Digital Press Video Games Advance Guide Review

Digital Press makes no sacrifices when it comes to classic gaming. Their seven gaming guides are some of the most thorough on the market while site creator Joe Santulli runs the Classic Gaming Expo every year. But something was missing, namely a lack of attention to those consoles us late-bloomers remember so fondly like the Sega Genesis and 3DO. Services rendered.

Coming in at 512 pages (the exact same number as the recent edition of the "Classic" guide oddly), this "Advance" edition is just as complete. Covering the systems just about everyone had (like Game Boy) to those systems no one has ever even heard of (like the Memorex VIS), the guide gives readers a rarity number and value for just about every game available for these systems. It even dives deeper, covering unreleased/prototype games, system variations, and even accessories.

But, it's not just the 16-bit consoles, but later systems as well. The exhaustive Playstation section covers all of the nearly 1400 released games (that's not including prototypes, demos, rumored titles etc.), while the ill-fated Dreamcast has a listing for each of the 252 releases during its lifespan. Every listing includes various information like release dates, game magazine scores, codes, text from the box, and personal thoughts from Mr. Santulli himself. Of course, a little square is provided so you can check off each item you own, making this even more valuable than just a reference book.

Everything is not just about games of course. Each section begins with a well-written introduction covering the life of the system and the experiences that go along with it. This helps if you're in the market for a new console. The back has some gaming "lore" written by site followers, which are excellent stories and great personal flashbacks, most of which the die-hard gamer will be able to relate too. The book ends with pictures of boxes, screen shots, and a small classic gaming advertisement gallery.

But, not everyone is perfect. Though the group is dedicated, they are also small. Typographical errors seem to pop up a little too often and lines abruptly end in mid-sentence. Considering the amount of time and dedication that obviously goes into each one of these books, this is acceptable, but some people would likely be bothered by it. Also, if you're looking for import information, the book is limited. Covering something of that magnitude would likely require an entirely different book however (someday maybe?).

Not only has Digital Press created an outstanding piece of reference material, this is also a great read. You'll probably learn something in the process too. If you are a collector in this hobby or plan on becoming one, this is what you should be carrying. Then again, if these systems are not what you're aiming for, the "Classic" guide likely has you covered in that regard.

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