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309 of 324 people found the following review helpful
on November 12, 2011
Format: Hardcover
You could beat a dragon's skull in with this guide.

The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim Collectors Edition: Prima Official Game Guide is immaculate. Meticulously detailed maps, thorough, well-written quest guides both comprehensive and clear, and every item, vendor, and trainer location in the game have been sewn in to this masterfully rendered tome.

The details of what comes with this guide are on the page, so an in-depth analysis would be both tedious and unnecessary.

I have owned the guides for most of my RPGs including Oblivion, Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas as well as Mass Effect, Mass Effect II, Fable II and Fable III. This one is the best out of them all.

This guide took 2000 hours for Prima to complete, and it shows. If you want the most out of this game, if you want explore every nook and cranny, this guide is the perfect companion.

For those of you who might be worried, this hard-cover guide is made to last. A Harry Potter book probably isn't as tough-looking as this.

My only complaint, and this is an infinitesimally small one, is that the physical map that comes with the guide is connected to the guide itself (which is typical of almost every guide I have ever owned) and must be torn out. This very often (at least for yours truly) results in the edges of the map being torn. However, Prima makes up for this issue raises the bar of game guides by including a code to an online interactive map which may be accessed from any computer.

This is a beautiful, well-written, long-lasting and vast guide that is perfect for a game vast enough to call for it.
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97 of 106 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon November 11, 2011
Format: Paperback
When it comes to an RPG game, you know that it'll be massive. So much so that some of those games will require you to get the strategy guide because with a game as big as Skyrim, you need the guide to help you get around this massive world. So I went to my local Gamestop and was the first customer of the day and was also the first to purchase this huge almost 700 page guide. And it's huge and helpful.

What you will find in this guide is everything you ever wanted to know about the game: Every major quest and side quests. Tips on beating the enemies, all locations for the goodies. All magic potions and spells. A map poster, Every inn, every guild, every side game. I could mention everything but it's best to let you the reader be surprised on your own.

All I can say is that with The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim walk through, playing the game will be a breeze because you'll never get stuck and you'll be able to know how to beat a dragon or a tough guy through this book.

Enjoy the world of Skyrim and happy reading.
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88 of 100 people found the following review helpful
on November 11, 2011
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I just got my Skyrim Collector's Guide this morning delivered by ONTRAC. Thanks Amazon! WOW: this guide is HUGE. It comes sealed in plastic and has the Free Access to the Interactive World Map Code inside. This is worth the price alone, imho. The interactive world map is awesome if you truly want to discover everything there is in Skyrim. The guide itself is beautifully illustrated and is a MONSTER of valuable info. This is a must-have purchase for any fan of The Elder Scrolls or serious collector. I will use this guide for playing the game with but I want to get another just for my collection and leave it untouched and displayed. BLOWN AWAY!!!
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon November 16, 2011
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
This guide is a true work of art. Everything from the art work, to the layout, to the sturdiness of its frame, this strategy guide is a rarity in that most people will actually look forward to perusing its pages instead of feeling forced to resort to it when they get stuck on a battle or puzzle. Its insane level of detail and high quality of writing make this guide a gorgeous companion to one of the best games ever created.

This book epitomizes bulk with its 656 pages of information. Keep in mind that not a single page is wasted, and the type in this tome is pretty small. There really is that much to write about with Skyrim. The layout is clean and concise with a table of contents and index that is just as detailed as you could ever hope it to be. I searched several monsters, quests, and items in the index and had no issues finding multiple entries for each search.

The guide is scrupulous when it comes to explaining precisely what you need in order to best a beast, make a concoction, or complete all quests in a certain sub-category. At the same time, the writers are very clear that Skyrim is a game that you can play however you like, and emphasize that even though there are so many choices in Skyrim, you can still attain anything you want regardless of the path the guide instructs. This is thanks to the game itself, mostly, but the writers have a great sense of humor about the density of the guide, and how it can help you.

As I mentioned before, this book stands alone with its size. When you crack it open it sounds like one of the many books you encounter in the game itself: heavy duty binding, high quality paper; this thing creaks open like a book meant to last the ages. As thick as the guide is, it doesn't dilly-dally. You will not see any goofy introduction, no "welcome to the world of Skyrim" preamble, it gets right to the point and illustrates an incredibly painstaking training portion that lasts over 100 pages. It's fun to read, as well. I was afraid it would be a bit of a spoiler while reading the training portion, but with a game this immense you realize that it's thoroughly impossible to give anything major away. Unlike the guide for Oblivion, there aren't as many pictures in the guide of Skyrim. It is much more focused on writing every detail with as much clarity as possible, so when you open this book you will see that it literally is a geyser of information. There simply isn't any room for as many pictures, which is fine with me. However, they will always include something, on every page, that clearly illustrates what they're taking about.

The best feature of this guide is the access you receive to the online interactive map. The map is a Java enabled illustration that highlights side paths, hold locations, secondary locations, dragon priest masks, marriage prospects, etc. The map acts like any map you would find on Google with the ability to zoom in or zoom out. I recommend using the map with the Google Chrome browser installed as it works exceptionally well with Java and obviously, Google. I have used the interactive map several times, and with my Apple trackpad it's a treat to use.

My only complaint with this guide is with typos. Whoever proofread this thing must have been drunk, because there are typos on every single page, and it gets annoying. It doesn't ruin anything, but when you have a high quality writer painstakingly notating every bit of minutiae in Skyrim, and to consistently run into typo after typo, well, it's hard to ignore. For example, on page 10, it reads "If you're focused on (let's not use the term 'obsessed') with increasing your favorite Skills, be sure visit their trainers often". Two typos in one sentence? Unfortunately, yes. This type of thing is spread throughout the book, so be ready.

Despite that minor grumble, this collector's edition guide is one of the best and most thorough pieces of video game literature I've ever seen. With the quality of its print, the density of its words, and limited nature of its run, I recommend it highly to any fan of the Elder Scrolls series.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on November 16, 2011
Format: Paperback
Skyrim is pretty much my first RPG so I wanted to pick up the guide to refer to if I got stuck. If you're having trouble deciding which race to pick, which skills to develop, or which magic to concentrate on, this guide gives an overview of everything to help build your character. So far that's how this guide has helped me the most - developing my character.

The first 100 or so pages explain the basics - characters, skills, perks, training, items, etc. The next 300 pages are basically a walkthrough of every main quest, side quest, and other quest. I love being able to play the game and follow along in the guide then check the box once I complete a quest. The last 300 pages give an overview of every location, including maps of dungeons and caves and what you find at each of these locations. It's handy being able to have this open instead of constantly pressing buttons to check the in-game map. Finally, there is a big fold out map that you can tear out of the book. It's far more detailed than the map in the game and a lot nicer to look at.

If you like the idea of having a book filled with pretty much everything you need to know about Skyrim, then this guide is perfect to have right next to you to refer to at any moment. Enjoy!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on November 24, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book I just had to write a review on. I am not a Guide Book guy at all but Skyrim being so vast and such an interesting place I wanted to make sure that I explored it all and at this price it just was too good to pass up.
The detail and passion that went into this guide is remarkable and is seen on every page.
It comes with a very large fold up map
The book is 653 Pages!
Lists all potion combinations.
Lists all Beasts and Creatures (Strengths, Weaknesses, Levels etc)
Has a TON of checklists that one could make their own master check list out of while exploring Skyrim.
And it has every location, dungeon, and point of interest labeled and discussed. I guess one could say its the GPS for Skyrim.
It also has walks-through of each of the quests, each civil war side, each Guild, and main quest.
The towns, the Dragon Language (also converted to english), the song lyrics, 'builds' of certain classes, an atlas of each Hold Territory and much more.

I really like going into a new hold/territory then reading in the book its history and interesting points.
I can see how much work and care went into this little gem, definately worth the purchase.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on November 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I have used this book for over a week now, and all I can say is, "Wow, HOW did they do this?" Yes, I've still had to Google some things, but this guide is simply amazing and I will try to do it justice with this review.

FORM:
- The size of this book is about 5-6 legal pads stacked together, but maybe 0.5" wider.
- One of the things that distinguish the Collector's Edition is a picture that wraps around the cover, front and back. I really like the matte feeling of this cover and the pages inside.
- Yes, it does have very small type, probably the equivalent of an 8 or 9 Times New Roman type, but the paper is a nice thickness, so without the small type this book would have to ressemble my law school textbooks.
- It has TWO ribbon bookmarks. Great idea as you really do need to tab more than one page at a time.

ORGANIZATION:
Personally I would have cried if I were faced with the task of organizing a comprehensive Skyrim guide in book form, so the folks at Prima really did an amazing job. The book is divided into the following sections:
- Getting Started, which is more like a miscellaneous-overview section, as it includes Crafting, Horses, what happens when you commit crimes, and other general info.
- Bestiary, which lists all the mobs, and it has a section that lists the Items too.
- Quests (this section takes up the bulk of the book),
- Maps
- Appendices and Index.

The Quests section is organized by Type/Faction. Let me explain what I mean. The first section is the Main Quests section, divided into Act I, II, and III. Then follows quests for The Companions, then the Winterhold people, then Thieves Guild, then the Dark Brotherhood, and so on, wrapping up with a Side Quests section. At the beginning of each subsection, there's a checklist of all the quests in that subsection. This checklist is handy for keeping track of what you have done as well as being a nice table of contents.

These are true walkthroughs! Description of each quest will tell you all the important things that will happen during the quest. It does NOT repeat the in-game quest description, but goes something like "Go here, talk to X, X will do Y, then you pick up [Quest Objective in Bold Type]." If the quest area has optional stuff that might become important later, it will note that as well (the Glenmoril witches' heads come to mind)

My only gripe is that the quest names are not listed in the Index. :( Maybe that would make the Index too long? I don't know. But if you're trying to find a specific quest, it might take a bit of effort, and you'd have to know where you got the quest, like, is it just a side quest? Did the Dark Brotherhood give it to me?

The Maps section is also excellent. Location names ARE listed in the Index, which is nice. For each location you'd first get a map with numbered rooms, followed by sequenced notation of each number on the map. For example, the city of Whiterun is #6. So first you see a map of Whiterun, then you see 6.01 - The City Gate, followed by a short description and anything of interest (SKILLBOOKS!!!, unique gear, etc.) to be found there, then 6.02, 6.03, so on.

ACCURACY:
It's not 100% accurate, but pretty close. Some items I find have small discrepancies between the Damage, Weight, and Value numbers in the actual game and in the guide. There were also some typos, but these are few and far between. I'm normally very nitpicky about these things, and they did not bother me in this book. The quest walkthroughs were pretty much spot-on, so are the points of interests in the maps, so it got right all the things that actually matter.

One caveat is that if you're facing a difficult boss fight, the guide doesn't have very detailed information on fight strategy. For those, I've had to look to the internet for help.

TL;DR: So much work went into this guide, and it shows! It is extremely--and more importantly, ACCURATELY--detailed. As well-organized as one can possibly expect from a non-digital (read: can't ctrl + f) guide of a game as mind-bogglingly huge as Skyrim.
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37 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on December 2, 2011
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I bought Oblivion's guide, which actually arrived a week before the game arrived, and I really enjoyed it, so I thought I would really enjoy this guide as well.

Well, Skyrim's guide arrived 2 weeks after the game. Not as good, and really not the fault of the guide, but I'm sharing my experience.

The major issue with the guide, though, is the lack of order: you'll have a very hard time finding what you need. For example: When looking for tips on a quest in the index, one quest is labeled 'Daedric Quest: xxxx', the other quest is labeled: 'Radiant quest: xxxx'. The guide has such a long index, why not list how the quest is called, instead of grouping it to different quest types so I'll have to guess whether what I'm stuck at is a radiant quest, a side quest, a miscellaneous objective (that's right, they have a 'miscellaneous objective' category, whatever that is), a dungeon quest, a daedric quest, a certain guild's quest and some quests are just listed in the index for their main item: 'Calcelmo's ring', for example, or simply as the quest's name. Honestly, it's a complete mess. How about simply having a 'Quests' category and that's it?

If searching for a quest's walkthrough in this guide requires actually twice the time to actually run it in youtube, then I think something went terribly wrong here.

The guide is also filled with many inaccuracies which really damage the guide's relevancy. For example: it's written in the guide that Summoned Dremora Lords use a Daedric mace, when they use Daedric Greatsword, or list that the Dremora Lords also use certain spells, which they never do (they may know how to cast those, but if they never do, why list it?). There's also the warning about summoning a bound sword: 'you can't dual cast the spell to get one sword in each hand, you'll have to cast it one hand at a time', which is clearly wrong, as dual casting a bound sword simply creates a sword in each hand. How can I know if the statistics and other 'tips' are accurate or not if they got even the basic information and tips wrong.

Then there are the not so rare misspell, or the repeating the repeating of certain words of certain words in quite a few paragraphs. In a tome this large I won't hold this against the author, but it is worth pointing out.

I could forgive the inaccuracies and editing issues, but the only reason I bought this guide is to quickly search for tips in certain quests. If I can't do even that properly, then the guide has mostly decorative purposes for me, which is a shame.

In short - yes, this guide looks fantastic, but when looking at its usefulness, either when compared to Oblivion's guide or when judging it on its own merits, the bottom line is that it's not a very good guide, in my opinion.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 22, 2011
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
This guide sets a new standard for game guides. It's answered every question I've had without a single inaccuracy. Every quest is covered, every beast, every ingredient, every skill book location, not to mention dungeon maps, gear tables, character builds, etc.

The author has managed to document every little detail of the game (as far as I can tell) and get it right. Bethesda ought to hire this guy and make him the head of quality assurance, because he's clearly an OCD perfectionist detail-freak of rare order. Which isn't to say the guide is just a cold hard list of facts: the tone is engaging and even humorous at times. It's actually a pleasure to read.

Oh, and it has a good index, which makes it much easier to find what you're looking for.

This guide is a must buy for anyone who wants to dig into the depths of this game, if you don't mind getting a little help along the way.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on May 24, 2012
Format: Paperback
Quick review of the Skyrim game guide, it is TOTTALY worth it and is a must have, (cheaper on Amazon).
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