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Does game length matter to you? How much?

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Does game length matter to you? How much?

Old 11-11-03, 01:15 PM
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Does game length matter to you? How much?

This is a good topic, and came up in the Prince of Persia thread. I think it's a good discussion, and we shouldn't clutter a game thread with this topic. So I decided to create a new thread.

So the question is: How important is the length of a game to you? Will you buy a $50 game for 10 hours of gameplay?

I don't care what the length of a game is, as long as the game itself is fun. Long gameplay is just an added bonus, and the least important aspect of a game for me. People regularly go to the movie theater, spending $10 for 2 hours of entertainment. If a $50 game only provides 10 hours of gameplay, that's still just the same as going to the movies. It's not so bad. Anyway, that's how I look at it. What does everyone else think?
Old 11-11-03, 01:27 PM
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Length of game is not of importance to me. That being said I try to find a deal, etc before paying $50 for any game, but the length of the game is not a factor in that.

As a matter of fact, I probably have not bought some games or even not started playing specific series of games because I just don't have the attention span to play a 60 or 80 hour game.

Might be interesting to put a poll on this thread...
Old 11-11-03, 01:29 PM
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Re: Does game length matter to you? How much?

Originally posted by Joshic

So the question is: How important is the length of a game to you? Will you buy a $50 game for 10 hours of gameplay?
Very rarely. I have a very limited expendable in come (live by myself in the DC area on a graduate Assitantship) so I try to maximize value. I try to only pay $50 for a game that I'll get at least 20-25 hours out of. Games always go on sale, drop in price, can be had in trades, on Ebay etc. so I see no point in dropping $50 on a short game when I can wait a while and get it for much less.

As for the movie analogy. 1) I generally don't pay more than $6.25 as I can get in for the matinee rate all day at the theater I go to with my student ID. 2) I'm more into movies than games so it's something I'd rather spend my $ on. 3) It's a smaller blow to the budget at one time. $6.25 spent at once is a lot easier on the wallet than $50 regardless of the time value.
Old 11-11-03, 01:34 PM
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The length totally depends on the genre for me.

I don't mind that a Contra game only takes an hour to finish because I'm going to replay that hour many, many times. I do mind when a Zelda is short because I'm not going to touch it again for years once I've finished it.
Old 11-11-03, 01:39 PM
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Agreed Ralph.

Replay value is factored into my decisions. A game like PoP is something I'll only play through once in all likelyhood, so it taking 10-15 hours to finish makes it not worth $50 to me.
Old 11-11-03, 02:04 PM
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I can see where Josh is coming from, especially if you are on a tight budget, as most people are or should be. My only issue is that my free time to play games has decreased, as my ability to buy them has increased, leaving me with quite a few games I've never finished, which in turn reduces my ability to care if the game is a 60 hr epic or not. The last RPG I bought was Suikoden 3, and I just could not dedicate the time a great RPG deserves so after 8 hrs of play, I sold it on ebay (for 50 ). Nowadays with limited time, and a somewhat limited budget, (yeah, I'll work till I'm dead and ya'll will retire when you're 45) I prefer the short and sweet 10-20 hr games.
Old 11-11-03, 02:06 PM
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I'd rather play a game that's eight hours long and exceptionally fun than a twenty hour game that's merely okay. Quantity is less important to me than quality. Obviously, having both would be nice, but if I had to choose one over the other, a short but excellent game would win out each and every time.
Old 11-11-03, 02:10 PM
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I agree with the quality point.

I won't buy a "merely okay" game period, unless I get duped unsuspectedly (cough, Rebel Strike, cough). One, it's a waste of money. Second, buying them encourges companies to keep churning out mediocre dreck.

Similarly, I won't pay $50 for a game that I know is short.

With games not being my favorite hobby, and having a limited amount of $ for entertainment, I do my damnest to only buy quality games that provide at least 20-25 hours of gameplay.
Old 11-11-03, 02:18 PM
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For me it really depends on the game. I mostly buy rpgs, so I go for longer length/ more value for your dollar.

If a game is 10 hours I usually rent it and save the cash unless its really good or has lots of replay value. Or if the game has some really good multiplayer modes like Super Smash Bros Melee and Super Monkey Ball 2.

But yeah, I wish games were longer, $50 is a lot of money to burn on a few hours of playtime, so I only buy it if I can get a a lot out of it. But again, depends on the game.

I would say length is a significant factor for me when it comes to deciding on which games I buy. I still enjoy the short ones, but I don't buy'em.
Old 11-11-03, 02:46 PM
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I think the most important point is to never spend $50 on a game. In the last month I've purchased:

- Castlevania: LoI
- ICO
- Ratchet & Clank
- Top Spin
- Rainbow Six 3
- Fire Emblem

all brand new for just under $105 total. I use the available deals and wait until games become Greatest Hits.

Games aren't my number one hobby and I couldn't care less about having them on release (unless it is Live) so I usually wait until they are cheap.

Last edited by Ralph Wiggum; 11-11-03 at 02:53 PM.
Old 11-11-03, 02:51 PM
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As long as the game is fun, I don't really care how long it is. In fact, I'd prefer to have a shorter game with maybe a little more replayability value (like going back and unlocking things, finding all the items, etc.) vs. a longer game.

I've pretty much always felt that way, but even moreso since having a family and a full-time job. I just don't have the time to put into gaming like I used to, and that makes it all the harder for me to get into deeper, longer games.

Good topic, btw!
Old 11-11-03, 02:52 PM
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Originally posted by Josh Hinkle
I won't buy a "merely okay" game period
Yeah, sorry, that was a poor choice of words on my part. What I meant was the difference between "good" and "great" -- I'd prefer a short, excellent game to one that's longer but not quite as wonderful.

Gaming isn't my primary hobby either, although I'm kind of in a different boat. There are constantly new games being released that I'm itching to play, and I can't resist the urge to buy them, even though I still have a stack of unfinished games on my shelf. I'll still play all the way through longer games, but it's becoming less and less common as more titles compete for my attention.
Old 11-11-03, 02:57 PM
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In the "short but excellent" category there's Call of Duty. But then again, I plan to replay it, and it includes multiplayer.
Old 11-11-03, 02:58 PM
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Originally posted by ctyner
Yeah, sorry, that was a poor choice of words on my part. What I meant was the difference between "good" and "great" -- I'd prefer a short, excellent game to one that's longer but not quite as wonderful.

Gaming isn't my primary hobby either, although I'm kind of in a different boat. There are constantly new games being released that I'm itching to play, and I can't resist the urge to buy them, even though I still have a stack of unfinished games on my shelf. I'll still play all the way through longer games, but it's becoming less and less common as more titles compete for my attention.

Yeah, well try to avoid buying even "good" games. I really try to only by games that I personally rate as AAA, 9/10 or higher etc.

But I'm in a different boat as you said, as there's not been many games this generation that I'm "itching to play." Maybe 6 or so a year I really want to play, plus a few sleeper games here and there.
Old 11-11-03, 03:30 PM
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Originally posted by Ralph Wiggum
I think the most important point is to never spend $50 on a game.
This is an excellent point, and is something I always try to stick with. There isn't a single game out there that I must have on realease day for full retail price. The only time I made an exception to the rule was doing the Wind Waker pre-order for the OOT bonus disc, which I used store credit from EB for trading in junk DVDs when they were taking them back for $10 a pop.
Old 11-11-03, 09:04 PM
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1. I don't pay more than $20 for a game. I used to make the occasional exception, but now that I have a stack of unplayed games about two console generations high, this is a hard-and-fast rule.

2. I think the ideal length for a story-driven action game is about 8-10 hours, and the ideal length for a platformer is about 15-20 hours. Those are my genres of choice. I generally don't buy or play games that are longer than 15-20 hours. I play games to relax and unwind, not to kill time in an otherwise meaningless life. There's too much sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll in life (literally and figuratively) to sit around killing hours on end playing games.

3. Clearly quality supercedes quantity. To me, there's no such thing as a game that's too short. If a game is good and short, then I don't care that it's short, because I enjoyed it. Examples of this include ICO and The Mark of Kri. If a game is bad and short, then I don't care that it's short because I'm not going to play it anyway. So in either case, I don't mind if a game is short. But like I said above, I do mind if it's too long.
Old 11-11-03, 09:21 PM
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Replay value is key. But some games, like Max Payne 2, which was very short, are worth it
Old 11-12-03, 01:05 AM
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Length doesn't matter, it's how they use what they have that counts.
Old 11-12-03, 01:35 AM
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Depending on the genre, length can be important. I think rpgs should be at least 30 hours minimum. All other genres, as long as they have replay value, it's ok with me.
Old 11-12-03, 01:39 AM
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Some people forget that places like Blockbuster video exist.

BTW, I'm hearing accounts that the new Mario/Luigi GBA game is only 12-15 hours long. The ROM was released a few days ago.
Old 11-12-03, 01:50 AM
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In most cases I couldn't care less about length. If a game is awesome and its only 8-10 hours, then I consider it money well spent. If a game is really good and is really long, thats just a bonus. Besides, having to play a mediocre game for over 10 hours just gets to the point where your torturing yourself in order to finish.
Old 11-12-03, 11:06 AM
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I think 10-15 hours is a decent length for a game, excluding RPGs. Nobody says you have to stop playing the game once you finish it. As long as it's fun to play, why not play it again? I had so much fun with Pikmin and Luigi's Mansion that I immediately played through them a second time. Other games I go back to a few months (or even years) later. When the plot and puzzles aren't still fresh in your memory, it's almost like playing for the first time all over again. Right now I feel like playing through Secret of Mana one more time...
Old 11-12-03, 12:26 PM
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I agree with the excellent quality over very good / quantity camp.

I'd rather have an excellent short game, then a game that has been "artificially" made longer with the industry standard tricks (i.e.: trial & error deaths, unnecessary dead end real estate, etc...)
Old 11-12-03, 12:31 PM
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Depends on the genre and difficulty of the game.

For RPG, I would like it to be medium to long (25+ hours). I mean a 10 hour RPG just wouldn't be alot of fun (or character development).

For Shooters, it can be 5 or more stages (see Ikaruga), and if it is well designed and moderately difficult, I don't care.

For action/adventure game, 10+ hour gameplay is good.
Old 11-12-03, 12:49 PM
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For me length doesn't matter. I have spent over 100 hours replaying and replaying Advance Wars 2, 2 weeks playing Super Mario World, and played through SMB3 three times. If the game is good, it'll be long. Fire Emblem is about 10 hours but I hated it. I haven't played more than two hours and haven't been compelled to finish it. For FFTA I spent 70 hours on it.

It's not the length, it's the game. I'm not saying FE is a sucky game it just didn't grab me, so it really doens't matter how long it is since I'll finish it just to say I did it but I hate it. Something like AW2 is about what, 10 hours, but I replayed that to no end.

So length matters nothing.

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