The FFXIII Collector’s Edition Guide guide is a highly prized collectible amongst fans. There are only 210.000 copies available worldwide and I found one by chance while desperately browsing a game store for Magna Carta 2 or another RPG I don’t have yet.
The guide has 271 high quality pages with a detailed walkthrough, stunning artwork and a lot of additional information about FFXIII’s lore.
The guide is divided in 5 chapters.
Chapter 1: Walkthrough
I have mixed feelings with this part. It sure has a lot of screens and artwork but it doesn’t give you concrete directions. Instead there’s an area map for each new area with numbered waypoints on it. On the page next to it you can read the explanations of these waypoints, but it are more strategies rather than “Follow this path” and “Prepare for a boss battle/cutscene”. The boss battles are explained in plain text, without any information about its HP, elemental vulnerabilities or even a reference number for the bestiary.
Compared to FFXII’s step-to-step guide, FFXIII’s mostly serves as an additional guide for though boss battles and side-quests. This results in a guide with less spoilers, that doesn’t need to be with you each time you play the game, and I can imagine many people will like this.
Chapter 2: Strategy and Analysis
This chapter gives a very good explanation about all of FFXIII’s systems (Battle System, Paradigm Shift System, Crystarium,…). There are a lot of tables and diagrams. Really, lots of! They’re filled with useful information like CP costs, drop rates, Paradigm charts, development tables …. (As you can see, a very detailed section with too much detail for a normal player like me ^^
Chapter 3: Inventory
Like chapter 2, this also is a very detailed chapter containing everything you can possible imagine (and everything you can’t even imagine) about your weapons, accessories, components and items. This section will most likely please people who want to get everything out of their weapons to defeat that huge Adamantoise. The only thing that bothers me here is the detailed and useful Weapon Upgrade guide. In my opinion it should be in the second chapter alongside with the strategies for the best weapons and leveling spots. I’ve found myself switching between these 2 chapters quite often and after some time it really gets annoying.
Chapter 4: Bestiary
The bestiary might be the lamest chapter in this guide. It contains images of each enemies with their information and notes. With exception of the CP count and a stunning Odin artwork, the bestiary is the same as the Enemy Intel in the Datalog.
Chapter 5: Extras
For most people, including me, the reason to buy this guide. It’s a chapter to read, to read again and after you read it again, read it again! It contains an overview of all missions, a trophy/achievements guide and besides that a lot of interesting information about the world of Final Fantasy XIII, including a detailed story recap. After this the guide ends with an “Analysis and Speculation” section filled with useful information that shows again how much time Square Enix spent to detail the story and lore of Pulse and Cocoon.
Overall, it’s a pretty good guide but for me, especially after using FFXII’s guide so often, it comes short on certain parts.
* Sorry for the lack of images. It was very hard to take decent shots, mainly because of the hardcover.