Staff Discussion: Shorter Games?

[size=9]Shorter Games?[/size]



[size=8]I’m all for a shorter game, as long as it’s got replay value or the game itself is worth the money you spend on it. Surely a company cannot expect you to pay £40 for a 7hr game and expect you to pay £40 for a 40hr game.

It just seems to me and many may disagree with me, but Nintendo say one thing about the games industry and how shorter games will become the norm etc, and a lot of people disagreed saying it was wrong, and the reason they are making shorter games is because of the size of their media. But now many developers are doing it. Ubisoft with PoP and Beyond Good and Evil. Capcom have announced Killer 7 will be 6-10 hrs long and Resident Evil 4 will be 10-12hrs long. And there are many more out their following this trend.

Here’s to the future of Video Games. . . . . Short and Sweet!![/size]



[size=8]If the game’s as good as Luigi’s mansion or Ico then I’m more than happy to replay it, yet I enjoy open-ended games such and vice city. What I really think we should be asking is whether games are good value for money, and in that respect I’m very happy with the quality I’m getting.[/size]



[size=8] In Nintendo’s case games are getting shorter, Mario Sunshine takes less than half the amount of time Mario 64 did to complete. Its the same with Wind Waker and Ocarina Of Time, however this is just one company, with Sega, games are getting bigger and bigger. Skies Of Arcadia is so much bigger than Phantasy Star, Sonic Heroes is bigger than the Mega Drive Sonics put together. Ubi Soft is another developer who’s games are getting longer, the new Prince Of Persia is fairly short though. But it isn’t the length that matters, its how much fun it is, and that’s (unfortunately) what few Developers are concentrating on. [/size]



[size=8]I agree that games do seem to be getting shorter, I don’t really like this idea because I, and I’m sure many other people, enjoy long games. I think that longer games appeal to the younger market because they cannot buy games on a regular basis, so therefore need a long game to pass the time. This is true for me and that is why games like Final Fantasy VII (which was truly a gaming masterpiece) and the Grand Theft Auto games which take quite a bit of time to complete.

So in conclusion, I would like to see a lot more longer games, just long enough to be time consuming and fun, but not so long as the gamer gets bored half way through because of the length.[/size]



[size=8]When I first heard of the shorter game policy, I was outraged. I thought we will ever be able to play classics like Final Fantasy, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to The Past, and Super Mario 64 again? Well the answer is yes, but we will also get classics like Luigi’s Mansion. Just because it was short, it didn’t mean that i didn’t enjoy it as much as my other games. Infact i have probably played it just as much as my longer games, because the fact that it is short has encouraged me to complete it more than once. On the longer games, we still have Metroid Prime, Skies of Arcadia Legends, and even XIII.

I also think game lengths need to be judged in a new way, especially PC games, where online gaming has taken off properly. Game lengths are usually measured in the number of hours it takes for a player to complete the single player mode. I say: “What about multiplayer, what about online tournaments?” All these things add a number of gameplay hours that single player modes can only dream of.

I conclude that as long as a game entertains you, and does it for long enough, over all game modes then it is acceptable, if not then it is not acceptable. I think this is how games lengths should be judged, rather than total number of single player hours for the average gamer.[/size]



[size=8]I can see this as a no win situation really. Unless the game length is perfect, people will (or at least I probably will) complain that either the game was too short or too long. With ‘Enter The Matrix’ I wasn’t happy because the game was very short and rubbish to say the least, but with most Zelda games, the game is so long that I can’t really be bothered to play it all the way through. As was the case with ‘Enter The Matrix’, I don’t want to pay all that money for a game that didn’t last me even 10 hours. On the other hand, if I pay for a game and don’t reach the end, I become frustrated as I feel I have paid for but haven’t played it.



[size=8]I personally embrace shorter games as a godsend because I just don’t have enough time to play lengthy games anymore. I played FFVII and VIII for around 70 hours each when they were first released, but find I just haven’t got the time to dedicate to completing FFX – which now just seems like an impossible mountain to scale as I think about how much of it I have left. Of course, a game that is too short in length often doesn’t fail to disappoint; something like Gungrave that can be completed in an hour feels like nothing but a waste of money.

As Rizz already said, unless there is a balance then there will always be complaints. Unfortunately, this will vary from game to game; while stretching a game life to around 50 hours may feel like its dragging on for some games, others may offer enough new content to be able to hold the attention for this length of time. Ultimately, so long as a game CAN be conceivably played in short bursts without either a lack or save points or a story that becomes in comprehensible, then I will be satisfied.[/size]


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