Retro Forum

Topic: Insturction Manuals Then and Now.

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Tasuki

1. Posted:

So I picked up New Super Mario Bros 2 from Target today and I cracked this baby open. First thing I dig out all the advertisement leaflets that come in the game box including the Club Nintendo one, which I than proceeded to my Club Nintendo account. Once I was done with that I figured cool now I can check out the instruction manual and see what the back story is and see the art work and all that jazz. Thing is I notice is I dont have a booklet so I begin digging through the leaflets and I find an "action guide" a single page folded in half twice that did nothing but tell me how to do Mario's moves. What a disappointment I was hoping for a background story maybe a gallery of the baddies etc something more than just how to move Mario. I remember back in the NES days and SNES days reading the booklets that came with the game was just as entertaining as the game. After reading the background story in the booklet it really made me want to play the game that much more. Needless to say that I am disappointed about the instruction manuals that come with games I dont see why the companies dont put that much more effort in these booklets heck why even include an "action guide" If I really cant figure out how to make Mario jump I am sure I can find it online.

Anyway I better stop while I am still on this subject but does anyone else think this way? Did you all enjoy those instruction booklets during the NES and SNES era or did you just throw them to the side when you got a new game?

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Swiket

2. Posted:

Tasuki wrote:

I dont see why the companies dont put that much more effort in these booklets

Saves money, and environmental issues.

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theblackdragon

3. Posted:

i do kinda miss having the nice solid booklets with their backstory and descriptions of the game characters and cute illustrations showing how they move and stuff, but when in-game tutorials are in damn near every game anyway, really all they do is sit there in the box after you've read through them the one time. i really gotta admit they're not a priority for me.

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Tasuki

4. Posted:

Swiket wrote:

Tasuki wrote:

I dont see why the companies dont put that much more effort in these booklets

Saves money, and environmental issues.

Games were cheaper back in the NES era and they had quality books so I cant see how its a money issue. I mean we payed 40 - 50 dollars for NES games and now that games are 40 - 60 dollars they cant give us a decent booklet? As for environment if that was the case why include an action guide than? If the companies were that worried about the environment than they wouldn't even put in that action guide.

@TBD Yeah they are not a priority for me either but they are nice and was you said with every game having a tutorial mode build in why even bother with an action guide in the case. Put a tutorial mode in game that tells us how to jump and swim etc. and give us a booklet with the backstory without button controls.

Edited on by Tasuki

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theblackdragon

5. Posted:

@Tasuki: Actually, with inflation, we were paying more for games back in the day than we are now since they've stayed about the same price range.

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Ryno

6. Posted:

I love the NES and SNES intruction manuals!. I read them whenever I get a new retro game because I got to have them like Punky Brewster needs a hair clip. The current generation video manuals have been Zombiefied Nation anyway. Sure, they have been there but the life has been sucked out of them like a freshly blended Human Bloody Mary at a Monster Party.

Edited on by Ryno

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RancidVomit86

7. Posted:

They aren't the same but that seems to be expected with the Internet and all.

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willobee

8. Posted:

Digital manuals included on the game cart are actually pretty good! Look into it.

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iphys

9. Posted:

I don't mind if the digital manual is at least decent, but I find games tend not to include the relevant information anymore even, never mind background details. For instance, scoring games rarely seem to explain how the points are earned, or there always seems to be some important piece of information I find out on the Internet that was never explained in the manual/demo.

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KingMike

10. Posted:

Tasuki wrote:

Games were cheaper back in the NES era and they had quality books so I cant see how its a money issue. I mean we payed 40 - 50 dollars for NES games and now that games are 40 - 60 dollars they cant give us a decent booklet? As for environment if that was the case why include an action guide than? If the companies were that worried about the environment than they wouldn't even put in that action guide.

Ice Climber might have been $24.99 when it was released in 1985, but consider inflation and that's around $60 now (as well as Final Fantasy Mystic Quest, which was released in 1992 at a "budget" price of $40). Final Fantasy VI and Chrono Trigger would run you about $80 each in 1995, that's over $110 after inflation.

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TheN64Dude

11. Posted:

There only like 2 pages now

Get "N" or Get Out!

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Gamesake

12. Posted:

Tasuki wrote:

Needless to say that I am disappointed about the instruction manuals that come with games I dont see why the companies dont put that much more effort in these booklets

You should get Little King's Story then. I swear, reading the instructions is the most fun you'll have with that game.

...in my pants.

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SuperToad

13. Posted:

Games nowadays can portray so much more, so we don't need a glorified manual to help us visualize. It's that simple. Also, I hate colorless manuals.

SuperToad

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Geonjaha

14. Posted:

Swiket wrote:

Tasuki wrote:

I dont see why the companies dont put that much more effort in these booklets

Saves money, and environmental issues.

What a terrible excuse. Either make the booklets well or dont make them at all.

I make Pixel Art on occasion.

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19Robb92

15. Posted:

wobee wrote:

Digital manuals included on the game cart are actually pretty good! Look into it.

This.

Why make it paper when they can just include it on-cartridge?

Everything in a usual manual is there.

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Wheels2050

16. Posted:

Now THIS is a manual:

Untitled

(And also a rather large picture, apparently)

Edited on by Wheels2050

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WiiUOnly

17. Posted:

I still have the instruction manuals for all of my NES, SNES, N64, and Game Boy games, but as much as I like having them around, they're just collector's items. If they were to stop making instruction manuals completely, I wouldn't really care. With all the material on GameFaqs and YouTube, they're just a waste of paper.

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JusticeColde

18. Posted:

It really sucks now because certain publishers have an excuse for not giving You any instructions.

Like WWE '12, All it had was a piece of paper with only the basic face controls and nothing else.

They said that the rest of it was on the website, It wasn't.

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KAHN

19. Posted:

when i was a lad, i enjoyed reading the manuals for my new game while my dad drove home from the game store. i really hate it when game developers leave absolutely no valuble information(relevant to the actual game :P) in the manuals!

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Bankai

20. Posted:

Tasuki wrote:

"Swiket" wrote:

"Tasuki" wrote:

I dont see why the companies dont put that much more effort in these booklets

Saves money, and environmental issues.

Games were cheaper back in the NES era and they had quality books so I cant see how its a money issue. I mean we payed 40 - 50 dollars for NES games and now that games are 40 - 60 dollars they cant give us a decent booklet? As for environment if that was the case why include an action guide than? If the companies were that worried about the environment than they wouldn't even put in that action guide.

@TBD Yeah they are not a priority for me either but they are nice and was you said with every game having a tutorial mode build in why even bother with an action guide in the case. Put a tutorial mode in game that tells us how to jump and swim etc. and give us a booklet with the backstory without button controls.

Because margins are now so thin (the weren't back in the NES days), publishers also need to cut back on unnecessary costs in game design. Writing, laying out and then printing a manual is a really expensive process - a good layout artist, even freelance, will cost a couple of thousand dollars.

That's not much in the grand scheme of game production costs, but when you're trying to survive on one or two points margin that couple of thousand dollars counts.

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