Friday, April 15, 2011

Length of Games

I like to get more for my money, so I like longer games. If a game takes 10 hours to complete, very linear, and has no multiplayer, I really don't see why I should pay fifty dollars for it. In the past, this would be okay, after all, games were much simpler and the goal was just to rush through the 7-10 levels in one sitting. Nowadays, more is possible and so we expect more. There is a difference however, between "too little" and "too much".

No More Heroes 2 for instance, didn't have a lot to it and I felt disappointed. I got that game the day it came out and pretty much beat it in two days. I guess the only thing left to do is beat it again on a higher difficulty. It was a good game, but too short.
But you did get to pilot a giant robot
Other games simply don't have enough content, this is usually the case for fighting games. Soul Calibur 2 had a lot to do and provided hours of fun, especially with its addictive Weapon Master mode. Soul Calibur 3 had even more stuff to keep you entertained. There was sort of a strategy/fighting game to replace Weapon Master mode, both are equally good in my opinion. The story mode however, is the highlight. Instead of your typical arcade-style 10 fights and a final boss, the events depend on your actions. You never know what's going to happen next. This was also one of the first games to allow a "Create-a-fighter" tool. In short, SC3 was worth the money. Soul Calibur 4 however, seemed little more than a $60 port of the arcade game. The graphics were nice, but that was about it. Not to mention, the branching story mode from the third game was taken out, now you get 3-4 battles and then you fight...some dude. Its like the developers just assumed that SC fans didn't care about the story and just said "forget it, 4 fights and then some guy".
 I doubt this is every Soul Calibur fan's dream come true
And its not just Soul Calibur. Tekken 3 is one of the best Playstation fighting games you could buy, but its sequel cut the roster by about 60% and took away all of the extra minigames. Guilty Gear is also guilty here. It seems that they release an actual sequel to the story once every 10 years, but in between, tiny little updates and cash-ins for portable systems (remember when Street Fighter pulled this crap?). Eventually their companies got it right. Tekken 5 increased the roster size, added minigames, and even full arcade versions of earlier Tekken games (for free!). Guilty Gear's spiritual sucessor, BlazBlue, offers its "update games" as downloadable content instead of a full game.
Thank you for constantly reminding me of how much of my life I've wasted
On the flip side, there are also games that are too damn long. Some JRPGS for instance, just go on forever. The Wild ARMS games just never want to end. In the 3rd game, it even has a clock on the bottom corner of the screen, but it only indicates playtime, and by that they mean: not during cutscenes and not when going through the menus. So by the time I got through the game, I had about 50 hours on the clock, but this game has a LOT of dialogue and because of its depth, you'll be spending a lot of time tinkering in the menus. Anyway, 50 hours of just running around and fighting battles is long enough (in fact 50 hours is pretty long for an RPG), I can't imagine how much time I put in just to beat the main story, let alone the secret bosses.
Another game worth mentioning: Xenogears for the PSX is so long, that the developers had to cut it short. The infamous second disc is where the story starts to REALLY get going, but because so much time has already been spent getting to know the characters and the world around them, the actual ending of the game was rushed. The second disc is not told through scenes with dialogue, but just narrated while a summary of events is shown. Yes, the final boss isn't really given a formal introduction, the game says "the final boss just dropped by, go kill him." And its such a shame that this had to happen, Xenogears is one of the greatest RPGs ever made; it probably would have been given more recognition if Square just finished the game.

Anyway, what do you think? Have you ever played a game that was either "too long" or "too short"? I said I'd review both an album and video game series every week, but I think I'll do my game series reviews every other week. This is so I have more time to work on them and so I don't eventually run out of things to talk about. That isn't to say I won't talk about video games every week though, haha.

20 comments:

  1. I like my games long too. I subscribe to gamefly and breeze through most games in a day or two, but for games I know will take me much longer to beat, while still holding my interest, I'll gladly pay for (I'm looking at you Skyrim).

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  2. i only buy games that i know i will get 40+ hours out of, i really think they should base price on how much you get out of a game lol. like a 6 hour game like "gears of war" should only cost 20-30 bucks.

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  3. That's true. Most of the time I only buy if there are multiplayer capabilities. Then I can really milk it for its worth! Supporting and following. alphabetalife.blogspot.com

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  4. very true i agree, followed /b/

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  5. i like flash games. quick and amazing. especially when you got nothing to do

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  6. I agree...games can't compare to the original half life these days...see my blog for a review of Homefront.

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  7. I loooooooove no more heroes 1/2. Expecting the first one for the PS3!

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  8. @Michelangelo
    For my video game series review, expect something fun in the near future ;)

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  9. I play games that have unlimited replay value, like TF2. Multiplayer means you can play without boredom for as long as you like.

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  10. I like it when a game is so long that you almost want to just be done with it, but then when you finish it, you're sad because the game was so good. :)

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  11. Except for the dull, grinding games that drone on for 25 hours :<

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  12. I think the multiplayer can either make or break a game.

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  13. i agree with you man, i prefer playing only multiplayer

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  14. nice post, following.


    i prefer games like oblivion for single player,

    and TF2/Battlefield for multiplayer.

    Put far too many hours into all of the above.

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  15. @Mike Yurchenko but you finish them just when they get interesting.

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  16. Final fantasy 13... Too long... Too linear, too bad
    Don't get it :p

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  17. Ewww don't like FF, prefer FPS shooters ;)

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  18. I'm actually really disappointed in the length of games. I remember in Game Informer they did a poll to see if people preferred long to short games, and more people said short. Personally I prefer longer games, but at the same time I can kind of understand the mindset behind making shorter games. Not everybody has time to sit down and devote hours to games.

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  19. i don't mind if games get repetitive as long as there is a good online community.

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