Strategy Guide Cover of the Week: The Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings

I’ve kind of had The Witcher on the brain lately. It’s only fitting that The Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings make this week’s Strategy Guide Cover of the Week.

1) It’s an amazing strategy guide.

2) The cover is beautiful. Just look at it! I’m still a little disappointed there was never a CE for this guide, but considering I didn’t want it to be CE until I played the game…probably not entirely fair.

3) No Yennefer. Seriously, cannot stand that woman. #TeamTriss

The Witcher 2 Strategy Guide

In Honor of Assassin’s Creed Syndicate…

In case you missed the big announcement yesterday, Ubisoft confirmed that yes, there will be another full Assassin’s Creed game this year (like there was any doubt). Called Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, it will take place during the Industrial Revolution in London, the year 1868, and the order of Assassins lives on in the street gangs of the slums. As they slowly rise up to take over London and overthrow the Templar overlords, you get to stab people from ziplines. No seriously, they showed it. Jacob Frye gets to be like a Batman who murders people. And yes, I cannot wait.

As a slight honor to this announcement, I gathered all of my Assassin’s Creed strategy guides and assembled them in a way to celebrate both Syndicate and its forthcoming strategy guide. I mean, there will be a guide, right? THERE HAS TO BE A STRATEGY GUIDE!

In celebration of new Assassin’s Creed game announcement and impending strategy guide…

A photo posted by (@strategyguidereviews) on

Bonus points if you can figure out which Assassin’s Creed guide and game I do not have. Seriously debating on rectifying that situation with all of the spare time I have.

Two Series I Don’t Want to Play Without a Strategy Guide

My FF and Zelda guide collections to date

My FF and Zelda guide collections to date

As much as I love strategy guides and I love to review them, there are times when I have to play the game without a strategy guide (#reviewerproblems, I know). If I am reviewing the strategy guide as well, then either I replay the game or I sit down with the strategy guide and see if it answers all of the bazillion questions I had for the guide before it dropped into my hands. If I don’t get a review copy of the game, then I always wait until I get the strategy guide as well so I can kill both birds with one stone. It’s really the best way to review a strategy guide, in my humble opinion.

That said, there are two series that I have never played without, and never want to play without a strategy guide in my possession, both of which really came to light last week.

The first series is one that I don’t think I’ll even turn on a game without a strategy guide holding my hand–The Legend of Zelda. These games have everything that stresses me out: timed sequences, puzzles, stealth, labyrinths, mini-games, tricky boss fights, and an obscene number of secrets. The thought of trying to play a Zelda game without all of the information easily accessible makes me break out into a cold sweat. In fact, that’s one reason why I haven’t sat down to really give Majora’s Mask a fair shake; I’d have to play it with the strategy guide in front of me, and I have a very, very hard time getting motivated to play a handheld game with a strategy guide. It’s a ridiculous reason why, and it’s because to use a guide with a handheld, there’s no real comfortable way to do so unlike with a console, where I sit upright in an office chair with the guide open on a desk beside me. Playing with a handheld in an office chair is far from comfortable, and I have no real idea why other than I feel the need to slink low into a couch with a handheld.

The other series is the Final Fantasy series. I had to recently review Final Fantasy Type-0 HD for work, and since I had a review copy ahead of release, I could not wait for the corresponding strategy guide to arrive. Okay, I could have, but I could not have and kept my job. I was uncomfortable the entire time I played. I felt myself sweating with every decision I made. Am I powerful enough to tackle this mission? Which cadets are best for this boss? Which powers should I focus on leveling up first? Which side quests should I take on since I have a limited amount of time? Am I missing any collectibles? Am I wasting my chocobos? OH MY GOD WHAT IS THE BEST STRATEGY FOR DEFEATING THIS BOSS?

When the strategy guide for FF Type-0 HD arrived, the first thing I did was flip through it to see how much stuff I missed. Terrible player at FF games confirmed. Now that my security blanket is here, I never want to let it go. I’ll never play another FF game without you, no I won’t.

I have never even purchased a game for either FF or Zelda without first securing a strategy guide. Even if it’s for an older game, I will scour Amazon and eBay for the guide; I don’t care if it’s been beaten up or used a little too much. As long as it has all of that delicious, beautiful strategy and content, I do not care how bent the pages are or warped the cover is. Of course I prefer new, but that’s because I keep all of my books in as pristine condition as possible. However, I want the content more than I want it to be perfect.

Hand holding with these games. I need it. I’m not ashamed. There’s just too much going on in them that I 1) do not have the patience to figure out on my own and 2) my OCD prevents me from tackling any of it without having every piece of knowledge at my disposal.

Remember the SGR Coffee Break episode where Chris wanted to discuss our personal gaming rituals? I guess I should have mentioned that with these two series, I definitely have a gaming ritual. I don’t even fire up a console with one of these games unless my bookmarked strategy guide is open to the proper location by my side.

Majora’s Mask Strategy Guide Collector’s Edition Unboxing

I received a delightful surprise yesterday: two copies of The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask collector’s edition strategy guide. One I preordered with the collector’s edition bundle from GameStop, the other I received from the wonderful people at Prima Games.

As such, I’m going to give away one of these Majora’s Mask strategy guides to one of you! It has something to do with the unboxing video below, but you won’t know what until Friday! This week’s Free Guide Friday will literally be a race to see who responds the most quickly, so it will help if you watch the video early and often, depending on how much you really want the free guide.

Without further ado, watch me unbox this gorgeous collector’s edition of the Majora’s Mask strategy guide.