Poll

Do you think that it's fair to dismiss a game for being "short"?

Yes
2 (11.1%)
No
8 (44.4%)
It Depends
8 (44.4%)

Total Members Voted: 18

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Author Topic: "It's Too Short"  (Read 13596 times)

Kuromatsu

  • 黒松
« on: June 05, 2010, 05:20:40 AM »
I hear people say this sort of thing about video games a lot now and after playing Klonoa, I had questioned it myself. "By what means is a Video Game too short?" or rather, "Are there any such means at all?"

What do you think?


Turtlekid1

  • Tortuga
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2010, 07:26:55 AM »
I tend to like a video game that will last me a while.  Metroid Prime Trilogy, for example, was relatively longish compared to some of the other titles I'd been playing.

When I buy a game (keep in mind I'm on a tight budget with no source of income to support the hobby), I have to consider how long the game will last, because I can't just go out and buy another one when I'm done with it.

I do like long games better, provided the length isn't made up of grinding.  That's why (and WarpRattler will back me up here, for once) Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days is a good long game; you get 70+ hours of gameplay and grinding is pretty much a non-factor.  To use another example (an oldie but a goodie), Super Mario World was (and still is, arguably) a pretty extensive title.  Ninety-six exit goals to find, plus all the Dragon Coins - even though I could 100% it now without too much time/effort, to someone who hasn't played it half a dozen times, it's a pretty lengthy experience.

I suppose New Game+ mechanics can lengthen a game, and they provide an interesting twist, but I still prefer the real length to come from the actual game, not playing through the same game multiple times.
"It'll say life is sacred and so is death
but death is life and so we move on"

TEM

  • THE SOVIET'S MOST DANGEROUS PUZZLE.
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2010, 08:12:02 AM »
In a post-Portal world the answer is obviously "No."
0000

WarpRattler

  • Paid by the word
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2010, 11:44:12 AM »
Not even post-Portal. If a single credit of a semi-modern shmup (or any other arcade game with a proper ending) lasts more than an hour for a single loop, it's too long.

Turtlekid is correct about the length of Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days not coming from grinding; as I've said before, the game part of that game is designed well, even if the story part is Godawful.

Also, having a New Game Plus mechanic to extend a game's length isn't that much different from putting in multiple endings (which often comes hand in hand with a New Game Plus mechanic anyway) or having co-op play be a separate game mode (for the same stuff as the single-player mode, not for something like what's being done in Portal 2).

Glorb

  • Banned
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2010, 12:22:02 PM »
I just recently started replaying HL2 for the achievements. Was that game always long as [dukar]?
every

« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2010, 12:30:31 PM »
I voted "it depends", but usually my answer is "no".

It depends on how fulfilling the experience is, whether I feel like going for the optional rewards, and how much replay I get out of the thing. Basically whether I feel like I went through a grand long adventure when I'm through. An example of a game I felt was too short, once I got good at it, was Wave Race 64. I blasted through the three circuits, didn't feel particularly challenged, and was left wondering "was that it?" Felt similar with Extreme-G, given I unlocked nearly everything in one day. The same could also go for Super Punch-Out, since once you've unlocked all the boxers the only reason to come back is to finish it with no defeats or to down each boxer in the fastest time possible, so it felt like a one-play-worth game.

Beyond Good & Evil felt like a medium-length game, but a tad short since the ending came up sooner than I thought (though granted I knew when I was getting close). Since you can continue to grab the rest of the collectables before finishing the game (er, most of them), I was able to prolong that game's length such that it felt satisfactory. Plus, it was a really good experience anyway, so it felt like a decent length.

Regarding number of hours played, around 40 seems to be the satisfactory "long-ish" limit for me. That's how long I spent with World Driver Championship (and you really start to get sick of replaying the same circuits over and over after a while). I clocked 60 hours with Final Fantasy X, but that felt LONG, that felt more like 120 hours. It was 60 hours of always-changing terrain, never-ending story, and a whole bunch of optional sidequests. I clocked 70 hours with Okami, which is the longest I've spent on a game. Yeah, it felt long, but not nearly as long as Final Fantasy X. Partly because of the numerous sidequests, partly because I left the system on for hours just to listen to the music.

It's well-known that the Half-Life 2 episodes are short. They didn't feel short (especially not Episode 2, given how much ground you cover), so I guess the experience was just that good.

I just recently started replaying HL2 for the achievements. Was that game always long as [dukar]?
Yes. It's what we call "this is the game that makes up for over five years of waiting."

Regarding what WarpRattler said about New Game Plus not feeling that much different from multiple endings... yeah. Because you usually get to go through the game again twice as fast or faster, not just because you know what to do now, but also because you start out with your awesome gear from the last playthrough or experience is doubled. Going through Okami in its New Game Plus mode made me fly through it in under 10 hours, as opposed to 70. It's fun breezing through the game so quickly, but then you lose out on the first experience with its more deliberate pace.
...but screw that, walking on water is always cool.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2010, 12:40:08 PM by penguinwizard »
You didn't say wot wot.

WarpRattler

  • Paid by the word
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2010, 01:35:33 PM »
Yeah, my second run through Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey took twenty-five hours (the first run took ninety-one) because I didn't bother exploring nearly as much or doing most of the sidequests I had already done, plus all the stuff penguinwizard said about starting with badass endgame equipment. And I'm fifteen hours into my third run and already at the save point next to the final boss (though I do have some things exclusive to my alignment this run to take care of before I take it down).

I'd still say "it depends," though, simply because saying a game can never be too short is just an invitation for developers to end games prematurely (or worse, make the initial $50 or $60 purchase only be part of the story and make the rest paid DLC, or do what some Japanese companies do with JRPGs and make international editions). Games not having replay value is never an issue, though. There are so many games out there that you shouldn't feel like you have to be compelled to replay one or else it wasn't worth the price. If it gives you a reason to play it again (multiple endings, higher difficulty, opportunity for a better score/time, et cetera), great. If it doesn't, oh well, just move on to another game. (The "I can't afford more games" excuse doesn't work with all the free high-quality stuff out there, unless you're on Turtlekid's previous computer.)

« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2010, 01:57:05 PM »
I'd say that it depends on the genre. A fifteen-hour RPG is barely worth one's money, while a certain platformer which can technically be finished in eleven minutes still entertains players twenty years later.
YYur  waYur n beYur you Yur plusYur instYur an Yur Yur whaYur

« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2010, 02:17:44 PM »
I'm with Weegee: it depends on the genre. I'm not going to pay $50 for a 15 hour RPG. I want my RPG's to last me a long time (not because of difficulty or dependence on items, but that's for another topic possibly). I want  RPG's to be at least 25 or so hours. I honestly don't play a lot of RPGs myself. I'm more of a platform player (or even more specifically, a Mario gamer, with bits of Zelda, Kirby and Metroid thrown in for flavor).

Anyway, it's all about the genre. A game may be too short because players breezed through it too. New SMBW is a good example. Someone I know bought the game and beat Bowser that day, but didn't bother to search for all the Star Coins. He complained the game was too short..
Kinopio is the ultimate video game character! Who else can drive a kart, host parties, play tennis, give good advice and items, and is almost always happy??

WarpRattler

  • Paid by the word
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2010, 03:53:41 PM »
A fifteen-hour RPG can definitely be worth $50. Genre has no bearing on how long a game should be (with the exception of shmups and games of other arcade-oriented genres, which, again, can be too long) or how much it should cost for said length.

To look at it a different way, a fifteen-hour RPG for $50 is still more cost-effective than going to see a movie in a theater, and, in some cases, more enjoyable. And I know you guys go see movies.

« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2010, 09:09:18 PM »
...or do what some Japanese companies do with JRPGs and make international editions
I had to look up "International version" on Wikipedia, because I remember there was a Final Fantasy X International edition. I guess it makes sense, release the game in its home territory with all the upgrades featured in foreign releases... but wouldn't it just be easier to call it the "Ultra edition" or "Holy Schnikey edition"?

See, when I hear "international edition", I think it should be the ultimate version of the game released in ALL countries (or at least everybody that got a release of the game before), not just Japan. Frickin' Japan getting all the good stuff, as usual.
You didn't say wot wot.

ShadowBrain

  • Ridiculously relevant
« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2010, 09:21:13 PM »
"It Depends": Well, if it's like, say, Braid or Portal--plenty challenging and thematically deep--then no problems there. Something like a run-of-the-mill platformer, though... well, that's a different story.
"Mario is your oyster." ~The Chef

« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2010, 09:34:15 PM »
I'm amazed that Brian didn't note the innuendo in this thread's title.
YYur  waYur n beYur you Yur plusYur instYur an Yur Yur whaYur

Glorb

  • Banned
« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2010, 11:30:45 PM »
Actually I could have sworn this thread was about Weegee until I actually read it.

(or Ped Xing)
every

« Reply #14 on: June 06, 2010, 01:39:21 AM »
I think the length of the game is not a determining factor in whether or not the game is good.

Rather, if you finish a game and one of your thoughts about it has to do with the length it took to complete, that's a sign that nothing else in the game was very interesting. So, the game sucked. I guess an exception would be on the other side, where a game is super long. But sometimes, really long games are also really repetitive, which is also bad.

So basically, saying a game "is too short" means the game sucked and didn't make a lasting impression on you, like good games do.

Rarely, a good game will be noticeably short, like Portal. When I played Portal I didn't think it was very short, but apparently everyone else does. Anyway, in the case where a good game is noticeably short, most often people just play the game again and their gripes are solved, whereas for a bad short game, people say "man that game was too short" and then poop all over it and play Portal.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2010, 01:41:28 AM by bobman37 »

WarpRattler

  • Paid by the word
« Reply #15 on: June 06, 2010, 05:35:10 AM »
Uh, last time I checked, video games aren't about leaving a lasting impression on the player. They're about having fun.

Being repetitive also has little to do with quality. Entire franchises - hell, entire genres - have been crafted around the same repetitive gameplay across numerous entries spanning a decade or more. And repetition isn't magically more acceptable in some genres than others - if the player is honestly having fun, a hundred hours of a repetitive RPG is no less valid than putting a hundred hours into learning a repetitive fighting game. (Just as long as the RPG player doesn't start claiming to be skilled because of this.)

As an addendum to bobman's last statement, though, many cries that a game is too short are unwarranted, and sometimes come from the person making the claim playing the game wrong. As an example, look at professional reviews of home ports of some arcade games, in which the reviewer credit-feeds through the game and then complains that it's too short because they "completed" it in one sitting. (Worse, they'll sometimes also say it's "too easy" because you can just throw credits at it until you reach the end.)

Turtlekid1

  • Tortuga
« Reply #16 on: June 06, 2010, 06:32:03 AM »
So basically, saying a game "is too short" means the game sucked and didn't make a lasting impression on you, like good games do.
Or, on the other hand, it was one of the best games you'd ever played, and you simply would've like to have more of it to enjoy.
"It'll say life is sacred and so is death
but death is life and so we move on"

Glorb

  • Banned
« Reply #17 on: June 06, 2010, 11:09:09 AM »
Portal is used as the quality/quantity yardstick when talking about game length, but I'm in the camp that says that while it's good, it could've used a little extra...something. It feels like a large part of the video game experience was just sort of left out. There's about twenty-some chambers of tutorials that are practically impossible to fail, then a couple hard ones, then all of a sudden you're embroiled in a life-or-death struggle against a computer actively trying to kill you while running around the compound's dilapidated maintainence areas. It's like that big "MISSING REEL" part of Death Proof, except a lot more fluid. Honestly, looking back on the game, people give it a lot more credit than it deserves. It's fun, yes, funny, sometimes, and has a truly unique gameplay mechanic. But a fun gameplay mechanic and couple internet memes do not make up for the fact that it's an anorexic experience, a game with a beginning and an end but no middle.
every

ShadowBrain

  • Ridiculously relevant
« Reply #18 on: June 06, 2010, 11:13:32 AM »
Well, yeah, it's a little overrated, but it still felt like a cohesive, satisfying gaming experience to me.

I'm amazed that Brian didn't note the innuendo in this thread's title.
I am getting a little rusty... but in my defense, most potential jokes would've fallen into the largely passe "that's what she said" territory.
"Mario is your oyster." ~The Chef

WarpRattler

  • Paid by the word
« Reply #19 on: June 06, 2010, 01:13:28 PM »
I would rather have no middle (Portal) than too much middle (a lot of games, particularly some of your really generic JRPGs).

« Reply #20 on: June 06, 2010, 06:35:59 PM »
So basically, saying a game "is too short" means the game sucked and didn't make a lasting impression on you, like good games do.

Bad games can leave a lasting impression too. See Zero Wing (l recall people talking about how bad it was long before it became an internet meme) or Yoshi's Story (ok, terrible noises in this case. EEEEEAAAAAOOOOHHHH! EEEEEAAAAAOOOOHHHH!)
Kinopio is the ultimate video game character! Who else can drive a kart, host parties, play tennis, give good advice and items, and is almost always happy??

Chupperson Weird

  • Not interested.
« Reply #21 on: June 06, 2010, 07:36:23 PM »
Uh, something tells me you don't even know what people talked about Zero Wing for.
That was a joke.

CrossEyed7

  • i can make this whatever i want; you're not my dad
« Reply #22 on: June 07, 2010, 01:22:49 AM »
Yoshi's Story is a very good game.
"Oh man, I wish being a part of a Mario fan community was the most embarrassing thing about my life." - Super-Jesse

« Reply #23 on: June 07, 2010, 02:04:44 AM »
Or, on the other hand, it was one of the best games you'd ever played, and you simply would've like to have more of it to enjoy.
This is very possible, in which case [see the end of my last post].

« Reply #24 on: June 07, 2010, 03:26:40 AM »
My favorite video game of all time can be finished in 3 hours if you skip the cutscenes, so I try not to criticize games for being too short.
Luigison: Question everything!
Me: Why?

« Reply #25 on: June 07, 2010, 04:26:08 AM »
TF2 has cutscenes?

A note on the Portal talk: The main reason Portal is "overrated" is the clash between what people expected and what Valve delivered. As the contents of the Orange Box solidifed people were A) Super-hype for Ep. 2  B) Mega-hype for TF2  C) Mildly curious about Portal. All we expected, and all that was advertised, was that Valve had bought some tiny student group's project (and hired the students) and were throwing this little puzzle game into the bundle as a bonus, and because it was too small a thing to sell normally. No one but no one expected a plot, wonderful humor, an all-time great villain, a Jonathon Coulton song, busting out of the puzzle rooms into the Half-Life universe, and everything else we got.

Glorb's last post spoke of how he thought something felt left out of Portal, but it's quite the opposite. The game delivers far more than you expect going in. He says it has no "middle", but the middle is the period where you start discovering bloody handprints and the hideouts "outside" of the puzzles. The middle is the part before you escape the chambers, but after you begin to wonder about the game's universe instead of thinking of it as A Puzzle Game.

This all would have been ruined, of course, if Valve had acted like a normal company and spoiled the magic with trailers and magazine articles and demos. But they didn't; they played it straight just talking about the portal mechanic and I love love them for it. Of all the realizations I've come to in my life, perhaps the one that has improved my enjoyment of life the most is that MARKETING IS YOUR ENEMY. Over the last couple years of avoiding info, not watching trailers, and not playing demos of anything I was remotely interested in, games, movies, and books are incredibly more potent experiences. You don't have to say, "here's the demo section". You don't already know all the best one-liners. You don't know that Mel Gibson's daughter is going to die within ten minutes.

So, if you want a better life: close your eyes and plug your ears at the movie theater, don't read the blurb on the back of that book, and do not play that demo if you already know you're getting the full game.

This is why you people watching YouTube vids of the end of SMG2 baffle me. You seem the same as people who decide to kill themselves. Spoilers are mind-suicide, the destruction of an experience that can never be recreated. Don't do it. There's so much to live for!

Turtlekid1

  • Tortuga
« Reply #26 on: June 07, 2010, 06:22:50 AM »
The experience can also never be played for you.  Watching gameplay =/= playing it yourself.  The word "experience" implies that you are the one doing the experiencing.  That can only be taken away if you let it be taken away, not because you watched a trailer or played a demo (incidentally, some of us have finite quantities of money to spend on frivolous things like video games, and said trailers and demos help us decide whether we're actually going to want to play said games after we've spent said money on them).
"It'll say life is sacred and so is death
but death is life and so we move on"

« Reply #27 on: June 07, 2010, 08:54:47 AM »
Uh, something tells me you don't even know what people talked about Zero Wing for.

You're right. I don't. I just recall hearing people literally say "This game is bad!" when talking about it.
Kinopio is the ultimate video game character! Who else can drive a kart, host parties, play tennis, give good advice and items, and is almost always happy??

WarpRattler

  • Paid by the word
« Reply #28 on: June 07, 2010, 10:57:18 AM »
What Lizard Dude is saying is why some of the best demos and trailers involve things that aren't in the game or movie at all (though it also means he's missing out in these cases). Demos like that of Audiosurf, Beat Hazard, and many casual games, where you have full access to everything but only a limited amount of plays or time to play, also work well. These games don't have plots to spoil, so their creators can deliver a demo that lets you see how the game itself works without worrying about spoiling anything. Another example would be the Final Fantasy XII demo packed in with Dragon Quest VIII, which let the player experience how the combat worked, and nothing more.

And Turtlekid, as I already said, the complaint that you have limited funds holds no water in this day and age. Even without pirating games, there are more games out there than you could ever hope to possibly play in a single lifetime. Download some freeware games and play those. Instead of worrying about whatever fancy new game is coming out for the PS3 or Wii, get some last-gen games you missed and play those. Buy a few five- and ten-dollar games on Steam (not Eternity's Child) and play those.

Try getting more games than you have time to play like the rest of us, and suddenly you'll never have to worry about having to replay games or whether games are too short!

Glorb

  • Banned
« Reply #29 on: June 07, 2010, 12:39:02 PM »
LD, I respectfully disagree that "the clash between what people expected and what Valve delivered" is the reason I or anyone would think Portal is overrated. People expected a straight-up portal-creating puzzle/adventure game, which they fully delivered. They didn't expect it would also have a slowly unraveling, cryptic story, which it delivered in spades and which cemented the game's reputation.

I stand by my assertion that the game is lacking a big chunk of what it needs to be a good game, and not just a cool series of puzzles packaged with a collection of funny voice clips and premade internet memes. From a purely gameplay standpoint: It has a ramp-up, but then throws you into an endgame and final boss fight. It gives you no breathing room to truly explore the possibilities of the portal mechanic outside of "omg, i can fall forever!!" since, as soon as the game removes your training wheels, you're 90% done and all that's left are a couple test chambers, the facility's abandoned backrooms, and the end.

People are loath to criticize Portal because it is truly an excellent game. People just like to project their own dream game onto their memories of it, something aided by the game's short length and legitimately funny moments. It's just like how Half-Life is a good game, but not the masterpiece of postmodern storytelling and drama people play it up as.
every

« Reply #30 on: June 07, 2010, 01:44:57 PM »
TF2 has cutscenes?

More like Metal Gear Solid 2.
Luigison: Question everything!
Me: Why?

WarpRattler

  • Paid by the word
« Reply #31 on: June 07, 2010, 01:52:38 PM »
People just like to project their own dream game onto their memories of [Portal]
You don't have to project anything onto memories of it. Again, Portal being a short game works to its advantage - you can just sit down for a couple of hours and play it again, and see it for what it is.

Glorb, did you by chance play Portal: Prelude? It was an attempt by fans to make what you're describing: a game that is effectively Portal without the training wheels. The idea looked good on paper, and for about the first half of the game it was fun. But they tried too hard; rather than simply showing off the unexplored possibilities that the portal mechanic offers, it ended up being unfairly difficult later on, with some sections requiring you to do things like fire six portals in two seconds to get through an instant-kill barrier. Of course, part of this can be explained away by the fact that it was a fan game - loads of Super Mario World ROM hacks are the same way. But considering the designs of some of the advanced testchambers in the real game, who's to say Valve would've done much better in the same engine?

I'm looking forward to Portal 2, because even though I sadly probably won't get to play the co-op mode, I'm looking forward to what they do with the portal mechanic in a further-revamped Source engine.

« Reply #32 on: June 07, 2010, 02:25:59 PM »
More like Metal Gear Solid 2.
MGS2 is your Favorite Game of All Time?

* Lizard Dude turns to the side, clutching his stomach as if in torturous pain, and vomits ferociously.

HURBLAAAUAUUGGH

Glorb

  • Banned
« Reply #33 on: June 07, 2010, 02:34:23 PM »
Warp, you're being too kind. Portal Prelude sucked really bad. It's as if a bunch of dudes got together and created a machine that directly converts hard work into pure, polished [dukar].

And...why wouldn't you get to play the co-op mode?
every

WarpRattler

  • Paid by the word
« Reply #34 on: June 07, 2010, 02:41:36 PM »
I'll be playing it on PC. The PC version probably won't have splitscreen play, and my Internet connection is not conducive to online play.

And no, Portal: Prelude was fun for a short while. It abruptly turned to crap partway through.

« Reply #35 on: June 07, 2010, 02:46:01 PM »
MGS2 is your Favorite Game of All Time?

* Lizard Dude turns to the side, clutching his stomach as if in torturous pain, and vomits ferociously.

HURBLAAAUAUUGGH

Um, sorry?
Luigison: Question everything!
Me: Why?

« Reply #36 on: June 07, 2010, 02:53:05 PM »
Hey, I'm not saying anything. That was just an involuntary reaction.

WarpRattler

  • Paid by the word
« Reply #37 on: July 04, 2010, 01:58:43 PM »

Glorb

  • Banned
« Reply #38 on: July 04, 2010, 05:25:19 PM »
I disagree; length and value are, at least in my view, almost inseperable, but for different reasons that I can't really explain fully. I play video games for fun; I'm not an art-gamer. So, to be honest, I'm not too keen on paying fifty bucks for a game that'll last me 30 minutes, maybe a bit more. Granted, I'm not a shmup gamer, but this is a universal statement. Even if a game grants a lot of satisfaction, think about it: There's no real reward for that aside from a smile on your face and a pleasurable case of the adrenaline shakes.

We need to stop using tired movie/book/music comparisons, with the old "oh, books aren't judged by page count" chustnut. If I, personally, bought a game that would take me half an hour to beat, and played the exact same every time through, I would return it if I could. Half an hour of fun is not worth half a week's paycheck in my eyes, no matter how fun that half hour is. It's just a half-hour. And if I replay it a second time to find it's exactly the same, the fun has dropped off about 50%.

Subjective concepts like "value" are just that. Subjective. So, peeps, stop defending every overpriced, super-short game that comes out, because not everyone should be expected to pay a lot for something they don't derive value from. Price, value, and length are all properties that are linked together, whether you like it or not.
every

WarpRattler

  • Paid by the word
« Reply #39 on: July 04, 2010, 06:30:18 PM »
If you play a shmup and clear it on your first try, you're either incredibly good at them or playing it wrong.

People nowadays misunderstand this sort of game. They're so used to many aspects of modern gaming that the idea of spending $50 on a short game and playing it again and again until they can clear it in a single try doesn't even cross their minds - after all, who wants to spend time getting better at a game if it means playing the same thing again every time, right? And they would think you were insane if you mentioned the idea of playing for score.

And as pointed out in the article, it used to be that you'd pay $50 for games like Sonic the Hedgehog - how is a short game with immense replayability nowadays any less valid for that price than one was back then? The idea that a game has to be a certain length to be worth a certain price just leads to padding of the sort the writer described.

To put it another way: if price should be tied to length, every game should be free because of freeware games that last hundreds of hours.

Glorb

  • Banned
« Reply #40 on: July 04, 2010, 09:25:50 PM »
But that's just the problem, Warp - not everyone appreciates shmups. I, personally, dislike them. I am incapable of ever getting good at the majority of them due to the intense of amount of trial-and-error patience they demand. Despite this, I have reached the end of a few of them in my day, and can verify that after doing so, that's it. I never felt any urge to go back and obsess over attack patterns or whatever.

I realize long =/= good and short =/= bad; the HL2 episodes are eternal monuments to this. However, those are entire, full, juicy games packed with detailed environments, constantly shifting gameplay, excellent scriptwriting, and content that begs to be replayed. Would I pay less for it? Of course I would, I'm not a dumb***. I jump at the chance to pay less for already-great things.

But snark aside, gaming evolves. People payed top dollar for Sonic back in the day because that was pretty much the equivalent of what CoD is today - a full, fleshed-out experience with constantly shifting, varied challenges that took full advantage of the platform is was designed for. Would I pay 50 bucks for it today? Hell no, because times have changed.

We need to stop romanticizing things. Not everyone plays games for the craftmanship and art and all that crap. I play games to have what I consider fun, end of story.
every

WarpRattler

  • Paid by the word
« Reply #41 on: July 04, 2010, 10:54:12 PM »
It's not a matter of being a fan of a particular genre, or even a matter of a particular genre. And it's certainly not a matter of craftmanship or art. The issue here is the issue posed earlier in the thread: somehow people think the length of a single playthrough determines the quality of a game, which is a completely retarded way to look at things.

Again, this state of affairs has led to developers padding games out with things like repetitive missions, levels that feel tacked-on, and extra-long grinds to be able to defeat the end boss, all to hit some magical hour marker that should be the least of a player's concern, but has somehow gotten itself lodged into the collective consciousness of the mainstream gamer. Except in very rare and special cases (Portal), anything less than a certain length is decried as "too short" and doomed to failure.

Speaking of, Portal has been brought up several times, but only one person has stated the key point that makes bringing it up a poor argument: it was not initially a standalone game. When Portal came out, it was part of a full-price package with four other full games. Had Valve released Portal by itself for fifty dollars, it most likely would have been a flop both critically and commercially, not because it's a bad game, but because people refuse to pay that much money for short games. This is the case with DeathSmiles.

DeathSmiles, unfortunately, has one disadvantage of not being advertised particularly well; I've heard many cases of people buying it not knowing what kind of game it was. However, in this case, the issue is that people spent $50 on a game while having no idea what it was, so they're not exactly justified in complaining that they bought a short game when they could've done ten seconds of research and discovered it's a shmup.

And, as also pointed out in the article, you're paying fifty dollars for not only a game, but also an excellent arrange soundtrack and a special faceplate (different from the one released with the limited edition of the game in Japan, so there's actually a bit of a sale market for them). As noted, the IGN review that was linked in the article never mentioned this fact, and made several claims completely disregarding this fact. Good work, games media! You've successfully managed to connect length and price in a way that bypasses common sense!

Also:
People payed top dollar for Sonic back in the day because that was pretty much the equivalent of what CoD is today - a full, fleshed-out experience with constantly shifting, varied challenges that took full advantage of the platform is was designed for.
Horrible comparison, because it completely skirts around what I said. Let's see it again:
[H]ow is a short game with immense replayability nowadays any less valid for that price than one was back then?
Now, how do you get "a full, fleshed-out experience with constantly shifting, varied challenges that took full advantage of the platform is was designed for" out of this? And how does that matter at all? It's still spending $50 on a short game, yet you're claiming it's because the game pushed the limits of its system (despite not doing so at all).
Would I pay 50 bucks for it today? Hell no, because times have changed.
Also irrelevant. It's not a matter of paying $50 today for a game from 1991. It's a matter of paying $50 for a brand-new game that happens to have a similar length to older games.

« Reply #42 on: July 05, 2010, 03:51:51 AM »
Subjective concepts like "value" are just that. Subjective. So, peeps, stop defending every overpriced, super-short game that comes out, because not everyone should be expected to pay a lot for something they don't derive value from. Price, value, and length are all properties that are linked together, whether you like it or not.

Coming from the guy who has no problem selling off his games to GameStop after 1 playthrough.
As a game that requires six friends, an HDTV, and skill, I can see why the majority of TMK is going to hate on it hard.

Turtlekid1

  • Tortuga
« Reply #43 on: July 05, 2010, 08:20:46 AM »
repetitive missions
You mean like playing the exact same game over and over again to be able to even beat the main story mode (much less go for a better score or whatever)?

levels that feel tacked-on
Define "tacked-on."  Unless it's a gimmick or gimmick level (such as the motorcycle racing in Crash Bandicoot Warped or Yoshi in Super Mario Sunshine), it shouldn't feel tacked-on.  Maybe it will feel like padding, but that's absolutely fine, because most padding (the most obvious exception being grinding, which is completely optional in most RPGs, and even discouraged in some of them) is just fine.  Super Mario Galaxy 2 was basically extra levels for Super Mario Galaxy with a less-tacked-on Yoshi, but it's widely regarded just as highly as its predecessor, if not more so.

extra-long grinds to be able to defeat the end boss
You mean like playing the exact same game over and over again to be able to even reach the final boss?

You're contradicting your own argument here by saying that too-short games are just peachy... because you can play through them multiple times.  But isn't playing through the same game more repetitive than grinding, and more padded than games that at least have variety in their "repetitive missions"?
"It'll say life is sacred and so is death
but death is life and so we move on"

Glorb

  • Banned
« Reply #44 on: July 05, 2010, 10:55:54 AM »
Coming from the guy who has no problem selling off his games to GameStop after 1 playthrough.

Is that meant as some kind of sicknasty iceburn? Because yes, I buy and resell used games. I'm not about to spend fifty or sixty bucks on a brand-new game that I can't return if I don't like, and I'm [darn] sure not about to refuse to recoup my money spend after it's outlived its fun.

Jesus, when did video games become so [darn] serious?
every

WarpRattler

  • Paid by the word
« Reply #45 on: July 05, 2010, 03:19:47 PM »
Turtlekid, while I'll cede that repetitive missions could be compared to playing the same levels of a shmup repeatedly (though this is where the "score-based play" argument comes in - there's always room for improvement when you're trying to play a shmup for score), comparing JRPGs to shmups brings us back to the performance versus mastery argument. One player could spend the same amount of time improving their own skill at a game as another could making the numbers that define a character on-screen go up.

And "tacked-on" means exactly what it sounds like. It means stuff that feels like they added it at the last minute to try to extend the game's length.

Chupperson Weird

  • Not interested.
« Reply #46 on: July 05, 2010, 03:29:36 PM »
How do you determine if something "feels" like that? I can't determine how anyone would decide that.
Also, what is with bashing people for thinking RPGs are fun?
If I like to make my characters' numbers on a screen go up who are you to tell me that isn't fun for me?
That was a joke.

« Reply #47 on: July 05, 2010, 04:22:43 PM »
Is that meant as some kind of sicknasty iceburn? Because yes, I buy and resell used games. I'm not about to spend fifty or sixty bucks on a brand-new game that I can't return if I don't like, and I'm [darn] sure not about to refuse to recoup my money spend after it's outlived its fun.

Jesus, when did video games become so [darn] serious?

It's pretty humorous how defensive you're getting when I merely pointed out how you view little value in video games, which completely deconstructs your argument.
As a game that requires six friends, an HDTV, and skill, I can see why the majority of TMK is going to hate on it hard.

WarpRattler

  • Paid by the word
« Reply #48 on: July 05, 2010, 11:50:15 PM »
Chupperson is being overly defensive as well, since no one said RPGs aren't fun (except Lizard Dude, and not here).

« Reply #49 on: July 06, 2010, 01:09:49 AM »
I wonder if Glorb also returns albums after listening to them once...
YYur  waYur n beYur you Yur plusYur instYur an Yur Yur whaYur

Glorb

  • Banned
« Reply #50 on: July 06, 2010, 12:53:38 PM »
My concept of value isn't "I bought this game so I must now own it the rest of my life."  If I'm done with it, I'm done. For example, I sold RE4 about three years after I first bought it because I simply got finished with it. I'd beaten it a good six or seven times and unlocked all the unlockable [dukar], and it didn't make sense to own it anymore. Does that mean I didn't value it? No.

You guys are all trying to force extremely rigid views of extremely maleable concepts like value onto everyone else, whether you realize it or not. We all hold value, length, and quality to mean different things, and that's the end of it. I wouldn't pay more than a buck fifty for a shmup that Warp would spend years obsessing over, and wouldn't play it for more than an hour or two before getting bored. Conversely, I doubt Warp would be willing to drop fifty or so bucks on something like Alpha Centauri, which my cousin and I did back when I was little.

So, in short: length, value, and quality are all related, and yet mean nothing at the same time. I like long games myself; that's my view and I'm sticking with it.
every

Black Mage

  • HP 1018 MP 685
« Reply #51 on: July 06, 2010, 04:15:42 PM »
I hate to say it, but I agree with Glorb on this one.

To me, length can factor into what I perceive as the 'value' of a game but is not necessarily the defining quality. A game's the sum of its parts, and the length is just that.

I've played short games I value highly, and I've played games I haven't finished that I value just as high. It's subjective, and saying otherwise just isn't true.

WarpRattler

  • Paid by the word
« Reply #52 on: July 06, 2010, 08:05:54 PM »
Conversely, I doubt Warp would be willing to drop fifty or so bucks on something like Alpha Centauri
Only because I wouldn't spend fifty bucks on another copy of a game I already own (though I would have bought an Alpha Centauri remake in the CivIV engine).

And thank you, Black Mage, for stating this:
length ... is not necessarily the defining quality [of a game's value]
I was arguing against people who think the opposite, who feel that no matter how much fun they may have had playing a game, if it doesn't reach a certain length, it was a bad game and/or not worth their money, especially since a good number of these people happen to have jobs of the "tell people what games are and aren't good" variety. I'm not trying to say that shmups, or short games in general, are the only good games, or anything like that.

Glorb

  • Banned
« Reply #53 on: July 07, 2010, 09:53:20 AM »
If that's the case, then this all boils down to:

Don't ever listen to game reviewers. Ever ever ever.
every

WarpRattler

  • Paid by the word
« Reply #54 on: July 07, 2010, 01:21:08 PM »
Yes, but while that works for those of us who know what they're looking for in a video game, it doesn't for everyone else.

Of course, the biggest problem with game reviews is that they still use arbitrary number systems to rate a game; the fact that it's possible to give a game a negative review but a high score should say enough.

Also regarding reviewers' uselessness: The PSP port of Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars currently has a higher aggregate score on Metacritic than the DS version. The two games are identical aside from the DS version using the touchscreen for the minigames (which were made for the touchscreen). The reason for the PSP port scoring better is left as an exercise for the reader.

« Reply #55 on: July 07, 2010, 03:50:36 PM »
IGN once had a podcast where they lamented that they have to give scores to games, because people will just skip to the end, read the score, and leave. They put effort (how much effort depends on what you think of IGN) into writing out the reviews and nobody reads them. The words explain where the games work and where they don't, and just offer more substance than a single score does. They also touched upon how people freak out and think a game's bad if it doesn't score at least an 8.0, ignoring that in their system an average game is 5.0 instead of like 7.5.

IGN also said that when a game is identical across platforms, one platform version will get a higher score compared to another based on what other games exist for that platform and how the new game stacks up against its competition.

Most interesting of all, they touched upon how the scores are a product of how impressive a game was when released at the time, and what to do when a game is released years later that is so much better than the previous game given a 9.8 yet doesn't have the same amount of awe as the previous game did at its time. Result: the new game gets a lower score despite technically being better than the old. And how one guy was pressured into just re-doing the Jade Empire review to give it a 10 since 9.9 is so close that it should just go all the way.

But then, IGN was the one that gave 10s to both Grand Theft Auto IV and Metal Gear Solid 4, so... yeah.


I'm guilty of looking at reviews and wanting them to be "good enough" before buying because I can't rely on my local videogame store to stock the games I want to rent and I don't have an account with GameFly. But I did take a chance on "Beyond Good & Evil" and... yeah, I have to say it, "you must buy this game, for the love of God."
You didn't say wot wot.

WarpRattler

  • Paid by the word
« Reply #56 on: July 07, 2010, 05:52:33 PM »
See, rating a game based on what else is on that particular platform makes perfect sense. What doesn't make sense is the norm, which is rating all games on the same scale no matter what. Comparing a DS game to a PS3 game is completely retarded, and means that said DS game could be a better game than said PS3 game but still score lower because the PS3 is a more capable platform in areas aside from gameplay.

And the reasons for people thinking a 7.5 is average rather than a 5 are twofold: one, they're used to school, where a C (which is "average") is 70-79%, and two, because that's how every other game review source seemingly works. Most of the time, a five is far below average.

Trainman

  • Bob-Omg
« Reply #57 on: July 24, 2010, 03:44:56 AM »
Lots of interesting arguments.

Not sure if this has been mentioned before, I think another thing that can make a game feel overly-short is length of time waiting for it to release or expecting developers to make a sequel longer than its predecessor (in certain cases).

I'll refer to Modern Warfare. People complained that the campaign was short (it really is), but I mean, it was the first of the MW series and the game ended on a cliffhanger, so people lived with it. People expected the sequel to be longer and with the time spent developing it, the only thing people speculate was, "Gahhh, its been so long, they MUST be making it much longer, and MUST have heard our desires!" Aaaand, they didn't. Modern Warfare 2 was about 4 missions longer, I believe, and it ended on yet another huge cliffhanger.

Which brings up another point: paying 65 dollars for online multiplayer. The campaigns in some recent shooters are just an excuse to call it a "full" game. I want my money to go equally to each aspect of the game or at least be an unbalanced split that is fair. When I bought MW2 for $65 (I think it was raised 5 dollars to $70 not including tax because of how hot the game was going to be on release)... turns out I paid about 55 dollars of that on multiplayer because the campaign was just a joke. The lead up from "crap might be going down soon dude," to "CRAP ITS GOING DOWN DUDE," to "crap, let's throw them another cliffhanger dude" happened in the shortest amount of time possible.

Was it fun for the most part? Yeah, sure, but, right as the going gets good and you start finding out the big plot points in the game, well, it ends. The campaign is barely 4 hours long, if that.

By the way, I ended up selling MW2 because of its weak multiplayer. I'm sure some of you have heard of its lack of dedicated servers (host migrations and lag almost every match, and half the time, you can't join a lobby), and its series of glitches and exploits. Aaand, that is why I bought Bad Company 2.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2010, 03:48:56 AM by Trainman »
Formerly quite reasonable.

Glorb

  • Banned
« Reply #58 on: July 24, 2010, 06:41:00 PM »
These days I never hear about MW2 unless someone's trading it in for Bad Comapny 2. Which is understandable, because BC2, from what I've played of it, has about eight and a half times better multiplayer than MW2's (I can't speak on behalf of either game's singleplayer).

Of course, Team Fortress 2 > both of those.

And Perfect Dark > Team Fortress 2.
every

« Reply #59 on: July 24, 2010, 07:00:13 PM »
From what I've seen, the TF2 community is just as bad as the MW2 guys are, since they get incredibly butthurt over the smallest changes in the game.
As a game that requires six friends, an HDTV, and skill, I can see why the majority of TMK is going to hate on it hard.

WarpRattler

  • Paid by the word
« Reply #60 on: July 24, 2010, 07:36:42 PM »
The difference is that you don't have to pay fifteen bucks for a map pack in TF2.

And the single-player campaigns in a lot of multiplayer first-person shooters are about as vestigial as single-player modes in most fighting games.

Trainman

  • Bob-Omg
« Reply #61 on: July 24, 2010, 09:50:36 PM »
Eh, I'd say BC2's multi is about 50 times better. There is quite a good bit of skill involved. There really aren't any noob tactics and if there are some that seem like it, they always backfire or get you kicked from the game.

Single-player... hm, modern warfare has that action packed, movie plot feel to it with lots of focus on it. Bad Company has a much more desolate setting and it focuses on the "bad company" (the 4 main characters, of course) and their development, rather than strictly plot. It feels more social as well. The characters are very tightly-knit and make a lot of in-game conversation. What sells the dialogue is how normal it is. There's nothing poetic, nothing that feels like some epic, corny speech. It's just everyday talk.
Formerly quite reasonable.

Glorb

  • Banned
« Reply #62 on: July 25, 2010, 08:29:01 AM »
From what I've seen, the TF2 community is just as bad as the MW2 guys are, since they get incredibly butthurt over the smallest changes in the game.

Well, yes. Bascially, every update to the game, no matter how small, is simultaneously the best and worst update in the history of video games. Additionally, hats are very serious business, and you will get called a noob for using Natascha, Force-a-Nature, or Demoknight (or really, any form of Demoman at all, though that's died down a bit since the game's beginnings), no matter how many different types of kills you get with them.

But, to elaborate on what Warp said, once you buy TF2 (and it's already pretty cheap), it pays for itself, bub. You now have a lifetime free subscription to awesome maps and weapons, and the occasional new gamemode.
every

« Reply #63 on: July 28, 2010, 06:30:02 PM »
Glorb has received this thread's titular complaint on numerous occasions.


Anyways, I recently completed another run of Super Mario RPG. It took me about four days to smite Smithy, clobber Culex and max out my party's levels. This proves testament to the importance of an RPG's post-game longevity. SMRPG is one of my all-time favourite games, but its lack of worthwhile goals after beating the game is one of the few factors which prevents it from attaining a perfect score in my books.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2010, 06:55:35 PM by Weegee »
YYur  waYur n beYur you Yur plusYur instYur an Yur Yur whaYur

« Reply #64 on: July 31, 2010, 08:51:14 PM »
"The Neverhood" is short if you know what to do and where to go, and even when looking back on it you realize you didn't really travel much, but it's still very enjoyable and recommended. I'm pretty sure it's abandonware considering I got it off an abandonware site (Home of the Underdogs, naturally), so snag it and give it a try.
You didn't say wot wot.

« Reply #65 on: August 21, 2010, 05:00:48 PM »
A lot of indie devs recently wrote on this subject.

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