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 Does length matter?

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masofdas
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PostSubject: Does length matter?   Does length matter? EmptyThu 25 Jul 2013 - 9:52

I pose the question does length of game matter, if you look at the pikmin 3 topic the length of it is brought up with Phillps who's inspired this discussion isn't that happy that it's only about 7hrs to finish 20hrs to 100%. So do you guy's think that's to long not long enough is it value for money, quality over quantity.

Here's some more examples:

Journey the highly acclaimed PSN download which can be done in about 3hrs.

The Last Story well I know some on here didn't like this due to it's short length for a jrpg, it took me 22hrs and to me that's about the right amount of time for a game. If this went on for 80hrs i doubt i would ever find time or the drive to finish it.

Lego City, I recently finished this and took 12hrs, now that doesn't sound long but did start to drag and some of the missions were a bit muh. I personally would of preferred it to be shorter and better quality missions.

Anyway over to you.
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Balladeer
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PostSubject: Re: Does length matter?   Does length matter? EmptyThu 25 Jul 2013 - 10:39

Snigger.

Er, I mean, it depends.  And I have a lot to say about it, so have some subtitles.

Long Games

I love my epic JRPGs: give me a world, a culture, a set of characters that I can sink my teeth into and take time to know, and I'm a very happy bunny.  The 60h mammoth that was Xenoblade is one of my favourite games of the last generation, and I just posted a complementary remark about Dream Team's duration compared to its forebears in the appropriate thread.

For a different reason, I always look forward to a new Pokémon, where the main one-player alone (and that's usually all I complete nowadays) lasts me a good 50h or more.  With Pokémon, it's "getting to know" and tinker with your team that the length provides.  

Away from JRPGs, every non-portable 3D Mario has kept me going for a good 30h: in that case, it's merely, "More of the same amazing gameplay?  Yes please!"  And of course there's a value-for-money aspect, regardless of what the deeper reasons for enjoying long games might be.

Padding

But here's the thing: pretty much any game can reach the 30h mark if it's padded enough.  Pokémon and Dream Team bloat their length with tutorials; other games use backtracking or empty corridors (Wind Waker had a bland featureless sea); and JRPGs with random battles can increase the frequency, like the awful Golden Sun: Dark Dawn, or include uninteresting fetch-and-carry sidequests.

To be honest, I'm not averse to many types of padding: if you're just giving me a large, relatively pointless plane (or stretch of water) to traverse, it increases the feeling of "epic".  Let me carry on moving or exploring, regardless of whether there's much to do, and I'll be too overawed by the expanse of the game world to care.  It was thus with Wind Waker and Xenoblade.  (It helped that they had great soundtracks to explore to.)  Meanwhile, the thrill of making Samus into an alien-slaying machine was enough to keep me going back through Metroid Prime's levels for titbits.

But the moment padding stops me in my paces, with another bloody battle or tutorial, I'll start to get annoyed.  I'm an impatient person, see.

Even keeping me moving doesn't always work.  If I can't get a feeling of epic, then I'll get bored regardless.  Tales of the Abyss on the 3DS is a good example: due to the blandness of the entire map, the camera that focusses on the uninteresting floor and thus hinders the sense of scale, and just the fact that it's a smaller screen which I'm therefore drawn into less, its backtracking bored me to tears and contributed to me finally giving up on it.

Shorter Games

And of course the epic scale wouldn't work for every game.  I can't imagine that a 60h WarioWare game would work: it'd just increase my frustration to get to the end.  Portal is a game that's often cited as having a perfect length for what it wanted to cover, because it had a short pithy story to deliver.  (I never finished it, so maybe even that was too long.)

Replayability

Finally, there's another way to extend the duration of a game, and it's one that many multiplayer games do very well: make the player want to keep doing the same things over and over again.  Either give them more to master, or just make the core experience that great.

The Smash Bros. series have kept me going for hours, as has Meteos, because of all the different characters and courses to fight with/against and all the different modes.  The core experience is good enough to make this repetition work.  

Meanwhile, I've played most of the Mario & Luigi series twice, because their characters are entertaining and battle systems so fun!  Short games arguably do this better: they don't feel overwhelming when I pick them up again, and are less likely to have moments where I think, "Hang on: if I replay this, I'll have to do that bit again. Evil or Very Mad "

Summary (or "Too Long; Didn't Read" Version)

So the answer is basically, "It depends."  More of a good game for the same amount of money is always good, but it has to be good additions rather than padding (or it could be good padding).  Some games work better because of their short lengths, and you're more likely to replay them anyway.  

Great topic!
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The Cappuccino Kid
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PostSubject: Re: Does length matter?   Does length matter? EmptyThu 25 Jul 2013 - 10:42

I remember the early days of the GameCube, when Nintendo appeared to be solely interested in games that you could easily and quickly reach the end of. You couldn't say anything about, for example, Luigi's Mansion or Pikmin without using the phrase 'while it lasts'. They were brilliant experiences, but they lacked the depth of what came before them. You couldn't help but feel that these two games hadn't reached their full potential as they should have due to their brevity. I didn't particularly like Nintendo's 'short and sweet' policy.

I think length is important. We've been waiting for a game of Pikmin 3's magnitude since November, and for the sequel to Pikmin 2 since, blimey, 2004. I happily waited almost a decade for it as I knew it would be an epic experience that would give me the best part of a summer's gaming entertainment. At seven hours to see the credits, that won't be the case.

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beemoh
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PostSubject: Re: Does length matter?   Does length matter? EmptyThu 25 Jul 2013 - 14:25

Make me want to play your game for thirty hours, not have to, is the long and short (ahaha) of it to me.

There's definitely such a thing as too much, though- I wouldn't accuse either GTA 3 or 4 of 'padding'- it's all good content- and while 100%ing 4 was an enjoyable novelty (it was the first GTA I played properly) I don't think I can be arsed to do the same with 3, especially now that so many other devs have nailed the open world crim-sim format and Rockstar doesn't have the monopoly.
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Athrun888
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PostSubject: Re: Does length matter?   Does length matter? EmptyThu 25 Jul 2013 - 15:04

It depends on the type of game to me. A game that's over too quickly can be a negative unless it's a highly repayable one like Sin & Punishment and other games that thrive on score attacking. If it's a game like, say, a good jrpg, I'll want it to last at the absolute least a good 20 hours.
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The_Jaster
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PostSubject: Re: Does length matter?   Does length matter? EmptyThu 25 Jul 2013 - 20:36

I'm with beemoh on this one, a game is got to be engaging enough for me to play it past the 20 hour mark but lately though I've preferred shorter download games so for me length of a game doesn't matter.

@Balla replayability? I'd expect you to be the last person to use that "word" Razz

Anyhow, speaking of replay value this for me is way more important than the length of a game if you get this right (like Monster hunter does) then the length of a game shouldn't be an issue.
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Jimbob
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PostSubject: Re: Does length matter?   Does length matter? EmptyThu 25 Jul 2013 - 23:02

I agree with everyone here. A game can be short if it's replayable (and I'd argue that some of the launch 'Cube games weren't; as Phillips said, NGC magazine queried this at the time). I need my epics to be epic, and things like Wario Ware to be played for 20 minutes every few weeks.

Having said that, my games backlogs indicate I shouldn't ask for more than 3 hours!
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Crumpy Andy
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PostSubject: Re: Does length matter?   Does length matter? EmptyThu 25 Jul 2013 - 23:11

In general I prefer longer games, I play through a lot of games pretty quickly so often the longer the better. Short indie games tend not to bother me much as I tend to not care about finishing them due to their short and cheap nature. I'm also not amazingly bothered by replayability. I'd rather have a amazing experience that I wouldn't be fussed about replaying than a really replayable and not as mind blowing game. Regardless I don't tend to mind about the length, it doesn't often affect how much I'd pay or stop me playing it.
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Treesmurf
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PostSubject: Re: Does length matter?   Does length matter? EmptyFri 26 Jul 2013 - 0:17

It depends what you do with it, that's an answer to the question in hand, not the double entendre, going back to the Luigi's Mansion example, sure that was short but I managed to get plenty of hours out of that because of it's replayability, put it simply, if a game is enjoyable enough then it'll be long enough.
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Balladeer
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PostSubject: Re: Does length matter?   Does length matter? EmptyFri 26 Jul 2013 - 7:50

@The_Jaster wrote:
@Balla replayability? I'd expect you to be the last person to use that "word" Razz

I love me a good neologism from time to time.
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ZeroJones
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PostSubject: Re: Does length matter?   Does length matter? EmptyFri 26 Jul 2013 - 9:17

As long as the game's enjoyable the length doesn't matter so much to me. Notable counter-examples include Mighty Switch Force!, which was fun but far too short (even with the extra levels), and Super Mario Galaxy, which I simply didn't want to end.

That said, some games are so long that it's intimidating. I had to take three serious cracks at Okami before I beat it. A good portion of my Wii backlog is made up of epic RPG's - Xenoblade and Monster Hunter Tri, I'm looking at you!

In short, mostly no.
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PostSubject: Re: Does length matter?   Does length matter? EmptyFri 26 Jul 2013 - 12:57

@ZeroJones wrote:
That said, some games are so long that it's intimidating.

This goes double for if you're doing branching paths or any other similar choice- I played the first Mass Effect making mostly positive decisions- I can't be arsed going through all that again, but this time being a bastard.
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Balladeer
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PostSubject: Re: Does length matter?   Does length matter? EmptyFri 26 Jul 2013 - 13:06

I cannot stand branching paths, or morality choices, or even limited-availability events. I want to get all the items and cut-scenes on my first playthrough, thank you: odds are the game won't be different enough the second time around.
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Crumpy Andy
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PostSubject: Re: Does length matter?   Does length matter? EmptyFri 26 Jul 2013 - 16:25

I know that branching paths tend not to differ too much but that doesn't make them any less irresistable to me. Give me a couple of different side missions or outcomes and I'll replay the hell out of it!

My only issue with them is there's so rarely a middle way. If you're not super nice or super evil you tend to end up a bit weaker for it.
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masofdas
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PostSubject: Re: Does length matter?   Does length matter? EmptySat 27 Jul 2013 - 8:59

So not played journey then andy as it's to short and cheap being indie.
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PostSubject: Re: Does length matter?   Does length matter? EmptySat 27 Jul 2013 - 10:01

I would say it was pretty expensive for what it was. The most overrated game of all time, even more so than Skyrim!
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Buskalilly
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PostSubject: The patented Buskalilly Euphamism Extrapolator   Does length matter? EmptySat 27 Jul 2013 - 22:10

@Jimbob wrote:
my
@Balladeer wrote:
Xenoblade
@beemoh wrote:
goes
@Balladeer wrote:
deeper
@The_Jaster wrote:
but
andyman949 wrote:
I don't tend to mind about the length, it doesn't often affect how much I'd pay


Last edited by Buskalilly on Sat 27 Jul 2013 - 22:11; edited 1 time in total
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Buskalilly
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PostSubject: The patented Buskalilly Euphamism Extrapolator   Does length matter? EmptySat 27 Jul 2013 - 22:11

andyman949 wrote:
I prefer
andyman949 wrote:
blowing
treesmurf11 wrote:
long
@Balladeer wrote:
alien-slaying machines
@beemoh wrote:
to
@The_Jaster wrote:
engaging
@beemoh wrote:
arse
@Balladeer wrote:
or empty corridors
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Buskalilly
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PostSubject: The patented Buskalilly Euphamism Extrapolator   Does length matter? EmptySat 27 Jul 2013 - 22:11

@masofdas wrote:
I recently finished
@The_Jaster wrote:
on
@Balladeer wrote:
a very happy bunny.
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The_Jaster
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PostSubject: Re: Does length matter?   Does length matter? EmptySat 27 Jul 2013 - 23:40

Laughing
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PostSubject: Re: Does length matter?   Does length matter? EmptySun 28 Jul 2013 - 7:34

(ponders disabling the multiquote functionality again)
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ZeroJones
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PostSubject: Re: Does length matter?   Does length matter? EmptySun 28 Jul 2013 - 8:54

*shakes head sadly*

See me after class, Buska. Naughty
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PostSubject: Re: Does length matter?   Does length matter? EmptySun 28 Jul 2013 - 16:17

To me, the amount of time you can put into a game greatly changes its value. Monster hunter ultimate is one such game, its not like I need to complete it in the following month, but rather I can play it over the course of years, taking my time, for the same amount of cash as other games that have a short playthrough time without this 'replayability' rubbish.

A problem some people seem to have with Animal crossing, yes? While others scrabble to pay off houses and embelish their towns with public works projects, I have played about an hour a day, paying debts slowly, but maintaining interest in the game, ending up with a richer experience.

So really, the value of a game is dependant on the player, I just like my first playthrough to last as long as possible as often it is the most special.
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PostSubject: Re: Does length matter?   Does length matter? EmptyWed 7 Aug 2013 - 0:00

andyman949 wrote:
I would say it was pretty expensive for what it was. The most overrated game of all time, even more so than Skyrim!
A great example of a short and rubbish game.
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masofdas
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PostSubject: Re: Does length matter?   Does length matter? EmptyFri 23 May 2014 - 19:53

Finished Child of Light which is about 10hrs and starting Transistor which is only about 6hrs.

I'm starting to enjoy these shorter indie type games of there genre just for time really, I've not got much time with a 40+hrs job a week.

As I want to play something like a Bravely Default but I can't fit in and give my full attention to it which is a shame.

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