Customer Reviews: Fallout 3: Game of the Year Edition- Prima Official Game Guide
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on October 14, 2009
Writing guides for expansive games like Fallout 3 must be a daunting task. However, David Hodgson did a fantastic job of organizing this guide in a smooth and logical order.

I ordered this in conjunction with the Fallout 3: GOTY Edition and was very pleased. At over 750 pages, this guide covers every aspect of the game on all platforms (PS3, 360, and PC). As an owner of Hodgson's original Fallout 3 guide released in 2008, I was pleasantly surprised to see a vast number of improvements.

First and foremost: pictures! In the 2008 guide, it listed each enemy, weapon, and armor on pages upon pages of tables. It wasn't flashy, and it wasn't very exciting to look at. Now, though, there is a compendium that includes large, colorful photos of each enemy, weapon, and armor (including helmets and eyewear). Also included is an entire census of NPCs that you will find in the wasteland, each accompanied by a portrait, their location, their significance to the game, and other vitals. This really is a nice touch.

As for the guide itself, each quest is mapped out with the precise locations and steps needed to accomplish each task. The guide avoids spoiling future quests as well. In open-ended games, it's easy to get sidetracked or even completely lost when trying to achieve your goals. That won't happen with the help of this guide.

Just like the previous guide, there is a large foldout map included. It's about as big as a normal size state road map, which just goes to show how big this virtual world really is. Every location that you can unlock on your Pip-Boy map is shown and easily located with the help of a grid system. Never get lost in the Wasteland again!

Additionally, until I purchased the strategy guide for the original Fallout 3, I had no idea how many side quests there were. As it turns out there are about 17 of them (as well as many more in the DLC expansions and countless other freeform "mini" quests). Sometimes to initiate these quests, you must travel way off the beaten path. In fact, they will often be in the far stretches of the Wasteland where you may only stumble on them accidentally. Without this guide, I probably would have missed about half a dozen of them (maybe more). You don't want to miss these quests, either, since many of them offer unique rewards such as secret weapons/armor, hidden perks, followers, and a nice boost in XP as well.

All in all, this is a complete book and there are no glaring omissions. If anything, it has additional helpful content that was left out of the original volume. And since it covers the entire game, including all five DLC expansions, you really can't go wrong. The binding is strong, and overall, it looks and feels a little more polished than the previous guide.

I know some people like to play games without aid, but even then, this guide could come in handle with its immense inventory/bestiary/character database. The pages are crisp and glossy, the pictures are bright and colorful, and the maps are finely detailed.

If you're looking for the definitive Fallout 3: GOTY Edition companion, this is it!
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on October 28, 2009
Here's a quick review of the GOTY Edition for those who want to compare it with the first edition.

The obvious: GOTY Edition contains material on all the new main, miscellaneous and side quests, in the same quality and style as the first edition. All the factions, beasts, weapons, perks, etc. covered in detail. 752 pages versus the original 464 and the binding holds together. Great manual overall, especially if you want to find all the things to do in the game.

What's missing:
- Some of the "Overview" charts; for instance, the 'Perks' overview chart and the 'Weapons, Armor & Items' table are missing. The bestiary and appendices charts are all still there.

What's new:
- An expanded "Factions & Bestiary" section has all the new character classes with pictures.
- A new "Census" section has pictures & some bio information on every NPC in the game (seriously, its 40+ pages).
- A new "Gear" section has pictures, stats & info on all weapons classes and special weapons. I preferred the missing chart for ease of comparison versus looking at 3 identical pictures of gatling lasers but oh well. The Gear section also has pics and stats of all the apparel you can find in the game.
- The fold-out map is updated with new quest locations, a smaller map of Point Lookout is printed on a book page, and the pages changed to a slicker magazine style paper.
- And, saving the best for last: an index! Sorely missing from the first edition this is almost worth the cost of the book alone.

Worth the cost of an upgrade? Yes if you want to get the most out of the new quests or you really need that index. Lots of goodness here.
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on December 30, 2009
My review compares the old Fallout 3 Official Game Guide Collector's Edition (Hardcover) to the new Fallout 3 Game of the Year Collector's Edition (Hardcover).
I will from here on out refer to the old Fallout 3 Official Game Guide Collector's Edition as "the old guide".
I really loved this game and spent more time than I'd like to admit reading the old guide. Mostly, I purchased this new guide so that I could get all the maps for the DLC.

First: I love this guide. It's a joy to read and I can tell the Author loved this game. The vast amount of detail available in this guide is overwhelming. If you're intending on using this guide to its fullest, plan to spend hundreds of hours playing Fallout 3.

Second: My review may sound negative but that's because I'm comparing the old guide to this new one. For what ever reason, Prima decided to not include some very important sections from the old guide into this new one. By no means does it make this new guide unusable. It's still a fantastic guide. This review should merely be used as a reference to compare the two guides. Plus, this is all just my opinion. So, here we go:

Things that are missing from the new guide that shouldn't be:
- Perks Overview chart - Old Guide Page 14
Shows a brief summary of all perks and when you receive them. A very nice summary, but unnecessary. It would have been nice to see an updated version of this table in the new guide revealing all the new DLC perks.

- Character Examples - Old Guide Page 28
Section that helps you create your first character based on how you want to play the game. A real shame they took this out.

- The Wasteland Weapons, Armor, & Items Table Old Guide Pages 41-45
This is a big one. A very nice table showing a summary of all common and unique weapons and armor in the game giving it's weight, cost/value, clip size, ammo type etc... Why did you take this table out Prima?? They did leave in the section of this table dealing with Comestibles and Chems (page 40 of new guide). However, this part of the table is no where near as useful as the weapons and armor section. The weapon and armor section was replaced with a new chapter (chapter 4 pgs 104-148 in the new guide - see below) called "Wasteland Gear" in which it details every weapon/armor and gives a nice description of each. However, this omitted table from the old guide is a lot more useable in that one could compare the weapons and armor quickly. True, all the new extra detail in the new guide is cool, but at the cost of usability. Additionally, in the new guide, they reused the same picture of different versions of weapons over and over again - basically wasting valuable game guide space. This makes no sense.

- Exclusive Content (hardcover only). Like the other reviews already mentioned, Prima deleted the 40 pages at the end of the old guide giving an "exclusive insider look of how they recreated the whole wasteland, the idea(why choose DC, how they make use of the Oblivion heritage and keep the feel of original Blackisle game), the concept art, and the design" (thanks fellow reviewer - Shuhao Cao). This section of the old guide also had a cool little narrative from Moira Brown that was fun to read. Considering Prima wasted a ton of pages on other new sections (see below), it kind of sucks they didn't include this cool section.

Things they added that they shouldn't have:
+ Chapter 3 "The Wasteland Census" New Guide Pages 59-103
In my opinion, 44 wasted pages. This section gives tons of details with pictures of every non-playable character (NPC) in the entire game including downloadable content (DLC). Yes, it's fun to read through, but entirely unnecessary for a game guide. They should have omitted this section in favor of The Wasteland Weapons, Armor, & Items Table which is much more helpful. Additionally, this section should have been in the Appendix, not in the front of the guide.

+ Chapter 4 "Wasteland Gear" New Guide Pages 104-148
Again, a waste of 44 pages. This chapter must have been the reason Prima didn't include "The Wasteland Weapons, Armor, & Items Table" from the old guide. This chapter gives big fancy color pictures of each and every weapon on the game and DLC along with their respective locations and a brief description. In my opinion, this is really "neat" to read but not as user friendly as the old "Wasteland Weapons, Armor, & Items" table in the old guide. This just creates a whole lot more page turning than necessary to compare different weapons and/or armor. Here's an example of the wasted space: page 105 lists 4 Flamer weapons, three of which are unique. Because all 4 of these weapons look identical in the game, Prima decided it was a good idea to put the same picture for all 4 Flamers into the guide. They do this over and over again (3 Gatling Lasers, 3 Alien Blasters, 4 Laser Pistols, 4 Laser Rifles, etc... etc...). Attention: Prima! This section was better in the old guide! Tables are our friends. It's a huge waste of space. I would have no problem with this chapter being in this book if they would have also included "The Wasteland Weapons, Armor, & Items Table" from the old guide. Again, this chapter needs to be in the Appendix.

Things they added that I LOVE
+ All content related to the downloadable content. All the new maps are awesome.
+ Prima updated all appendices with new relevant information from the DLC. Very nice!
+ Prima took the time to update all the page references throughout the entire book to point to the new pages that they refer to. If you think about it, this probably wasn't an easy task.
+ The new magazine style paper is really nice and glossy. Sure made the pages thinner.
+ The big poster sized map is updated detailing all new DLC content.
+ Every guide is uniquely numbered. I guess that's pretty cool.
+ FINALLY - an Index! Hooray!

Mistakes they didn't fix - also in the old guide
:( Lots and lots of spelling mistakes - other reviewers already mentioned this. Prima, it's called spell check... use it!
:( Some minor map mistakes. Example - DC ruins Zone 20 Mason Distinct. The Pulowski Preservation Shelter (20.D) isn't located where it shows in the guide (pages 451-452 new guide). It's up by the statue (20.A). This doesn't happen a whole lot, but when it does, it's kind of confusing. Especially since this shelter holds a Dean's Electronics skill book!

In conclusion - Best guide ever made, period!
I just wish the Oblivion guide was as good as this one.
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on October 17, 2009
I bought the Game of the Year edition of Fallout 3 as soon as it came out. I played for a while and realized that the game was so massive, that for me to discover all the nooks and crannies, I was going to need a little help. I seldom use strategy guides especially with the Internet available to me 24/7, however I do not regret a single bit buying this.

This book is huge by the way. The page count is accurate at 752. It was a lot bigger than I expected. I would consider this more like a Fallout 3 Encyclopedia, rather than a strategy guide. It had a bunch of photos, bios, a walkthru, where to find everything, it's extremely detailed, and is absolutly a must-have for someone with Fallout 3.

The cover is gorgeous, the pages are glossy, and indeed each book is labeled with a Limited Edition #. Not sure how many they made, but considering my book number, they made at least 35,000 of these.

Everything you need or want to know about Fallout is between these pages. If you take care of your items, I would definitly purchase this over the normal strategy guide. Even after Fallout 3 is long gone, I think this would look very nice on my bookshelf.

Amazon had a nice discount on this book when I bought it (About 25 total), but I would've easily paid cover price. If you wanna enjoy the Entire Fallout 3 experience, get this book.
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on October 26, 2009
I received this guide on Friday, and package a little bit cheap but luckily the book itself was intact. Now I ll list a few notable changes in this GOTY edition of Fallout 3 guide

+ finally they added an alphabetical index by the end of the book, now much easier if you want to look for some specific NPC/quest item, etc
+ glossy paper, GOTY guide is about the same as the original guide in terms of thickness but there are 300 pages more than the original one
+ detailed walkthrough of all DLC missions, also the maps of DLCs are integrated respectively into corresponding DLC walkthrough chapter, while the original Tour of the Wasteland section is a stand-alone chapter for the original game, the DLC content is about 260 pages, from chapter 8 to chapter 12
+ completely picturized enemy/weapon/armor/NPC lists revamped into a bestiary chapter, the lists also include all the DLC stuff
+ layout even more compact and intensive than the original guide, not like other game guide with huge texts and blank pages everywhere merely to justify the $20 pricetag(or could be somewhat unconfortable for some nearsighted ppl like me lol)
+ all the +s from the original guide, spoiler tag, quest flowchart including every branch, detailed loot and reward, etc

- the original collector edition guide contained a 40 page exclusive insider look of how they recreated the whole wasteland, the idea(why choose DC, how they make use of the Oblivion heritage and keep the feel of original Blackisle game), the concept art, and the design; However, this part is completely missing in this guide, which is a huge letdown, well I guess the ppl buying this guide already had the original one so this might not be a big problem

Summary: Best guide ever existed in English(I heard the japanese The Last Remnant guide has over 1000 pages with even smaller texts lol), if you are looking for a guide of Fallout 3, this is the definitive one; also for those who curious about why the paper guide not some online guide like gamefaqs, well this guide is kinda unique, there is still no electronic guide as comprehensive and vivid as this one, and the guide is very elegant in literature, which is very pleasant to read.
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VINE VOICEon June 27, 2010
This full-color, fully-illustrated book clocks in at 752 8.5"x11" pages. If that is not a testament to its depth, I don't know what is.

As its name suggests, this guide covers the main game and all five expansions, including complete walkthroughs of both the main quests and all the secondary and freeform quests. The book also has detailed maps of every location in the game, all the items in said locations, enemies you can encounter, and anything else you would want to know.

There is also a complete listing of all the characters you may encounter, and similar listings of all the available weapons and clothing. All include about a paragraph of description and a list of stats.

Every quest, prior to the walkthrough, is presented in a flow-chart format, so you can quickly see at a glance the ideal path for your character. There are also markers throughout the walkthrough guiding you on the karmic implications of any actions you might take.

Handy appendices in the back list locations of item sets (e.g. mini-nukes or bobbleheads), achievements/trophies and logs/holotapes (needed for some quests/achievements).

The book also comes with a full-size poster with a map of the entire Capital Wasteland on one side and detailed maps of the DC Metro area on the other.

And, to top it all off, it has a complete listing of perks and stats, with tips on how to level up. In short, if you want the full Fallout experience, you want this book.
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on July 23, 2010
This is the most informative game guide that I have ever scanned. The detail is unbelievable and necessary. I truly believe one needs this guide to properly get thru this game.

This is one game that I believe will keep me involved for a very long time. Its worth the money for the hours of entertainment it brings and the guide makes the quest real and informed. No wasted motion now.

The book opens windows of information and gives one a better sense of what the game is all about. Challenges are easier to handle and makes the game less frustrating in parts.

Well, the guide really helps.
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on June 19, 2010
This is exactly the kind of game guide I love to read: it has use beyond just holding your hand through a game (though it can do that too if you prefer it). I felt that every facet of the game was addressed, from the opening chapters detailing game mechanics, enemy types, and every piece of equipment you might find, to the meticulously cataloged Tour chapter that points out every location you might conceivably visit and what you'll likely find there.

To top it all off, the back of the guide contains not only a large world map, but an index that somehow manages to cover all the material the guide contains while also making it easy to find what you want nearly all the time. The only topic the index is less-than-helpful finding is the DC Metro Area--you'll need to refer to its section of the Tour chapter directly to browse the many locations in downtown DC. That is the one, fairly minor, caveat to this otherwise excellent tome, and at 752 pages, it is *definitely* a tome.
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on July 8, 2010
If you're thinking about getting this, just get it. It has a ton of information. After I play through a quest or area, I'll check the guide to find things that I missed. If I get stuck, I'll consult this guide. It's all there. You'll probably overlook a few quests without this. I even sit and read the book for fun when my wife is using the TV. The maps could be a little better, but the book does cover a lot!
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on June 8, 2014
OK, I hate the main quest: My "Dad" is annoying in both speech and behavior... But the open world of the Wasteland is epic: I love, love, love the "self-appointed" quests of
1. ...going to Rivet City to access copious ammo...
2. ...going to Canterberry Commons to get better inventory for Lucky Harith...
3. ...going to The Museum of History for Lincoln's repeater... (.44 caliber unique "small gun" repairable with a hunting rifle)...
4. ...going to save Red so I can wear her bandanna...
5. ...getting the Reservist's rifle...
6 ...getting my pad in Megaton and then (eventually) killing all life in Ten-Penny Tower...
7. ...doing the quests for Moira...
A post-apocalyptic world is not a great place to live, except here, virtually!

"Eat, love, play Fallout 3" ...? :-)
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