When Nick Michetti was kind enough to review Prima Games’ Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker Strategy Guide, the first thing he commented on the guide to me was the spiral binding. Initially, it seemed to both of us a somewhat cheap way of binding the book. Back when I was in grad school, we spiral-bound our projects on campus ourselves, which gives you an idea about how easy and cheap it is to do so. If a college campus is going to have them in stock, and it’s not the most luxurious school in the state, you know it couldn’t have cost that much to supply us with the machine and the spirals, not to mention risk letting students break it on a daily basis. So to say that we were skeptics is putting it mildly.
But then Nick used the spiral-bound guide to play the game, and he quickly saw how great the design was. He could leave the book open constantly without breaking the binding and easily flip back and forth between maps and the walkthroughs. What seemed cheap and silly suddenly became innovative and useful.
I thought that this binding was a one-time thing, given Peace Walker‘s nature. However, while checking for new guides this week, I noticed for the first time their new guide for NCAA Football 11, which also sports this spiral binding. They’ve even given it a cutesie name: Prima Essential Playbook. And you know, without even looking at the physical guide, I can bet that the organization within is just like a playbook, and yet again, the spiral binding provides easy flipping through.
I have to wonder now if this is going to be Prima Games’ new design for all guides, or just a select few. I wonder it so much that I’m in the process of scheduling an interview with a few Prima Games experts. Hopefully it will happen in the next couple of weeks so I can start sleeping better at night.