Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII - the Complete Official Guide - Collector's Edition Hardcover – 14 Feb 2014
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Given the nature of the game this time round your time is limited, there are things you really need to do in that limit and things you can do, sometimes in different areas. So it makes sense to categorise it by areas rather than duplicating pages across the guide.
As such days are summarised with page references on how-to to sections of the guide detailing all tasks there of what can be accomplished. Following the letter of instruction thus far has proven to be fruitful.
To start off, the guide is good but there are some bad points I want to point out.
First of all, after playing the prologue and the first mission with the guide, while the instructions are easy to understand, the guide contains two sections of the walkthrough which may confuse players at first but it makes sense. This is because the guide splits it into a walkthrough which details what you should be doing such as quests (when you should do it at what time etc), and second, the walkthrough for the main quest itself.
The walkthrough, while well written, has some bad points. First, instructions on where to find items. While it explains itself, due to lack of pictures of where to find them and also the fact that the maps inside the guide DOES NOT show where the collectibles/items at all, despite the Gameplay section of the guide saying : The guide shows you where to collect all the collectibles. There are NO icons indicating where the items to be found.
BUT, worst of all, to find the items listed in the walkthrough, you have to open up the A2 poster included with the guide, open it up and unfold it and lo and behold, it shows where to find each item. What's even worse, the walkthrough does not tell you to how to get certain items (the Runic Ring which is stuck up on a unreachable scaffolding and time was up by the time I try to get it). This is a very bad design not to include item locations on the maps included in the guide.
Another bad thing about the guide (after flicking through), is the Garb section at the back of the guide. The problem with the section is lack of pictures to show what the garb looks like (maybe due to spoilers) and worse, the font size of the text to fit all the information is very small you might as well bring a magnifying glass to read it (just exaggerating). Other sections has the same problem as well.
Well the question is this guide good? Well, yes and no.
Yes, due to the fact that the guide gives you everything you need to know about the game, how to progress through the game and the fact that this game requires multiple palythroughs, this guide is required. As a collector, so-so. The extra 32 pages are just staff comments on certain things like costume designs, monster designs and character designs with major spoilers. This guide does not contain a section where it explains all the mysteries and story elements like the previous FFXIII guides though.
No, due to the bad points I listed above. That's all. Piggyback could have improved the guide more if they have a little more time and try to make a guide exactly like the previous FFXIII guides.
There are some minor problems with the guide though, in terms of layout. Due to the time element in the game, they have taken a well organised approach to compiling the guide, but it isn't exactly user friendly. On a typical playthrough, you'll be using the walkthrough, side quest and main quest pages. The walkthrough isn't long, but covers what you should be doing on each day in decent detail. If you are doing specific side quests then the walkthrough will then reference other parts of the guide (such as pages in the Side Quest or Main Quest sections, or the main quest number), so that you can view a more detailed guide about what it is you need to do. Luckily, the 2 ribbon bookmarks are very handy here when you have to do some referencing on multiple pages in the guide. Another issue is that the maps for each main location isn't printed in the book. Instead, they have been printed on a massive double-sided poster, which can be really frustrating at times.
The guide also contains a massive amount of information about the game mechanics, which may be useful for those who don't quite understand the time mechanics in the game, a short 100% (Ultima) walkthrough, and extra section which shows some of the games art, and the free DLC. You'll actually get two DLC codes, one for PSN and one for Xbox Live, so you could actually give the other code away if you wanted.
Overall, the guide is excellent, and it will really come in handy when playing such a complex looking game, even if the layout is a little odd...
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