After some heavy posts this week, Holly and I thought we would end our week on a lighter note. Her list yesterday of books she has not read made me think of doing something similar, but nah, let’s mix it up.
Instead, I wanted to say some things about online strategy guides.
In favor of Strategy Guides
I am a completionist. Holly is too. We tend to set a goal and meet it, so there are much more hardcore completionists than us. Does that make us casual completionists? Is that even a thing? Anyway.
This blog post is a big thank you to the folks who make those online walkthroughs and get accurate info into the wikis for video games. These are the necessary elements for Holly and I to successfully be completionists. We like to explore, and explore pretty heavily on our own. But, for instance, in Borderlands 2: even as much as we explore, we have missed a ridiculous number of the Vault symbols. No way we’re finding all of those without a walkthrough. (Okay, we may not even try on that one, but you get my point.)
I like strategy guides. For instance, for Final Fantasy games – I will often “walkthrough” on my own for the story, but in terms of thinking my way through the game system, and the open-ended and leveling and side-questing elements, I want some intel to make some decisions.
And for stealth-style games, having a physical strategy guide is great, because maps are so essential. I definitely used a guide for Dishonored, and for Deus Ex Human Revolution. Not necessarily to walkthrough, but for the maps, for sure. Otherwise, it’s often exploration through death. Which works, but can be time consuming or frustrating.
So I’m not saying, buy no physical strategy guides and only go online! They have a place. And honestly, the ones where there is a job and money involved make more sense to me – writing a guide on your own is more work than I put into my games. So they constantly impress me.
Those Excellent Online Alternatives
But let’s face it, I don’t need a strategy guide for every game – especially not at the $15+ range they tend to sell for. However, being able to find an answer for that one annoying thing you can’t find in a game? Oh man, nothing beats the searchability of the Internet.
So first, for the Wikis. Because these are the collaborative work of what can only be fans, who go in, add info, add what’s missing, link to other things, add pictures so you don’t get lost… They do such a wonderful job, really, for the no money or thanks they seem to get for it.
Maybe some of it is Internet karma: if you use the Wikis, you’re supposed to add to them. But I don’t… really, more because it’s already there. What’s left to add? You, Internet: you have done an excellent job preparing game guides online, for helping me answer my most annoying game moments so that I can work my way through. Thank you.
And then, there’s the walkthroughs. This more often seems to be the work of one person. And they aren’t just copying over the strategy guide: they are often much more detailed in their approach. Why do this? Why put so much work into these guides? Again, without necessarily getting monetary reward or thanks for it. A labor of love of the game. And again I say, thank you.
Some guides I have used lately
And so, as one form of thanks, here’s some referrals back to some of the guides and wikis I have used (and bookmarked) in recent years.
Baldur’s Gate Guides – was using them for the Enhanced Edition
- For item guides: http://mikesrpgcenter.com/bgate/index.html
- For great quest guides through map pages: http://www.forgottenwars.com/bg1/ar2400.htm
Lego Games Guides
- Lego Pirates: http://www.gamefaqs.com/xbox360/612246-lego-pirates-of-the-caribbean-the-video-game/faqs/62361
- Lego Harry Potter: http://www.gamefaqs.com/xbox360/631934-lego-harry-potter-years-5-7/faqs/63405
- Lego Lord of the Rings: http://www.gamefaqs.com/xbox360/672704-lego-the-lord-of-the-rings/faqs/65283
Final Fantasy Dimensions
- Walkthrough: http://www.gamefaqs.com/iphone/672352-final-fantasy-dimensions/faqs/65107
- Job and Ability guide: http://www.gamefaqs.com/iphone/672352-final-fantasy-dimensions/faqs/66204
Couple of older guides that I carried over to this computer to still potentially use:
Running out of other ways to group them, so the rest:
- Skyrim: http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Skyrim:Skyrim
- Legend of Grimrock: http://www.gamefaqs.com/pc/641157-legend-of-grimrock/faqs/64126
- Skyward Sword: http://www.gamefaqs.com/wii/960633-the-legend-of-zelda-skyward-sword/faqs/63420
- 4 Heroes of Light: http://m.gamefaqs.com/ds/961297-final-fantasy-the-4-heroes-of-light/faqs/61505
- Dead Island: http://deadisland.wikia.com/wiki/Dead_Island_Wiki
Do you use online strategy guides? Any good ones you relied heavily on?