The Death of Game Manuals

There are many ways to learn how to play a game.

You can play through the tutorials (if they are in the game).

You can turn it on and jump in, hoping to become familiar with a new set of control functions.

You can even come to NoobTubeTV.com and learn how to play your favorite games through our videos.

There is one place that you can rarely learn how to play your game – In Print.

Gears of War 1 (Left) and Gears of War 3 (Right) are great examples of the shrinking presence of manuals in gaming. GoW1's manual has 27+ pages while GoW3's has one page folded in half. At least it has the basic controls, unlike Madden NFL which has none.

It has become a funny thing to say you miss the good old days of gaming when you could take out the manual on your way home and read through the crisp pages that would let you in on the nuances of the game you were excited to play.  If you have had an XBox 360 since it was released (or close to that amount of time) you have no doubt noticed the shrinking or outright disappearance of paper manuals for your benefit.

Many reasons have been given for this development and the number one reason is to cut costs and increase profit margins for these games as many publishers feel that gamers don’t use the manuals past the first week anyway.

While this might be and probably is true to a point; it does beg a very important question…

“What is more fluid?  Pressing start, navigating poorly created menus and looking for a control diagram OR opening the manual to page 10 and seeing for yourself in print (and quickly)?

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Conquering The Dead-Zone

We have entered an interesting time in gaming.  This is usually the ‘dead-zone’ during the year in gaming.  As we posted a video a few weeks ago about F.E.A.R. 2 – Project Origin a couple of interesting thoughts occurred:

1.       First Person Shooters get repetitive and

2.       We tend to lose sight of having fun with a game for the sake of having fun

Yes, even Christopher Walken (in the movie 'The Dead Zone') was surprised to hear how easy it is to get through this time of the year in gaming, aptly titled 'The Dead Zone'.

Now that we have entered the dead-zone it is time to start looking at the current status of games from multiple perspectives.

Multiplayer Online Population – How many people are playing the game online currently?  While there are many games that we once enjoyed playing online, sometimes there is still a remaining contingent of players that simply enjoy the game so much that they keep it alive in their dedicated community.

Single Player Longevity – Once you play through the game’s story, what else is there to do?  While many FPS games simply roll credits after you finish the story there are some games that allow you to keep on playing (primarily from Bethesda) – Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas, Oblivion and Skyrim, Grand Theft Auto IV and Red Dead Redemption or even the Mass Effect Series… the list usually revolves around open world games.

Fun Factor – To hell with leaderboards or some sort of trumped up ‘new’ features.  The simple question is this:  Does the game own your gaming soul?  I have had many games over the years that may have been a few years old, but I just couldn’t stop playing them!  There is nothing wrong with enjoying a game you have simply for the sake of having a great time.  Whether it is nostalgia, a better experience than new games or just to hack and slash to release pent up stress from the work day… some games deserve to be kept in your collection because they are fun as hell. My go-to game for this was always Metal Gear Solid and now that the HD Collection is out on the 360, it feels like I am reunited with a long lost friend.

What are your favorite games?

Do you play any games online that some people have forgotten about?

Let us know in the comments section!

No Happy Ending? A Different Take On Mass Effect 3

I will start with this – I haven’t played Mass Effect 3 yet.  However, I have played through and enjoyed the first and second iterations of Mass Effect.

That said, I think it is silly for people to be so disappointed with how the game ends.  I don’t care if the series ends with Shepherd simply waking up from a bad dream in the Final Fantasy Universe or if you find out that Tali is really a man.  Fact of the matter is that you should expect to be disappointed in this series.

Why?

Two Reasons –

Reason One – Simply because you are expecting to save the universe and everything will end up okay in the end.  Mass Effect has given you a lot of lose-lose scenarios to deal with in the past.  This is not going to be any different.  The only real choice is whether or not to buy this game new… to which I answer ‘No’.

Reason Two – If you want a better ending you will pay for it.  EA and other publishers are moving towards a business plan of micro-transactions.  Think about all the expansion packs and such that come out for almost every game.  The goal is to keep you playing and paying for new content. 

I thought the old adage was that life was all about the journey... Not the destination.

A lot of people claim to want more realism in games; this also hinders their arguments about bad game endings, certain weapons being over-powered or the constant ratings debate in sports games.

Not to rain on anyone’s parade, but saving the universe is bound to end in disappointment from some angle.  If you want to be pleased with the ending of a game you also might want to try out going back to the games you have already played and enjoyed.  The best ending is one that leaves you talking about what might happen next.  Check out the movie Inception and try to tell me otherwise.

The worst thing video games have done is make you feel like the protagonist always wins or achieves the perfect ending.  The world is a cruel place and it is high time gamers learned that too.

This will be no more true than when EA/Bioware release an add-on that will give you a chance to finish the game with a fairy tale wedding and hugs all around. 

F.E.A.R. 2 – Project Origin… Old But Awesome

For a game that is over 2 years old, FEAR 2: Project Origin is a breath of fresh air.

If you want something new to play that isn’t called Call of Duty or Battlefield, this is the game for you.

While this game is a great deal at Amazon, it must also be stated that it is a very scary game.  It might be nothing for those of you that regularly watch movies that are scary as hell — but for the regular people out there… this game will knock you out of your seat more than once.

Variety Is The Spice of Gaming

It has been awhile since our last update and in that spirit we are going to start switching gears a bit more regularly.  In the coming weeks you can expect to see footage from Skyrim, Modern Warfare 3, Battlefield 3, Borderlands, Gears of War 3, L.A. Noire and other great titles.

The best part of gaming is in the games that we sometimes forget that we have and when you pop them back into your console it is like a nostalgia takes over you.  While Skyrim is still ‘new’ there are many games that people are forgetting about that can be had for $15 or less.

So, in the spirit of enjoying what you have and maybe learning how to play the games that you might have given up on we will be bringing you all sorts of new footage and information on some of the best games from the past couple years.

Finishing the 2017 Regular Season

As we get closer to the NFL Draft and the height of Free Agency picks up steam many gamers will find a second wind for Madden NFL 12.  We are currently showing the future seasons of the Cleveland Browns in Franchise Mode.  As we finish the 2017 season there are many other things on tap here at NoobTubeTV.

As always, feel free to ask questions and post comments.  We enjoy hearing from you.