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Back in my day (the present), people didn't need to read manuals play a game because the game actually explained things.
Remember before that though where people figured out MUCH more complicated control schemes without so much as a tutorial? Or when they couldn't, they looked at the manual, THEN figured it out?
Yes, they should've had a tutorial. No, that wasn't that hard to figure out. This is why designers feel the need to include brief manuals, (nobody reads them so why bother going into detail) and this is why they feel the need to dumb things down, (people can't even be bothered to take the time to figure out basic game mechanics).
Tissues to the extreme! Even a single drop makes ripples...
Complaining that you shouldn't have to read the manual is like complaining that you shouldn't have to read the tutorials. The manual is your tutorial. You can skip it on your next playthrough(s).
Just read the manual. That's what it's for! :[ And check out the options/custom controls screens if the game has them. *looks at Super Metroid and people not seeing that there's a run button* Nobody reads the manual! :P
"Please... never do anything as crazy as that again...." "...I'll think about it."