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Topic: How important is game length to you?

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rayword45

Has this been a thread before? I honestly don't know. Just read the title.

My opinion is that it's a fairly important factor, but shouldn't be taken into account too much, especially in milder cases. If I had a choice between an awesome game with a 7-hour campaign or a half-decent one clocking in around 60 hours both with no replay value, I'd probably go with the former. However, shorter and I probably wouldn't be satisfied with my purchase.

I also think game length should be relative to price when it first comes out. This is especially true for downloadable titles, as I see people complain about titles like Jett Rocket (4-5 hours for $10), Braid (5 hours for $5 (discount)) and Limbo (5-6 hours for $10) for being too short, and then comparing them to old PS2 titles that cost $3 now. Considering at the time of release, those games were $40, that argument is fairly irrelevant. And when most action games take 10-20 hours for $40-60 titles, I think people complaining over Limbo are being unfair.

Edited on by rayword45

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Splat

I find replay value more important than length. I'll take a short game that brings me back for more over a long game that I only play through once. That said having both is awesome.

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Philip_J_Reed

I'd say it matters not at all to me. Quality is far more important. If it's a short but fantastic game, I'll play it over and over endlessly. If it's a long game, even if it's quite good, I might never play it again simply because I'm already worn out on it. Most of my all time favorite games can be beaten in under 3 hours, but I'm still playing them 20 or so years later because they're that much fun. So, yeah, Skyrim might give me 50 hours minimum, but I've probably invested around 500 in the original Mega Man. So which is the better value?

I honestly don't care how long a game lasts. The only thing I ask is that however long it takes, it keeps me engaged and happy. It's a small request, but it's relatively uncommon that it gets fulfilled.

Length does not equal value, imho. My most played game of all time is probably Pac-Man, and how many levels does that have again?

Edited on by Philip_J_Reed

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Tasuki

Pretty much what Splat and Phil have said goes for me as well. Games today I usually can only play once and usually I find that todays games have stupid achievments/trophies to camouflage a games length. Now games from the NES and SNES era I can play over and over again no matter how long they are just like Phil said it all depends on how fun they are. Its all about replay value and the fun factor for me.

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Tricoloryoshi

It depends on the game I guess...
I'm not sure.

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CM30

Depends on the game.

For an RPG or heavily story based single player experience? Matters a lot, since there's no reason to return once the main quest and sidequests are done.

For a heavily multiplayer focused game like Mario Kart or Smash Bros? Doesn't matter much, since I'll play enough multiplayer matches to make the game's price seem entirely reasonable.

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Void

I don't care so much about the story length, I just care if it's fun and it entertains me for a decent amount of time, I've played through Kid Icarus: Uprising 5 or 6 times, and have logged well over 300 hours on it, but the story I could probably beat in less than 3 hours if I tried.

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Gamesake

Game length is only important in relation to the cost of the game. Let's say you buy a game beat it in ten hours and never play it again. No worries if you only paid $5 for it. You got what you paid for.

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Odnetnin

First, allow me to quote my recent quote:

DarkKnight wrote:

To quote Kyle Gabler, a man I always quote when game length comes up:

Kyle%20Gabler,%20a%20man%20I%20always%20quote%20when%20game%2... wrote:

I certainly didn’t mean to say “This game lasted 4 hours and I paid $20 for it, so that’s $5 an hour, which is too much” because this doesn’t take the quality of the experience of playing the game into account. If my experience of the game was lackluster, playing it is a waste of my time regardless of whether it cost $1/hr or $10/hr. On the other end of that spectrum, Portal would have been a worthwhile experience for me even at $100.

http://2dboy.com/2010/08/17/too-short/

Second, I find this debate very interesting. I will say that I definitely prefer a short good game over a long bad one, for reasons which I think are obvious. However, replayability is an important factor that doesn't seemed to be included in most people's general definition of game length.

Here are some games that I love(d), and comments about their replayability:

  • BIT.TRIP FLUX - This is my favorite game of all time. It also has about an hour and a half worth of content. I also find it to be infinitely replayable. COINCIDENCE?!
  • Portal - Another amazing, amazing game. It lasted four hours. I've only played through it a single time, but the memories I have of playing it stick with me.
  • Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story - I also believe this to be quite a good game. It takes around 20 hours to beat, and almost all of those hours are fun. This, to me, is a good example of how to balance engaging play experience with a meaty adventure. However, once I completed it close to 100%, I had literally no desire to ever play it again. One of the few games that I loved and subsequently sold.
  • Super Mario Galaxy 2 - It took me almost 50 hours of playtime to 100% this game, and I have no regrets about that. However, I tried to play it again long after completing it, and it held no appeal for me at all the second time. This is different from BIS as I had such fond memories of that game that I didn't feel compelled to go back to it, but for SMG2 I had such fond memories of it that I did feel compelled to go back to it, and it severely disappointed when I did.

Also interesting how I had much more to say about the longer games, heh.

Edited on by Odnetnin

moomoo

It depends on:
A) How much I bought it for (the most important factor)
B) How high quality it is
C) How repetitive it is in an annoying way (so for high score games like Pac-Man or Sin and Punishment, they can be "repetitive" since the game is supposed to be replayed)

If I'm doing the same thing over and over again (Assassin's Creed 1, fetch quests in many RPGs, etc.) then the fact that the game is being lengthened is undermined. Still, if I pay $60 for a game, I'm not going to be happy if the game offers me very little play time when there are other games out there that do. Just look at your average Zelda game, or Mario Galaxy. There's a lot of conent there, and at the very least most of it is at a very high quality. Still, if a game is amazing, I won't care too much if it's short. Just look at Portal.
Also, if the game is easy to replay, then how long it is is kind of a hard argument to pull off. Pac Man CE:DX is one of my most consistently played games, and the amount of content there is pretty small. The thing is, it doesn't feel like it is wasting my time, which is pretty valuble to me. But so is money. I like a good balance. Maybe that's why I love many of Nintendo's games.

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WesCash

Obviously I want good value for my money. But it's also satisfying to finish things and move on.
I hate games that are artificially extended with achievements or arbitrary collection quests.
A game is too long if there gets to be a point when you are playing just to beat it.

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kkslider5552000

If a game is long and good, that's awesome. But if a game is short and good, it's likely pretty replayable. I can't think of a short game that I didn't feel like replaying that was good. Granted, if a game is short (especially a full priced retail game, they should a good job at making sure it's designed to be replayed. Sonic Colors is a really good example of this.

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turtlelink

kkslider5552000 wrote:

If a game is long and good, that's awesome. But if a game is short and good, it's likely pretty replayable.

Couldn't have said it better myself.

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RR529

It depends on the genré, price, quality, ect.

In general, I usually don't like to replay RPGs, so I'd like them to last for at least 20-25 hours.

On the other hand, I don't mind if something like a platformer (lets say Kirby's Dream Land) is short, 'cause I'm likely to replay it a lot.

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SirSmugleaf

RR529 wrote:

It depends on the genré, price, quality, ect.

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SirSmugleaf

RR529 wrote:

It depends on the genré, price, quality, ect.

Currently playing: Rhythm Heaven, Minecraft (XBLA), Pokemon B/W 2, Halo 4, The Denpa Men: They Came By Wave, Fallblox, Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door (GCN)

Will be playing soon: Paper Mario: Sticker Star, Cave Story +, Wii U: NSMBU, Nintendo Land, (And lots more!)

Gamesake

It's not surprising that a developer would say no price is too high for a great video game regardless of time spent with it. But a game can be too short to be worth it's price tag. Even Nintendo has justified the high cost of gaming by saying gamers are investing in an experience that will last them months.

WesCash wrote:

I hate games that are artificially extended

Me too. But what I consider to be artificially extending a game is crap like having to walk all the way back to the tank hanger to get a sniper rifle in order to beat a boss I'm already fighting.

kkslider5552000 wrote:

If a game is long and good, that's awesome. But if a game is short and good, it's likely pretty replayable. I can't think of a short game that I didn't feel like replaying that was good. Granted, if a game is short (especially a full priced retail game, they should a good job at making sure it's designed to be replayed. Sonic Colors is a really good example of this.

Totally. I replayed the crap out of Mario Kart on the SNES and Soulcalibur on the Dreamcast. Although not all good games have replay value. Puzzle games are a good example. Games like Professor Layton and World of Goo are not very fun to replay when you know all the solutions--unless you have a really bad memory.

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Banker-Style

Depends on the game.

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