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Showing 1-10 of 406 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 425 reviews
on March 12, 2014
Future Press made the guide for the original Dark Souls. It was probably one of the most helpful strategy guides I'd ever used. The layout and design made it user friendly, but more importantly, the strategies and info contained within the guide were invaluable. As far as strategy guides were concerned, very few could compliment their game the way the original Dark Souls guide did. So I was very pleased to see that Future Press made a guide for Dark Souls II. And I was even more pleased to see that they stuck to the same design they used for the first guide. That is to say that this guide is very user friendly and has A LOT of information for the player. It is an encyclopedia for Dark Souls II. If you need a leg up in Dark Souls II this guide will give it to you.

The guide begins by explaining all the basics and the game system. Even Dark Souls veterans might want to start here as there are a few major changes from the first game. While combat hasn't changed much it is worth reading about things such as the Human Effigy system and how dying works in this one. Beyond that all the basics are still there. If there's more that you want to learn about combat, you can find it here. But the most useful stuff is all the preliminary things. The guide not only fully details combat and everything there is to know about it, but it also talks about all the stats and attributes. It also gives a run down of all the classes and how to best develop them. More than that, it even helps you get started by suggesting a gift for veterans (or non veterans) to take. If you are confused about anything in Dark Souls II you should most definitely start with the game basics section of this guide. Without it you'll be lost. It also gives you basic tips about exploring. Basic tips on how to utilize some stats to the best of their ability. These are all things to take in. Most guides typically tend to focus on the most basic of basic stuff, but Future Press really seems to want you to understand the game you're playing. Being that Dark Souls II doesn't really explain anything to you (such as advanced combat) it's probably a good thing. Even returning Dark Souls veterans have a lot of learn from this section.

Once we get beyond the basics, the walkthrough begins. Here it is known as the area guide. It's very complimentary to the game itself. Each section begins with a list of items in the area you can find as well as the enemies there. There are also neatly drawn maps that are easy to read and understand. The maps will point out items, bonfires and points of interest. The walkthrough is laid out in a wave point like fashion. That is to say that if you see "1" on the map you need to look for "1" in the text so that you can see what you need to do at point "1". This makes for a really well organized guide. It's a very text heavy guide, though. One that tells you everything you need while also pointing out how things may change upon you doing it. It's very specific, direct and to the point with everything it says. And it will show you everything. It won't really "spoil" the story, but if you're the type that likes to explore on your own the guide most definitely does not leave any stone unturned. Every area is covered in full detail.

The walkthrough is also easy to use because of how well organized it is. When reading the text it will always tell you which screen shot you need to look at to make sure you understand what they mean (each screenshot is numbered). There are also "position points." These are markers to tell you exactly where you need to be standing to get to certain items or where to find very specific enemies. If you are one who insists on not reading the walkthrough, you can make do with just the maps alone.

It is what the text is saying that's also important. They tell you when powerful enemies are nearby (and sometimes if you're strong enough to take them) and it tells you how to go about things in clear detail. The walkthrough is exhaustive, though. It's absolutely huge. It can be a lot to take in, making the game come across as a lot more intimidating than it is. But the walkthrough is also precise, which is nice.

Each section of the walkthrough ends by detailing the enemies you encounter. In the original Dark Souls guide there was a separate chapter just for talking about the enemies that made for some needless page flipping at times. Here all new enemies are detailed when you first encounter them. If you used Future Press's first Dark Souls guide then you know this is probably one of the most important portions of the guide. Every enemy is given a short profile. After that the guide details a strategy to defeat the enemy. Their attacks are also detailed in a chart that also tells you whether or not you can block those attacks. Bosses get a lot more attention, however. Instead of just a chart, there is a detailed explanation of each attack, including screenshots to show you what the attack looks like. The guide also gives you tips on how to block or evade the attack. Again, this may be one of the most important things to take from the guide. Reading about your enemies is one of the biggest keys to survival in Dark Souls II.

The walkthrough also has other tiny aspects that make it good. It will give you a rating on how difficult a section is, as well as suggest a soul level for you to be at for the area. All this makes for such a comprehensive walkthrough that it becomes more like a companion than it does just a set of instructions. It's very detailed and has a lot of depth.

After the walkthrough are the appendices for weapons, items, armor, spells and shields. Everything is given exact stats. You can also see what everything looks like. This is a huge portion of the guide, but still rather helpful in a lot of ways. The spells are especially nice to read about because it's more than just a description, it actually gives strategies on how to utilize them. The same goes for some of the times. It isn't just reprinting the flavor text you see in the game, you'll actually learn about the stuff you're using and sometimes how to use it.

After all this is done with, the guide jumps into all the extras. Here you'll learn about the various NPCs and covenants. The guide will tell you how to progress NPC stories. If there are any rewards to be obtained the guide will tell you how to get them. The same goes for covenant characters. You'll learn about the covenant, learn about how to level that covenant up and you'll learn where to find them. The guide also lists all the merchants you'll find. You'll learn what they sell, how much of it they carry and how much it'll cost you. NPCs that can be attacked also have their stats listed. The guide also goes into any optional areas in the extras chapter, providing the same information you saw in the walkthrough.

There's more to the extras than just the optional stuff. The guide also makes sure to provide you with a lot of info concerning New Game+. This is very valuable for players who intend to go through the game in this fashion. What may strike some players as quite cool, though, is that there is an achievement/trophy guide in the guide. For some trophies it'll provide strategies on how to get them. If you're someone who likes achievements and trophies you should certainly give this section a look.

With all this information, the guide is definitely exhaustive. At 464 pages that's a lot of info scattered throughout. No doubt you'll be page flipping for a long time (it's a shame there's no ribbon bookmark or anything). There's an index in the back that can direct you to just about anything you need. But needless to say there will be a lot of page flipping in this guide.

The only word of caution about this guide is a simple one. The data for some monsters, weapons and armor is likely to change should FromSoftware ever decide to update the game in any fashion. It will NOT make the strategies and walkthrough useless at all, but it might affect how many souls an enemy drops or how strong a piece of armor could be. The inherent data could change, but it isn't likely enemies in and of themselves will. The first Dark Souls guide was never useless, but when the first patch came the data provided about monsters (soul drops, in particular) was no longer needed. The strategies were still top notch, the maps were still top notch and enemy strategies ceased to change. The data was more or less the only thing that did. Should Dark Souls II receive a patch it could potentially change some of the data contained within the guide. The introduction in the guide even mentions this, and thus this may be why there's less emphasis on the data about your enemies and more emphasis on strategies about how to defeat them.

All that aside, the Dark Souls II Official Strategy Guide is a must have for Dark Souls fans. You will still surely die in your journey. Several times. But at least with this guide by your side you'll be prepared for some of the worst Dark Souls has to offer.
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on May 25, 2016
If you own this game this guide is almost necessary. Especially if you're a completionist. I like to explore myself in the Dark Souls world as that's how it's designed but let's face it you get stuck from time to time and this book will definitely help you out in those situations. The problem I found its this book is really designed for the PS3 version of the game as Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin differs in where some of the enemies and items appear. So it is a bit frustrating when you're looking for a specific item and the referenced location is inaccurate. This didn't happen frequently but there was enough variation that it could get on your nerves. Just something to be mindful of if you're purchasing this for the PS4 version of the game.
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on May 3, 2015
Very detailed and a lot of pictures. I do like how they added lore with all the monsters and locations. My only complaint is that they didn't add weapon progression tables down. I had to google each one in order to see what type of damage and stat upgrade it would be after spending material.

Also if you were like me and bought this for the re-release of scholar of the first sin, be ready for a lot to have changed. Like the book will tell you to go downstairs and kill a hound in order to loot a chest, then to your surprise it's a huge armored monster that murders you due to the developer changing a lot of the monster spawns.

Over all really good. I am a huge fan of the series and glad to have this book in my possession.
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on March 22, 2014
My first reaction to the detail and size of this guide, was that it was comparable to some of my college textbooks. I was through the majority of the game by the time I got it, but I like using it as a reference guide for weapons, items, and lore. I was also able to look back and see some of the things I missed, and I honestly never would have known certain areas existed or known how toobtain some of the items. Considering the Dark Souls 2 wiki page is a work in progress this was really nice to have now, and is probably for more detailed then the wiki page ever will be. I wish they bolded important items and characters in the walk through descriptions, but it's not a big deal. Most of the time I can look at the maps they've drawn up and figure out where to go. Awesome guide, and I think if you're a fan of the series you would appreciate it.
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on March 11, 2014
As a person who played Dark Souls to death (haha) and watched just about every lore video I could find on Youtube, this collector's guide is a must-have for any fan of the series. To begin with, the guide contains just about every single enemy (from minions to bosses) as well as the different types of armor sets with pictures included. On each enemy, there is a small paragraph that details the lore of the character which was written in company with EpicNameBro, the man who became famous for his Dark Souls lore videos on Youtube. The guide is in full-color with bosses having a bigger picture frame, clear map details, A list (and pictures of) the different types of weapons, armors, and spells. And yes, they have an index that's simple to use also! The authors also painstakingly wrote the guide to the point where you won't miss a single thing such as making sure you have enough of X items or Y amount of enemies are in each room and what to prepare for.

All in all, I'm very grateful they put so much detail into a guide that will definitely get lots of use out of whether it's for light reading, when you're stuck, or for being a completionist!
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on March 12, 2014
If you have the Dark Souls 1 Collector's Edition Strategy Guide, you should know what to expect out of this one.

If you're new to the Souls games, you should have this book. Yes, you can get a lot of info about the game from the internet, but when you are locked away in your living room or game room and you're playing Dark Souls, you'll feel a lot better about yourself if you have a physical book sitting in front of you and you look up info the old-fashioned way.

This book is jam-packed with just about everything you would ever need to play this game start to finish on your first play through and NG+. I would actually recommend for newcomers to read at least the first chapter before even starting the game. The first time I jumped into Dark Souls 1 I had not read anything about it, and after about 6-8 hours of constantly dieing, killing NPCs that I just assumed were enemies because I was so jumpy, loosing thousands of souls that I could have leveled up with, allocating any points for leveling up just to my health because I thought that was all I needed to do to die less, I gave up on the game. It was too much. Then I bought the CE Strategy Guide and started reading through the first chapter and decided I needed to start over, and I did. And everything was SO MUCH less frustrating.

In reading the Strategy Guide, I was playing so much more efficiently and actually developing decent strategies for handling different types of enemies based on what was in the guide. Being able to study the maps is another great aspect of these guides. The maps can be a little confusing at first, but generally once you make it to a bonfire in whatever area you are in, you can figure out where everything else is based on that location on the map. Extremely helpful to have the book open in front of you while you play.

My skill level went up tremendously after getting that book. Same deal with the DS2 guide. If you want to be less frustrated and feel more like you know what you are doing, get this book. The Souls games are all about trial and error, so you will still die a lot, but your death rate should be reduced quite a bit if you really study this guide.

Now go study! Then play.

And goodness, DS2 is fantastic, right guys? After months and months of no game making any sort of impact on me, DS2 comes along and makes me fall in love with video games all over again. So good.
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on April 17, 2014
Way at the start, when Dark Souls 2 was first announced I planned on getting both the official game guide and the art book. I'm very happy to say that the wait was not in vain. This is a spectacular example of what a company like Future Press can accomplish when aided by the most dedicated fans of a series like Dark Souls. Not only is the art on the outside perfectly fitting for the series, but the inside contains depictions of every enemy and NPC, along with descriptions and battle strategies. The fact that these strategies were concocted by such youtube souls players as EpicNameBro and A German Spy is icing on the cake.

And while some of the information may have been misplaced in a few areas, overall I did not feel like it deserved a deducted star. I honestly feel like this guide is perfect for anyone who is a major fan of the series, or for people who have money to spend and are completionists. However, I would not recommend this guide to others who are planning on playing through once or twice. Also for people who have never played a souls game, and merely want to buy it on the assumption the game is good based on online reviews. A game like Dark Souls 2 is not for everyone, and neither is the guide. For those people, play through the game once to see how you like it. Having said that, it is probably the best guide I have ever bought for one of the best games I have played. Good job to Future Press and the Souls community.
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on May 4, 2014
the book is good from the cover to the last page
you will be amazed of the deep details
the book divided to section like area walkthrough step by step. Boss and foes slaying tactics. items and lores deep info’s and a lot more like convents and online session guides

But

my only concern that the book didn’t tell anything about the hidden walls.in the last giant forest there is a hidden wall that the book didn’t mention.
maybe me i skipped reading this section or the writers forgot it . also am still at my early steps of the game. and i might misjudged this part "correct me please

also. i really found this book losing it charm once you are aware of the well-known duded on youtube called Epic Name Bro ”ENB” he is one of the editors of this book, he uploaded a whole deep walkthrough of the game. That’s where you feel you already know everything of the game without paying a penny for the book

But

the book worth it for much much much deep info inside it, beside the epic look and feeling of the book itself on your desk beside your DS2 collector’s edition statue

The book deserve 5 stars indeed

Excuse me for the week English typos. English is my second language

Enjoy the game
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on March 23, 2014
I loved Dark Souls, but I went in blind and while I enjoyed the game I missed too many secrets. I got this guide because I didn't want to miss anything with the sequel (and possibly get all the trophies...) I'll break this review into sections for convenience.

Quality: The book is a nice hardcover with cool cover art, the pages are standard text book type paper, but this practically is a text book!

Content: The folks who wrote this guide really must have gone through a lot of deaths to make this guide as in-depth as it is. There are tons of strategies for every enemy and boss encounter. If you follow the guide you won't miss any secrets, it's also easy to navigate.

Complaints: I don't have much negative to say about this guide. I would've liked a more in-depth weapons guide, with information on which weapons are more effective in certain situations, and which ones to upgrade. There's also a typo here and there, but it doesn't really bug me.

In conclusion: Great guide, it may be a while before GameFAQs has any complete guides, and even then this guide will likely be the superior choice (the maps and color pictures can be quite helpful)
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on March 24, 2014
Now let me just preface by saying that I was blown away by the hasty delivery of my product. The estimated arrival date was six days after I placed my order. When I received the email that it had shipped the new estimated time was four. However, to my happy surprise my awesome guide book arrived only three days after having placed the order.

Aside from that, the book is more than well worth the price. At 462 pages will full color pictures and hard-cover to boot this book pays for itself disregarding the amount of knowledge contained within. I can almost guarantee anything you want to know about Dark Souls 2 is contained within this book. Every item description and enemy description lies within. The thing I appreciate most aside from the inherent value is that this build makes the process of planning a new build infinitely easier. I'm not the type of person who can remember tons of numbers so having a quick reference without ever having to turn my console on allows for great convenience.

Overall superb product. Would recommend to anyone who feels like they want to know more about the game, is a collector, or just wants to support the publisher.
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