With game manuals dying, will DVD's be their replacements?

#1 Posted by Willy105 (4690 posts) -
It came with maps and strategy guides!
After the horrible news of a certain publisher no longer making manuals for their games, and Nintendo's effort of making casual players grasp a game as complex as Super Mario Galaxy 2 by having a DVD movie explaining how the game works, does this mean that manuals truly are dead?
 
What's worse, with today's increasingly more technological audience, will stuff like DVD's and digital manuals be their replacements? I like manuals. They give the game that new game smell (the disc doesn't smell like anything), and it gives the actual package some weight, giving the impression that this game has more value, enough to deserve such extra packaging. 
 
Civilization 3 came with a hundred page book showing you the intricacies and depth of the game, for crying out loud.
 
What about you guys? We old-schoolers will obviously complain about no manuals, but what about you newer gamers that are used to simply having a single sheet of black and white paper inside the case saying what the controls are?
#2 Posted by ninjakiller (3405 posts) -

WHAT WILL I READ IN THE BATHROOM NOW?

#3 Posted by ZenaxPure (2569 posts) -

Personally I could care less, even the good ones I rarely read much.

#4 Posted by GunnBjorn (2911 posts) -
@ninjakiller said:
"WHAT WILL I READ IN THE BATHROOM NOW? "

An E-book on your i-Pad...?
#5 Posted by Eljay (141 posts) -

I'm old school and I don't mind at all. My big realization that manuals are a thing of the past was when I bought Half-Life 2 and found only a tiny quick start index card inside. Personally I'm surprised this industry-wide shift hasn't happened sooner. Every game these days has a tutorial which drags on far too long, making the manual unnecessarily redundant. The only games which need manuals are the thick European sim and strategy games, and they all come with a pdf now instead of a manual.
 
Plus, how many gamers don't have access to the internet anymore? They can get far more information from the web than a tiny manual could ever hope to provide. I'm amazed people still buy strategy guides when everything is available for free online.

#6 Posted by Snail (8604 posts) -

Wait, no manuals? Now what will we do immediately after we purchase a game we really want to play?!

#7 Posted by Meltac (2002 posts) -

What should I read while I'm installing the game on my harddrive then? :(

#8 Posted by SomethingClever (419 posts) -
@GunnBjorn said:
" @ninjakiller said:
"WHAT WILL I READ IN THE BATHROOM NOW? "
An E-book on your i-Pad...? "
They should make digital manuals downloadable to e-readers.  But then charge for them so people who want what used to come free with the game is now a totally separate revenue stream.
Online
#9 Posted by thebatmobile (981 posts) -

I'm supposed to go and buy and notebook for my notes now? COME ON.

#10 Posted by Al3xand3r (7574 posts) -

Huh? Ditching manuals was clearly a move to cut costs further, why would they add an extra DVD instead? That SMG2 has it is for completely different reasons.

#11 Posted by Zero_ (1973 posts) -

I really only used manuals to sniff that new, mint condition smell. If they could just fill the game box with that smell and go away with the manual, I'd be good.

#12 Posted by The_A_Drain (3910 posts) -

I really like how nobody gives a shit that manuals are vanishing, yet you aren't complaining about the $1 you could be saving on the game? C'mon people, I thought gamers were all about complaining when they're getting shafted/cheated etc?  
 
Ohhh no but that's right, you only complain when it looks like you're being cheated. 
 
Personally, i'm very sad to see people ditching manuals, it's not something I think we should be supporting. r.

#13 Posted by arab_prince (2053 posts) -

Gosh I remember, as a kid, reading the manual on the car ride home. Making sure I know the ins and outs of the game. Then when I get home, I don't even play the game, I go to t he washroom to finish the manual off. Once its done, then, and only then, do I feel like I've earned the right to play the game. But truth be told, I haven't read a manual in ages. If I think something is wrong in the game, I sometimes check the manual to see what it says, but 9 times out of 10 the manual cant explain shit. So really...I guess it was time for this move. Once they stopped having colour, then stopped being useful, you really could tell the manuals were on their way out...quite a bummer.  
 
Soon enough, so will discs. consoles will come with their version of "steam". Hell, On-Live is already doing it. 1-2 years from now, there won't be discs anymore. In all honesty, whats the point? It costs money to manufacture, put the design on it, make a case, make a design for the case. Its just pointless. Plus, with the growing trend of DLC released with the game, I'm sure the next step is removing the disc completely.

#14 Posted by Organicalistic_ (2954 posts) -

*sniff* i guess it ok

#15 Posted by HandsomeDead (11863 posts) -

The worst idea is that there's an audience out there who need to watch a DVD to play a game.

#16 Posted by Origina1Penguin (3501 posts) -

A DVD is stupid. If there is no manual, but the game needs to explain things, it should be done in a tutorial or separate help section on the game disc. Having online manuals would be okay with me as well. If I need to look up something specific while I'm in the middle of a game, a DVD would just be more of a hassle and time waster.

#17 Posted by habster3 (3595 posts) -

Here's a good idea; you know how those PS1 games on the PSN have digital manuals similar to the original manuals? They should make all manuals like that.

#18 Posted by The_Moorasaurus (88 posts) -

I had no idea SMG2 came with a DVD manual. That's hilarious, as the Wii doesn't even play DVDs... :) well played Nintendo!

#19 Posted by Al3xand3r (7574 posts) -
@The_A_Drain said:
I really like how nobody gives a shit that manuals are vanishing, yet you aren't complaining about the $1 you could be saving on the game?
People did complain about that elsewhere, mostly in the threads of the announcement, that is not what this one thread asked about.
#20 Posted by HandsomeDead (11863 posts) -
@Linkyshinks said:
"  @HandsomeDead said:
" The worst idea is that there's an audience out there who need to watch a DVD to play a game. "
If your referring to Super Mario Galaxy 2's DVD, it's targeted at young kids between the ages of  7 -12yrs,  everyone else can use the regular paper manual and videos found in game.  "
I was between 7-12 when I got my N64 and I didn't need a DVD or anything showing me what to do on Mario 64 or Banjo-Kazooie. Why do the kids these days need to be shown how to play? I highly doubt Mario Galaxy 2 is so complicated that a DVD is needed to show people what to do.
#21 Posted by zudthespud (3281 posts) -

I thought the reason they didn't put manuals in was to cut costs, do DVD's cost less than paper now?

#22 Posted by Willy105 (4690 posts) -
@zudthespud said:
" I thought the reason they didn't put manuals in was to cut costs, do DVD's cost less than paper now? "
Yeah, they always had. At least good manuals, and not those black and white sheets of paper they put in sometimes.
#23 Posted by Willy105 (4690 posts) -
@Linkyshinks said:
"  @HandsomeDead said:
" The worst idea is that there's an audience out there who need to watch a DVD to play a game. "
If your referring to Super Mario Galaxy 2's DVD, it's targeted at young kids between the ages of  7 -12yrs,  everyone else can use the regular paper manual and videos found in game.  "
Other way around. The DVD is for the adults trying to learn how to play the game. The kids can learn how to play it by themselves in a heartbeat.
#24 Posted by JeevesPleez (332 posts) -

I still remember reading the Starcraft and Warcraft (I, II, and III) manuals. There was so much stuff in them, like a TON of background story information that you wouldn't get by just playing the game. I can't think of any better manuals than Blizzard's stuff, and I'm one of those guys that read the manual before playing the game.

#25 Posted by TripMasterMunky (2403 posts) -

Where will I put my notes?

#26 Posted by Apathylad (3066 posts) -

Manuals are awesome when they put thought into creating them, not like Ubisoft's lazy black and white booklets though. It was always pretty neat how some game manuals had concept art.

#27 Posted by Godwind (2597 posts) -

I wish more effort went into manuals.  Even when you're not in the car, it can always be fun to read the manual for informative information or background information.

#28 Edited by Clinkz (1118 posts) -

If they put quality into them, maybe I'd read them. The most recent example of a good manual is Final Fantasy XIII-- full of color and gives us background information on the characters.

#29 Posted by HandsomeDead (11863 posts) -
@Linkyshinks said:
" @HandsomeDead said:

" @Linkyshinks said:

"  @HandsomeDead said:
" The worst idea is that there's an audience out there who need to watch a DVD to play a game. "
If your referring to Super Mario Galaxy 2's DVD, it's targeted at young kids between the ages of  7 -12yrs,  everyone else can use the regular paper manual and videos found in game.  "
I was between 7-12 when I got my N64 and I didn't need a DVD or anything showing me what to do on Mario 64 or Banjo-Kazooie. Why do the kids these days need to be shown how to play? I highly doubt Mario Galaxy 2 is so complicated that a DVD is needed to show people what to do. "
 
Why, because this isn't Mario 64 or Banjo. The game is hard, as EDGE Magazines 10/10 review states:  
 

 All these worlds are yours, but some may take a while to claim. From the fourth map onwards, Galaxy 2 really ups the challenge, rarely dropping you on to a platform that isn’t sinking or melting, or pitching you towards an incline that isn’t heavy with massive rolling cogs. It’s hard, but for  the best reasons, earning the right to frustrate through the sheer quality of its ideas. The increased difficulty is merely a by-product of the new knots in which the designers want to tie your brain.     

"
Considering how easy Mario Galaxy was and that description sounds like something I'd expect from a game calling itself a platformer, that doesn't exactly sound difficult enough to warrant a DVD.
#30 Posted by TheHT (11241 posts) -
@ninjakiller said:
" WHAT WILL I READ IN THE BATHROOM NOW? "
guess you gotta bring your laptop and watch at the dvd instead.
#31 Posted by EpicSteve (6487 posts) -

Most games have tutorials that are better than manuals anyway. 

#32 Posted by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -

If anyone thinks that no printed manual will mean cheaper games, they're deluding themselves.  Most AAA rated titles have increased in prince in the last 5 years and the success of experimental increases such that which was tried with MW2 shows that game prices are going nowhere but up.  WAKE. THE. FUCK. UP.

#33 Posted by Willy105 (4690 posts) -
@Linkyshinks said:
" @Willy105 said:
" @Linkyshinks said:
"  @HandsomeDead said:
" The worst idea is that there's an audience out there who need to watch a DVD to play a game. "
If your referring to Super Mario Galaxy 2's DVD, it's targeted at young kids between the ages of  7 -12yrs,  everyone else can use the regular paper manual and videos found in game.  "
Other way around. The DVD is for the adults trying to learn how to play the game. The kids can learn how to play it by themselves in a heartbeat. "
 Read the investors meeting transcripts...  "

Unfortunately, from my experience, the adults are the ones that have the biggest difficulty adjust to the game controller. A DVD will help them greatly. The kids around here seem to get it rapidly.
#34 Posted by WickedCobra03 (2106 posts) -
@Eljay said:
" I'm old school and I don't mind at all. My big realization that manuals are a thing of the past was when I bought Half-Life 2 and found only a tiny quick start index card inside. Personally I'm surprised this industry-wide shift hasn't happened sooner. Every game these days has a tutorial which drags on far too long, making the manual unnecessarily redundant. The only games which need manuals are the thick European sim and strategy games, and they all come with a pdf now instead of a manual. Plus, how many gamers don't have access to the internet anymore? They can get far more information from the web than a tiny manual could ever hope to provide. I'm amazed people still buy strategy guides when everything is available for free online. "

Yeah, but that is what I hate about new games.  I think designers are thinking that they are clever with making these mandatory tutorials which are usually terrible and painstakingly slow.   I would much rather stick with manuals as I am one who will read through them as the game is starting up and look around for any background info, art, ect...

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