And so Neglect becomes our Ally…
Game manuals have always been one of my favorite parts of the experience. A good manual can give each release a character all it’s own. And while each manual presented basic information such as booting the game and how to control your character, the bits I remember loving were the background info and pieces of lore sprinkled in to give the main event some flavoring. I can’t even count how many times I re-read some of those manuals, and somewhere in my closet is an entire bag full of them.
It was not until the Seventh Console Generation that I remember these starting to disappear. The proliferation of the damnable in-game tutorial being put in the player’s way alongside the increasing ubiquity of the internet in gamer’s lives gave game makers the opportunity to practice some Deflation with their product. Removing the cost of the manual and passing none of those savings onto customers, Publishers tested the waters to see if this was something that players would tolerate. Sadly the answer they received was a resounding yes, as it is with most abusive practices tested.
As the years wear on it seems that video game companies will only continue to get more and more predatory in nature, stripping out features that used to be expected and taken for granted. It’s a cynical bet, though as the more they remove wanted features and digitize, the more disposable their product becomes as the product becomes less and less special. It makes it that much easier to just go to the used game store or partake in that Steam Sale as it’s not like you get anything different for your 60 (Soon to be 70) dollars, is there?
Fortunately, where the game industry either refuses or forgets to do something that their customers appreciate and want, gamers themselves are stepping up and filling the voice, often picking up the money left on the table by these Game Makers. And a quick search shows that video game manuals are alive and well in both the hearts of gamers and online stores. Creative folks are starting to sell these trinkets to those who seek them, and I have taken the liberty of buying a few of these to showcase here.
The quality of these are very good, and are probably better than modern day publishers would be willing to do. Each one is a labor of love, and they are good at leveraging the game’s identity to do something interesting. My favorite, Luigi’s Mansion 3, reads like a brochure for the Hotel that you will be staying at. Animal Crossing presents as a passport and provides a useful checklist for the hundreds of collectables. If you want to take a look at what he has to offer, go to MBPUK’s Storefront and see for yourself.
Looking for a Spanish option to grab a high-quality manual? Then check out CajasRetroES’s Storefront for a large variety of high-Quality Spanish manuals for some of my favorite games of the Switch like Octopath Traveler. Best of all is that he offers different booklets than MBPUK has on offer as well. Between the two of them there is a pretty wide assortment for some of the more popular Switch offerings.
I also want to give a shoutout to Nosey Tegu’s Efforts, as these manuals look absolutely spectacular, and I look forward to adding them to my collection once I get over my Boomer mentality and figure out how exactly to buy them. ( I don’t see them for sale anywhere on the site, so feel free to laugh if I have overlooked something stupid)