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    " If this is what strategy guides are going to be like in the future, I am just going to stop buying them. "

   Title: Final Fantasy IX Official Strategy Guide by Brady Games

   Format: PSX Strategy guide

   Reviewing Monkey: Simi N.

   The Hype: Detailed Walkthrough, Support & Action abilities, Equipment lists & Statistics, and support from PlayOnline. com.

      What This Monkey Thought...

   Layout: This strategy guide looks very nice. It looks so good in fact, that you almost want to put it in a protective comic book style sleeve so that it doesn’t ever get tainted by your foul monkey filth. But if you did that it would be a pain in the ass to get to when you need it (not to mention all the razzing you’d get from your friends). The information in the book is provided in a logical order, first going over the basics of the game, then introducing the characters, and then displaying their abilities, after which the book launches into the full walkthrough, followed by a section on side quests, and finally a bestiary. All of the information is presented nicely in an easy to read font, and with full color pages and nice pictures. As far as aesthetics are concerned this is one of the nicest looking strategy guides I’ve ever seen. 5 out of 5

   Usefulness: Overall, this book is mostly just for monkeys who want to beat the game and get only a small taste of the Final Fantasy universe. The walkthrough is very thorough and will tell you everything you need to know in order to breeze through the game. Now, with that in mind, what about those who want more in a guide? Those who want to get everything in the game - all the beast weapons and all the secrets no matter how pointless they may be? Well, you can almost say it’s good for them, too…However, that’s only because with it you get to access’s Final Fantasy IX strategy section (more on this in a second). But if you buy this book and you don’t have a computer, or you are just like me and you have one, but despise it, the book alone will not help you get the secrets very well at all. 3 out of 5

   Desired Content: See, here is where this book falls flat. I’m not sure what the rest of the world does, but when I buy a strategy guide, I don’t ever buy it just so I can use it to beat the game. RPGs usually are not very hard, they are just time consuming. When I buy a strategy guide, I have already beaten the game, and just want to know how to get all the extras that I missed the first time around. And it is also nice to have the weapons list, and the bestiary. *** Warning: Rant Brewing.*** So, when I read this strategy guide, I was pretty thoroughly pissed off. Why? Well, the guide had almost no information on side quests and secrets. In order to find out about these, you have to get online and use the keywords given in the book to access the different parts of the site. Well to put it bluntly that Sucks ASS! The reason people buy strategy guides instead of just logging online to one of the million sites that could provide them with the same information, is so they can have that information in a small easy to handle form. Rather than having to go to their computer and wait for their modem to connect, read a bit about their game, and then go back to their Playstation and start playing. Most people know this; it’s common sense. So bother to include such a stupid feature? I theorize that it is all about making more money. By putting less information in the book, Brady Games is saving money on the cost of printing, while at the same time they are advertising for and as such getting butt loads of money from them. Unless of course they own in which case they are just assuring themselves more visitors to that site which means more money from more and better advertisers. This has got to stop. If this is what strategy guides are going to be like in the future, then I am just going to stop buying them. What's more, as if all that wasn't enough to agitate you, the damned log in for PlayOnline is also pretty screwy, and half the time you won't be able to sign up anyway. Although I should say that, to be fair, the site has everything that should have been in the strategy guide: tons of useful information, including all of the side quests, and secrets…If you really feel like being a rube and logging on to it. 2 out of 5

   Accuracy: All of the information contained in this book is very accurate. It should also be noted that all of the information that I have accessed online is accurate as well. The book will never lead you down a wrong path, or lead you to believe that you will get something different than you actually will. And that is always a comforting thought. 5 out of 5

   The Verdict:

       I thought about giving it less, but I figured that I shouldn’t let my emotions get me too pissed off and give an unfair assessment of this guide’s value. After all it may not be useful to me, but I know that it will be useful to people who approach their RPGs differently. Besides the information that it does contain is accurate, and it really does look very nice.

   The Good: Beautiful presentation, aesthetically stunning, thorough walkthrough.

   The Bad: sucks, its support sucks, and is an insult to gamers everywhere.

   The Overall Ugly: This book will provide you with all necessary information that you will need to beat the game. It will also give you charts on all the weapons, armor, abilities, and enemies in the game. And if that’s not enough, it will also provide you with access to which has this information and more available to the person with the correct keyword. But logging on to an Internet site is not what most people buy strategy guides for.

   What it's Worth: : For someone who just wants to beat the game this guide is worth maybe twenty bucks. But those who want all the info would be better off saving their money and frustration buy finding one of the thousand free FFIX strategy/walkthrough sites.

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