A Game's Replay Value is Like Chocolate Sauce

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Personally it all boils down to "how much" I enjoyed the game. For instance, believe me or not, I enjoyed Mass Effect so much (the first one)that I replayed it for about SEVENTEEN times, and to make matters worse, most of the times I did so with the same character and making the same decisions. What I wanted to replay was the experience, I didn't care bout alternate paths nor anything, I had made it my way, and I wanted to relieve it. Mass Effect 2 got 3 games out of me and Mass Effect 3 I only played once (but in both cases I only did not play much more because a) I overdid my stay with the first game, meaning I got sorta tired of the series as a whole lol; b) there were other interesting games being released at the same time). Bioshock I played 5 times. You see, it's a matter of how much I want to live the experience again, heck many times over I've bought games and replayed them while totally ignoring the bonuses of the replay, such as alternate endings.

EDIT: I believe whenever possible the gamer should be able to NOT have to go through the whole thing in order to get different endings. In that respect, I take off my hat to Singularity, you could easily see all endings and not have to replay the whole game.

Why not just call it replay value? ;-)

I think replay value is mostly about the core experience. Some activities have it, some don't. Some forms of entertainment are expendable and some are lasting. A joke isn't nearly as much fun the second time around, in contrast throwing a ball can be more fun the better one gets at it. Thats not to say balls are better than jokes just that the experience is fundamentally different.

Adventure games are like jokes, they are only fun the first time around. When a puzzle is done, it's done and can't be undone. That is until one grows old and starts forgetting things, then the jokes and adventure games can be fun all over again.

Retrofitting replay value into the joke experience will usually fall flat on its arse.

But there are exceptions. Jokes can be remade to use the same structure to make a new joke. "Momma is so fat she can't use the red keycard". Maybe adventure games can be made in a similar way to reuse assets for making new puzzles. Replayability would still be finite, but there is a certain quality to seeing a familiar environment being used in a different way.

How did he manage to talk about breasts and chocolate sauce for so long without combining them!?

I have no idea. Figure Yahtzhee's stressing a bit over Valentine's Day, maybe? (Is that a thing in Austrailia?)

Can (does) anyone get infinitely more mileage from these Extra Punction posts by reading them out in the style of Rhod Gilbert (with his grossly exaggerated accent)?

They seem to make so much more sense that way....

Or am I just drinking too much?


I almost never replay a game. Only when the story is really exciting. Everyone here is talking about replaying a game when there is good gameplay or many different choices during the storyline.

But the whole article from Yahtzee is about the fact that old adventure games have extremely limited gameplay and almost no story branching and still you replayed them like mad in the days!

You've all totally missed the point. Replay isn't neccessarily related to addicitive gameplay or different outcomes of the story. It is about reliving the excitement you felt of playing a certain game.

I think this nicely sums up why I haven't been able to stay enthusiastic about the Kingdom Hearts series. I loved the original but the only other ones I played and liked were Birth by Sleep and 3DS (I've never played KH2). As much as I liked BbS and 3DS, the former requires you to play through and beat it 3 times to see the true ending. 3DS has you play through it twice to get to the ending at all. Another problem is you know the plot is just going to continue tangling itself into an even more insidious knot...grr.

Ya know what game I absolutely adored though, with plenty of replay value? Duke Nukem 64. Once you beat the game you have multiplayer and unlike every single god-damn FPS from this generation (except maybe enough for me to count on the fingers of one of my hands) you can take on the multiplayer either with some buddies gathered around your TV OR WITH A BUNCH OF BOTS. Duke Nukem 64 is the first game I remember playing til 4am because of those bot matches.

Anyway great games (or rather, games that you personally love or enjoy or consider great) will always demand your attention. Ever since I got it back I've been going back to Otogi, which is what Devil May Cry should be copying. I've also been going back to Mechassault, which should have been put on the 360 years ago. Finally, I've gone back to and played a bunch of Final Fantasy Mystic Quest...because it's the most METAL of the Final Fantasy games.

"It's more like that stuff Domino's Pizza includes with the dipping brownies that tastes like slightly viscous brown water." --Yah

Wow, I was wondering if there was anybody else in the world who felt like this. And the game for me with a lot of chocolate sauce might be between Super Mario World and Shadow of Colossus...

Personally I'm a huge fan of Caramel sauce...

Good stuff as always, keep up them breast massages!


I agree with that 100%

I've had my fair share of games that have (in my opinion) excellent replay value:

Chrono Trigger
Final Fantasy III/VI, VII, Mystic Quest
Parasite Eve
Diablo II (and the expansion)
Resident Evil 1-4
Goldeneye (N64)
Perfect Dark (because it is fun to shoot bots ranging from me owning them to them owning me)
Metal Gear Solid
Star Fox (SNES, N64, GC)
Castlevania (most of it)
The Legend of Zelda (all of it)
Mario Party (all of them despite what graphics they may give you)
Kirby (all his games)
Dynasty Warriors (4,5,7 is what I played)
Starcraft (expansion and II)
Doom (and Doom II)

You know, now that I think about it, almost ALL of the games I consider to have the best replay value are linear. For me it branches from there; I either really liked the characters & the story & the environment (AM'G's Alice, Conkers, Zelda, Crash Bandicoot, Serious Sam 2, Aveyond, Baldur's Gate), or I just don't get tired of smashing & crashing into things in restricted areas over & over again. (Crazy Taxi, Carmageddon, Dungeon Siege 1, Skate 3, Katamari Damacy).


Achievements, outside of the usual "game progress" or "do something an arbitrarily large number of times" types, are often another easy way to add chocolate sauce to a delicious sundae.

Actually, done wrong they are a deterrent. I found this with Braid. Having an achievement that tells me to beat the game in 45 minutes, which basically requires perfection, was foolish.

Ugh I hate those. But I say Prince of Persia sands of time is even worse. One trophy tells you to play through with less than 20 rewind time and the other one tells you to use rewind time 200 in a play through. I thought that was just stupid. At least achievements for timed playthrough isn't totally unheard of.

Just wanted to say I've been replay ing god of war 3 on very hard difficulty. I figured after playing hours of assassins creed 3 that comes with tons of hand holding I could appreciate some challenge. And damn it's (still) fun.

I hate chocolate... or chocolate sauce for that matter.
Is that why I do not play a game twice (or read the same book, etc)?

For me, chocolate sauce isn't something that can be directly crafted by the game developers.

You replay a game because you want to re-live the awesomeness you experienced in the past, or because you want to do something a little differently this time (play as a wizard instead of a warrior etc).

It IS annoying when a game hides half the content from you because you didn't pick that particular set of conversational options. I can't really think of a way around it (it pretty much just being the nature of the beast when you're playing a 'choose-your-own-adventure' Bioware-style game), but it doesn't make me more likely to replay the game, only more aware that I'm not seeing the full game.

Perhaps finishing the game for the first time should open up an interactive video section - where you can experience the other parts of the game by choosing those other options without also having to grind your way through all of the same gameplay again.

In any event, chocolate sauce is just a topping. The game it sits on top of has to actually be good before I'll consider pouring another 20-40 hours of my time into it. I don't care if you've made the most magical chocolate sauce in the history of the world - if you've drizzled it on top of sardine-flavoured ice-cream, I'm not going to go there.

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