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76 comments

  • EnragedTortoise1 - August 24, 2010 2:52 p.m.

    I'm perfectly happy with 100+ hour games. But. They have to keep me interested- enthralled even. If I'm gonna have that disc in my PS3 for an entire month, I'd better have a reason too. FF13 was a bit dodgy for the first half (as in the first 20 FUGGIN HOURS), but I loved it anyways because the gameplay was fun. Which brings up another point. A game could be relativley short enough to finish in a weekend, but if the gameplay sucks, you won't even wanna play it that long. Good points though.
  • eltonbm - August 24, 2010 2:46 p.m.

    This year showed me a lot about my future, and mostly, as a gamer. I can't b a gamer from now on. It's not the price, or the size (this year I played more than 150 hours in F3 and don't even enter in The Pit, and yet I needed to delete my saves. 2010 is maybe my last year looking for the news in games too. The size is not a problem? Well it is indeed. Half Minute Hero is a challenge for the JRPG, it showed that the mechanics are there to create longer games more than better games. And the fighting games renascence are part of this new era: Fast games that don't lock you up for to many time at once. Today we have a lot in our minds, much more than any other century of the Imperium of Man (we will get there some day...Ihope). So size counts, mostly for the type of game, RDRedemption have some very wrong sidequests, but the ones that appear from nowhere and the ones from the Hat man and the reporter are nice. F3 have good missions, but they are all the same thing, go and shoot and get back. So I spend so much time doing the same stuff, from wonderful it become good and them bad and them I deleted my tracks to never get back. Big games are coming every month, and now with DLC. They are losing track of the real world....
  • TomMishkin - August 24, 2010 2:41 p.m.

    Regarding the "I no longer have enough free time" discussion: I think that the plead, expressed in this way, is fallacious and misleading. I have a full day job, I write articles for a couple of magazines, do a lot of freelancing, and then I have friends, a girlfriend and a family. Yet I always try to find time to play a good game. Having a full schedule didn't prevent me from finishing Mass Effect 2, Oblivion, Fallout 3 and GTAIV, just to name a few long games. No one ever complains about no longer having time to watch a movie or reading a book. OK, a movie only lasts a couple of hours, but a book? It may take you weeks to finish it. Yet you endure, because you want to see how it ends. I don't see why it should be different with videogames. One always finds time for his hobbies and passions. Rather than saying "I no longer have time for long games" one should be honest with himself and admit that "I no longer am willing to invest that much time in a videogame". That's it, the medium is no longer one of your passions, you've moved on. I repeat, the time to cultivate one's passion can always be found, if willing.
  • Crabhand - August 24, 2010 2:32 p.m.

    I think it depends on the game. An RPG is only as long as you make it (especially the modern titles with hundreds of side quests), but other titles (such as several popular first person shooters) have brilliantly scripted stories that don't last nearly as long. I love long games (I've played through Dragon Age three times, both Mass Effect games 6-7 times, and Oblivion several times), but not every game can be an epic 50+ hour story. It's just not good for the industry to have such long stories. Games like Call of Duty and Halo emphasize shorter stories with greater thrills and faster pacing, and it works very well for those games. Then there are fighting and racing games, which have dozens of shorter story arcs that take no more than 2 hours and offer quick, satisfying thrills. It doesn't really matter how much certain gamers play each game, because there are experiences that are built for every person if you know where to look. All these numbers indicate is that people didn't know what to expect when they bought a game, or that they didn't even buy it. But I'm at a point in my life where I don't have a great number of responsibilities, so this comes from the perspective of someone with a great deal of free time.
  • TomMishkin - August 24, 2010 2:28 p.m.

    Where do I stay? If I had to choose I'd pick the "I love long games" end of the spectrum, as much as I love long movies and huge books. But that's just because I tend to get attached to the characters in a good book/movie/game and I want them to stay with me as long as possible. Then there's the economic factor: since the time of the first XBox I struggled to find long enough games to repay for my 60€. This way of thinking is wrong, I found out recently: give me more Alan Wakes and I'll happily pay 60€ for them despite there being only around 12 hours of gameplay and little to no replay value. It's kind of an epiphany in conceiving games, one I've already been through with books (The Road is one of the shortest novels I've ever read yet it's the absolute best) and movies (easy one, this). Speaking of long games, I of course second every word you wrote, David. I think the Mass Effect games perfectly summarize what I think: Mass Effect 1 had a great story but was needlessly long because of boring side-quests and an item management system not fit for console gaming. Mass Effect 2, on the other hand, is a perfectly-paced, epic and compelling tale, one I could replay dozens of times. Then again, I'm 27, I grew up with the NES and its short-yet-impossibly-long games and when I first experienced tales like Baldur's Gate I felt like when I found the missing piece of that Eiffel Tower jigsaw I spent three years on: I finally felt complete. Maybe that's why I love long, epic games and always felt a bit let down by shorter games (at least until recently when... oh well, I wrote that before).
  • Fiirestorm21 - August 24, 2010 2:21 p.m.

    Shorter and cheaper, I meant* Although casual as well, yes.
  • Fiirestorm21 - August 24, 2010 2:20 p.m.

    I don't want games to suffer in quality of course, but I would like to see more games released that are shorter and casual. Everything these days is either a big epic requiring a huge time investment, or it's short but you still pay full price for it because of yet ANOTHER multiplayer mode that you're never going to touch.
  • ensabahnur - August 24, 2010 2:14 p.m.

    HIt the nail on the head with this one, i was a fan of Darksiders throughout the whole thing, and even though it was twenty hours i didnt notice it and it kept me coming back. Plus riding on that horse was awesome.
  • san0ake - August 24, 2010 2:07 p.m.

    I meant sorry for the long comment xD
  • san0ake - August 24, 2010 2:04 p.m.

    Been following GR for a long time, just registered and going to make my first comment. This is something that has changed a lot with time. I remember a friend of mine saying to me "remember when we played the Genesis Sonic games, and no matter how many times you completed it you still kept coming for more? That is something they cannot do anymore. Yo beat a game and you don't go on its lengthy story mode many more times, let alone once again. I think they should made the games' length according to the game itself. If a game needs a 15 hour story mode then so be it. But there is no sense in expanding a game than should be over in 10 hours just because "it has to be long". I'm a very huge fan of Okami, and I enjoyed it even more because I was a so-called Japanophile (now I actually live in Japan), but I knew there was something wrong after (spoiler!) you beat Orochi and you travel to the north, etc. Actually, someone from Capcom actually said that the second half-or-so (the after-beating-Orochi part) was thrown in in order to add length... Now, about trophies and that, I actually hate them. One trophy for beating a game you already beat in 5 hours? It's not that just that I don't have the time, it's that and the fact that I'm not willing to do it. As simple as that. Sorry for the comment.
  • bron1417 - August 24, 2010 1:49 p.m.

    great article. i myself dont think you can have a game that's too long. like you said it's all about pacing of the storyline and what not. when it comes together right it's a beautiful thing.
  • breener96 - August 24, 2010 1:48 p.m.

    I love long games as long as they have a story suited for it and enough varying content aswell. A game feeling like it's repeating itself is very bad in my eyes. I don't mind short games, though - as you said - when they don't feel short. When they just keep going on and keep everything feeling fresh (Portal accomplished this brilliantly!). Now, Red Dead redemption. You say that you think it repeats. I didn't find any case of this when I played it. I enjoyed the game immensely and while looking back on it now there were similar missions (escorts on wagons being a common type) the game never felt repetitive to me. they managed to keep it fresh even when doing the same mission types. I do, though, think that it tended to drag on for a long time once you get out of Mexico but it's worth it because they ended it so amazingly. Just my two cents, anyway.
  • presc1ence - August 24, 2010 1:48 p.m.

    Grrre system refreshed page and deleted loooong post. Abridged version : Games cost £40 so need to be at leats 20 hours long to not be a rip off. Who the fuck doesn't finish games? Do people really have that much money to spunk away that they spend alot of money on a game, to basically bin it after a couple of days and then spend even more money on new ones! Are they thick?
  • ZiegZeon - August 24, 2010 1:17 p.m.

    You are entirely correct about the pacing. That's why I don't beat a lot of RPG's and why GTA4 still sits incomplete. The same thing over and over again gets dull.
  • LordGremlin - August 24, 2010 1:16 p.m.

    In 10% only finished your game then it either gets boring and repetitive, or stupidly difficult chore. I suspect Joe game is the latter.
  • shemhamforash - August 24, 2010 1:15 p.m.

    I've played Oblivion for over 500 hours and maxed out the gametime counter in Final Fantasy VIII (stops in 99:59 if I remember correctly, played for countless of hours even after that point). A good game (especially (J)RPG) is worth every second of your time. It doesn't matter if most of your time goes into grinding if you find it entertaining enough. I don't finish games that often since most of them have annoying features that turn me off after an hour or two into the game. I tend to be a bit picky of the games that I play, but when a good game is found there's no limit how long I can play. Latest treasure I laid my hands on is the latest Dragon Quest for Nintendo DS.
  • Waldo - August 24, 2010 1:08 p.m.

    I am one of those grown up gamers with a house and family to look after so I feel this article explains my situation well. What some of the other posts say makes sense; pace yourself and get maybe an hour at a time in. It feels like a TV show. Good point. I find I don't watch any TV (no Jersey Shores for me) and I feel GREAT about that. Most of my game collection are RTS games. They usually have a perfect length campaign, doezens of skirmish maps and endless hours of online play. Good value and you can stop and start anytime.
  • Clovin64 - August 24, 2010 1:02 p.m.

    This article brings up plenty of good points. Being a big RPG fan, I'm perfectly happy with massive long games (as long as they're good!). I think I've been playing a lot of lengthy games quite recently and became quite accostomed to the length to the point where a shorter game startled me slightly. Example: In succesion I finished a couple of Final Fantasies (each one takes between 40-60hrs), Red Dead Redemption (20hrs) and Assassins Creed 2 (20hrs). Then I finished Bioshock 2 which only took about 5-6 hours and I was thinking WTF?
  • DynamicJul - August 24, 2010 1 p.m.

    For me, the longer the game is, the better a deal I got for my money. Anything shorter than 15 hours isn't considered as good to me. Although, I don't want the game to drag either, I want be entertained all the time and it has to stay fresh throughout.
  • pin316 - August 24, 2010 12:53 p.m.

    but at the end of the day, it's all subjective isn't it... Final Fantasy XIII has to have been one of the most flamed games of this generation on the comment boards of the interweb, yet i've played i for over 50 hours at this point and didn't get bored. Even when i'd finished it i went back to do a bunch of post-endgame stuff, and now am doing c'ieth missions one at a time in a kind of episodic manner... When i first played Baldur's Gate, my final save file had somewhere near 110 hours in it - i never would have played it more than once though. In contrast, i've completed FFVII 5+ times now, sometimes just bombing the story, and sometimes doing every last thing i can find, and still don't get bored. I've finished FFX 3 times as well. 'How long is too long/perfect/too short etc for a game?', is basically the same question as 'how long is a piece of string?'....it's as long as each individual player warrants. Loads of people b*tched aboutt eh shortness of the Halo:ODST campaign - i thought it was spot-on and just gave the right amoutn of focus on each team member without introducing needless additional content just to pad out a few hours. Same with MW2.

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