Videogame books

Anything to do with games at all.
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jawafour
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PostVideogame books
by jawafour » Mon Mar 16, 2015 2:11 pm

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Videogame books have rarely been discussed in GRcade... but I'm becoming a bit of a fan of them! I think it's due to the decline of the game manual; books have become a kind of replacement and I enjoy reading through the additional information that they contain.

This thread is designed to give you the opportunity to share your thoughts about any kind of videogame book; guides, art books, story books, design books and anything else.

I've got a reasonable collection of guides - perhaps around sixty - and I may focus on one now and again to share a few pics and comments. I'm just getting into the recent "Art of..." books and I hope to feature a couple of them, too.

How about you? Do you use gaming guides or enjoy flicking through the art books?

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GrinWithoutaKat
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PostRe: Videogame books
by GrinWithoutaKat » Mon Mar 16, 2015 2:13 pm

Best gaming book I've ever read is Game Over by David Sheff. To some it may be obvious that you don't get as big as Nintendo without being a bit underhanded, but some of the stuff they did back in the 80s... EA ain't got nothing on them.

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PostRe: Videogame books
by PsychicSykes » Mon Mar 16, 2015 2:21 pm

Gonna have to second the mention of Game Over. A fascinating look into how Nintendo grew to be the entertainment powerhouse it is. The chapter on Tetris is arguably worth the price of admission alone.

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PostRe: Videogame books
by Cheeky Devlin » Mon Mar 16, 2015 2:23 pm

PsychicSykes wrote:Gonna have to second the mention of Game Over. A fascinating look into how Nintendo grew to be the entertainment powerhouse it is. The chapter on Tetris is arguably worth the price of admission alone.

+1 for Game Over. Fantastic book and the Tetris section is excellent.

I've also read Masters Of Doom, the one about GTA by the same author, Raising The Bar and I'm sure there were one or two more. Oh and Hyrule Historia.

I tend to prefer "making of" books rather than straight up artwork books though.

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PostRe: Videogame books
by Qikz » Mon Mar 16, 2015 2:24 pm

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Is one of the only "video game books" if you don't count the Steins;Gate novels which I'm partway through that I've read and it's an incredible story.

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PostRe: Videogame books
by Gently-Parted Ringpiece » Mon Mar 16, 2015 2:26 pm

I hear Masters of Doom is pretty rad.

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PostRe: Videogame books
by Trelliz » Mon Mar 16, 2015 2:30 pm

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Got this when it came out, seems to be worth a fair bit now.

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PostRe: Videogame books
by jawafour » Mon Mar 16, 2015 2:32 pm

I haven't read Game Over but it sounds interesting - I'll keep an eye out for it.

I have a copy of The Art of Dead Space on the way. I've not got that far into the first game yet, but I love the atmospheric styling and the book appears to contain a wealth of great images.

As for game guides, I'm referring to the Watch Dogs Guide: Collectors Edition at the moment. It's proving useful; I like the layout and the text quality appears very good so far. It's a real beast of a guide, weighing in at over 550 pages. My copy does have a quirk, however - the outer cover is upside down compared to the pages!

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PostRe: Videogame books
by Cal » Mon Mar 16, 2015 2:33 pm



Best video game book I ever got.

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PostRe: Videogame books
by darksideby182 » Mon Mar 16, 2015 2:34 pm

Zelda hyrule historia

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PostRe: Videogame books
by Mafro » Mon Mar 16, 2015 2:34 pm

Trelliz wrote:Image

Got this when it came out, seems to be worth a fair bit now.

Bought Rog's copy a few years ago and still haven't read it :fp:

I've still got my free copy of Game Over that came with Arcade magazine.

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PostRe: Videogame books
by jawafour » Mon Mar 16, 2015 2:37 pm

Cal wrote:(The Art of Alien: Isolation)... Best video game book I ever got.

That does look terrific, Cal. I recall you mentioning that you loved the Alien atmosphere and that book looks to be packed full of it.

Incidentally, I noticed that the video author was "Parka" - he has done loads of book review vids on Amazon and they're ace for getting a preview. I watched his Art of Dead Space vid before I ordered it :-).

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PostRe: Videogame books
by OrangeRakoon » Mon Mar 16, 2015 2:44 pm

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Greatest videogame novelisations ever written!

Strategy guides can be great. The Oracle of Ages/Oracle of Seasons pocket guide is super neat, with it being reversible/flippable depending on the game, for example. The Jak II and Jak 3 strategy guides are awesome in that they include a load of art, world-building information and extra backstory (Jak 3 guide has a whole section on what happened to all the characters from TPL following the game which I love).

Most recent purchase is The Art of NaughtyDog, which is great throughout but I found doubly interesting for the Jak and Daxter early concept work and the part about the revisited, "realistic" Jak reboot that never got anywhere prior to The Last of Us being made.

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PostRe: Videogame books
by Cal » Mon Mar 16, 2015 2:45 pm

jawafour wrote:
Cal wrote:(The Art of Alien: Isolation)... Best video game book I ever got.

That does look terrific, Cal. I recall you mentioning that you loved the Alien atmosphere and that book looks to be packed full of it.

Incidentally, I noticed that the video author was "Parka" - he has done loads of book review vids on Amazon and they're ace for getting a preview. I watched his Art of Dead Space vid before I ordered it :-).


What I love about it is that it's a kind of 'source book' for the art and style of the Alien universe (and 'industrial sci-fi' design in general). A fantastic resource for 3D designers - a sort of style guide. I would love to have worked on a book like that, but Titan Books did a great job!

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PostRe: Videogame books
by IAmTheSaladMan » Mon Mar 16, 2015 4:57 pm

I have a large collection of Final Fantasy guide books. I have VII through XII (not XI btw). I'm not keen on the VII guide as it's an American book by Brady Games and not as high quality as the Piggyback guides you get here, bought it off eBay assuming it was the Piggyback version.

They are mostly good, comprehensive strategy guides, the FFX book is especially detailed however the FFIX book is notoriously substandard. A lot of stuff is only glossed over as it prompts you to type in key words at Square's website from the time which is no longer live if memory serves.

I used to have a load more for a bunch of other games at one time Lost Odyssey, Blue Dragon, Baten Kaitos and Dragon Quest VIII spring to mind but they were taking too much space at my parents house so I either gave them away or threw them out over the years.

I think in the era of the internet the old fashioned strategy guide book is a little outdated and to be honest even while using a book for the broader aspects of an FF game I still google what item I need for a certain ability say online as it is quicker than consulting complex reference tables.

Last edited by IAmTheSaladMan on Mon Mar 16, 2015 5:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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PostRe: Videogame books
by Lotus » Mon Mar 16, 2015 5:04 pm

I've got two artwork books; a Zelda one (Hyrule Historia) and an EVE Online one (The Art of Eve Online). This in spite of the fact I've never played EVE. :slol: (it was a PR gift).

I also have a Skyrim guide which was bought for me, but I haven't used.

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PostRe: Videogame books
by OLIN » Mon Mar 16, 2015 8:47 pm

Full text of the Game Over book is here if you don't want to stump out the cash to read it:

http://archive.org/stream/Game_Over_199 ... g_djvu.txt

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PostRe: Videogame books
by Venom » Mon Mar 16, 2015 8:50 pm

Do official game guides count as game books?! :simper:
The last time I read it was years ago but have to agree with Game Over. It gives an insight into the intrigue behind the early console wars. I'd love to read an equivalent book about Sega, Sony, Microsoft or again Nintendo. The problem is people are tied up with NDAs. But there are stories that shouldn't be lost so I hope the companies one day allow the people to talk.

I also like the Guinness book of video games which used to come out every year around Valentines. It was just a nice, easy fun read of all kinds of info about the past year in the industry, without any negativity. GRcade's Rudderless was a contributor! But for some reason it wasn't released this year. I will try and get hold of the GTA one if it's good.

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PostRe: Videogame books
by AndyXL » Mon Mar 16, 2015 11:19 pm

The Prima Zelda Strategy guides are great, especially the limited edition hardback ones.

Nice covers, artwork and great description of the game. I often read them after I completed the game :-)

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PostRe: Videogame books
by jawafour » Tue Mar 17, 2015 10:10 am

Venom wrote:I also like the Guinness book of video games which used to come out every year...

I must admit that I'd steered clear of them, Venom, not realising that they contained decent content. I'll keep an eye out for any future edition.
AXL wrote:The Prima Zelda Strategy guides are great, especially the limited edition hardback ones...

They really are top notch, AXL! I'm a big fan of the simple, bold designs on the hardback editions.


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