A good strategy guide has more than a detailed walkthrough, although this is one of the most important pieces to the work. I’ll get to what the walkthrough needs in another post.
The first and foremost items of a good guide are the maps. Every area should include a map as well as a map of the Overworld (if there is one) either at the front of the guide or in the very back. The only exception I can think of for this rule is the Kingdom Hearts games, because the KH Overworld does not allow for pillaging for items or exploration for new areas, enemies, etc. The area maps should clearly designate the rooms, items to be found, save points (if any), and hidden areas (if any).
The next most important elements are the appendices of enemies, items, accessories, enemies, bosses, spells (if any), and equipment. One guide that went above and beyond the call of duty for this was the Lost Odyssey guide which also provided appendices of hidden items already plotted out on area maps. If I could meet these writers, I’d give them freshly baked cookies just for that.
Sure, you need the walkthroughs and boss tactics, but that’s just the meat of a good guide. These are the bread and cheese, and these are usually the things that seasoned players use a guide for, if they use a guide at all.
However, this doesn’t mean I can forgive a guide for a terrible walkthrough just because the bread is fresh and the cheese is tasty. It just means that I won’t stamp an “F” on the front cover and burn it in effigy.