The review list in the column to the right isn’t a mistake. I am indeed reviewing two strategy guides for Final Fantasy III, one written by BradyGames and the other by Future Press. My husband bought me the BradyGames guide when he bought me the game last year, and my new friends at Future Press sent me a review copy of their guide. While I play FFIII, I have both guides open and surrounding me. I’m sure I look hilarious.
What’s fascinating to me is the sharp differences between the two guides in terms of both prep and tactics. The BradyGames guide takes a very aggressive approach to item usage, and equipment to buy but then tells the player to do whatever he wants for party formation and job selection. The Future Press guide, on the other hand, takes a conservative approach to using items and buying equipment. For example, it advises players to purchase armor over stronger weapons and encourages saving certain items for later in the game instead of using them early on. The Future Press guide is also more encouraging for treasure hunters and provides more in depth advice for party formation and job selection.
I can’t say one is better than the other yet, but each definitely speaks to a different type of player. It’s a fascinating study, and one I wish I could afford to do more often when I review guides. On the downside, it’s going to be hard to not compare them to one another when I do the final write-up.