224: So Many Games, So Little Time

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Those '8-10 hour games' are more like 4-6 hour games. They onlybecome '8-10' if you go for 100% completion. And really, if your doing a 100% completion, your not going to be bitching about a game thats to long.

And just to be fair.
A 6 hour game = $10 per game hour. A movie ticket costs about $8. (matanee about $6.50)
8 hour game? $7.50.

Disgaea 3? 400 hours? $0.15
Demon's Souls? 80+ hours? $0.75
Uncharted 1&2 12 hours? $5.00
Half-life 2 15 hours? $3.33 (PC version is the only way to go, and thats $50 at release.)
Orange Box HL2+ep1+e2 25 hours? Portal 2 Hours, TF2 oo Hours. $30. (now)

I must agree with this. People complained that Batman: Arkham Asylum was really short, but considering my daily schedule (18 year-old very studious college student), that game felt pretty long. I appreciate an 8-hour game's length, more so if it's replayable.

-Zen-:
I must agree with this. People complained that Batman: Arkham Asylum was really short, but considering my daily schedule (18 year-old very studious college student), that game felt pretty long. I appreciate an 8-hour game's length, more so if it's replayable.

Yes, this game didn't feel short to me, it took me over a week of on and off playing to finish it

I understand not having time to play.

I have a 9-5 too, so I don't mind a short game at my pace. I also appreciate games are expensive to make so the pricepoint is generally within reason. If a game really reaches me I don't care about the length so long as I feel satisfied when I've taken it to the end.

Operative word being satisfied. And therein lies the problem; Return. Of. Investment.
That is a measure even the most spectacular gameplay cannot help, because it boils down to one of two things: accomplishment and/or tell a story.

I do.

Great article. As a father of 4 with a full-time on-call job with a long commute my gaming time is really a luxury now. I'm lucky if I can squeeze in an hour at night. That's probably why I still haven't finished Oblivion :)

Ronald Meeus:
After all, doesn't a 10-hour game still offer more entertainment for the dollar than your average movie or DVD release?

Movie tickets = $6.00 for 2 hours

Video game = $59.99 for 10 hours

comparatively...you could spend $30.00 on 10 hours worth or movies...even if you did worse case scenario for prime time $11 for 2 hours...it still comes to $55.00 (assuming all those five movies are watched during prime time...)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The complaint for video games is that they cost too much for too little entertainment value. My purchase of CoD is justified given the extensive amount of time I played multiplayer on it...but had I spent $60.00 on a 4-5 hour campaign...oh yeah, I would be pissed...

I'm sorry, but I have to disagree with you on this one. I'm in the middle of my final exams, in my last year of school, so, because I care about my future, and I'm aiming to get into law, I've had almost no time to play video games this year. Also, since I've sacrificed my old tutoring job to make time for studying, I don't have enough money to spend on new games when they come out. That makes the decision to buy a new game crucially important, as I know it's the only game I'm going to get.

I haven't been able to buy a new game for myself essentially this whole year. I put gaming aside so I could study. So, when I get the opportunity to spend money on a game...that's an investment. I knew, at the beginning of the year, that it would be the only new game I'm going to have for the next couple of months - a game that I expect to keep playing, chipping away at, bit by bit, for the better part of that time, just the way I used to slip in tiny bits of Final Fantasy games in between all the extra-curricular activities I was pushed into as a kid.

So, imagine my disappointment when a game I spent $100 of my dwindling savings on (games are expensive as hell in Australia), only keeps me company for a few sessions of play. I buy games expecting them to be kind of like my favourite TV shows - even if you can only get a bit of them, you look forward to knowing that the story is going to keep unfolding over the next twelve weeks. Instead, games are slowly becoming mini-series that seem to cut out most of the substance from the original story.

Personally, I'm starting to think of these 8-10 hour video games more like friends who crash at your place for a while, only to randomly jet off and never speak to you again, leaving you with only a sense of disappointment. Then again, maybe those are just my trust issues speaking. =P But that wasn't what they used to be. Video games used to be like a loyal pet who was excitedly waiting for you at the door, day after day. Maybe you couldn't always play with it, but at least you'd know it was there, and that it would make time for you when you needed to unwind. And, at least you knew you were getting your money's worth.

At least there are still games that offer that, though. Even though I've had it for quite a while now, (I like to say it's aging gracefully), Fallout 3 has stood strong. When I just want to de-stress for half an hour, I can pick it up and go somewhere and see something I probably haven't seen before, especially with all the DLC. As opposed to say, Assassin's Creed, which offers no incentive for exploration beyond an achievement score and a feeling of successfully capturing the flag. oO

I think ten hours for full price is a rip off. But I use Gamefly, so all is forgiven.

The problem is not so much "sort games" than "short games are sold the same price as longer games". Case in point: Call of Duty 4 will last 8 hours TOPS (multi-player notwithstanding), and is sold $60 on PC; whereas Dragon Age: Origins has been reported as lasting as long as 80 hours. For the same price. That's a ten times factor.

When I see that for the same price I can buy a game that lasts ten times longer, I don't know, I just think it's better. Sell me CoD4 ten times cheaper than DA:O and I won't complain.

You need to consider the fact that game length expectation differs from genre to genre, you cant really blanket this opinion across all game genres. For example, Portal was "short" but as an FPS with puzzle elements it was the perfect length and refrained from getting boring by being too long. On the flip side, Baldurs Gate 2 was a lot longer and rightly so - it was an in-depth RPG, which relies heavily on a good story line as its main appeal.

In FPS games, I generally dont expect a game to be too long, I just want something I can quickly hop into for a bit and have a laugh. With an RPG however, I expect countless hours of fun and exploration.

Ronald Meeus:
So Many Games, So Little Time
Real gamers meet wives, and most of these wives aren't thrilled at the prospect of taking over the role of the indulging mother. So they make the real gamers get up from behind their Xbox 360s and find proper jobs. When these gamers get home from work, they concede even more of their dwindling free time to the attention of their children, and after that, their spouses. And when they finally pick up the controller only to hear their wives beckon them upstairs with a bedroom voice, only the very brave (or the very stupid) would make them wait.
Read Full Article

I disagree. I actually got my boyfriend into gaming by getting him a Playstation and giving him my old 360 when I got a new Elite. I also find him games that good segways between "casual" and "hardcore" gaming (he really liked Mod Nation Racers). Mind you, being female I might have had an advantage in convincing my significant other to give gaming a try, but my point is that not every gamer ends up with a naggy spouse telling them to get off the game. You choose who you spend your life with.
As for getting a "real job" - I'm in my second year of animation and I plan to get into the game industry.

But on the main subject of the article, I actually quite enjoy it when games are short - so long as the length was intentional and wasn't a product of lost funding or a shortage of time. In my opinion, short games tend to be of better quality than 50+ hour long epics. Portal was a great game and you'd be hard pressed to squeeze 8 hours out of it.

My only problem with short games is that they almost always cost as much as longer games, and though you usually get what you pay for in terms of quality, as a university student with little cash, I'd rather pay 50$ for 10+ hours of entertainment then the same price for less than 8.

Plinglebob:
One of my friends has an agreement with his girlfriend where she sits and watches her soaps for an hour while he plays games. She's also a casual gamer (LBP, Animal crossing etc) so they also play some multi-player. I do agree with the article though especially regarding game length.

See...relationships can be so much. If you have to kill yourself (metaphorically) to have a "carnal life"...you got the wrong girlfriend.

I game a lot. Not as much as I used to when I was in college...but still a lot. I work 80% and have a girlfriend that loves me more than anything in the world. I dont plan on ever having kids, because I dont see what they would add to my life besides stealing my entire life, both time and resources.

If you dont have kids, and you have a girlfriend who loves you for who you are and dont have to have you on the couch to see Dr. Phil or whatever...you can still be pretty hardcore. I still am, and I have no intention of stopping.

"I became very reluctant to buy a game like The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, a title that keeps you engaged for more than 30 hours. What adult has 30 hours to spend on a videogame, anyway?
I just envy my 18-year-old self, the guy I was before I went to college and gradually started to forsake my gaming habits."

This is very relevant to my situation, even down to the fact that I'm reluctant to buy the new Elder Scrolls game. The problem isn't money (though saving $10 in a sale along with the $20 I can save with the 33% off coupon I have would be nice). The problem is time; with my mother and grandmother nagging me every day to get my work done, I cannot dive into Skyrim, even on weekends. I even have a bunch of unfinished games, from Prince of Persia: Sands of Time to Half-Life 2 to Duke Nukem Forever (because I heard that it's funny to watch Duke be all full of himself).

If I have to give up everything I like just to be with another person, I probably made the wrong choice. I'm in college with plenty of hours of my schedule going after multiple majors and have a ton of other hobbies such as programming and painting. I still manage to shove gaming into there. If I managed my time even better, I could probably shove even more time into that oh so horrifyingly addictive hobby.

I prefer shorter games as well. Something like 8-15h is ideal, anything above becomes a pain in the bollocks to play through. A game being 'short' is actually a selling point for me.

I remember ending up hating Okami because I wanted to finally play through it after putting it away again and again but the bloody thing just didn't want to end.

Note to self...don't get married.

*runs away arms flailing*

But seriously if I do get ever get married he better not want me to stop gaming. He may as well ask me to stop breathing...

Indeed, it has become the same for me. I find the idea of 'clocking' a game these days to be almost impossible (Case in point, I was 4 achievements away from 100% in Forza 4, and it was only the time sink achievements left to get, then they released the porsche pack). I mean, back in the day, I finished Doom 95 countless times, as well as all the old gameboy games. And don't get me started on my year long campaign of micromanagement and domination in Medieval 2. (Might as well have renamed Catholicism to Venetianism :P)

And as much as I would love to play them, I have not yet purchased Fable 3, Skyrim, Mass Effect or Minecraft, because I would probably never reach the end of them. A game with a 10-12 hour story mode would be perfect. Having games sit on the to do pile as incomplete is not a very satisfying feeling. And it has impacted the games I now play.

MY recent buying trend for the last 12-18 months.

Dead Space 2
Catherine
Gears 3
Forza 4
SSX
Marvel vs Capcom 3

As a shift worker, with a girlfriend, and study to do (You have to keep learning in nursing even after graduation), I tend to find games like driving, sports and fighting games fit better with my schedule now. And a game like gears, where you can hit it out a chapter at a time, is also a more realistic and rewarding way of gaming.

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