Obviously, I scored one guide higher than the other, so it’s quite obvious which one wins this fight. *coughFUTUREPRESScough* But allow me to delve into why you should consider FuturePress’s guide over the BradyGames guide, even though the latter is very good.
Both guides include walkthroughs for the various sidequests, so that wasn’t the issue. However, the FP guide has all of the sidequests interspersed throughout the main quest walkthrough, so there’s no real chance of the player missing a sidequest. BG’s guide has all of the sidequests in the back, so not only is there a possibility of missing a quest, but there’s the added aggravation of constantly flipping back and forth between the main walkthroughs and the side walkthroughs. Since so many areas require additional leveling up outside of what you can achieve by burning through the main quest, it makes more sense to intermingle the sidequests so players can level grind with a sidequest instead of well, level grinding.
As I said in my review, BG’s guide takes a very hands off approach in guiding the player, especially when it comes to job choices. The game is set up so players can customize their party to how they prefer to fight, so that’s all well and good, but there are rarely suggestions for what one should do with certain jobs when fighting bosses or navigating a dungeon. The FP guide lists every available job at the beginning of the area and suggestions for how to use that job to its fullest. The writers still didn’t tell you how to play, but they at least told you what you were dealing with and what abilities or items your character should have.
In the back of FP’s guide, right before the bestiary and countless item lists, is a section dedicated to hints and tips. It provides damage calculations, how to cause 9999 damage at level 99 every time, and how to get the most out of the NPCs. It also contains walkthroughs for the Mognet sidequests, which are only available if you have a friend also playing the game on his or her DS. BG’s guide does touch on the Mognet, albeit not in great detail. It also does not offer additional tips outside of the end-game job information in the beginning.
In the end, it really all depends on what the user personally wants from a guide. If they want the bare essentials, then BradyGames has the guide for them. The completionists though, will be far happier with the guide from FuturePress.