How important is the length of a game to you?

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Post » Tue Apr 07, 2009 10:08 pm

Okay, let's talk about this. Now, I fully understand if people complain when they buy games for 70 bucks and only get 5 hours of entertainment (Heavenly Sword got completely pounded because of this), but in todays day and age, how important is the game length to you, really?

The reason I'm asking this is... I used to LOVE games like RPGs that take you a longer time to complete, I wouldn't stop playing until I've seen it all. I must've played Final Fantasy VII back then for at least 200 hours. Same with Final Fantasy Tactics. Dragon Quest IV and V. Fucking loved it.

The thing is: I wouldn't do that today anymore. I have a full-time job and I don't have the time to invest 100 hours into any game, no matter how good it is. I also personally don't care about 'only' getting 5 hours of entertainment for 70 bucks if the 5 hours were goddamn freaking awesome (still, I do understand a kid being pissed if he gets a game like that for christmas and has explored it all 5 hours later - happened to me with Mario Kart 64 way back), but personally, today I prefer shorter games that get across their message in a shorter (a MUCH shorter) amount of time - but really deliver during that time.

Now - how would you feel if you'd buy a game for 5 bucks and you could play through it in an hour, if you'd know exactly how the game works? Let's assume the game is quite revolutionary, breaking boundaries and delivers a compelling story - would you still be pissed? Say you buy a game on Steam today for 5 bucks, you start playing and 60-90 minutes later, you complete it and it was friggin' awesome - would you still feel like you've been robbed? How much would a really great (but short) experience be worth to you?

Would you even buy the game if you'd read in reviews that you could play through it in an hour or would that turn you off (even if the game gets a 8/9 score)?

I'm asking all this because I'm pretty sure we'll see shorter, story-based games being created by indies now and I'd fucking love that. But I'm not sure the market is ready for that if I look through the current sales data of console and handheld games. Your thoughts?
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Post » Tue Apr 07, 2009 10:48 pm

There's several factors I'd consider with lengths of games.

One as you point out is what you're looking for and how much time you have to spend gaming. When I was younger, I'd buy games on consoles which would be replayable, and didn't tend to have a story line. Games like Smash Brothers, Mario Kart, and so on. I played the hell out of them, so I consider that money well spent.

When I was in college and even the early university days I played Americas Army mainly. For those who haven't heard of it, it's a free first person shooter which you play online with mates. There's a large diversity of maps, and a competitive scene, so I had a lot of time and got fairly into it, probably averaging 1:30 a day for a while. I'd happily have paid a lot of money for that too.

Now that I have less time, I buy games which have a shorter storyline or play time, and don't tend to involve myself in games which will take a long time to master or complete. The example you cite is a little on the low side though, an hour's gameplay is probably pegging it a little low, even for $5. I'd probably say 2 hours for that - with a little replay value to pick up in a week, month or year - would be about right.
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Post » Tue Apr 07, 2009 11:21 pm

It depends.

If it's on a console then I still love long games. If I can kick back on my couch and play an hour or two a day for the next month then that's just about perfect. GTA IV was great in that respect. Well worth the money.

If it's a PC game, I prefer them short. I don't like sitting at my PC for any extended length of time when playing a game. It's just not comfortable. I don't mind working on my PC for hours on end, but game time is for relaxing.

When I had my good PC hooked up to my TV I played some longer PC games and that was great, but now I'm back to playing smaller games or browser-based games.
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Post » Wed Apr 08, 2009 1:41 pm

Long games. I don;t have "time" either... but I find time... I'd rather spend $70 and have no time to play 100 hours, then spend $70 bucks ten times and have time... If a game takes 100 hours, it means I don't have to spend money for a long time, and get a long amount of enjoyment out of the game.

Having said this... there is such a thing as TOO LONG! Games like Crysis or DOOM etc need to be shorter, since they are an action based game, and having it too long would just be repetative and annoying. I think 5 hours for any game is way too short, and I feel ripped off when I complete games so fast (like the last 3 COD games, Heavenly Sword, er... most FPS game in general really).

I think FPS games should be 12-15 hours long if they are a linear style game... RPGs and Adventure games (non-linear) should be at least 30-40 hours of storyline, but at least 100 hours of "extras" like hidden stuff and special secret collectables etc. RTS games can get away easily for 30-40 hours as well since they are a more methodical game you will play for hours anyway without realising.

So, basically... I like games to have some meat to them... regardless of platform. Your GTA style games like Saints Row 2 are great, since you can literally spend as long as you want playing that game if you don't concentrate only on the storyline, but you can smash through them in under 20 hours if you want to get it over and done with.

I dunno about you guys, but when I play a game, I do so because I enjoy it. I don't play iy just so I can hurry up and get past it and go to the next game... I'd be perfectly happy with a game that never ended... unless you died.... in real life.

~Sol
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Post » Wed Apr 08, 2009 3:10 pm

I don't buy games that often, so I want them to last me at least a couple/three weeks playing around an hour a day. That, or something with insane replayability, like Crackdown. Dammit, I want to play that game again so bad. :(
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Post » Wed Apr 08, 2009 3:26 pm

[quote="linkman2004":3g5cle6d]... like Crackdown. Dammit, I want to play that game again so bad. :([/quote:3g5cle6d]

Yeah I've wanted to try that game out for ages... my friend has it but we've never played it.... I guess that's what you get when you have 350+ xbox360 games to pick from. Looks like a lot of fun though! Isn't it two play co-op or something as well?

~Sol
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Post » Wed Apr 08, 2009 8:58 pm

I felt Doom3's length was just perfect. Loved that game, every second of it.

Now, I don't have that much time and there's games that make me lose track of time and though I enjoy them, I keep missing deadlines and stuff because of them :(

Last year I heavily favored long games but with short playing rounds. So I'd say I prefer long games that can be played in short bouts and I can come back weeks or even months later without feeling lost. Last ones I played of this type were Spelunky, Jumpman and La Mulana (only last one required a paper journal :s )

Of course, If it's cheap it's okay if it's short.

Footnote: I wants me some crackdown and I don't own a 360 :(
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Post » Wed Apr 08, 2009 9:53 pm

i like games that don't chain their playtime to their 'story' content. when GTA: Vice City came out, i played it regularly, several times a week in 4-6hr sessions, for about 6 months with a friend; we never got past 31% completion. we were having a great time with the 80s music, the color palette, motorbikes & rumble controllers ... and yes, drugs were involved :P the storyline was fun, and nice to have for when we felt 'productive', but not our main concern. if gta:vc would have been cut short for any reason, i could not have had such a great time.

i could never relate to most videogame stories, at least those that are really just 'content' in the sense of levels & things that occur. but i am a big fan of stories that mesh with the game, as in killer7 or the silent hill series, where the progression through the story has an impact on the entire game, and where the game supports the story in all its parts (and not just text boxes & dialogs). completion of these games did not feel bad, even when they were short: it was a great experience, expertly crafted into the videogame medium. but with gears of war 2, i felt like the story was a long list of bullet points that had to be worked off, and there was nothing to do (in singleplayer) besides grinding away at it. that is my wrong kind of long: expecting the player to enjoy an 8-hour movie when he has to turn the crank on the movie reel himself.

with less time & no console around, i prefer pc games like spelunky, with dynamic content and progression hooked to player skill. i can go in & out whenever i please, i don't need to remember any arbitrary bs, and the progress i see is really mine.
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Post » Fri Apr 10, 2009 9:00 pm

Games should be good and short.

most games have good content but the lenght is too much.
Like butter spread over too much bread.

For example portal. It's very short, heck theres an achievement where you are supposed to finish the game under 30minutes. It's alot of fun squeezed into a 2hour game which makes you glued to your screen for 2 hours.

The half life 2 episodes are great too. Short and full for unique action. Not just some soldiers patrolling there and a couple of towns slapped on some island full of soldiers *cough*crysis*cough*
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Post » Tue Apr 14, 2009 7:24 am

Well personally I like shorter games if they are great like Portal. Something new to offer and you dont rape it by making it too long.
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