When a Game Replays Juuuuuuust right

How does a game keep getting you to do the same thing over and over, and then somehow gives you that urge to do that same thing all over again?

Especially in the case of Single-Player games, how does a game that you finish give you that urge to get back to it? Even though you're essentially signing up for the same gig again.

Is it to relive old memories? Play it differently? Play it in a new way? Go ham for a Completion run? Or because there's nothing else?

Which begs another question, can any Single Player experience always bring out some form of urge to replay it? Even if it's an unpleasant experience, or in the case of certain games who's names I won't mention (Partly cause we haven't played it so best not to ring alarms), a game that loses its 'magic' the 2nd time through.

PS: Btw, holy crap I did not expect last week's thread about Game Endings to still be afloat today. Thanks for keeping the disgust/discuss-ion alive!

Well, having choice that actually matters helps. Replaying a game to see what you didnt choose is certainly valid when there is something else to actually choose.

Even having different methods of playing the game. Games like Morrowind and Dark Souls for many get people replaying to play it differently. "Ok, I was a fighter last time, lets try a mage" or even letting people challenge themselves by weird ways of playing when it supports it.

And ofcourse if the gameplay is just...fun on its own, and its not tedious to get back into, that helps. Thats how alot of old games work.

I feel like a game needs elements A) or B) to merit replaying.

A) Gameplay having depth enough to master its mechanics. The player has to feel like they are constantly getting better and improving. Many of Platinum's games fit the bill. I played Bayonetta three straight times when I got it because the combat was amazing and there was always something to improve on mechanically, the dodge offset being the big one. Then, the difficulty levels are designed really well forcing you to actually get better as you go from Normal to Hard to Non-Stop Infinite Climax. This is a core reason why people play certain multiplayer games for years.

B) Choice (as Saelune mentioned), which can either be playstyle choices or story choices. Arkane Studios with Dishonored and Prey make games that can be played very differently each time through, which really helps in wanting to replay them. Of course, RPGs are prime for different classes and builds. Story choice is great but I feel adventure games (Telltale, David Cage, Life is Strange, etc.) don't have a good method for replaying them because you have to sit through so much of the same scenes and dialogue over again just to get to the differences.

The other element I think both A) and B) require is the following X-factor:

X) NO FILLER; all the content has to be of top quality. Way too many games emphasize quantity over quality as the length of a playthrough is so important to most players feeling they get their $60 worth. I'm not going to replay a game where I enjoyed half of it. Even if a game has just a single somewhat lengthy section you hated, that will most likely make you think twice about replaying it having to do "that" again. A game shouldn't be longer than it needs to be. I feel RPGs are the worst with this aspect. I loved the original Mass Effects because they were so lean with quality content.

After playing Dishonored 2, I wanted to play another stealth game. I chose Alpha Protocol, aiming for a stealth run. The game play does not hold up... But the story, character and choices are so much more real than anything Obsidian has done since. It's pushed me though annoyance. I am conidering back to original Dishonoued to do a completionist run. I also never did the DLC.

I listened to a podcast critiquing System Shock 2 so I played that earlier this year.

Enhanced edition help go back as well. For example, Baulders Gate EE came out... 5 years ago?! That's a long time. I might have to go back... But then I have to play the pretty boring first one. So time is a reason. Eg. I am considering going back to Morrowind but I don't want to waste all that time walking.

I went back to play New Vegas becuase everyone said it was a good RPG in 2015. Little did I know F4 would be coming out later. While New Vegas is better in some ways, F4 was better than others. And, as always, there hasnt been a Bethseda open world main quest I could class as good since Daggerfall.

I go back to Sunless Sea about once a year. I get to a point where I want to retire a character so I can pass on heaps of money to start again.

I also want to go back and try Spec Ops again. It made a big impact on me and I want to relive it.

So... I have lots of reasons

Play them in a new way and mastering are probably the biggest reasons why some games have replayability. I played through Mass Effect 2 and 3 before Andromeda came out, I went 100% renegade and it was almost like a new game, in my opinion anyway.

The primary reason I'd go back to an old game is because it was just that good, that I wanted to experience it again. Could be anything really, gameplay, immersion, straight up fun factor, hell I've even done it for the soundtrack. Hotline Miami 1 and 2 are a culmination of a few of these, being the only top-down shooter that I play anyway-frantic action, crazy worlds and characters, banging soundtrack.

Of course, if a game offers very different strategies, plotlines, or characters, then I'll go for those. Just some quick examples off the top of my head:
-Playing Mass Effect as Paragon/Renegade as mentioned above
-Choosing a different class in RPGs like Diablo/Dungeon Siege
-Siding with a different faction(s)/specializing in different traits in Fallout, or Deus Ex
-Picking a different car/setup in racing games (except FWD, screw that shit)
-Going magic/swordfighter/alchemist in Witcher 3
-Upgrade paths and building different squad layouts in XCOM

All of these games are good enough to warrant multiple, or at least a second playthrough in my book. Skyrim I actually make a bit of an exception, because I put too many hours into it and tried to go as complete as possible to want to go back in again for a second run, so some games I burnt myself out on, so to speak.

I still replay shining force and shining force 2 at least once a year. They play like an early fire emblem and I got the games in the 90s. They still ooze charm.

The sprites are still great, the chirps it makes as the text rolls gives u the impression of listening to a foreign, fantasy language. There are so many charecters that u can build a different team every time.

I may have to start a new play through...

A big part of it is the game simply being fun. You aren't gonna replay a shitty game. Having new stuff to do is a big plus. Games like Undertale and Fallout where you can play it completely differently multiple times is nice. If it's easy to pick up and play short sessions, like Binding of Isaac or Mario, that can help, too. The biggest factor is if it clicks with you. Everyone has at least one game that just feels right, that they could play for an eternity and never get bored of.

bjj hero:
I still replay shining force and shining force 2 at least once a year. They play like an early fire emblem and I got the games in the 90s. They still ooze charm.

The sprites are still great, the chirps it makes as the text rolls gives u the impression of listening to a foreign, fantasy language. There are so many charecters that u can build a different team every time.

I may have to start a new play through...

I love those games too! They were the whole reason I bought the Genesis Collection that came out for the 360 and PS3 a few years ago. I wish they'd make another Shining Force game for modern platforms, keep all the gameplay the same, but with AAA production. The only game I can think of that was similarly styled was Gladius on the Original Xbox.

Xprimentyl:

bjj hero:
I still replay shining force and shining force 2 at least once a year. They play like an early fire emblem and I got the games in the 90s. They still ooze charm.

The sprites are still great, the chirps it makes as the text rolls gives u the impression of listening to a foreign, fantasy language. There are so many charecters that u can build a different team every time.

I may have to start a new play through...

I love those games too! They were the whole reason I bought the Genesis Collection that came out for the 360 and PS3 a few years ago. I wish they?d make another Shining Force game for modern platforms, keep all the gameplay the same, but with AAA production. The only game I can think of that was similarly styled was Gladius on the Original Xbox.

Ive never met anyone else who played gladius. It was an awesome game. I was devestated when it didnt make the backwards compatable list.

Youre school could be so varied, legionnaire teams, wolf packs, yetis, bears wizards. 2 different play throughs and loads of secrets. Loved it.

You can get shining force for about $2 on steam. Its the genesis collection but u can buy individual roms. I got both shining forces and shining in the darkness.

SF definately needs a remaster.

Because I can't get what that game has anywhere else and I don't wanna keep settling for lesser experiences.

 

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