Despite having over seventy-five hours into Breath of the Wild, I knew I was nowhere near completion of the game. So I have been wanting to get the guide book for this game and find out what I have been missing. It wasn't until yesterday that I picked up the book, so I decided to talk about it and go over some aspects of the book.
One of the first things I want to talk about is the general information of the book. The official guide book is about the size of a textbook with over 367 pages inside it. The book includes a table of contents messages from the producer and director of the game, guides and information on the game(duh,) a list of easter eggs and secrets in the game, some concept art, an index, and the credits. The book also includes a large two-sided poster which both sides are of the map. One sides shows where all of the korok seeds and locations are, and the other side shows where all of the shrines, towers, tech labs, stables, cities, and important locations are located. The cover is minimal, as for the front has no words and consists of Link climbing a cliff with a bridge, a river, a sky tower, and some mountain ranges in the background. The cliff side and Link have gloss on them, while the rest of the front doesn't. The back side of the book is a continuation of the scenery from the front, with the volcano, another sky tower, Hyrule Tower, and the Great Plateau making showcase. The spine is only place on the cover of the book where you find words, stating the title as well as "The complete official guide collector's edition." And just like the Microsoft E3 2017 press conference, I leave the price at the end, which is at forty USD from Barnes and Noble.
Going over the general information only, I am mixed on the book. The good side of this book is that the poster is informative, the cover is beautiful, the book seems filled with a ton of information, and the concept art is fun to look at. But the bad side of the book is the heavy price of forty dollars, which was a really big hurdle to jump over and kept me from getting this book for all of this time. But people don't buy books just for the cover(hopefully,) they buy it for what's inside the cover. And it's the pages inside this cover that determines whether those forty dollars is a good investment or a waste of money.
The information of the book doesn't start until page ten, but even in the pages before their is information to learn about the book. The first two pages are blank, page three is the table of contents, pages four and five are the notes from the director and producer, pages six and seven are a guide to how to use the guide book, pages eight and nine are chapter intro pages, and page ten is where the fun begins. The book is split into seven chapters: primer(the basics,) walkthrough(the main missions,) shrines, side quests, inventory, bestiary, and extras. The extras include completion rate, mini bosses, dragons, mini games, fairy fountains, and more.
I quickly went through primer and walkthrough, as for I already know all of that information. But anyone new coming to this game could find the information useful, as for the game doesn't explain that well what you can do. Also, the walkthrough could prove to be a great help in getting past difficult levels. But if you have already completed the main quests and know all of the basics, then these two sections won't be very helpful. The next chapter is about the shrines, and that is where this book really begins for me, as for I have not done every single shrine yet. The shrines are divided up by what region they are in, and include guides on how to get in, how to complete the shrine, how to get the chest that is inside the shrine, and how to get the quest if the shrine is tied with a shrine quest. Every two pages show around two to three shrine guides, as well as a map of where the shrines are and how close they are to the region sky tower. I thought the information they portrayed was excellent, as for it was very detailed on how to complete a shrine as well as how close it is to a tower so you can para glide to it. I tried completing one of the shrines with the book, and it worked out very well. It was easily explained and straight to the point, helped me get the chest, and even told me of a shortcut on how to complete it faster. Overall, I would say the shrine guide was great. The side quests section was very similar to the shrine section, but had one difference. The quests were shown by region like the shrines, but this one didn't have a map on each page. Instead, it showed the whole region and numbered off all of the areas on where to find the quests on the front of each region section. On the map at the front of each region section, it would show the map, the numbers on the map, and a legend of the quest named matched to each number as well as the page number on where the guide for that quest is. Again, the information they have on each quest is short, sweet, and to the point.
The next two chapters are pure info dumps on items and monsters. Chapter five goes over inventory, which includes armor, weapons, shields, bows and arrows, materials, foods, elixirs, and important items. All of these include other information that tie into these items such as added effects to food, bonuses to weapons, etc. Each of these lists also details selling price, durability, damage, availability, effects, and so much more. The information was handy for me on what materials I need to level up armor and where to find materials, but that was it. But this information is still handy for those who also cook foods and want to know the stats of weapons. Unfortunately, the information on all of these items were not in order, which made finding the info harder. The next chapter tackles the enemies in the game. Each page shows the stats of each type of enemy, including the different names and colors, rank, health, locations, items dropped, and extras like useful fighting tips and how the enemy fights. It also has a couple of pages for the bosses in the game, but that information is more useful in the walkthrough section. As someone who has already played the game a lot, I didn't find this information very helpful. But the information could prove helpful to new comers who need help learning how the enemies progress and learning their fighting styles.
The final chapter is all about the extras, which include talking about completion rate, fairy fountains, mini bosses, korok seeds(which that page refers you to the poster map,) mini games, Kilton the night trader, dragons, the compendium, secrets and easter eggs, and the concept art. There is a lot of information in this last section, and even the korok section still shows all of the different types of korok seed puzzles and how to complete them. I found this section to be the most informative, as for it showed me new aspects of the game I still didn't even know about. This section is the best for people who have already played the game, as for their is content in that section that will have the best chance of being new to previous players compared to all of the other sections. Overall, I found the information to be very detailed and to the point, as it should be. One thing I would have included though is a master checklist of everything to collect and upgrade.
But the big question is how useful is it? Will I be using it all the time or will it just collect dust? One of the biggest hurdles this book faces is the internet. There is no doubt all of this information can be found online. But despite this and the fact that the internet is generally easier to use than books, I found the book to be a bit more accessible. I am not going to lug around the book everywhere I go, but if I am playing the game at home, then I will use the book. It portrays more info, better info, and has guides that are faster for me to use than Youtube or any forum. I would say to use the book at home, then use the internet for when you play anywhere else and for any extra info like DLC.
So should you buy the book? It depends on how willing you are to spend forty dollars. I personally think it was a good buy because of its accessibility and its content that was unknown to me before. With the internet, it almost feels like you have to know what you are looking up to find what you are looking for. For example, I discovered that their are sixteen mini games in Breath of the Wild, and I would have never found out about those games without the book because I would have never looked up these mini games because I didn't know they existed. The book lays out all of the info right in front of you, whereas online only lays out the info you looked up. In the end, I would say this book is more helpful for new comers, but is better for non new comers. Me finding new info in the game from the book made the game slightly better, as for it shows just how dense and big the game is. Me being over seventy-five hours in and just discovering you can do tricks while surfing on my shield is crazy to me, and I love it. Their is good info for the new, maybe new info for the old, and slightly better accessibility for all. I found this plus a companion app to check off my progression good for me. But this isn't for everyone, and the biggest question you have to ask yourself is whether or not you want to put money down for this book and how much longer are you willing to play Breath of the Wild.