The Burning Question: Do you, or have you ever used video game walkthrough guides?

This past Saturday I found myself at a book store trying to kill some time. Whilst browsing the shelves I found quite a peculiar set of books that I noticed resembled items from a game that I’ve played quite a bit on both mobile and the PlayStation 4. The game is Minecraft and the books that I picked up were the official Minecraft guide books. This of course raised a question that I’ve never really thought about before. How many of us actually use walkthroughs and game guides?

If we were to consider this, at first glance we would most probably focus on titles such as RPGs or JRPGs. I mean these genres are typically the genres that fans usually utilise walkthroughs and guides for, especially if they’re chasing achievements. But after a seriously educating discussion with the knowledgeable and awesome SA Gamer team I realised that this perception is in fact not 100% true. The more I considered it the more I realised that there are many games out there that not only utilise walkthroughs to walkthrough or guide the player to specific points in a large open world but there are in fact specific guides focused solely on crafting or in certain cases a guide that will help you build a competitive character/team to utilise in competitions/tournaments.

Originally I did believe that I’ve never actually used a walkthrough or guide before but upon further inspection I’ve realised that I in fact use one often. In my specific case the guides I tend to use are the material crafting guides for Monster Hunter and the team building guides for Pokémon competitive league battles.

So this had me thinking, surely there are quite a number of us that use these video game guides and walkthroughs often but never mention this. Are gamers ashamed to admit that we use these walkthroughs and guides or is it something that just does not come up?

So my burning question this week to you is – have you ever used or use walkthroughs and guides? What do you use them for?

  • In the PS1 era (the original Silent Hill piano puzzle comes to mind) I’d print a forest of paper to help me solve those problems. Gamefaqs.com was my friend for years. These days I find the puzzle elements easy enough to solve without any walkthrough. Boss fights – I generally keep going at those until I figure it out.Not a big fan of using a guide to help with that.

    • Growing up on a farm with no cell signal or internet. Meant my whole PSX and PS2 years were spent looking for the correct way or else I was stuck for good xD

      • Final Fantasy 8 was a 144 hour run

        • Thankfully I had internet in those days. But yes, the PS1 era games in particular had some really tough puzzles.

          • Going off topic here, did you get FF12 yesterday?

          • Nope, I’ll buy it at a later stage. Don’t have a rush to play it atm.

          • Ah. I also took a skip on it for now, maybe on sale. It never felt like part of the FF universe to me.

          • I just missed it thanks to it being towards the end of life on PS2, and I still own it. Just never got stuck on. Definitely still want to play it and the remastered version is looking good from what I’ve seen.

    • Zain Moosa

      The piano puzzle from Silent Hill will for ever haunt me. I played the game with a group of friends. Four, to be exact. And we struggled for days on that damn puzzle until I was about to give up and BAM!! Solved. They just don’t make the puzzles like they used to 😉

  • As a kid plenty of guides used, these days I dont even watch trailers or streams when i know I have not finished said game.

    • You just reminded me – if I do get horribly stuck (for whatever reason) I do the YouTube thing these days. Forgot about that actually.

      • I am at a part now in Breath of the Wild I want to pull out youtube so bad, but I am persevering and still looking on my own in game xD

        • Breath of the Wild rewards you by not going to YT. You feel so damn clever 😀

          • I ran halfway across the map to go see if a long piece of metal I found can be used as a bridge so I can cheese my route to a temple. Had a good laugh when it actually worked.

  • eVolVee

    I’m not ashamed of using guides and walkthroughs at all. They help uncover things I may have missed during my first play through of a game, or assist in building and crafting character and equipment. Prey had me going back after my first playthrough to help obtain specific achievements as well as read up on the in-game sci-fi literature. In many cases, guides are essential to completionists and avid fans of certain titles. They help discover things you’d never find in a game just by playing it.

    • Zain Moosa

      Mmm I wonder if a guide for Battleborn would help though…..

      • eVolVee

        I want to down vote this comment straight into the depths of hell.

  • Wesley

    Mostly no, unless i need too, or if i am trophy hunting.

    I will never forget the one time i found it utmost necessary….. FFVIII, the sewer scene.
    I was still pretty young, and i kept getting horribly lost, and everything looked the same.

  • Raidz19

    I try not to unless I’m stuck for days. Games are easy enough as it is these days.
    But I do use them for trophy hunting.
    Don’t know how you can get all the collectables without help!

    • Zain Moosa

      I’ve often pondered about that as well. Is it possible to acquire all the collectibles without the guide…NO. Unless of course you sink unspeakable hours into the game.

      • Raidz19

        Walking into each and every corner of each and every screen 0_0 . Ain’t nobody got time for that

  • MonsterCheddar

    Walkthrough or Youtube = The Way of the Pussy Gamer. 😛

    • i dunno.

      i find that there’s merit in those for different reasons:

      you /may/ have beat it, and you might want to find a faster route.
      you might be hitting a brick wall and the walkthrough might show you something you absolutely missed earlier on [old quest games are very like this.]
      you may want to see different build guides [in an rpg] – you picked a druid? well, there’s lots of different types of druid.
      etc.

      i’m not convinced that it’s quite so cut and dry as you say here.

      • MonsterCheddar

        I might wanna add that I’m a regular gamer pussy and will make use of Youtube. XD

  • VampyreSquirrel

    Yep, first one ever was for Police Quest… granted it was my brothers walkthrough, but I still used it.

    • with that game, i absolutely don’t blame you.

      pq was even /more/ obtuse than the other quest games because of it’s “procedural” nature. [as an example for younger audiences: to get into your car, you ABSOLUTELY had to walk around it to spot check it. if you didn’t, the game would outright kill you because you failed to spot something wrong with the car.]

      • VampyreSquirrel

        and you had to use the correct wording, or you’d be down right stuck

        • that was the other terrible thing about those games: the parser.

          “let’s play guess the words!”

          as opposed to:

          “let’s play police quest!” 😉

  • K.

    I sometimes use guides for MMO achievements or dungeon/raid guides. Generally on first playthrough of a game I wouldn’t look at a guide, but if I’m trying to get 100% in a game I will.

  • Bionic

    The main reason I use them is just to find collectibles, as I don’t have time to replay games again and I hate missing things.

    But for strats or puzzle solving i generally don’t read them unless I am stuck.

  • Darksirius

    For Achievement purposes, yes. And if I am really stuck with puzzles, as well.

  • DemonGamer

    Remember my first walk through was from a book I got when I bought a PS official magazine . Had a demo disc and a walk through for resident evil 4. So I got the game and since it was resident evil and being you and afraid , I used the guide to prepare myself for any scares ahead . It helped , but the guide doesn’t prepare you for the fear of a iron maiden trying to give you a hug.

    That was the only time I used a full guide on the first play trough , took some of the fun out of the game. So I played it a few times again for the unlocks and such . These days I’ll consult a guide when I need a trophy , other than that I like to fail over and over

    • yeah. i remember those magazines. used to buy them, too. [my favourite had a great tips/hints section.]

    • Zain Moosa

      Nothing wrong with failing over and over until you get it right.

  • as i’ve gotten older and walkthrough/hint sites have proliferated, i’ve absolutely used them more often. let me tell you a “back in my day” story, lol:

    so, i started gaming in the 80’s. and in the 80’s, there were hint books, but these often didn’t make it across the pond [though, the games did] – the hint books would – very often – outline the whole game [except in a couple of rare cases, where that just wasn’t possible, like with “a mind forever voyaging.”] – but since getting these was difficult, i just shrugged and didn’t bother.

    at about the same time, companies had “hint lines” that could help you solve the problems, too. these were more specific and only for one problem, but they cost THE EARTH if you dialled them from anywhere. [even america.]

    these two things combined made me play the games “right” and without walkthroughs, but as i’ve gotten older and technology has made most of this stuff free, i’ve been consulting them more, because i am not always crazy about the moon logic in some games. i don’t mind puzzling stuff out, but if it becomes detrimental to actually playing the game then, “houston, we have a problem…”

    the other reason i consult walkthroughs is because i run a let’s play channel and it has consistently been my feeling that no one wants to watch “dead air.” [me trying to piece together a puzzle in my head and/or failing repeatedly.] so, to make that process as smooth as possible, i’ve made a point of always consulting a walkthrough [and then amending when necessary.]

  • Skittle

    If I’m stuck in a particular section long enough I head to the guide and I use guides to hunt achievements.

  • Cheatbook database and all the updates with every PC Format mag 😛

  • Dave

    Yeah I do. I like to finish games, so often there’ll be collectibles in the game that are obscure or hard to find otherwise. So generally I’ll play the game once at my own pace, and then review the achievements I still need to get and play what I need to again in order to complete, using a guide where necessary to show me where everything is. Generally I do try and finish it at least once without any help, just to experience the puzzles and game design for myself the first time around.

    • Zain Moosa

      This is a good way to utilize guides. Thus not spoiling anything for yourself during that first play through.

  • Small Charlie

    Yeah, I’ve used them. Actually quite recently too. But I don’t do it often. Oh and guides for trophy hunting doesn’t count in my opinion.

  • Ashley Crookes

    Of course yes…The Legend Of Zelda : Link’s Awakening on Gameboy (not colour!) was the first game that started me on this pasth! You can only spend so many months trying to figure out how to beat one dungeon before you eventually go nuts!

    Oh, and after having beaten Final Fantasy VII on both quarter screen and finally fullscreen (PC version), I had to find all the extras and secrets that were in it (how on earth does one figure out how to obtain “Knights of the Round” materia without a walkthrough?! That’s just insane)

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