By now you have (hopefully) read my review of Star Trek
Invasion and know that youve made a pretty safe bet checking out the game. However,
there is always the question for those of you who decide to add it to your collection,
should I buy an accompanying strategy guide? In this instance, Brady Games has put out a
pretty decent guide that isnt strictly necessary to enhance your game play.
guide begins by covering ships and weapons. The ships section is fairly useless if you
have half a brain, but the weapons section is, in my opinion, the most helpful section in
the book. The instruction manual included with the game is pretty sketchy on how and when
to use your weapons and doesnt really give you a good idea of some of the
alternative functions that each weapon has. This section of the strategy guide was nicely
detailed and gives the player an idea of what the energy costs of using this weapon will
be and when it would be most effective. I thought that this section was pretty invaluable
for this reason. A person could figure this information out on his or her own, but it
takes quite a bit of trial and error to accomplish that, and sometimes, its just
nice to be able to whip out the old strategy guide. Finishing off this section is a list
of the hidden weapons available in specific levels and a list of the five extra secret
missions you can get by performing special tasks.
The rest of the book is organized by mission, starting with the sixteen major missions
of the campaign mode and ending with the five dual missions. Each section contains screen
shots that are mostly impossible to make out and a step-by-step list of things that will
happen and what you should do when they occur. I immediately cringe at this kind of
hand-holding, but I suppose if youre stuck this would solve your problems nicely.
But it also takes some of the fun out of the whole "I figured this out for
myself" thing. The only exceptions I would make to this are the occasional missions
where it becomes difficult to understand exactly how a mission objective is
completed. There were several that were tricky, and I just happened to stumble upon the
"correct" way to proceed. Neither the game nor its manual was any help in
clarifying things for me, and it would have been nice to just open up the guide and have
it tell me exactly how the game wanted me to accomplish my objective.
So should you buy the guide? It might be worth it for the beginning sections, and if
you are one of those people who cant stand the suspense and hassle of wrestling with
a pesky game (you know who you areyou probably didnt watch The Wrath of
Khan until Search for Spock came out just so you didnt have to wonder if
they really killed him!) then buying this guide is the right choice for you. It definitely
isnt worth collecting for the pretty eye candy and screen shots, so youll have
to weigh how much information on weapons and secret goodies is worth to you.