No matter how good or bad sexy pinball game Senran Kagura Peach Ball turns out, I will always remember it for the kindness of providing me a tiny manual in these days of physical video game instruction scarcity.
My love of video game manuals is well-documented. Years ago, during the launch of the Wii U, I wrote an article titled “I Miss Game Manuals So Much I’d Pay Extra For One.” I stand by that post. There is nothing like popping the plastic on a new game, cracking the shell, and inhaling the heady scent of ink and glossy paper. There was a time when all games came with these tiny information-packed booklets. Part of my game-purchasing ritual was stopping at a restaurant after the game store to thumb through manuals while fuelling up. Even the silliest games came with colourful reading material. Now it seems like it’s only the silliest games that do.
I’d say Marvelous’ Senran Kagura series is a guilty pleasure, but I don’t feel guilty. The series is completely absurd, in case the latest instalment's furry ninja pinball theme didn’t make that clear. I embrace this racy weirdness, and now the series has paid me back in the form of a tiny booklet.
And the booklet is super tiny, maybe three inches tall, and that’s fine. A big deal was made during the turn of the decade about doing away with game manuals in order to save trees. Surely no one would miss the sad little trees needed to make such a minuscule manual.
Maybe I don’t know how things like forestry and papermaking work. What I do know is that tiny colourful booklets reek of new-game joy and make cases feel just a little bit weightier on store shelves.
Wait, what’s this?
Oh wow, stickers! These are going on the kids’ backpacks.