Thursday, August 31, 2006


i am a consumer. as such, it can be determined that a fair portion of my income is eaten by such consumerism. by relinquishing said portion of my income, i feel it necessary to gripe when things aren't up to par.

so, without further ado; how exactly does one pay $60 for a game, and receive a manual, in black & white?!? i don't know about you, but that's not good value to me. some may argue that development cost has surged, thus driving the price of games up. not so, says i. with the advent of in game advertising, there is now a way to offset rising development costs. because of this cost offset, i see no reason to subject gamers to the atrocity that is the black & white game manual. while seemingly a small issue, it in fact makes a huge difference to overall presentation, and subsequently gives a better understanding of the game.

here are some examples;

DEAD RISING has a 99% black & white manual (as the cover is color) WHAT?!?! UNacceptable. thankfully, dead rising isn't a terribly deep game requiring good hearty exploration of the manual. i took a short look at the manual, and immediately tossed it aside upon discovery of it's non-coloredness. this gives the game the feeling of being cheap & rushed, leaving a somewhat sour taste in my mouth. i like things to BE cheap, not FEEL cheap. this is CAPCOM after all. not very next-gen if you ask me.

Saint's Row, on the other hand has a completely color manual, and it makes all the difference in the world. upon opening this game, i FULLY expected a black & white manual. imagine my surprise when i found a full color manual staring back at me from the open case. while not a small developer, THQ isn't known like CAPCOM is. sure, hardcore gamers have heard of THQ, but even the most casual of casual gamers will know the name CAPCOM. yet, here is a full color manual, staring back at me in defiance of the publishers 'status' as a smaller developer. bravo THQ, bravo.

and finally we have Oblivion. DANG. DOUBLE dang. BETHESDA really did a fantastic job. i happened to purchase the 'deluxe' version by quasi-accident (it's not the one i intended to buy, but didn't tell the clerk to grab the regular one instead). this thing SCREAMS presentation. first, there's the game manual, glossy, beautiful and WOW is there a lot of stuff in there. accompanying the game manual is a history of the lands and different races that inhabit said land. it's printed on semi-rough manila paper, and the print is of the burnt umber variety. it looks and feels quite nice.

i paid $60 for each of these games, and it makes me wonder exactly how is it that BETHESDA can, not only manage a full color game manual, but another disk and rather well made 'history of' booklet, and CAPCOM treats me like some redheaded step-child, and tells me to read the paper.

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