View Full Version : The Last Straw

06-01-2010, 11:36 PM
Let me start off by saying that I despise collectible achievements. Nothing is more tedious and frustrating than having to collect a certain amount, most of the time all of, a hidden item in a game. A lot of the time the only reward is an achievement. No new weapon, outfit, even concept art.

When I first saw that there are almost 300 collectibles in Alan Wake, my anticipation for the game went way down. Seriously? 100 Thermoses, 30 Chests, 14 TV Shows, 25 Artifacts, 11 Transmissions and 106 'Effin Manuscript Pages. That is what I call redonkulous.

Growing up on Zelda, especially Majora's Mask, I have a habit of collecting everything. Not a single heart piece went unfound in any playthrough. This is one of the reasons I've become an achievement whore. So naturally, I want to get as many of these collectibles as I can. I'm not looking forward to it at all, but it's an obligation in my eyes.

Okay, getting onto the point...

When I game has many collectibles, I prefer the wisdom of a strategy guide over online guides. I am aware that online guides are free and I'm sure some people would like to debate me on this, but I prefer a strategy guide, I find it more convenient. Today, when I bought Alan Wake, I decided to pick up the nifty looking Alan Wake guide with it. The very first thing I noticed was the binding. It wasn't white and orange, so this worried me.

I've been giving Prima Games several chances to redeem themselves. The first time I noticed something wrong with their guides was while playing Dead Space. Plenty of collectible journals, yet hardly any were mentioned in the guide. What would Brady Games do in this situation? They'd make it loud and 'effin clear that a collectible is nearby, so you sure as hell won't miss it. Prima on the other hand, doesn't make that connection. I don't think they've realized that people actually like collecting achievements yet. Ever since Dead Space, I've bought a couple of Prima guides and have been disappointed for the most part, yet I can't help but buy them when I need them.

So I spend twenty dollars on this book that promises "comprehensive lists, including locations", blah, blah. There is a list, but it's definitely not a reliable source to finding anything as you pass it. They started off good. They made little side notes to let you know when a thermos is approaching. I found that shocking, with it being a Prima and all. Then, being weary of the guide, I decided to do some reading. I found within the text (which they turned into their own little novel to relate to the game. It's kinda lame and excessive though) a can pyramid. They made no effort what-so-ever to let you know this thing existed. They were just gonna let anyone who buys their guides more for the cliff-notes, just walk right on by.

You might be able to tell that I am actually pretty aggravated. This is the last straw with Prima. I cannot trust their guides the least bit. To be honest, I'd really like to go about getting my money back. I didn't have the money in the first place to be spending on the game, let alone this over-priced, half-assed, lame, written by a 'tard "guide".

Has anyone else out there bought this guide and have anything to say in it's defense or against it? Please share.

tl;dr: Prima Games' guides suck. They've always sucked and Alan Wake is no exception. Save your twenty dollars and put it towards Dead Rising 2 or Fable III.

06-02-2010, 12:15 AM
Are you saying it's not warning you of the can pyramids like they do with a thermos or chest? I'm using the same guide and it shows them for me. The paper they chose as it's background is similar to the thermos one's, but they are there. If you're speaking of the Appendix section for the collectibles, they are on page 237. And I think it's really cool how they make the guide it's own novel. It's pretty inventive.

I am sorry you have had such a bad experience with the guides. From personal history, I use both a guide and online sources, especially in cases like this with tons of collectibles.

06-02-2010, 04:43 AM
Although I'm not finished with the game yet, I find the guide very well done and enjoyable reading. The author spent a lot of time creating the guide. Between the maps and the side panels, all of teh collectibles are easy to find.

06-02-2010, 04:55 AM
I enjoy games with collectibles. The completionist in me naturally explores every square inch of a game anyhow so finding them is usually no problem minus the occasional few that manage to get by me.

I will say that ever since Dead Rising, I've leaned more towards BradyGames guides than Prima Games. Maybe one day they will redeem themselves; who knows? I've not seen it yet or maybe it's just that I'm not playing the games for the guides that are good so I'm not seeing it.

x FLA5H x
06-02-2010, 02:20 PM
Can't believe you guys are paying for a guide for the collectables, but good on you - hopefully it serves more purpose than for that reason alone (Im sure it must).

I printed off the one at swearingatvideogames - its all in the right order, easy to refer to, but most of all free :) . Guess Im just stingy then!

06-02-2010, 05:53 PM
Yeah, I think I spoke too soon. After progressing, I noticed that all of the collectibles stick out in the book so they're obtainable without having to read the entire book. However, it's still very sloppy with all of the other pictures and art they throw in there.

As for paying for the book, like I said before, I like to collect them. I realize that I can get the same thing for free online, but I don't mind. Also, though Alan Wake is a bad example, some strategy guides can give you valuable tips to make you a better player. Take Super Street Fighter IV for example. I have the guide and I treat it like a bible. It's made me a way better fighter. I'm aware the internet can provide the same thing, but I'd rather get it from professionals, all in one place.

Where ever and when ever I want to read about a game I'm playing to find new tips or pointers to make me a better player, I can. I like the convenience.

06-02-2010, 06:14 PM
I bought the guide and I quite like it. I'm on the other side of the fence, I think Prima has come a long way and makes quite decent guides, on the other hand, I've had it with Brady Games guides, I've got far too many personal annotations in my Brady Guides with vital information that they didn't put in.

Take the guide for Final Fantasy X (the guide that made me seriously question Brady) for instance. There are several locations that can't be revisited after certain criteria are met, yet the book doesn't give you this information anywhere, so I end up missing out on several key items for the main characters' legendary weapons (including Squall). I didn't realize it until near the end, when I finally start cleaning up everything I needed to before the final run. After over 150 hours into that game and far too much Blitzball, I was not impressed to say the least.

Call me old fashioned, but I like to have a book at my fingertips I can flip through and mark certain pages of interest.

06-02-2010, 07:26 PM
I used the guide and found it a little confusing in places like you mentioned, but everything is there. I like how they made it a novel, scrap book with the Diner Menus and signs, etc.. Just 1,000'ed it last night!

But I'm with you, I use online ones for free sometimes to help out, but for games I really love, like Fall Out 3, Resident Evil 5, etc. I allways buy the guides, even Hard Back if available.

Maximus 1482
06-02-2010, 08:09 PM
i used the color coded guide on here and had no problems at all.:)