Fandango left me utterly bamboozled, yours truly turned to a guide for help while playing a DS game (one that will remain anonymous, to save the already battered, tatty remains of my gamer cred).

As a rule, I don't like using guides. Not because I am fantastic at playing games (any of my opponents at Game Night will confirm that I am rubbish) but because I'm simply happy to sit there for unhealthy periods of time, brow furrowed and stylus poised, and break down the puzzles a game throws at me, come hell or high water. How about you guys? Are you happy to use guides, or do you steer clear and stubbornly try to fight your own way through?

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Reader Comments (Page 1 of 2)

atastysammich1

2-07-2008 @ 9:19AM

atastysammich said...

I shamefully admit that I've used guides from time to time in the Phoenix Wright games (thankfully spoiler-free, so there aren't any details besides PRESENT THIS THING AT THIS QUESTION). The Judge and I have simply not been known to see eye to eye on where questionings are headed!

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Eric Smoger2

2-07-2008 @ 9:30AM

Eric Smoger said...

I really don't like using guides, and i never do, as long as I feel like I'm making some kind of progress. If I hit an absolute wall though,.. I'll break down and check a FAQ.. as an adult I just don't have the time to sink into games that I used to..

that being said.. i tend to get stuck on the dumbest things.. for example in Twilight Princess I spent an hour lost in a dungeon, only to break down and refer to a FAQ which clued me in that there was a hole in a wall that I walked by - but didn't notice - probably a hundred times.

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nil3

2-07-2008 @ 9:34AM

nil said...

I tend to avoid them, but a few games have forced me to turn to them. The most prominent games that had me reading FAQs before abandoning the game were the Golden Sun series. Most of the time, the player is left to guess where to go next. As a veteran RPG player, it was very frustrating. I never did finish the game.

As with every rule, there are exceptions. I do check FAQs and tips on fighting games. Once I've gotten pretty good with a particular fighter, I like to read tips from other players to improve my game.

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Stewart4

2-07-2008 @ 9:44AM

Stewart said...

I use them all the time... on rental games. If it is a game that is so short that I will make it through over half in the rental period, I am not going to buy it, and therefore the only time for me to beat it is during the rental period, so I will use Guides to progress as quickly as possible. Like in Super Mario Galaxy. Way too short, got 90 stars in 5 days.

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alphagod5

2-07-2008 @ 9:52AM

alphagod said...

I tend to use guides for 100% completion rates or secrets. Most of the time however it's just me and my game.

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The Theory6

2-07-2008 @ 9:56AM

The Theory said...

yeah, I definitely have to use guides, simply because I suck at puzzle aspects of games. Without a guide there is no way I would have gotten through some of my favorite games.

I will say this, though...I am currently working on Assassin's Creed: Altair's Chronicles and there were a couple of points yesterday that I would have caved on for a walkthrough if one was available. However, I got them figured out and I'm a better person for it.

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Gerwurztraminer7

2-07-2008 @ 10:01AM

Gerwurztraminer said...

As a general rule, I try to figure the game out first. But if I have to choose between;
1) putting the game down in frustration, or,
2) using a guide to continue on my merry way,
I choose the latter. Time is short and being stuck only makes sense if you're enjoying the experience.




Spoiler Warning:
I'm now going to continue on a long tanget.

Interestingly enough, my younger self would be hopeless without guides. Final Fantasy VI (then III, yadda yadda, whatever) was a game I watched a friend play and became intrigued by the storyline. Blown away, is more accurate. Back then I had no idea games could contain such depth. But in trying to play the game myself, I was clueless as to the mechanics of an RPG. With some practice, and a guide, I was able to enjoy the story (which was all I cared about at the time; gameplay? tch, just gets in the way) to its fullest.

Then came FF7. Groan all you want, but since the story was what I cared about in FF6, the cinematic presentation of FF7 was exactly what I liked about the game. It's as if they marketed it specifically for me (and millions and millions of others at the same time). And I had a wonderful guide that, strangely enough, managed to be completely spoiler free. I have no idea how they did it, but it was great. Anymore it's just a quick reference to remind myself the specifics on Chocobo greens and locales for breeding, but in my mind it was the epitome of guides.

Finally, after FF6 and FF7, I felt "good enough" with my skill that I would avoid guides on my first play through of any game. And for the most part, that has been the case. But as I said at top, often time is short. I don't have an entire summer vacation to figure out how to get to the next level anymore. So, on occasion, it's back to the guide.

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Swampgirl Inez8

2-07-2008 @ 10:03AM

Swampgirl Inez said...

When I get to the point that I have been trying the same thing over and over again and have no idea what to do next (usually accompanied by, "This isn't fun anymore.") I'll go to GameFAQs.

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Kevin Adder Snake9

2-07-2008 @ 10:12AM

Kevin Adder Snake said...

RPGs are guide necessary because they are so many things you can miss if you don't know what you need. Some clues are easy while others are downright hard to get. The Final Fantasy series is a example of how you can break a playthrough by missing one key spell or weapon, thus having to start over out of anger. I have done it more than my fair share. So to answer your question, yes I use game guides. They don't cheapen the experience but allows me to play a game without the added stress.

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Alien10

2-07-2008 @ 10:36AM

Alien said...

I use them , but only in games that Im to bored to solve the issues myself ... Interestingly in hard games I dont need them :)

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Sleepykidd11

2-07-2008 @ 10:38AM

Sleepykidd said...

I only use guides to help me through a side quest or game that has a different set of rules than the main game. Usually I don't understand the goal or how to do them correctly at first. Other than that, Item locations and their stats are what I look up.

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Matdredalia12

2-07-2008 @ 10:39AM

Matdredalia said...

While most of my family (read: my step-father) are psychotic about their games and want them completed NOW NOW NOW, and thus in turn, live for GameFAQs.....I'm anti-FAQ. There are some things I will look up, such as information for WoW, or a list of spells for Puzzle Quest, but most of the time, I won't touch a FAQ unless I've been elbow deep in whatever problem has arisen for at least 2 hours or so. Once I've spent 2 hours staring at the screen trying to figure something out to no avail and no matter what I do I'm not making ANY progress....I tend to get annoyed.

Funny thing....thus far, Lost Magic is the only game that's really given me that problem =P

Though, despite my Anti-FAQ stance, I still find myself writing a FAQ for Bomberman Land Touch! 2...probably just because I like the game so much and want to pay homage to it.

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Brello13

2-07-2008 @ 12:18PM

Brello said...

So Bomberman Land Touch! 2 is worth getting? I had already planned on it, but that's good to know!

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Dash14

2-07-2008 @ 11:03AM

Dash said...

I never used a guide to finish a game, but sometimes I use for two situation:

1-When I'm thinking of buying a game I might skin through gamefaqs to see how long it is or how many modes are there. Many reviews don't mention things like if there's randon wi-fi matches

2-After I fully complete the game and want to go into competitive gaming I might use then to know advanced stuff. Like in Pokemon, there is an integer to calculate the odds of finding a Pokerus, which in turn can double the amount of a invisible point system (EV) that increases your status by a defined amount when you reach Lv 100. No way in hell a person could ever found that out without breaking the game code

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Synergistic15

2-07-2008 @ 11:59AM

Synergistic said...

I used to constantly, but I also used to play alot more RPGs to completion.

If there are random crafting requirements and such, I use guides for those.

As for the player guides you get in the stores, I bought Halo 3 cause it was only $10, and I got the one for Viva Pinata due to the sheer volume of information. I think the only one I had before that was the one that came with Earthbound... mmm scratch and sniff.

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Brello16

2-07-2008 @ 12:27PM

Brello said...

Of course I've used FAQs! Good lord, some games were practically made to make you buy Nintendo Power back in the day. (Varia in Metroid, anyone? Nobody found that without reading about it, nobody!) Obviously I'm not going to page to a FAQ right when I get the game, but if I'm backtracking all over the place confused, I'll browse a FAQ to get un-stuck. Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance was the last game where I was stuck wandering all over the place in a daze. One little peek at a FAQ and I was on my way.

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Matdredalia17

2-07-2008 @ 2:50PM

Matdredalia said...

It wouldn't let me reply to your reply (lol) but yes, I think Bomberman Land Touch 2 is VERY worth getting. I'm totally fangirling out over it, and I could not put it down.

However, it's great for casual play because, of course, the game revolves around mini games.

Also, they added some features to make the replay value extend beyond just goofing with the mini games and the battle mode on WiFi.

They added a few other things, but I don't want to spoil it. Suffice to say....I liked this one better than Land Touch 1, and I think both are fantastic.

/end rabid fangirl rant

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Brello18

2-07-2008 @ 3:13PM

Brello said...

Well, it's sitting shrink-wrapped in front of me now :) Despite its January release date, it took until today for any store around here to stock the thing.

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AmishPhysicist19

2-07-2008 @ 1:05PM

AmishPhysicist said...

Only use 'em when I'm stuck. I don't have the time to go traipsing around for 8 hours anymore.

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Dig20

2-07-2008 @ 1:22PM

Dig said...

I avoid guides whenever I can, but I also understand that there is a limit to my stubbornness. I avoid guides because when I see the entire contents of a game laid out in front of me, it puts the entire game into perspective and appears less awesome than it originally was. It's like when playing a Zelda game; when I first start, it's a limitless world with adventures and surprises that I do not yet know. Once I see a guide, I know there will be eight dungeons, 3 mid-bosses, a hookshot, a hookshot upgrade, an optional Master Sword upgrade at point B, and a three-part battle with Ganon at the end of the game. No surprises, no fun.

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