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#1 Posted by Rebel_Scum (712 posts) -

Personally I've always preferred Game Manuals in paper form. Some games out there have really long, tedious and drawn out tutorials that aren't necessary, e.g. when the game is a sequel and is showing the basics/features again.

Also when a pause menu has a control manual/tutorial I find is a good feature. What do you prefer?

#2 Posted by Blastroid (257 posts) -

I am ok with in game tutorials as long as you can skip them. Paper manuals for me are only good when I buy the game and will not make it home for awhile. I can use it to increase my hype meter if it is a game I have been waiting to play.

#3 Posted by dungbootle (2458 posts) -

I don't read manuals and excluding them saves resources. I can't imagine a modern game without a tutorial either and that is not a bad thing

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#4 Posted by ch3burashka (5083 posts) -

I like to peruse a manual or two. Too bad that era is gone forever.

If I ever make a game, it will come with a manual... and a cloth map.

#5 Posted by BeachThunder (11953 posts) -

Neither is a substitute for the other.

Manuals are great to look through, if they're well designed. Some kind of (preferably skippable) tutorial should be in every game.

#6 Posted by Gamer_152 (14078 posts) -

In this day and age they're not really made to be directly interchangeable; manuals are more for reference, while tutorials are actually more like a lesson in the game. I think tutorials have the potential to be much better than a manual at teaching you things, but even a lot of today's games have surprisingly bad tutorials. All in all though, people printing less paper manuals is good for the environment, and phasing them out means there's more pressure on developers than ever to actually make sure their tutorials are up to scratch.

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#7 Posted by Animasta (14692 posts) -

a paper manual is nice but trees are better.

#8 Posted by BestUsernameEver (4825 posts) -

I wish tutorials were not a thing, just let the player figure it out with smart level design. EG: Classic metroids, super meatboy ect.

#9 Edited by Morbid_Coffee (955 posts) -

A big full color manual is the best thing to see when opening up a game box and every game that doesn't have one should be ashamed.

I'm also super bummed when a game comes with a huge manual but it's only 15 pages repeated in English, French, and Spanish.

#10 Posted by ZeForgotten (10397 posts) -

If the manual is good. 
Like one of those manuals that have all kinds of stuff in it like story summary, character bios and stuff like that.  
If it's just "hit A/X/E to do whatever" then they're as useless as Tutorials in "FPS Shooter Game number 5 in the series"

#11 Edited by Zaccheus (1794 posts) -

No. Manuals are useless in this day and age.

#12 Posted by _Zombie_ (1462 posts) -

If it's a good tutorial? I'll pass on the manual. But if the tutorial is shit, I at least want a manual to explain the game basics in brief.

#13 Posted by wemibelec90 (1673 posts) -

The Internet has replaced game manuals. If there is something about a game that is cryptic or poorly explained, the developers expect you to look online for the answers. It sucks but paper manuals aren't the answer. Better designed, streamlined tutorials are the way to go.

#14 Posted by Nightriff (5088 posts) -

Guess I'm indifferent. If there is a paper manual the game expects me to have read it and I can get to the action quicker so I'll go with that one. Some tutorials can be brutal....

#15 Posted by TruthTellah (9122 posts) -

I prefer when they work together. A quality manual getting you ready for a more thorough and hands-on tutorial.

#16 Posted by VanderSEXXX (552 posts) -

Gawd I miss the days when game manuals we're thick and had additional lore within its contents. I always liked reading about the lore every game has to offer especially if get drawn into it.

#17 Edited by TyCobb (1972 posts) -

Will it stop the first 5 hours of a game being one giant tutorial? If so, then yes. Yes I would. Nothing pisses me off the most than 1/3rd of a game feeling like an endless tutorial.

#18 Posted by Vinny_Says (5709 posts) -

I recently started playing the first mass effect again, and unless I'm missing something there is no way to know what the buttons do unless you look at the manual. I was too lazy to get up and look so I just fumbled around for a while until I figured it out.

Put the manual inside the video game, that's the way to do it.

#19 Posted by mandude (2669 posts) -

I like being naïve and innocent to a game's finer mechanics when I start playing. The sense of immersion and discovery is one of my favourite parts of a game, and forced tutorials kill every shred of that.

Could you imagine Minecraft with a tutorial? Fucking disgusting...

#20 Posted by Alexandru (301 posts) -

no

#21 Posted by gaminghooligan (1447 posts) -

Only if the manual is loaded with awesome lore. Most games just need to cut the tutorials time in half, exploration and discovery can help a game immensely, just don't leave the player with too little information to actually play. One of my favorite experiences this generation was Dark Souls, it taught me the basics, then loosed me into the game. The more I played the more I learned, and that feeling of accomplishment just got more and more gratifying every time.

#22 Posted by dcgc (878 posts) -

Would like to have a good manual and a good in-game tutorial (skipable, if the player knows what he's doing).

#23 Edited by TechnoSyndrome (895 posts) -

Having a physical booklet I can look down at to see the controls is a lot more helpful than a tutorial or digital manual that I have to dig through four menus to get to every single time.

#24 Posted by StarvingGamer (8251 posts) -

In-game manuals, as long as they aren't laggy and janky as fuck.

#25 Posted by Marz (5653 posts) -

no, but they should have a manual in game in the options menu.

#26 Posted by Humanity (9279 posts) -

I used to love paper manuals and missed them when console games mostly stopped supplying them - but recently when I thought about the days when a game just dropped you in the thick of it and you were consulting your manual about what button does what on your keyboard and how the game even works I don't want to go back to those days.

#27 Posted by LikeaSsur (1532 posts) -

Yes! I'd rather have paper manuals any day. I always read a manual before putting a game in, but that's getting impossible to do now that the "manual" is just an epileptic warning and legal stuff.

Also, to everyone who's reasoning is "No, because I love trees!" I'm going to blow your mind by telling you that paper companies.....actually plant trees! Whooooa!

#28 Posted by Animasta (14692 posts) -

@LikeaSsur said:

Yes! I'd rather have paper manuals any day. I always read a manual before putting a game in, but that's getting impossible to do now that the "manual" is just an epileptic warning and legal stuff.

Also, to everyone who's reasoning is "No, because I love trees!" I'm going to blow your mind by telling you that paper companies.....actually plant trees! Whooooa!

yeah? that doesn't mean we should waste all that paper for something that doesn't even matter.

#29 Posted by Dagbiker (6976 posts) -

I would rather have nether I.e. super Mario 3.

#30 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

Hell yes, I would!

#31 Posted by Brodehouse (9952 posts) -

ABSOLUTELY NOT.

If it's in the game, it should be _in the game_. Paper manuals are the gameplay version of transmedia novels and comics that set up the narrative. They are this extra thing you need in order to understand the game. If you think a game doesn't need in game tutorials, it also doesn't require any sort of story setup, it should just say "World 1-1 start killing the Ravjaak, Tony!" And you're like "What are the Ravjaak, who's Tony?" "Get the iOS app to find out more!"

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#32 Posted by Brodehouse (9952 posts) -

Tutorials are the exposition of gameplay.

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#33 Posted by NegativeCero (3003 posts) -

I would probably take in-game manuals after seeing how the Vita does them. Although manuals of the older games look terrible and illegible at points, so as long as they use decent high res images, I'm sold on in-game manuals.

#34 Posted by LikeaSsur (1532 posts) -

@Animasta: If they're written well and actually explain things, they definitely matter. Dynasty Warriors and most old RPGs are a perfect example of this. There's almost no tutorial anywhere, and no indication in game that this button does this. The manual covers all of that. For all the complaints about long, boring tutorials, games could practically do away with them entirely when everything is explained in the manual.

#35 Posted by Ducksworth (660 posts) -

A good paper manual is awesome. Artwork, character bio's, maps and story bits are what used to draw me to them but now they barely qualify as a pamphlet.

#36 Posted by Karkarov (3109 posts) -

Yes I would prefer an actual manual to a crap tastic in game tutorial. Too bad paper manuals cost money and game companies are going cheap these days due to over all rising costs in general and profits becoming more slim unless your name is activision or ea.

#37 Posted by Little_Socrates (5677 posts) -

There's no proper way to include tutorials that isn't "make your whole game a tutorial" a la Braid/Portal or have a super-retro game a la Super Mario/Super Meat.

I very slightly prefer a good manual, but I also usually don't read the tutorial part. It's nice to have something to check against, though.

#38 Posted by Subjugation (4720 posts) -

There isn't any need for the manual to be paper. Have it be a menu option or something.

#39 Posted by Morningstar (2164 posts) -

Tutorials are okay. Handhelding through the whole game like Assassin's Creed is not.

#40 Posted by AlisterCat (5575 posts) -

Absolutely not. Everything should be inside the game.

#41 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

Only if the manual is a proper tome and not just a few legal pages and a "Notes" page.

#42 Posted by Petiew (1349 posts) -
@BestUsernameEver: That's the best way, but it doesn't work with every style of game. Some systems have to be explained in detail to be understood. 
Lots of gamers also want to have their hands held with games they aren't familiar with. Fighting game tutorials consist of; Here's how you block. Go do some trials that demonstrate what moves can be comboed together and then make your own. That's pretty much all you need to know to play, but people unfamiliar with the game obviously won't feel that's enough. 
Something like the Resonance of Fate mechanics or another JRPG couldn't really be explained the same way as in Super Meatboy.
 
I usually read through the manuals while the game is installing on the PS3. In game tutorials are generally better though, especially if you have to play through the examples. Having a little section in the menu where you can re-read the tutorials is a huge plus too.
#43 Posted by BonOrbitz (2193 posts) -

Yes! It's a a pain in the ass to try to dig up an in-game manual when I can reach over and look up the information in the manual faster than having to dig through menus.

#44 Posted by mtcantor (948 posts) -

In game only. Paper manuals are a waste.

#45 Posted by Fattony12000 (7424 posts) -
#46 Posted by Animasta (14692 posts) -

@LikeaSsur said:

@Animasta: If they're written well and actually explain things, they definitely matter. Dynasty Warriors and most old RPGs are a perfect example of this. There's almost no tutorial anywhere, and no indication in game that this button does this. The manual covers all of that. For all the complaints about long, boring tutorials, games could practically do away with them entirely when everything is explained in the manual.

or, you know, there could just be a manual in the game like the vita does.

also not everyone likes reading, so tutorials would have to be there anyway

#47 Posted by LikeaSsur (1532 posts) -

@Animasta:

also not everyone likes reading, so tutorials would have to be there anyway

Let them suffer in the game, then. Paper or electronic, if people can't be bothered to figure out how to play the game, they deserve every game over they ever get.

#48 Posted by ConfusedOwl (943 posts) -

When the game world is well realized and it has a lot of game mechanics to go through I do prefer a manual. I think they are fun to read.

#49 Posted by Ghost_Cat (1441 posts) -

I liked when manuals had a lot of back-story content not found in the game, so that's the part I would like to bring back to physical copies. Other than that, brief in-game tutorials are good to get your hands a little dirty before taking on the game itself.

#50 Edited by JoeyRavn (4974 posts) -

Fuck manuals* and fuck forced tutorials. Give me the option to practice the mechanic the game wants me to use or to review it later, but don't force it down my throat. Even if the whole mission is based around it.

*Because fuck physical copies of games, too.