View Full Version : The value of manuals nowadays

June 2nd, 2013, 4:20 PM
Your opinion on manuals versus in-game tutorials? And on the decline of manuals (which tell you more than the basic controls) in general?
I'm rather disappointed about the latter, myself; I think it's a problem that games are now often designed under the assumption that the player understands the genre they're in. Wondering what others think.

June 2nd, 2013, 8:53 PM
The removal of manuals for a large number of games is disappointing in my eyes, especially since it was the first thing I looked forward to when I opened up a new game, but I do understand the reasons behind it (generally, to save on unnecessary printing). Also, like you said, most of the time the manuals are just replaced by an in-game tutorial, or sometimes even a basic on-disc manual outlining the controls and prominent features. I can't that this is entirely a bad thing, but I always felt like I had a little bit of an advantage going into a game for the first time if I studied up on the controls, modes, etc., rather than trying to learn everything on the fly.

Mr. X
June 2nd, 2013, 9:22 PM
I rarely looked at the manuals for games, other then the basic controls.

For me, part of the fun in a game is learning as I go along. If I play a game and pretty much know everything about it already, then it's going to be boring as hell.

June 2nd, 2013, 9:29 PM
Other than the entertainment value when I lose my game, nope. I can figure out the controls, and if I'm stuck, I'll check the Internet. :P

June 2nd, 2013, 9:46 PM
I don't care for manuals, really. I do appreciate its aesthetic value, even though they're pretty much useless in this day and age.

June 2nd, 2013, 11:40 PM
As a collector I love manuals. And the box. And the ads in it. And the plastic shrink wrap. Boy I'm nuts.

Anyhow, I've always loved reading through them and when they started to decline I got a bit sad.

June 3rd, 2013, 1:39 AM
As a collector I love manuals. And the box. And the ads in it. And the plastic shrink wrap. Boy I'm nuts.

Nah, that's just the OCD in all of us!

I love manuals, and I love reading them. Some of them are written wonderfully, with Warioware Twisted's or Wario Land 4's being my favorite because of Wario's "comments". They're a great way to pass time too.

I don't get that with the digital manuals though. It's not they lack soul or anything like that, but I much prefer just grabbing the manual in my hands and read it when I'm bored, instead of having to turn on the system and read it there.

Imagine my surprise when I found out Rayman Origins had a manual in the Vita version! Was a very happy moment, I kid you not.

Miss Doronjo
June 3rd, 2013, 5:40 AM
Hah, I never read the manuals anymore and just wing it during the game~ Well, at least when it comes to games like Super Mario Bros where the controls are simple, etc, etc.

But, I do keep the manuals in a box somwhere! I do like the colors and art! I never paied any attention to in-game tutorials either. Especially in games like Fire Emblem where they take waaaaay too long, as they literally teach you step by step. I mean, it's okay for beginners, but, at least we have the option of choosing Easy, Normal, and Hard from the get-go in Fire Emblem games.

June 3rd, 2013, 9:00 AM
I love game manuals. I have all of mine saved from back to day 1 of gaming. In fact I sometimes read manuals before ever playing a game, but always on the same day. I get upset when there is no fat manual inside my game box, I feel so cheated! >_< *Shakes fist at Sims3 and Fire Emblem boxes*

June 3rd, 2013, 11:01 AM
Yeah, I was very disappointed when I opened the box for Awakening and found this measly little fold out thing. 3DS games are starting to move manuals onto the actual game themselves on the home screen. I hope Pokemon X and Y have a decent manual for me to look at >.<

June 3rd, 2013, 11:04 AM
If they have something interesting like character bios in them then I quite like them, but it's a rare occurrence I'm afraid.

I'm not too bothered if games don't have them as most were pretty basic anyway.

June 3rd, 2013, 2:01 PM
Printed manuals are great. They provide information on the game and offer some cool artwork (well, most of them did). I hate tutorials integrated in games, especially those you can't skip (I like you, Pokemon, but aren't you going too far in the newer games?).

Digital manuals...I never really noticed them xD

June 3rd, 2013, 3:19 PM
I prefer manuals to in-game tutorials. If I need help, it's easier for me to open the game's box and pull out the manual and look it up than to try to remember what the game taught me, or try to remember where old basic instructions go after the tutorial.

That's not to say I hate tutorials...but they have to be done well. If you're going to have an in-game tutorial that is mandatory, incorporate it well and make it fun, interesting, and easy to remember.

June 3rd, 2013, 7:43 PM
I never looked at the manuals for in-game help. Any controls or information of that sort that I need to know are either easy to pick up while playing or shown how to be done in the game. The only thing that I like about manuals are the extra information about the characters or the stories about the game's plot.

Well, that and how much better the game looks in its case with the manual next to it.

Team Fail
June 3rd, 2013, 8:37 PM
Hahahahahahaha manuals? What are those?

I don't really make use of them because most of the content they describe is usually explained in the game itself. Most manuals don't really provide too much insight into the game, unless you're a completionist or something.

June 15th, 2013, 12:25 PM
I didn't ask y'all whether you like or read manuals, rather your opinion on their length and prominence having decreased, and how this relates to the inverse occuring for in-game help or other substitutes... I hope it's easy enough to follow what I mean.

June 15th, 2013, 12:54 PM
well i generally like the box and the manuals just for collecting sake. i especially like the manuals for pokemon games since they're generally bulkier than most other games but i never really liked the idea of digital manuals since it kinda kills the charm for me.

Purple Materia
June 15th, 2013, 1:07 PM
An interesting topic; I've always been bothered when I take home a new game and the manual is so disappointing.

No one really reads them, though. They typically look up the information they need on the Internet.

It really bugs me when I go to buy a used game, though, and it's missing the manual. Then I have to track down a manual or a different copy that actually has a manual. What a pain.

June 15th, 2013, 1:39 PM
I used to read manuals all the time, it really sucks that the newer games don't have them. I don't think I liked it cause it taught me how to play the game, though. I guess I just liked collecting, or having a memoir or something. I'm not totally opposed the the in game tutorials that are common today. I mean, I learn better when something's played out in front of me, anyway.