Thursday, 11 May 2017
I miss Instruction Manuals
Back in the day, when you'd buy a game I always thought the manual was something to look forward to. A lot of the manuals for games I bought had things like backstory or character profiles in them as well as instructions on how to play the game. When I was a kid, I had to take a bus into the city center to go to my closest game store to pick up a title and after my purchase I'd read that shit on the way home. There was something really satisfying about opening a new game case and flicking through that nice glossy manual. Even the smell of the damn thing as incredible as weird as that sounds.
Hell, I've even bought games based on the quality of their manual. I remember discovering The Elder Scrolls for the first time at a friends house. Yeah, the game looked cool as fuck and all but the manual was just full of all sorts of information that really drew me into the idea of playing the game and then on top of that it came with a sick as fuck glossy map of the world. I had that Morrowind map on the wall next to my computer pretty much up to the day I moved out of that house. Neverwinter Nights was another example of a game I purchased purely based on the manual. I was at the same friends house when he got it as a gift from his dad. He opened that box and there was a fucking thick tome that you could kill someone with inside there with instructions on how to play. I didn't even have to read the fucking thing to know that I wanted that damn game.
Nowadays, getting a new game is a bit of a disappointing experience. A lot of my purchases, especially for PC are digital so there's no way in fuck I'm getting a nice manual there. Even if I purchase of Good Old Games or something where they have the manuals, it's just not the same when it's in PDF, I wanna hold the fucking thing. For other systems it's probably even worse than nothing at all. Usually when I open a box there's usually just some legal information, an insert for the controls and a card advertising some DLC or some shit. Even if the game is amazing, opening the box upon purchase brings nothing but sadness.
I wish they'd bring back proper manuals but I guess that's a practice that's long dead and will never return. If a company put a big proper manual in a game now I'd probably buy it regardless of what the game was just to support the practice.