"A video game comic and blog that would have been awesome and relevant 10 years ago. Maybe." -Famous Website
We recently got the collector's edition to Horizon Zero Dawn for the PS4. If you've been reading our comics for a bit, you might remember that we also got Odin Sphere a few months back, but we're still missing a core component to enjoying them, the actual PS4 system. ^^ We've been pretty excited about Horizon and a few other games a few months back and were thinking that the PS4's library was finally warming up to having titles that fit our tastes and piqued our interest. =3 We went on Amazon to make a wish list back then, out of curiosity and for fun, but got caught up in the excitement of seeing that the collector's editions of games that we were really interested in were selling for just as much or even cheaper than the normal editions if you have an Amazon Prime account. >.<
I haven't bought a game without having the system to play it on in a long time. I did this a few times back in my late teen years though and I don't think I'm alone. XD It was a different time then; so many games were new and fresh, it seemed like game companies were a little more experimentive and daring, RPG's were (still) a niche genre on consoles, and most video games were system exclusives.
One of the first instances in which I bought a game before the system was for Final Fantasy 7 on the Japanese Playstation. It felt like a no brainer! Sometimes, you're just so blown away, hyped up, and excited about a game, the little kid in you just won't stop tugging at your arms and screaming in your ears. >.< I was a crazed Final Fantasy fan at the time, growing up with the earlier numbered installments on the Super Nintendo. The games were interesting, eye opening, inspiring, and so much fun, I just couldn't get enough of them. Not only that but Squaresoft was THE RPG company. Everything they did seemed amazing. There was a common thought among my high school friends that if the game said Squaresoft, it'll definitely be good. There was so much hype about FF7 that even kids who weren't really console gamers who were in the anime clique were getting excited. One even mentioned to me about his worries about the world ending before the game came out in America. XD
Anyway, being in that kind of state where a game means so much to you, when you have no way to play it, whether due to not having the system, or the absence of a TV; having a nice instruction booklet could mean a big deal. You can only stare at the box and art for so long, but being able to read through a good instruction booklet, it felt like you are somehow remotely involved in the game, having a peek at how its world works. It sometimes sparked questions, curiosity, memories, or feelings of what you've already experienced.
Final Fantasy 6 was one of my first big purchases using my own money. It came with a nice meaty color instruction booklet with beautiful artwork, some character background, brief story, and lots of screenshots. I started the game as soon as I got home and was blown away by every aspect I experienced from it; it had become more than a game, it was as if it had found a place in my heart. One has responsibilities as a middle school kid though of course, school, bed time, and the like. XD I ended up carrying the instruction booklet in my backpack where ever I went, I read it during breaks and reminisced about the experiences I've had, to see the art of for the characters I've come to love, to put it near where I slept, it had become very dear to me and had become my portable window into memories of that story I once tread.
I know this may kind of be an extreme and single example of how having a nice instruction booklet can mean something , and though I haven't had the same passionate love for many other games, I have still enjoyed good times, flipping through the instruction booklets, reminiscing and emotionally re-experiencing my good times in games I love. =) It is a shame that it's not a thing anymore, because though it's great to have a collector's edition with some swag, sometimes, I think it'd be nice to have something a little more in-depth that carries some of the heart of the game.