To push registrations to their new website, Playonline.com, Square and Bradygames have made this hint book link to "additional" hints on the playonline website. Now that'd fine and dandy if it wasn't for certain things:
1) When I buy a hint book, it's expressly so I DON'T have to go to websites to collect up all the hints and tidbits to complete a game. There's not a page that goes by in this guide that doesn't have a callout box suggesting you go the website and learn an even BETTER way to defeat this monster, or where the last of the umpty-umpth Magic Thingy is hidden. I bought the book to learn these things;
2) as of the moment (either from overload or over-fancy design, I can't tell yet) the website you're supposed to link to is DEAD slow. And there's no easy way to collect all the hints at once; yu have to enter these search codes listed in the book, resulting in a LONG visit to the site, racking up lots and lots of hits for Square to crow about.
Now, what's IN the book is choice as always. The walkthru is easy to follow, and doesn't ruin the twists of the plot any more than a walkthru has to. The monster and item guides are well laid out, if a bit incomplete (see above) There's a nice selection of original concept art peppered throughout the book, the kind of stuff you only see in the imported Japanese art books at a premium price. So it's still worth getting but...
I feel like when you used to look at the pictures of all the things you could build with Legos, and once you got the set, the small print said "items on box require more than one set to build". Yeah, I can play with what I got, but I was expecting a more complete experience that wouldn't require more of my time.
This almost sounds like a Microsoft ploy!