#1 Edited by sodacat (217 posts) -

I'm specifying console games because otherwise this is just going to be a Blizzard and flight sim love-in.

We all know that manuals are basically dead these days, but does anyone remember manuals that really impressed them? The two favorites that I can remember are the manuals for Shadow of the Colossus and We <3 Katamari. Shadow's manual is laid out horizontally with one page being reserved for each action in the game. It was both a unique and simplistic layout, which really accented the style of the game itself.

We <3 Katamari was also done in the style of the game. Many of the control descriptions were laid out like a comic book, and every page had unique illustrations. Sometimes they'd even take a break from game information for a page or two just to have a drawing of the characters doing something.

#2 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

The first Assassin's Creed had a pretty bitching manual, from what I remember. *breaks out Revelations box* Too bad that didn't last.

#3 Posted by mosespippy (4446 posts) -

I really liked the Tourist's Guide to Vice City. I think it's the best of the GTA manuals and those Liberty Tree newspapers for GTA3 and LCS are pretty good. Other than that the most useful ones I can think of were the Gran Turismo ones that had a section on how to drive like a race car driver and the Final Fantasy 7 one that had a guide up to the first boss fight in the back. Without those two sections of those two manuals I'd never have played those games as much as I did.

#4 Posted by AlexW00d (6435 posts) -

I'ma ignore your console thing, cause 1, it's dumb, and 2, I am mentioning neither Blizzard nor Flight sims.

King Arthur 2 has a pretty big manual that explains everything in the game. Both SMB and the Binding of Isaac's manuals are basically just sick artbooks too.

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#5 Posted by sodacat (217 posts) -

@mosespippy said:

Other than that the most useful ones I can think of were the Gran Turismo ones that had a section on how to drive like a race car driver and the Final Fantasy 7 one that had a guide up to the first boss fight in the back. Without those two sections of those two manuals I'd never have played those games as much as I did.

I'd forgotten that FF7 had a mini guide in it. That reminds me of Chulip, which had a guide to the entire game in the manual (it pretty much needed it).

#6 Posted by buft (3320 posts) -

Oblivions manual was fairly meaty as i recall, had a paper map and everything, all spells are listed and all the races etc

#7 Posted by Zidd (1857 posts) -

the persona games (3FES 4 and 4 Arena) all have really good full color manuals.

#8 Posted by ThePaleKing (613 posts) -

Gungriffon: Blaze has an extremely high quality manual; printed on some kind of hard paper in full color, with lots of fluff and item descriptions etc.

#9 Posted by N7 (3667 posts) -

Metal Gear Solid 3 had a great manual. It had a very explicit and detailed explanation of the CQC moves and even a comic.

#10 Posted by skyline7284 (508 posts) -

Viva Pinata and Viva Pinata Trouble in Paradise have great manuals.

#11 Posted by JasonR86 (9726 posts) -

The Lunar games post Lunar 1 had really well made manuals. They were huge, well-detailed, and colorful as hell. I'll post an image of everything that came with the Playstation remake of Lunar 2. The hardbound book is the manual for the game. That's right, the hardbound-motherfucking-book is the manual.

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#12 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (3028 posts) -

The first two Gran Tourismo games had two manuals, the second (or first depending on your POV) explained tire, wheel, suspension, engine, drive train, gearing, etc setups.

I was just going through my PS2 game a few days ago and it was shocking how thick and full of big color screen shots most manuals were just a generation ago.

#13 Posted by Ropn (10 posts) -

I remember loving Halo: Combat Evolved's manual since it was in full colour (a rarity these days) and had detailed information on every weapon, vehicle, enemy. Being a kid I was fascinated and I'm disappointed in how much of an afterthought manuals are these days :(

#14 Posted by LazyChan (13 posts) -

The Witcher 2 had a kicking manual. The game came with a 50 plus page manual detailing quests and lore, along with a nice size map poster. There was also a music soundtrack included. If only more games came packed with such love nowadays. It is too bad the game was kind of a shoddy port.

#15 Posted by ImmortalSaiyan (4701 posts) -

The Manual for Manhunt is really good.

#16 Posted by CosmicBatman (317 posts) -

The ones that come with posters in them.

#17 Edited by GunstarRed (5459 posts) -

We <3 katamari's is excellent.

#18 Posted by falserelic (5407 posts) -

Most of all the ps2 games I played and PSX.

#19 Posted by TheCreamFilling (1203 posts) -

Halo 2's Collector Edition manual specifically. It was like a Covenant report to the Prophets and all the human weapons and vehicles were described as primitive and useless.

#20 Posted by DudeSupreme (214 posts) -

Metal Gear Solid was pretty great, I never before saw the addition of a comic story as a way to teach you the buttons and techniques instead of a controller map.

page 5-6
page 41-42

But I have a soft spot for The Legend of Zelda A Link to the Past manual. It had the whole backstory on the first few pages and the whole thing had some awesome artwork spread through it. Also it had a seperate little manual with an FAQ on it as well as the Nintendo tip line phone number (which I totally used once or twice).

Honorable Mentions to Illusion of Gaia and The Witcher 2 for both having huge manuals with collectible/quest guides

#21 Posted by Mixwizzard (83 posts) -

The GTA manuals/maps are awesome.

Witcher 2's was pretty cool too.

#22 Posted by WEB_War4 (110 posts) -

The Baldur's Gate games came with very thick manuals that took forever to go through

#23 Posted by ThePaleKing (613 posts) -

@WEB_War4: That was a staple of older RPGs. In fact I think the Infinity engine and post-infinity engine games (ToEE) were the last to do it. The Ultima and Might and Magic games had incredible manuals; since they kind of skimped on including story elements in the main game, they packed it all into the manual, with tons of race descriptions and character build guides, etc. Now we get 10 page manuals, telling us in 5 different languages how not to sue the developer if we have a seizure. In black and white.

#24 Posted by kgb0515 (405 posts) -

@TheCreamFilling said:

Halo 2's Collector Edition manual specifically. It was like a Covenant report to the Prophets and all the human weapons and vehicles were described as primitive and useless.

Pretty much this. I loved the collector's edition manual for Halo 2. I really liked how it examined things from the Covenant perspective. It made me enjoy killing the covies that much more in the game itself.

#25 Edited by Damian (1538 posts) -
#26 Posted by Jimbo (9992 posts) -

You were basically qualified to be an IRL cop after reading the Police Quest manuals.

#27 Posted by Vextroid (1429 posts) -

All the Metal Gear Solid games had great manuals.

#28 Posted by Bell_End (1203 posts) -

i used to love it when games came on cassette tapes and the manual was the cassette inlay. you would take it out and read the instruction while you waited 15 mins for the game to load.

#29 Posted by Cirdain (3151 posts) -

Just Cause 1

#30 Posted by Landon (4164 posts) -

All game manuals are stupid wastes of paper.

#31 Posted by Hizang (8532 posts) -

I always liked the Metal Gear Solid manuals, they had great art and a few even had a cool comic strip in it,

#32 Posted by ComradeKhan (686 posts) -
@Landon said:

All game manuals are stupid wastes of paper.

You're a stupid waste of paper! 
 
...sorry... i just get really defensive when people talk about game manuals that way.
#33 Edited by madmanmaple89 (64 posts) -

The Twisted Metal: Black manual was 60 pages long and looked like a serial killer diary with pictures and disturbing rants.

#34 Posted by xSuperGirl (20 posts) -

The Fallout 3 Manual impressed me.

#35 Posted by ManU_Fan10ne (659 posts) -

Quick question. Does anyone use the notes section that they have in the manuals? I never found the reason why.

#36 Edited by AjayRaz (12476 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

The first Assassin's Creed had a pretty bitching manual, from what I remember. *breaks out Revelations box* Too bad that didn't last.

i noticed when i got an Assassin's Creed triple pack the other day that the cases got lighter and lighter as i went from 1, to 2 and then brotherhood.

as for good manuals, nearly every Rockstar game released this gen has a great, colorful manual. Dead or Alive 4 and, despite being a 3DS game, Dimensions both have pretty nice manuals too. Super Street Fighter IV too had a really beefy manual too. fighting games represent

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#37 Posted by JTB123 (1044 posts) -

@ManU_Fan10ne said:

Quick question. Does anyone use the notes section that they have in the manuals? I never found the reason why.

I always used to write down the solutions to puzzles in games like Resident Evil when I figured them out, that came in really handy when I played through them recently for the first time in like ten years.

#38 Posted by Kapalaka (44 posts) -

Brave Story has an excellent manual. It is for the PSP and you don't even need a guide because the developers took the time to explain the game mechanics in detail. :) It's a pretty obscure game but definitely hours and hours of fun and worth checking out.

#39 Posted by Phatmac (5727 posts) -

Persona 4 Arena has a nice manual and it came out this year!

#40 Posted by SexyToad (2722 posts) -

@xSuperGirl said:

The Fallout 3 Manual impressed me.

It impressed me too.