Thankfully, not all of these colorless pamphlets can be categorized as boring. A good number of them, after all, feature appealing illustrations and the like that help elevate them from drab to fab. The New Zealand Story's is a good example, and Mizubaku Daibouken's is another.
The manual included with every copy of Atlus' Mesopotamia (Somer Assault in North America) fits this description, too, although perhaps not quite as well as its above-mentioned counterparts.
Regardless, its cover certainly is colorful enough, wouldn't you agree? OK, so it's a bit busy, but that aspect of it gets a pass from me thanks to the fact that it's predominantly orange (a color that gets far too little love when it comes to box art) and that it features a number of adorable drawings that depict the game's Slinky-like protagonist.
As should be expected given my earlier musings, the cover art's bold display of color doesn't survive the transition into the manual's interior. Oh, well, what can you do?
Sadly, things barely perk up on the manual's next pair of pages. Do any of you know who the guy featured in the text blocks at the bottom of the page is supposed to be, by the way? He appears throughout this particular booklet, so I'm guessing he's important?
Finally, a bit of visual interest! Those illustrations are the cutest, aren't they? Sure, they'd be even nicer if they were in color (pink, to be exact), but they're still pretty nice as is, in my opinion.
Hey, look, more Slinky illustrations. At least they're unique and not just reused from previous pages. Also, the one with the heart bubble over its head is my favorite of the bunch.
And there you have it. Admittedly, the folks who designed Mesopotamia's manual could've been a little more (OK, a lot more) creative while completing this particular assignment. Where's the cartoon depicting how the ol' Slinkster got himself into this predicament? Where are the illustrations of the zodiac-symbols-that've-come-to-life bosses he's forced to battle? Each of those additions would've turned this "merely acceptable" manual into a "unquestionably stellar" one, if you ask me.
Not that I'm complaining. I consider what you see above to be a lot more interesting than the majority of game manuals that came before and after it, so I'm going to go ahead and treat this one as a "take what you can get" sort of situation.