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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 21 March 2014
First things first - This is a fantastic guide and 'Future Press' do things much better than almost anyone else out there.

Great attention detail has been taken with pretty much everything. The walkthrough section itself has been written by members of the Dark Souls Community and is about as thorough as things can get. Although item stats and spawn locations are bound to go out of date (From Software makes constant changes to game balance) it will still be a more than handy companion for most of us.

I initially pre-ordered the guide from Amazon UK, but when the release was delayed decided to cancel and order it from Amazon.com instead. In the meantime I also ordered a couple of copies from the 'Book Depository' which finally arrived today.

In side by side comparison the differences are pretty obvious - The US version is heavier, slightly larger and appears to be printed on glossier paper. The UK version is still fine, it's just disappointing that changes always seem to be made between US and European versions.

Unsurprisingly the US version also costs less! If you have the patience then I'd recommend ordering off the Amazon.com website ASAP. The guide works out at £14 and standard international postage takes it up to about £18.24. This works out cheaper than the UK version + postage by at least £4 with the only downside being that you'll have to wait 2-3 weeks for it to arrive.

If you don't have the patience to wait that long then the UK version comes highly recommended anyway. For those of you that can wait - A heftier product will be yours to delve into.

P.S I'll put a comparison photo on here as soon as I can work out how to do it. The UK version will still be sealed as I passed the open copy to a friend of mine, but at least you will be able to see the general difference in size.
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1717 comments| 45 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
This hardcover Dark Souls II Collector's Edition guide is divided into 4 sections/chapters.

Chapter 1 is about starting the game. This section goes into detail about the basic mechanics of Dark Souls II, like how to identify a character's possible covenant and, probably most importantly, how things have changed from Dark Souls I. Pay close attention to all sections that have an 'ii' symbol next to them. This highlights a change that has been made from the first game. For example, next to the description of the estus flask, it mentions that now to improve the flask, you have to find estus shards and bring these back to the emerald herald in order to have more uses. You start the game with only one estus flask use upon receiving it, not 5 like you do in the original Dark Souls. From reading the first section, I've realized the way I played DS is not going to cut it in DSII. I will be required to carefully use healing items and human effigies and not waste them throughout the game. This section is well worth reading before you even start your game.

Chapter 2 is the basic walkthrough with maps, suggested route to take throughout the game, recommended level for the area that you are in (the game sections have a skull rating showing how difficult that section is), hidden routes and items, soul count for each enemy, and strategies on how to kill those annoying enemies. I like to play a game and discover it for myself, but I do like to refer to this kind of section when there is a key item that must be found, or when I'm just plain lost, or to find out whether I'm wandering into a real dangerous section and I want to avoid losing 30 mins of hard soul grinding and get back quickly to a safe area. So this section could end up being a nice welcome mat, and a way to get out of a sticky situation.

Chapter 3 is the nuts and bolts of the book. It gives you a list of all the weapons, armors, spells, items, etc. in the game. This is the section I'll probably use the most as I like to have an idea what are some of the best early weapons and armor to look out for and what is a good mid-range game weapon armor etc. that is worth investing the time in to upgrade fully. Nothing is more frustrating to me than upgrading an item with rare resources to later come along one which would have been better to pick for the long haul. I already have an idea by studying this section that (1) I need to be careful with how I use my human effigies, (2) healing items are going to play a far more important role in this game, and (3) I can even turn a section of a game into the equivalent of new game+ to grind some extra souls. Though before I even consider something so drastic, I would want to be very strong for sure, so I suggest taking time out before starting your play through to study this section as it will most likely save a lot of heartache later on down the line.
On a personal note, I would have preferred to be able to see how many of an item is in the game world. This guide doesn't do that, and it would have been nice to know if there are plenty of a certain item, so then it's not so bad if I have to burn through a number of an item as I can recoup some later on in the game.

Chapter 4 is more for the NG+, and if you're like me and usually looking for that elusive trophy, this will be a very helpful guide for getting that one trophy you missed. Good to use when looking for conditions for a hidden trophy and if you're a completionist and want to find everything that there is. I'll really use this section later in my play through. There is a new map for optional area, new bosses, a lore index and a general index, and a trophy/achievement guide.

Overall, this is a very good strategy guide and is sure to help you on your quest to beat the game of Dark Souls II. The maps are detailed, the stats are great, and it will make your play through of the game easier. I hope that in the future the designers might consider adding the total number of an item and maybe have a rank order for armor and weapons for different types of classes rather than having to really study the stats in detail. Personally, for instance, I would like to be told that for a knight class that x weapon is the best and y armor is the best for that class rather than me studying the stats and making an assumption for myself. Overall, 4 stars means I'm happy with this guide and will get good use out of it.
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on 29 March 2014
This guide, as is usual with Future Press, has an amazing construction quality. The paper, the organization, the printing and coloring, the art presented, the hardcover, everything about it is perfect.

This guide explains the basics for the newcomers and also gives a walkthrough for enemies, areas and bosses for newcomers.

For veterans, it offers a number a awesome tools to work with. How stats work and interact with each other in order to build the best character for a certain playstyle, or even the detailed maps of all areas with enemies and items, for when you want to clear, complete and unveil every secret after exploring the world by yourself! It also gives awesome information about items which lets players compare them and decide which one will do them best.

As for cons, I found some minor errors (I underline minor) and the price. It could be a good 5-8£ cheaper.

I recommend it for newcomers who would like some help, for veterans who want to work out, with very detail, what stats and items to tinker and play with, as well as for collectors. Its, above everything else, an amazing book with amazing quality and a perfect collector item.

Recommended, but rated it 4/5, not because of the minor bugs that are normal in such a information heavy book, but because of the price that could be lower.
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on 22 March 2014
I'm a huge fan of the Souls series and follow a number of Youtubers and Twitch streamers who play the games. I was hesitant about buying the guide as I'm not normally a fan of them and I wanted to experience the game blind, but when I heard 2 of my favourite Youtubers contributed to this, I pre-ordered it to help support them and the community as a whole.

I'm glad I did. First off, it's huge (462 odd pages) and with a rather nice hard cover that matches the Black Iron edition artwork, it's beautifully put together. I've not read it in huge detail as I'm only at Iron Keep at the time of writing and want to avoid spoilers but what I have read has been fantastically written and informative. It's clearly been a labour of love for the people involved who are huge fans of the series rather than a shoddily put together cash in. Apart from weapon stats for all upgrade paths (which would add a huge amount to the page count), all the info I could conceivably need on areas, NPC's and foes is in here.

While the information may become less accurate over time through upgrades (we're already at 2 patches and the game has been out a little over a week), this guide will still be a deep and interesting read for fans of the game. Highly recommended.
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on 17 September 2014
Excellent guide for an excellent game, unfortunately made a tad redundant by the release of DLC for this game, which, just a few months prior to release, they stated they would NEVER do.

Either way, a great guide for the main game, extremely well made, nice and glossy, great maps and art.
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on 10 April 2014
This is an awesome guide for an awesome game. Dark Souls 2 is a brilliant adventure with a huge lore filled story that you need to discover on your own (mostly). Not many games can compare to the grandeur and purity of the Souls series but due to its high difficulty and learning curve people tend to avoid it which is a shame. If you haven't played a Souls game yet, please do yourself a favor and buy Dark Souls 2 WITH this guide and once you are a master go back and play Dark Souls 1 and Demon's Souls (PS3 only). Once your in the Souls community you will never want to leave.

This guide was also co-written by 2 of YouTubes greatest Souls supporters (Marcus Sanders AKA: ENB and Franz Von Eisenheim AKA: A German Spy) They do amazing videos based on the game play and lore of the series and have helped write this guide. If you are new to Souls go check them out right now, they will help guide you through the game.

5/5
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on 11 June 2014
Perfect guide for someone who wants to explore in deep the game or have some problem with pass a level. Clear walkthrough, every level of the game is perfectly explained and illustrated. I was thinking if buy it or not due to the price but honestly, there is nothing to say, this is money well spent. 5 stars for this product...
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on 9 June 2014
ought it after i beat the game to see what i missed and there is also great art in it not to mention how big it is wont read the whole thing i have read the interesting parts like boss soul lore and item descriptions but didnt need the walk through since i already beat it but from what i skimmed over its very detailed also there paper quality is super good you wont rip a page unless you rage quit and take it out on the book
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on 15 May 2014
Clear instructions help with some of the tough choices in fights.

Best aspect is the extensive weapon list and details. Helps a lot to plan your character ahead so you don't end up getting destroyed against tougher bosses
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on 9 June 2014
The guide will offer you a very detailed walthrough of the game, in which every movement, trap, chest, item, enemy and boss pattern is described, all filed with a rich lore description and images.

It will also provide you with useful descriptions of various game mechanics (stats, softcaps, initial classes), items (a whole gallery of weapons and armors is included), extra challenges and achievement descriptions and tips.

But my punctuation i lowered because of...

Having a paper guide of this kind turns to be a very valuable collector item in the future, but for practical use for a player like me, all this information can be obtained for free, and even updated with the latest balance patches. My main reason for buying such a guide is to know about the deep game mechanics, such as mathematical formulas, and build optimization advices, as walkthrough and descriptive work can be found anywhere. Other guides for other games I bought have this kind of information this one lacks.

It works very well in descriptive way, listing every thing that is in the game, but it lacks the knowledge of those technical game mechanics.
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