The "manual" business of this generation of consoles has been all over the place from Microsoft's early full-color Perfect Dark Zero to the modern four-page "fold" preferred by execrable Activision. However Electronic Arts has reached a new low with Alice: Madness Returns by including a four-page fold that itself is not a manual but a list of legal bullshit and a pointer to the manual being on disc. EA had previously descended to Activision's level of buyer-snubbing with black-and-white folds while Nintendo and Sony continue with fat full-color pack-ins, but it was never this bad. How many cents did this save you, you cheap bastards? Even 2K's release of Duke Nukem Forever has a full-color, albeit short, "manual" included.
EA hits new low: no manual!
Manuals have two purposes now a days.
1: Something to read on the car ride hope
2: Something to read when you're on the toilet.
When is the last time we even needed a manual? Manuals use to be important because they helped explain game mechanics or the story. All of that stuff is already in the game now. As much as I enjoy a nice, full color, beautifully designed manual, they just have no use anymore. They are a waste of paper and we should stop making them.
Manuals are not really needed nowadays since pretty much every game features in-game tutorials, and if those tutorials doesn't explain everything, atleast there is still a manual on the disc.
Manuals on the disc itself can also be better at telling you how stuff works, since they can then include videos which shows the feature in effect, though that is pretty much an in-game tutorial at that point...
While I can see why people would want manuals, I don't really think it's worth the trouble to write down what is already shown in the game.
You could also argue that it's better for the environment to not have paper manuals.
I can't remember the last time I even looked at a manual. All the controls can always be pulled up in an in-game menu. I don't know what else I'd even need one for. I say, good on EA for doing that little bit to help the environment. Now, if only they could do the customers a favor and take that off the price of the games.
I think having a manual on the disc is a great idea, instead of the printed manual. I'm more interested in having a minimal amount of printed glossy (so it lasts) paper laying out the key/button layout of a game, with a brief description of the in-game special moves/powers (if they exist) on the other side of the page. I spent an hour playing Crysis, followed by an hour of Chronicles of Riddick today, and because I hadn't played either for a few weeks I had to relearn all that stuff but I didn't feel the need to re-read the entire manual. If they can't include the full manual on the disc, just put it on the internet. The thing is that once you've invested a number of hours in a game and you've been past the tutorial, you're stuffed.
I personally like reading through manuals for some crazy reason, but I don't think this is a big deal. The in-game manual for this particular game is done well, plus we're saving paper! And most games these days have in-game tutorials to teach the player and help you out anyways.
Persona 3 and 4 had cool manuals. That being said, they both had basically the exact same manual. Those are the only two manuals since the N64 that I have actually wanted to look at, so EA discontinuing manuals means pretty much nothing to me. The ones they used to have probably weren't that amazing anyways.
I miss big fat manuals.
I can't tell if your sarcastic or not but I know I sure miss them.
Nothing better than having my father drive me to the store to get a new game and then read the manual on the way back..Oooooh the memories.
I will miss them, but they have been dead for a long time. The last awesome one I had was the one that came with the Big Box copy of Baldur's Gate 2. That fucking thing was sexy as hell, and was so helpful when playing the game. Now if you will excuse me, I have a date with a certain manual and some sweet sweet snuggling to do.
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