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Thread: The Death of the Manual - Some New Games Come Without Them Now...

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    Pretzel (Level 4) jonebone's Avatar
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    Default The Death of the Manual - Some New Games Come Without Them Now...

    Cross posted on NA, but I know there's more current generation gamers here. Maybe you guys have already seen this, but it's new to me. The death of the manual may be upon us, and we may be moving in a direction of 100% digital games with no physical media.

    As many of you, I probably have about 1,000ish games across several platforms. Until last week, I had only encountered one game that came without a manual... PS1 - Parappa the Rapper. The "manual" is really just a cover with no guts at all. However, it did come with a fold-out poster, so it's kind of considered the "manual" for that game.

    And then in a matter of two weeks, I purchased back to back games without manuals. That's a hell of a ratio when you go from 1 in 1,000 to 2 of 2.

    First was Mortal Kombat on X360:



    Notice it comes with a bunch of junk, but no real manual. Some DLC codes for online play / costumes (DLC is another topic entirely), a Katalog to try and suck even more money out of you, and once again, a paper thin cover that is a "manual" with no guts. Not really a manual, but I guess it fills the "I" in CIB.

    Next was Madden 2012 on X360:



    That is it. Again, DLC code for Online play, and that stupid white sheet. Read the bottom, it says "Manual Included On-Disc". Great. But hey, let's say they saved 0.50 in costs per game by not printing manuals... sell a million copies and that's $500,000 in cost avoidance. It's bad enough that a roster update is worth $60 in the first place, but man EA is being cheap.

    I checked my Madden 2011 just to make sure I didn't lose my mind, and sure enough, it had a manual.



    So thoughts? As a gamer, I don't care. I'm going to get way more than $60 out of play value in Madden, probably at least 100 hours between franchises / friends / online. But as a collector, it's a bit disappointing to see that a brand new CIB is really a CB from the very beginning.

    Also, any other games where the manual was never included?
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    Ryu Hayabusa (Level 16) Custom rank graphic
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    EDF: Insect Armageddon on 360 had no manual. There was nothing in there to speak of.

    I welcome the loss of the manual. One less thing to look for when hunting for games.

    ...and I thought CIB was "complete in box"
    RIP bargora, you will be greatly missed.That is how we do things on Giedion Prime.

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    I think partly the fact that nearly every game comes with some kind of tutorial level nowadays lessens the necessity for the manual. Is it a nice piece to have in the case? Sure; but I've not looked at manual for a game in years so necessity to me is minimal. Its all about cutting costs to a point and a manual just isn't as important as it used to be.
    Quote Originally Posted by bangtango View Post
    If you have trouble figuring out the meaning of "Multiplayer", "Time Trial" or "Campaign" without the manual, I probably don't want you doing my income taxes for me and I don't want you dating my daughter either.

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    I suppose manuals are nice to have from a collector's point of view, but they're pretty useless these days when most games come with a tutorial of some sort and you can get any other helpful material online. I haven't read game manuals since the SNES days, and I also get so pissed when they come dog eared or creased when you buy a brand new game.

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    I know from a classic gamer's perspective it can be a bit shocking to not see much of a manual but like other users have mentioned there isn't much of a need anymore. I used to love all of the cool art that came with manuals but even that is accessible elsewhere. For modern games I almost NEVER look thru the manual, and frankly it is just annoying to buy a game that is in perfect condition until you look at the manual and see it has been used as a drink coaster or something...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oobgarm View Post
    ...and I thought CIB was "complete in box"
    Complete in box is for us farts on DP. CIB is the NA way of describing things. As in 'The complete copy of Clu Clu Land I bought for $8 off DP 7 years ago is now worth $500+ because of all the CIB crazed goons on NA'.

    I'm fine with this change, solely because of the massive amount of tutorials included in every game these days.
    Last edited by portnoyd; 09-02-2011 at 11:11 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oobgarm View Post
    EDF: Insect Armageddon on 360 had no manual. There was nothing in there to speak of.

    I welcome the loss of the manual. One less thing to look for when hunting for games.

    ...and I thought CIB was "complete in box"
    I've seen CIB stand for "Complete In Box" and also to mean "Cart, Instructions, & Box" I prefer the former term myself.

    I've got a mixed reaction towards this. I mean, I'm with you in that it will facilitate things when looking for games in the second hand market. I'll admit I don't find myself digging through manuals much since as many have already pointed out, the newer games these days come with built in tutorials on how to play. That said, I'm so used to there being a disc, book, and case when I'm looking for stuff that it might be a little jarring, especially if not every company jumps on board with this. I'm not looking forward to having to remember which games do or don't come with books.
    "Ai Oboete Imasu Ka?"

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    In some ways this might actually make things more annoying for some people. It seems like in place of manuals they're putting a bunch of small pamphlets of dubious value making them more likely to be thrown out or otherwise damaged. Meaning now instead of people seeking out three obvious pieces (game/box/manual) they'll be asking "anybody have a spare seizure warning pamphlet?"

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    Given that a lot of games in recent years also offer alternate or custom control schemes, there is no reason to consult an instruction manual which gives you a default control scheme that you might not even use anyway.

    Manuals used to give details about the plot of the game, the main character and the enemies you'll be facing, all of which you can just get in mission briefings or cutscenes anyway. Programming credits are already viewable in the game. No need to see them in print.

    The varying game modes are pretty self-explanatory. If you have trouble figuring out the meaning of "Multiplayer", "Time Trial" or "Campaign" without the manual, I probably don't want you doing my income taxes for me and I don't want you dating my daughter either.
    Last edited by bangtango; 09-02-2011 at 10:33 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bangtango View Post
    If you have trouble figuring out the meaning of "Multiplayer", "Time Trial" or "Campaign" without the manual, I probably don't want you doing my income taxes for me and I don't want you dating my daughter either.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bangtango View Post
    If you have trouble figuring out the meaning of "Multiplayer", "Time Trial" or "Campaign" without the manual, I probably don't want you doing my income taxes for me and I don't want you dating my daughter either.

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    Pretzel (Level 4) Gamevet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonebone View Post



    Next was Madden 2012 on X360:



    That is it. Again, DLC code for Online play, and that stupid white sheet. Read the bottom, it says "Manual Included On-Disc". Great. But hey, let's say they saved 0.50 in costs per game by not printing manuals... sell a million copies and that's $500,000 in cost avoidance. It's bad enough that a roster update is worth $60 in the first place, but man EA is being cheap.

    I checked my Madden 2011 just to make sure I didn't lose my mind, and sure enough, it had a manual.



    So thoughts? As a gamer, I don't care. I'm going to get way more than $60 out of play value in Madden, probably at least 100 hours between franchises / friends / online. But as a collector, it's a bit disappointing to see that a brand new CIB is really a CB from the very beginning.

    Also, any other games where the manual was never included?
    I wasn't that impressed with the manual that came with Madden 10 or 11. Compared to the Madden manuals you got with the Genesis and Playstation versions, it's more like a pamplet. I at least expect the manual to cover the button layouts for both the offense and defensive play, but it just sort of glazes over it, without getting really deep.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gamevet View Post
    I wasn't that impressed with the manual that came with Madden 10 or 11. Compared to the Madden manuals you got with the Genesis and Playstation versions, it's more like a pamplet. I at least expect the manual to cover the button layouts for both the offense and defensive play, but it just sort of glazes over it, without getting really deep.
    Yeah, as a fan of the series ever since Madden 94 on Genesis, I agree. In the recent X360 versions, there was definitely a push to skinnier and skinnier, Madden 11 was maybe 8-10 pages with hardly any meat at all.

    You could see this was coming, but the manual is completely gone now. I'm not losing sleep over this / stop collecting or anything ridiculous, it's just sad that we've progressed to this point.

    RIP 19xx - 2011 Mr. Manual.
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    Anyone have a free Online Pass for Madden 12?
    <Sothy> its the internet <Sothy> who cares

    Quote Originally Posted by Daltone View Post
    This is a classic gaming site and the most active thread is a load of people wanking off to my little pony.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skaar View Post
    Anyone have a free Online Pass for Madden 12?
    GameStop not an option?
    RIP bargora, you will be greatly missed.That is how we do things on Giedion Prime.

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    I see what you did there.
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    her partially exposed butthole offends my christian sensibilities yet makes me want to play jet force gemini


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    Quote Originally Posted by Oobgarm View Post
    GameStop not an option?
    No they never seem to leave the cards in there anymore...

    Oh wait I can just use Jonebone's code, I'm ok.
    <Sothy> its the internet <Sothy> who cares

    Quote Originally Posted by Daltone View Post
    This is a classic gaming site and the most active thread is a load of people wanking off to my little pony.

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    I just noticed that!

    I hope he used it first...
    RIP bargora, you will be greatly missed.That is how we do things on Giedion Prime.

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    Great Puma (Level 12) bangtango's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gamevet View Post
    I wasn't that impressed with the manual that came with Madden 10 or 11. Compared to the Madden manuals you got with the Genesis and Playstation versions, it's more like a pamplet. I at least expect the manual to cover the button layouts for both the offense and defensive play, but it just sort of glazes over it, without getting really deep.
    Betcha an arm and a leg that any EA manual is better than the ones 2K Sports have been putting into their last few MLB, NHL or NBA games for the PS2, anything since 2009. You get the default control scheme and that is it. Maybe 6 pages total.

    I'd know this because I am the one rube still buying MLB 2K10 and NBA 2K11 for the Playstation 2.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oobgarm View Post
    I just noticed that!

    I hope he used it first...
    Give me some credit guys. That code was dead by about 2PM on Tuesday. I take Madden seriously and snuck out for a half day on release
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    I've never played a game that I had the manual for before reading the manual. Ever...like, in my life. Even if it means just thumbing through a thick manual I always do. This sucks to me, because they're still putting just as much paper in the case, why not just include the manual? I always read the manuals for games on the bus ride home as a kid when I purchased a new game. I was all primed for it by the time I made it home and new what the game was about and how the control scheme worked.

    I doubt that they're going to charge you less for the game, but they'll give you less for your money. Next will be cases; you'll just get a game in a cardboard sleeve, and no one but me will care.

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