Top critical review
59 people found this helpful
Not quite collectible
on February 2, 2012
As an owner of the original collectors edition XIII guide you'll notice several things.
1. The pages are thinner. (thinner book compared to the original, even though this one has more pages)
2. The books are not numbered by their print run.
3. Those with a keen eye for book bindings will also notice the binding is glued and not sewn like the original.
4. The "hard" covers are rather mushy and soft to the touch. (recycled cardboard?)
Piggyback definitely cut some corners here. Although with thinner pages it stays open without the pages flipping by themselves. However, due to the heavy ink use on graphics, the thinner pages are wavy throughout. (Although they will flatten more over time)
The major issue I have with the build quality is the binding. Sewn bindings will stand the test of time, whereas glued bindings will inevitably fall apart with use or with age as the glue dries out. Between this and the thinner pages, it feels like I could rip a page out by accident if I'm not careful, whereas the original book felt much more sturdy and higher quality.
Other than that, this book has much more beautiful page layouts and artwork than the original - it really blew me away how beautiful it is when I first flipped through it. The graphs are fantastic and the foil logo on the cover is really shinny and reflects in the light.
Regarding the actual content...
1. Layout sucks. It's structured more like an encyclopedia, having you flip through various sections. It's easy to miss something.
2. All-encompassing Inventory and Bestiary not so all-encompassing; doesn't include extras like the Serah costume, Genji bow, or Omega boss information.
3. Seems to be very wordy and dry on information you can already find in-game. It's an information overload at times. I wish they'd just cut to the chase most of the time.
The layout is a completionists bane. The main walkthrough is barely 40 pages and doesn't include ANY maps or treasure information. It's just a go here do that, fight this boss type of thing with the occasional overly wordy Primer/tutorial sections which you can already read in-game. All of the maps, treasures, and monster info are in their own section; the "Tour Guide". Not to mention the wakthrough and tour guide sections don't provide you with LIVE triggers and rewards. That info is all the way at the back of the book.
So in short, this book has you flipping back and forth from the Walkthrough to the Tour Guide, to the LIVE section, then to the crystarium section. They should have included four ribbon bookmarks and not two because of this silly layout, why couldn't they just include this all in the walkthrough instead? Does anyone really buy a guide just to play the game like a movie and skip every treasure and bonus? completionists are their main audience and I think Piggyback has lost touch with that. People buy guides so they don't miss any missable items and/or to get a 100% completion. Getting a 100% completion with this book is a job in of itself due to the layout.
And regarding the tour guide section, they only mark treasure on the maps for the first time you visit a zone.
Okay I know this really sounds overly negative but this book really is a joy to hold in your hands and own because of how beautiful it is. but that's about all it's good for... have on a shelf for maybe a decade before the glued binding falls apart and the pages come loose... real collectible eh? I'm so tempted to go online and look for a better walkthrough. However, with that said, the sections on character crystarium and monster crystarium are really pretty good with easy to read tables and graphs. I found the crystarium pages especially helpful, except for being located at the back of the book and having Noel's picture on Serah's page.
At least this book was cheap, but I'd much rather pay extra for a real high quality collectible. Please don't cheap out on us again Piggyback!