Here is another blast from the past. it may seem odd to do a review of this book before the other AD&D 2e books, but there is a reason for it. this book was the first RPG i ever owned. Specifically the Black cover edition of the book. I had been playing the game for a bit and wanted to really get into AD&D and asked my mom to get me the books for Christmas. She was reluctant as this was around the whole AD&D was satanic thing and she was a church going woman. She thankfully believed that her son was smart enough to differentiate between fantasy and reality and bought me this book. note she had no idea that there was three books you needed, so she just got me the one she thought I needed bless her heart. so it will come to no surprise that this book holds a dear place in my heart and has a ton of nostalgia for me. Having said that now that I can read it with the knowledge of other DMG’s and other rpg’s I can say that this book was not great.
one big flaw was that whole sections of the book had the almost the same information as the PHB such as combat. the artwork was not great, though it still fills my soul with good feelings looking at the art again for the above reasons. when compared to its First edition counter part this book becomes even worse. the First edition book had Gary Gygaxes prose and had a ton of information in it, granted the old 1e PHB had very little info so it had to go somewhere. overall this book was just kinda meh and dry. it had nothing special about it and if you took the Magic items chapter out and put it into the PHB there would be no reason to buy it.
now some good things about the DMG. the layout and chapters of the Black cover edition mirrored the layout and chapters of the Black cover PHB. this meant you could memorize what chapter combat was in and it would be the same for both books. the writing was crisp and clean so understanding the information was never a problem due to poor fonts or coloring.
overall I would recommend this book only to people who lack the first edition DMG as the only major chapter that is needed from this book is the Magic items chapter and 1e AD&D is compatible enough that the !e AD&D DMG is far better then the 2e book.