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Life & Gaming: The Profound Intersection of one Person's Experience


So, I recently opened Konami Classics: Vol. 1 for the XBOX 360. It's a brick and mortar package that contains Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Frogger (arcade original), and Super Contra (arcade original) all emulated. The games themeself are not what I am here to complain about today. No, today I am actually here to take up arms with the manual inside the packaging. It is now officially the worst manual I have ever seen since I have been playing games, and that is saying something.

It has always dissapointed me when manuals come in black and white, but that flavor of laziness alone will not instantly earn you the title of worst manual ever (although it sure do make some game's 50 page manuals an eye-strain pain to read). You definitely are bad when you have no pictures of the game at all - or even illustrations - in your manual, to that end the Robotech: Battlecry manual was absolutely befuddling (thankfully the in game tutorial was better). Up until now my "Champion of Fail (TM)" had been the SNES manual for the US release of Capcom's Final Fight, which - not counting the inside of the covers - had a whopping four pages and no pictures to describe the entire game. I would long boast about how even when I ran into a manual like Robotech: Battlecry, that it still couldn't hold a candle to Final Fight's embarrassment (which even had some flat out inaccuracies in its four scant pages).

I will now discuss the contents of Konami Classics: Vol. 1's manual, but let me remind you that what I am about to delve into is a manual for three wholly sperate games. On the inside of the cover itself - page 0 of sorts - we have the traditional health warning and ESRB information, that's fairly standard. The next page - page 1 - is our table of contents and an advertisement for XBLA, also fairly standard. Now - with page 2 - we have the heart of the problem, three diagrams of controllers - one for each game - listing what each button is for in each game. At this point one would think this is all still standard, they usually list that before they go into things in more detail... right?

Well, normally, but.... WROOOOOOOOONG!

On page 3, we have the warranty and copyright information... the end. WAIT, WHAT THE FU-!?

I know what you're about to say, "Didn't you just say there was a table of contents on page 2, what's it for if the only content is a picture of 3 controllers jammed onto 1 black and white page?" Well, you see, this is one of those English/Spanish/French manuals, and the table of contents happily lets you know which page each language's version of the manual begins on. That's right, this manual - not counting the inside of covers - would have only 2 pages if not for multi-lingualism. Two whole spanking pages - one of which is a table of contents - for three whole complete games, and one of those games is a fairly large and complex exploration based side scrolling RPG.

Gee - Captain - I don't know, methinks I see a problem with this picture.

The icing on the cake comes at the end of the manual. After they've already reprinted the entire info above thrice in different languages, the last two pages of the manual are those blank-note pages. You heard me, there are more of those worthless blank-note pages in the manual than there are actual instructions for all three of the games on this compilation disc combined. I honestly wasn't expecting much from the compilation's manual, but I certainly expected a wee bit more than a single to page to explain the ins and outs of all three games combined.

Congratulations, Konami, that's twice now I've had to take up beef with you like this.

-Clovis Dye

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