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Encyclopedia > Strategy guide

Strategy guides are instruction books that contain hints or complete solutions to specific video games. The exact meaning of a "strategy guide" these days is very vague, as most could be easily ranked as "walkthroughs" or "hint collections". Namcos Pac-Man was a hit, and became a cultural phenomenon. ... A walkthrough is a term describing the consideration of a process at an abstract level. ...

Contents

General information

The term "strategy guide" is widely used for printed, comprehensive walkthrough/hint collection — either a book or a booklet. Some video game magazines publish individual articles that are called "strategy guides", though these are typically better termed walkthroughs or hint collections. A video game magazine is a magazine that talks about video games on PC, other computers or video game consoles. ...


The strategy guide books or booklets are typically sold through game retailers. In cases of exceptionally popular game titles, they are sold through more mainstream publication channels, such as bookstores or even newsstands. The strategy guides are often reasonably cheaply priced, and often sold at a lower price if purchased with the game itself. Sometimes, these bundles of game and strategy guide are very heavily marketed. Some game retailer chains, for example, have gained notoriety for trying as hard as possible to sell such bundles, even to the point where customers find it intrusive.


The strategy guides are not limited to strategy games; they are quite common with RPGs and action games as well. It has been suggested that Game of strategy be merged into this article or section. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...


Strategy guides may typically published by game distributors themselves, or licensed to a specialty publishing house. Prima Games, a division of Random House, is a well known example, known for their Prima "Official" Game Guides. Brady Games, a division of Pearson Education, is another publisher which is well known for their Brady Games Official Strategy Guides. These kind of guides are fully licensed from the game makers, and are thus marketed as the "official" strategy guides. There are also a number of publishers who make third-party, unlicensed, "unofficial" strategy guides, and many of today's's mainstream publishers, such as Brady Games and Prima Games, began their history by making third-party guides. Random House is a publishing division of the German media conglomerate Bertelsmann based in New York City. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Pearson Education is one of leading publishers of educational textbooks and other educational material, such as multimedia learning tools. ...


Typical contents

The contents of a strategy guide varies from game genre to another. Typically, the guides contain:

  • detailed gameplay information, for example, maneuvers that are not detailed in the manual
  • complete maps of the game, which show the placement of all items (including hidden and hard-to-find ones)
  • detailed instructions for specific locations on how to proceed from there
  • explanations of puzzles
  • details of enemies, including techniques on defeating individual enemies (especially "boss" monsters)
  • checklist of collectible items
  • cheats and game editing, although this has been less common in official guides
  • walkthroughs to help the player complete levels

Flag Ship from the video game Gorf This article or section may contain original research or unverified claims. ...

Publishing before game release

In order to be released at the same time as the game, commercial strategy guides are often based on a pre-release version of the game, rather than the final retail version (a good example was BradyGames strategy guide for Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. It included slightly off locations for collectable items, included adrenaline locations which were removed before release, and had a slightly different map, which made it impossible to find the black van in Los Venturas used for break-ins using their guide). Until recently they could not be updated after they are published, however BradyGames has begun offering free updates to their official strategy guides via their website. An alternative are the free, fan-made FAQs or walkthroughs located online which satisfies a user's need to be accurate and up to date.


Strategy guides are sometimes published before the game itself is published. This can be risky because there is always the chance that a game will end up not being released. In January 2001, Prima published a guide (ISBN 0-7615-3125-4) for the Dreamcast version of Half-Life that was cancelled late in development when Sega discontinued the console. Sega Dreamcast The Sega Dreamcast (Japanese: ドリームキャスト; code-named Katana during development) was Segas last video game console. ... Half-Life For a quantity subject to exponential decay, the half-life is the time required for the quantity to fall to half of its initial value. ... Sega Corporation ) is an international video game software and hardware developing company, and a former home computer and console manufacturer. ... The Atari 2600, Sony PSOne, Nintendo Gamecube, and Xbox 360 A video game console is an interactive entertainment computer. ...


Guides and technology

The rise of the World Wide Web and the increasing availability of free online FAQs and walkthroughs has taken away some of the need for commercial strategy guides. Of special note are walkthrough sites (such as GameFAQs). However, there is still a large market for them. Strategy guides often feature extensive picture-by-picture walkthroughs, maps, game art, and other visual features that cannot be provided by a bare text online walkthrough. WWWs historical logo designed by Robert Cailliau The World Wide Web (WWW or simply the Web) is a system of interlinked, hypertext documents that runs over the Internet. ... A walkthrough is a term describing the consideration of a process at an abstract level. ... GameFAQs is a gaming website that has hosted FAQs and walkthroughs for gamers since November 1995. ...


Some publishers have tried combining the printed books with the Internet. In 2000, one of the most dubious examples of this was the Final Fantasy IX Official Strategy Guide published by BradyGames, but much of the information was contained on Square's PlayOnline website. This seemed like a good way to promote PlayOnline, while creating a guide that would have updatable content, but it was widely panned. Players saw no need of buying a book if a significant part of the content was online; and there was no point paying for online content from one site, if it was available for free on another site. As a result, Square abandoned the online strategy guide concept and released complete printed guides for future games. [1] Final Fantasy IX ) is a console role-playing game developed by Square Co. ... PlayOnline is the online service created by Square Enix, that is used in the companys online games, Final Fantasy XI, Tetra Master, 雀鳳楼(Japan Only) and the upcoming Front Mission Online. ...


External links

Strategy guide publishers
Online strategy guides and FAQs

 
 

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