A few weeks ago, we reviewed a book called The Unofficial SNES Pixel Book which we thoroughly enjoyed. Thanks to Bitmap Books, we were lucky enough to receive some more review copies – and they’re good ones. Let’s check out Go Straight: The Ultimate Guide to Side-Scrolling Beat-‘Em-Ups and Game Boy: The Box Art Collection!
Before we get started, if you haven’t read our previous review of Bitmap Books, then please do check it out. But, more importantly, we spoke about the company itself and what it’s all about! To prevent us from repeating ourselves, if you want to know more about the company, check it out!
Let’s first discuss the packaging. In our last review, we stated that the book was perfectly packaged, and I can confirm that this time is no different. Both books were packaged amazingly, with foam inserts to ensure that the corners weren’t damaged in transit. The packaging still kept that striking look that looks good enough to keep. I might end up with a tower of Bitmap Books packaging…
Go Straight: The Ultimate Guide to Side-Scrolling Beat-‘Em-Ups
The first thing to note about Go Straight: The Ultimate Guide to Side-Scrolling Beat-‘Em-Ups is that it is a hefty book. With over 450 pages, it’s unlikely that any game from the genre is missing, and I task you with finding one that isn’t mentioned in some way, shape, or form.
Written by award-winning Author Dave Cook and including an opening foreword from the legendary Double Dragon creator, Yoshihisa Kishimoto, Go Straight: The Ultimate Guide to Side-Scrolling Beat-‘Em-Ups features more than 200 games going across 37 years.
Similarly to the last book we reviewed from Bitmap Books, this one features a beautiful hardback, spot-varnished cover with gatefold pages, edge-to-edge high-quality lithographic prints and sewn binding for enduring quality, allowing readers to lay it flat for easy viewing. All this makes the book feel like a premium product that has been carefully created to be placed in the hands of gamers.
Now, what’s on the inside? Go Straight: The Ultimate Guide to Side-Scrolling Beat-‘Em-Ups features a whole host of reviews, tips & tricks and guides to some of the best (and the worst) side-scrolling beat-’em-up titles from past and present. Streets of Rage 4, Golden Axe and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are among the many you will read about in this fantastic look through one of history’s most popular genres.
On top of that, each page will include a host of screenshots, sprites and level maps from each game, giving you a greater insight into each one and allowing you to reminisce over titles you probably hadn’t thought about for years.
Another cool thing about the book is that many of the games included feature their own pullout pages that give you a deeper look into a particular game map or enemies and characters, which is an elegant way to showcase these. My only gripe around this would be that many of the pages are not aligned because of the pullouts, causing some pages to stick out more than others. Not that it matters too much.
If you wanted to look through a particular age of games (for nostalgic reasons, maybe), this is easily accomplished as all the games are set out into decades, starting with 1980-1989 and going upwards. As well as this, there is also a games encyclopedia which will detail every single title mentioned in the book along with its page number. Super helpful.
Overall, Go Straight: The Ultimate Guide to Side-Scrolling Beat-‘Em-Ups from Bitmap Books is an absolute must for any collector and fan of the genre. The book is of the highest quality, and with over 450 pages, this will keep you busy for a good while. If you like looking through how games have aged through the years, then this is worth a look. This one will set you back by £34.99, and it’s 100% worth it.
Game Boy: The Box Art Collection
The second book from Bitmap Books we will look at today is Game Boy: The Box Art Collection, another significant number with 372 pages. This one is pretty self-explanatory and takes a look at a collective of some of the best cover artwork the Game Boy had to offer.
Working closely with some of the world’s most renowned collectors, Bitmap Books has pulled together a varied selection of titles from both Western and Eastern preferences. This means that there will be some games that you’ve likely never seen before in here, or better yet, there may be a title that you are, in fact, familiar with, but with a different cover entirely.
Similarly to the other Bitmap Books we have reviewed, the Game Boy: The Box Art Collection features an edge-to-edge high-quality lithographic print with a hardback cover. But, unlike the others, this one has a metallic silver textured cover with a metallic blue foil-blocked logo, which looks and feels great.
On the inside, you can expect to see a description of the game it is displaying, as well as its cover art and a select few screenshots of the game itself, allowing you to either see what a game has to offer for the first time or reminisce of a title you haven’t seen for years.
It’s got to be said that every one of the games showcased in this book looks spectacular. I never thought looking through so many covers of games could be so exciting, but each and everyone brings back a memory and will mean something to someone, and I find that to be beautiful.
An excellent little addition to the book is the addition of professionally translated names of Japanese titles to Romaji – something that hasn’t been accomplished in any English-language book.
The entire catalogue of games showcased in Game Boy: The Box Art Collection is organised in alphabetical order, which makes for easy finding any particular game.
On top of all that, the book features a comprehensive look at the history of the Game Boy, and you will definitely find this interesting. I, for one, learnt a lot about the Game Boy’s history that I didn’t know beforehand.
Overall, Game Boy: The Box Art Collection is a perfect addition to any handheld lover’s collection. It showcases a vast amount of great games and is for sure one of those things that you can show off to your friends when they come over to your house. If you owned a Game Boy back in the day, then get your hands on this.
That’s all, folks! Our review of two brilliant Bitmap Books products. Tell us, which one is your favourite? Will you be picking any up? We now have a shelf dedicated to these, and you should too! Thanks again to Bitmap Books for sending these over, and of course, thank you for stopping by Nintendo Link for reading. We will see you soon.
Exceptional quality throughout
They look very nice on the gaming shelf
Good price point
Pullout pages on Go Straight make for uneven pages
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A massive lover of all things nerdy, Chelly has been games writing for over 3 years now and hopes to gain more experience and knowledge doing so. Her favourite games are Monster Hunter, Borderlands and Pokemon.