Ask A-Rod: When to use Walkthroughs and Game Guides
This week’s Ask A-Rod question comes from ThinkingwithPortals via e-mail.
Cheating. Giving up. There are a lot of labels that go along with making public your use of walkthroughs. Gamers who consider themselves of the hardcore persuasion would sooner use a game guide for toilet paper than open it up when stumped or challenged, but they don’t speak for everyone.
Here are a few rules that you may want to abide by when it comes to using walkthroughs and guides:
Rule #1. – Always try it first without the walkthrough
It may seem basic, but some people just feel comfortable playing games with the walkthrough open right from the get-go. Do they refer back line by line? Some do actually. But this could ruin your experience so give it a shot without the helpers first.
Rule #2. – Don’t spiral out of control
Say you’re stuck and you have to check a walkthrough. Once you get your answer, try your best to complete subsequent challenges without going back. There’s always that urge to look again and solve all of your problems, especially after the first hit.. but think of it as a gateway drug – you don’t want to become dependent on the guide for the rest of the game.
Rule #3. – Some genres are meant to be puzzling (see: Puzzle Games)
There are some games that exist purely to perplex you. For these games, I always urge gamers to try your darnedest to leave the walkthroughs alone. The essence of the game is to use logic to advance. Not only do the walkthroughs play these types of games for you, I’d go as far as calling it cheating – what are YOU really doing?
#4. – The Hy-Rule
And the last rule is a promise every gamer should make to themself. No matter how long it takes, no matter how much backtracking I have to do, I will never use a walkthrough for certain franchises because the satisfaction of making it through is borderline-orgasmic. The Legend of Zelda is one of these franchises (seriously, how good is that chime when you correctly solve a puzzle? amirite?)
It pains me to admit it, but when I’ve been walking around aimlessly for 2 hours without the slightest idea how to progress in a game, I sometimes consult a walkthrough. I do it because at this point, the game is more frustrating than fun, and I play to get away from those sorts of feelings, not amplify them. So the next time you find yourself reaching for (googling) those game guides, consult your own personal set of rules – because this shit right here? This builds character.