This morning I woke up to text messages from one of my closest friends griping about the strategy guide for Final Fantasy XIII-2. She was having difficulties with finding out how to unlock one of the gates in order to progress through the story. She swore the guide was zero help, which puzzled me, because I thought the guide was extremely helpful in finding pretty much everything. After some back and forth, I had asked her if she looked in the Tour Guide section for the answer, as the guide is split up between the main walkthrough and a tour guide of each era. Sure enough, she found the answer there, and was close to livid that all of this information wasn’t glomped together.
As I said in my review, I was initially disappointed that all of this information wasn’t together, but the more I played the game, the more I was pleased that it wasn’t all crammed in together. If it had been, the walkthrough would have been an overload of information, most of which you wouldn’t need until much later in the game. I believe that that would have forced me to flip through the guide more than I already did, and it would have additionally forced me to take more time away from the game to read through what I needed to.
She pointed out that I did not like The World Ends with You strategy guide whereas she did, so we obviously look for different things in guides. That made me scratch my head, because my big beef with that guide was that it narrated everything that happened in the game, down to actual dialogue. With so much text I didn’t need–because OMG that’s why I’m playing the game–I had to take more time away from the game to weed out what I was looking for.
What was fascinating to me about the whole conversation were the differences in our preferences for strategy guide organization and what we considered to be taking us away from the game. She seems to want everything bunched together so she doesn’t have to flip through the book, no matter how much she has to read through. I want the guides to require as little reading as possible in order to find what I’m looking for. While I am normally not a fan of guides breaking up the walkthrough sections, in the case of Final Fantasy XIII-2, I think it was done perfectly in order to cut down on the massive amount of unneeded information.
Obviously I’m not going to be changing my preferences, because they are my preferences, but I am going to rethink how I discuss a guide’s organization. Maybe a warning or two for those who prefer the guide to be organized in a lump sum or spread out. It’s definitely given me something to think about.
What are your preferences? Do you have any?