How Much is Alan Wake Worth?

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"You play it, you finish it, you put it on a shelf and quite probably never pick it up again"

The hell? May not be right away, but lots of people replay their old games again 2-3 years down the road. Ocarnia of Time is a good example of a game that many people pick up and play through again, 2 years or so later. Also, lets not forget games that have great replay value like Fallout 3.

As for how much games are worth, it's more of a personal opinion. If you're satisfied with a game and feel the price was right then it's all good. I for one do not suffer any buyer's remorse dishing out $60 for the Fallout 3 Game of the Year Edition due to endless hours of enjoyment it's given me.

Wiezzen:
"You play it, you finish it, you put it on a shelf and quite probably never pick it up again"

The hell? May not be right away, but lots of people replay their old games again 2-3 years down the road. Ocarnia of Time is a good example of a game that many people pick up and play through again, 2 years or so later. Also, lets not forget games that have great replay value like Fallout 3.

As for how much games are worth, it's more of a personal opinion. If you're satisfied with a game and feel the price was right then it's all good. I for one do not suffer any buyer's remorse dishing out $60 for the Fallout 3 Game of the Year Edition due to endless hours of enjoyment it's given me.

Depends entirely on the game's story. Once you know the end of the mystery in Alan Wake, it's doubtful you'd enjoy a replay, because the story is so intrinsic to the game. (That's assuming you're like me and really take stories you like to heart and remember them very well even years later.)

Ok, as to those two games? You ready? Phantasy Star Online (PSO Episode 1, PSO Episode 2, PSO Episode 1 & 2 plus, on Dreamcast and then again on GameCube) and Resident Evil 2 (PS1, Dreamcast, GameCube and N64).

Phantasy Star Online I bought because each version was at least slightly different than the others. Resident Evil 2 was, for a very long time, my absolute favorite game in the world, so I wanted to have every version of it there was.

As much as I wish I wasn't so cheap I'd probably just rent Alan Wake when I get my 360. I hate paying full amount for a game then beating it in two days. That's what Gamefly is for amongst other things

Dunno about her, but I have bought Morrowind about 5 times I think. Mostly due to the various incarnations of the game, on Xbox or PC, and GOTY versions and such. Totally worth it though.

Susan Arendt:

GonzoGamer:
I can't imagine what game's you've bought 4 times. That's excessive.

Yeah, hard to argue with that, really. In the one game's case, it makes a certain amount of sense because each version was somewhat different. In the other game's case....I was being at least somewhat loony.

Pokemon

AC10:

B0BX:
"I've paid full price for game that I never even finished, yet still felt completely satisfied with."

Can anyone ever honestly say that they have finished a game like Obilivion?

I have honestly finished Oblivion. I'm pretty sure it took about 300 hours, but I became the top of every guild, and I think I did every sidequest and the main quest.

Interesting fact, since I save so much I had 1.1 gigs of save data.

Me too. I got almost everything (locations, exploring caves, mines etc), did all the quests and then stopped cause it wasn't fun anymore.

PHANTASY STAR ONLINE! It is one of the greatest games ever made. I played it over a period of eight years on Dreamcast and Gamecube without ever getting to play online. Thanks to the free servers for the most recent version I've finally gotten around to it!

Sadly, I now hold all online games to the standard of having to be theoretically fun to play offline/single-player and practically none of them hold up. Oddly enough, I've never paid for PSO since the Dreamcast version was a gift for my brother, the Gamecube version belonged to a friend and unofficial Blue Burst is, like I said, free. Had I ever paid for it though, it would've remained worthwhile.

Oh and Resident Evil 2 is fun also. Code: Veronica still holds the record for most playtime, though, thanks to item experiments with GameShark.

Your article makes a lot of sense, but you're missing part of the picture here. Developers don't set the price: publishers do. I'm sure most developers would happily see the price of their games reduced if they thought doing so would compensate for its brevity, but publishers have this desire to market every single game at the industry standard price.

Besides, this is Alan Wake we're talking about. The game has only been in development for how long? They surely have a lot of costs to recoup.

Some games I love to death but am glad they aren't 30 hours long. That's the bad thing about fixed game prices (for non-used games). It makes many people think the length of the game is the only (or the principal) way to get their money's worth.

well that's why I learned to make some games...a rental

haha but time definitely does not equal more worth, as some games are short but will ultimately satisfy while some games are long but simply drag on for too long (not always, depending on my mood, I can have a long attention span lol)

but speaking of Borderlands...lotsa fun but it simply got boring after a while =/ I even wrote a nice review in the school paper for it (but only after having played anywhere between 6-8 hours of it)

I would have guessed Final Fantasy I (available for NES, PS1 in Final Fantasy Origins, GBA in Final Fantasy: Dawn of Souls, PSP, and Wii Virtual Console) and either Super Mario Bros. 1 or 3 (available for NES, SNES in Super Mario All-Stars, Game Boy Color/Game Boy Advance, and Wii Virtual Console). I also considered guessing Phantasy Star II (on Genesis, Wii Virtual Console, Game Boy Advance, PS2, and PSP), as well. I didn't know that there were so many different versions of Resident Evil II out there!

As for myself, I happen to own Final Fantasy VI on three separate systems, but that's not my record; I think I've bought (or my parents bought) Final Fantasy Legend II for the original Game Boy at least three times, because my brother and I lost it several times over the years. Also, if you count Pokemon Red/Blue/Yellow as one game, then I have three copies of that, too. ;)

Susan Arendt:
I will, of course, reveal the two games eventually. But I'd like to hear some other guesses first. :)

I'm gonna do the typical thing and project my values onto you. I managed to loan and regret said loans of Diablo 2 to the tune of three copies. I figure you'd have to have at least 33% more friends than I, so that.

And Half-Life seems to keep coming out with free former versions of itself in the new content, so maybe that, too - with the possibility of Children of Men being the fourth copy.

Peggle and Plants vs. Zombies

Interesting article. It is really hard to judge what a game is truly worth. Hours really isn't that good of a measurement. Some games have elaborating things happening at every moment while others have players spend lots of time running across a map. On top of that, multiplayer games rely on a different system of fun and play then a single player game. It's hard to quantify in any good terms and its really hard to say if you will or wont like a game based on just looking at it so It's difficult to say what games have the best value and are worth it. It's a quandary but hey, at least it involves having fun.

You can't evaluate if a movie's worth seeing based on it's cost/length, you can only evaluate if it was really worth seeing after you've watched it. The same thing with an album - you can't judge it purely on the number or length of the tracks.

Any game that, when all is said and done, makes me walk away feeling a "net positive" is worth the price of admission. If I feel like it was somehow "worth it" for me to have played that game, to have experienced that scenario, I'm happy.

I can't believe I didn't think of PSO, I've bought that game 4 times as well. Also even though it wasn't right I can't believe I didn't think of SF2. I actually bought that 6 times.

There should never be any doubt that your money is well spent for a book/game/album, you should feel so enlightened and bettered from the experience that you completely forget that you spent money on it.

That's not the case if it was so onerously expensive that you can't get it out of your mind, and that's not the case if you're wondering if the game was too short.

Therefore, Alan Wake is either too short or too expensive.

I'm going with "too expensive" because things kind of suck when they get padded out for length...triple spaced term papers come to mind.

Make it $30 and I doubt anyone would notice it's kind of a short game.

tavelkyosoba:
There should never be any doubt that your money is well spent for a book/game/album, you should feel so enlightened and bettered from the experience that you completely forget that you spent money on it.

That's not the case if it was so onerously expensive that you can't get it out of your mind, and that's not the case if you're wondering if the game was too short.

Therefore, Alan Wake is either too short or too expensive.

I'm going with "too expensive" because things kind of suck when they get padded out for length...triple spaced term papers come to mind.

Make it $30 and I doubt anyone would notice it's kind of a short game.

I think you have a very interesting perspective there, Tavelkyosoba. Though I've been thinking of games as too expensive and too short. But then again, I'm the kind of gamer with a lot of time on my hands and not much money. (Which seems to be the antithesis of the new model of gamer. )

But I digress. I think you have hit the nail square on the head. If a game is short, the cost should be suitably truncated. But the big problem is what happens when you get a Multiplayer game only like Left 4 Dead? The single player side can be done in the space of two hours, yet the multiplayer seems to get a lot more playtime out of it.

Which leads you to another problem, how does one measure Multiplayer length and fun? What makes Call of Duty games more fun than for example: Wolfenstein in terms of Multiplayer? (I think fluidity is a real factor in this.)

ben---neb:
I agree with Susan: I paid 3 for Bioshock and felt ripped off by it. I paid 10 for Call of Duty 4 and I'm not entirely sure if that was money well spent.

I paid 5ish for Team Fortress 2 (part of Orange Box) and I've had 300+ hours of enjoyment from it. Now that's value for money.

I'm going to guess Plants vs Zombies or Bejeweled.

You paid 3 for one of the greatest games ever, and you felt ripped off? How does that work? Even if you didn't like Bioshock, a statement like that is absurd imo.

Susan Arendt:
Ok, as to those two games? You ready? Phantasy Star Online (PSO Episode 1, PSO Episode 2, PSO Episode 1 & 2 plus, on Dreamcast and then again on GameCube) and Resident Evil 2 (PS1, Dreamcast, GameCube and N64).

Phantasy Star Online I bought because each version was at least slightly different than the others. Resident Evil 2 was, for a very long time, my absolute favorite game in the world, so I wanted to have every version of it there was.

Not a PC gamer, eh? Well, I guess nobody's perfect ;)

Anyway, very good article. My friends and I have debated over this exact question for quite some time now.
I basically decided to set a certain arbitrary threshold for each genre, in order to calculate (no other choice, like you said) which prices are worth it and which are not.
For example, I don't mind paying relatively more money on adventure games. Those are relatively short and mostly have low replayability values (except for Sam and Max games, I guess, which are very funny even if you already remember what to do), but their stories are (usually) worth a higher money-per-hour ratio.

I'm more watching Alan Wake, than playing (to an extent). So I'm thinking 33 for 12 hours, makes it 5.50 every 2 hours, which I would easily pay to go see a film (or buy a dvd).

An now is the time I point out that despite the immense awesome that was Max Payne 2, the awesome narrative could have easily been drawn out just that little bit longer to enhance my fun factor. Both for the cool gameplay and the epic tragedy.

As other commenters hint at, the whole "per hour" value starts to change drastically once your free time gets limited by that little thing called work.

During workdays, i have maybe 4 hours of free time per day that aren't spent with eating, sleeping, driving or hygiene. As long as i don't have other plans. As such, i may end up playing between 1 or 2 hours, or none at all if i don't feel like it.

Of course that all counts for nothing if i COULD play through a game in one weekend, but thanks to having an income, i can of course buy more games and as such, even a "short" game like Alan Wake easily entertains me for 2-3 weeks since i only play it so often.

I understand that students etc. want to be able to spend more time on games that had cost so much for them, but for people like me, it's basically a non-issue, as long as a game is longer than 5 hours or so. Actually, i'd rather take games that last 20 hours at best than longer ones since i get bored with one game anyways.

And thankfully, at least in Europe, Games get cheap fast anyways. I could buy Just Cause 2 right now for two thirds of it's original price, and it probably will be available for less than half by the end of summer. So even people with less income and more free time shouldn't mind short games much in my opinion, as long as they are not easily swayed by hype.

For me it's almost a curse, even if i had more free game time i wouldn't bother with a short game because i still have to finish Muramasa, The Second Riddick Game, Bayonetta, Red Faction Guerilla, GTA4:TLAD, Lost Odyssey, No more Heroes 1, Metroid Prime Trilogy, Shadow Complex, Rainbow Six Vegas 2, Aquaria, Penumbra, World of Goo and probably many others, not counting ones i'd like to revisit...

Susan Arendt:
How Much is Alan Wake Worth?

An hour of Alan Wake is worth more than an hour of Borderlands. Except for when it isn't.

Read Full Article

I sort of had this discussion with a friend about "Heavenly Sword" which is even closer than Allen Wake it seems.

The point is that although Heavenly Sword was lacking in a lot of department, it made up for it by not adding a lot of time-sinks into the game that would have pulled the rest of it down. But Heavenly Sword was short because it didn't have any grinding, any backtracking, or anything of that sort. All it gave you was the pure core gamemechanics that the developers wanted to give me... and I loved it.

I will pick up Allen Wake, because it is a short entertainment game, and not a "life style game" :)

no not really interested anymore. only thing i heard about their development was a special lighting system which SEEMS alright but i want to know how the game and story is.
I have serious doubts on this game and it could be a wasted time development.

Nitro Muscle Mass

Your columns are great most of the time, but this one..meh. I agree with your main point, but it is a bit too obvious to dedicate a whole article to it.

If the game companies think Games A, B and C are all worth $60, they they must have some way of measuring their worth per hours and have decided they are al equal. If a game is artsy and short, why are we charged the same for it as opposed to less than a much longer game where there has to be a higher load of world building to fill that much time? You cannot accuse up os wanting all games to be equal when the game makers charge us equal for allmost all games. A game like Fallout 3literally hass too much to see in 100 hours but Alan Wake does not cut us a discount vs. the price for Fallout.

If it's too expensive wait for a price drop. That's how I handle those 70€ 360 games, never buy them until they drop. It's not like the game will be less fun in half a year (well, unless it's a niche online game but those are usually not the ones where people complain about a lack of value).

Or if you do want to buy the games early just trade them in when you're done. Let publishers cry some more about used game sales and maybe they'll notice that shorter games suffer from that more.

Alternatively look for indie games that usually start out much cheaper while being just as much, if not more, fun.

Susan Arendt:
Depends entirely on the game's story. Once you know the end of the mystery in Alan Wake, it's doubtful you'd enjoy a replay, because the story is so intrinsic to the game. (That's assuming you're like me and really take stories you like to heart and remember them very well even years later.)

So you never read a book or watch a film more than once? There's more to a story than just finding out the sequence of events that take place; if it's well told, it's worth experiencing a second time. You might even pick up on things you missed the first time around.

I chose Alan Wake over Red Dead Redemption to support a game that's going to need it. Red Dead will sell very well, Alan Wake may not.

DividedUnity:
Well I think I can quantify fun. If we use this formula

Total fun= ((how likely are you to die from happiness from 1-10 during certain moments in the game)*(how long these moments last)) /(total game cost -(0.5% total game cost for every hour of total gameplay)

As for what to call the unit of measurement im not sure

i dont even know if that formula even makes sense

You are missing a close parentheses at the end of the formula.

TheAmazingTGIF:
My friends and I had this running gag with ourselves that included a copy of The Bouncer (terrible game but it had multiplayer brawling on the PS2). One of us would buy it we would all play it to get all of the characters, cry at the unfairness of the final final boss, play the multiplayer for a while, something new would come out, we would sell The Bouncer, come back a few months later and say, "Hey! Look! Its the Bouncer let's play it!", rinse and repeat. I think this happened at least five times. It was always selling for like $5.

Duragon C. Mikado! The anouncers voice sometimes haunts my dreams.

Of course all that is true, but you just can't explain it to the consumers. A lot of people can argue about REVIEW SCORES, as in associate a NUMBER with fun. How can you expect the same people to understand the concept of individuality?

Susan Arendt:
How Much is Alan Wake Worth?

You play it, you finish it, you put it on a shelf and quite probably never pick it up again. Which brings us to the very uncomfortable question of how much is a game actually worth?

Read Full Article

While there's ALOT of games I pick up and play again purely for the story even years later, Bioware games usually being first among them, I have to agree with you here, and this is alot of what dissapointed me about Heavy Rain.

Before it came out, Heavy Rain was pitched as having a highly branching storyline that would encourage replay value. Which sounds great, until you realize that the game is a murder mystery at its heart, and the identity of the killer never changes. Other then perhaps wanting to see a specific scene play out differently then, which you can do by way of a DVD esque chapter selection that is unlocked as you play, what possible motivation is there to play through again?

So that was a bit of a letdown, and I admit, I'm considering trading it in when Alpha Protocol comes out on the first. But then games like Knights of the Old Republic are like picking up an old novel, I can't even count how many times I've played through it at this point.

ThrashJazzAssassin:

Susan Arendt:
Depends entirely on the game's story. Once you know the end of the mystery in Alan Wake, it's doubtful you'd enjoy a replay, because the story is so intrinsic to the game. (That's assuming you're like me and really take stories you like to heart and remember them very well even years later.)

So you never read a book or watch a film more than once? There's more to a story than just finding out the sequence of events that take place; if it's well told, it's worth experiencing a second time. You might even pick up on things you missed the first time around.

Again, it depends entirely on the book/game/movie in question. If there's a big twist, reveal, or something along those lines, the chances are very slim I'll go through it a second time. I pay a great deal of attention the first time through, and if the entire point of the story is to be learning some truth or revealing a secret, I simply don't have the same experience with it the second time through.

Take the above poster's example of Heavy Rain. The killer's identity never changes. A large part of what keeps you driving forward in that game is not only finding out who it is, but also seeing what challenge Ethan will be forced to do next. Once you know all of that, there's really not much to keep you going.

How much is it worth? well, since its an xbox360 exclusive, id say about 1.99, two jammie dodgers and a length of string.

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