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As I Get Older, I'm More Likely To Enjoy Shorter Games

Yeah, I was young once, too. I went to college.

In short, I remember what it was like to have plenty of time on one's hands. It was a big reason why I loved my RPGs, and why I was disappointed if any RPG lasted less than 40 hours (boy, was I pleased with the likes of Star Ocean: The 2nd Story).

But these days, I'm plenty happy with a 8-10-hour adventure. I really am. I can't sit and play games for longer than 2-3 hours at a clip, anyway, and it's oftentimes less than that. It takes me months to work my way through games in the Assassin's Creed and Grand Theft Auto franchises; no matter how much I enjoy them, I don't really have the time (or inclination) to play them constantly throughout the week.

This is why I've started to embrace shorter games, anyway. Yeah, Heavy Rain didn't take long to get through, and you may recall all the backlash about the game being only four or five hours long (the same backlash suffered by The Order: 1886). And yet, I thought the length was perfect. The fact that I went back and played through it a half-dozen more times is a testament to the greatness of the game and its branching storylines, but I was plenty fulfilled with just one play-through. Same was true for the excellent Journey.

I can absolutely guarantee that many older games feel the same way.

Tags: game length, video game length, gaming industry, gaming culture

2/18/2015 9:51:45 PM Ben Dutka

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Legacy Comment System (36 posts)


WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, February 18, 2015 @ 10:31:01 PM
Reply

Heavy Rain always ran me 10 hours, I wanna play it again.

I really do feel bad for Ready At Dawn for having their hard work cut down. We need new IPs, not lunatics strangling babies in their cribs.

I just realized it's releasing on a Friday instead of a Tuesday. It's gonna be a good weekend if it gets here on time/early.

And DOA5 Last Round shows up on the same day! I'll be that guy you find dead who stayed up all weekend gaming and drinking caffeine!

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Temjin001
Thursday, February 19, 2015 @ 2:32:48 PM

I got about 8 hours in on Heavy Rain. I haven't been able to finish it.

doesn't that game have strong incentive to play through multiple times based on decisions you've made?


Last edited by Temjin001 on 2/19/2015 2:36:17 PM

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Temjin001
Thursday, February 19, 2015 @ 2:34:41 PM

btw DOA5 LR's boost in res really helps clean up the texture shimmer the PS3 version had a problem with.

They're also getting better at making boobs move more realistically.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, February 19, 2015 @ 5:50:55 PM

That's good news about the boobs man.

As far as Heavy Rain goes, yeah it's supposed to but I only played it a few times. It wears on you to overplay it just to see what happens if you change a few things.

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Jawknee
Wednesday, February 18, 2015 @ 11:07:37 PM
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The older I get the more I agree with this. Just too hard to spend long play sessions to finish a game that's 80+ hours. I am no longer able to finish RPG's because I would normally spend a few hours making some progress with each session. Nowadays with life being as busy as they are I only have time to play an hour or less here and there. Only a few select franchise I'll make time for such as Zelda.

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bigrailer19
Thursday, February 19, 2015 @ 2:13:28 AM

I've seen you have some BF4 endurance sessions lately! ;)

Just kidding. I know the feeling. I either have to make time or I'm only getting in an hour here and there as well.

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Jawknee
Thursday, February 19, 2015 @ 11:13:46 AM

Haha well great thing about games like BF4 is I can jump into a 10 minute match then put it down for a bit when my attention is needed somewhere else.

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Bonampak
Thursday, February 19, 2015 @ 3:00:19 PM

@Jawknee - That's why I got a 3DS. The 3DS has several JRPG's (Bravely Default, the Shin Megami Tensei series, Etrian games, Fire Emblem, etc.) and the best Zelda games (OoT, Majora's Mask, A Link Between Worlds plus all the Game Boy and DS games). Those are games that are between 15 and 40 hrs long.

Because of the convenience of being a portable system (and having 'sleep-mode'), I can play those games for 10, 20, 30 or an hour at a time. Anywhere and at anytime.

So as an old fogey who doesn't have time to play for hours and hours, I can understand that playing short games might be best. But I also know that that doesn't need to be always the case. Because you can always play LONG GAMES in SHORT BURSTS.

When I was younger, I had the pressure to beat games fast. Too keep up with friends. But these days? Naw. I can play long games for as long as I want. No need to rush through them.

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MRSUCCESS
Wednesday, February 18, 2015 @ 11:33:27 PM
Reply

I agree with you, Ben.

The only franchise that I have been able to play more for long hours is Dark Souls 2 other than that I tend to turn the system and do something else.

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FAREEZ
Thursday, February 19, 2015 @ 12:07:51 AM
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Different for me, the older I get the more value I want from my money, I want game that take long time to finish, like skyrim, gta and red dead series, thats why I like when mgs and uncharted go open world. But that just my humble opinion...

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Ather
Thursday, February 19, 2015 @ 2:50:59 AM
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Yes. I'm liking shorter games too. Not 5 hours, but not 50 hours. I just don't have time for 4-6 hours every couple of days anymore.

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PC_Max
Thursday, February 19, 2015 @ 3:07:19 AM
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The last really big game I played was Skyrim. I Think that was big with all the DLC. I enjoyed it as it was not cerebral like say more linear story driven games. But even that made me yearn for an end sooner rather than later.

I admit usually I will end up speeding through a big game just to get it over it as it gets stale real quick from repetitiveness and not so compelling story to drive it. That was Borderlands for me. It was fun and challenging at the beginning got I had to speed through it to finish it as the environments were boring and looked alike and the side missions not much of a challenge once reaching a certain level.

And I have to finish a game. I can't just leave it.

Keep playing!

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Gordo
Thursday, February 19, 2015 @ 3:32:42 AM
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Totally agree. As an older gamer with a family I like a game that respects my time.

Heavy Rain, Uncharted 2, Killzone 2, Journey. All last gen highlights. Never worried about game length. If a game is short but enjoyable then I will just play it two or three times!

This gen I have put 150 hours into Destiny but I do feel that this has come at the detriment of my other games waiting like Alien Isolation.

I traded in GTAV and Dragons Age when I got bored doing rubbish quests and missions. Busywork that I felt didn't add anything.

That is maybe a factor of the older gamer. Wanting to be entertained fully with their limited gaming hours.

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Oxvial
Thursday, February 19, 2015 @ 3:58:43 AM
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What? Heavy Rain had a good enough length and unlike the Order it wasn't that hated, as someone that loved Heavy Rain I'm not gonna spend any dollar at Ready at Dawn for this short game, gonna save it for Bloodborne a real PS4 exclusive.

Last edited by Oxvial on 2/19/2015 3:58:59 AM

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Beamboom
Thursday, February 19, 2015 @ 4:16:37 AM
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What I've experienced as I get older, is that I want *less* games. Yeah. When I was younger I wanted to jump fast forward to the next big thing, always stay "up to date" and consume loads of games.

Now, it's quite the contrary. I really don't need more than a couple of *good* games a year. Games I can fully dedicate myself to, dive into that universe and just not bother one bit that the world turns outside my monitor and new games are released while I progress with a snails step in the current game.
I don't care what I miss out on. Cause I know, of experience, with age, that I don't really miss out on that much. And if I do, I can always purchase it later - at 1/5th of the price.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, February 19, 2015 @ 8:15:49 AM

I agree but I can't help myself, so I plow through game after game just trying to finish them.

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mk ultra
Thursday, February 19, 2015 @ 9:11:20 AM

As I've gotten older I find myself playing a lot less games, but unlike yourself, it's not by choice.

I used to take pride in trying to play every big game that came out every year. It seemed there were a lot fewer games that took 20+ hours to complete. Now it feels like too many games are asking for too much of my time and I have to make hard decisions every year as to which games I have to totally skip. It's why I haven't played AC since 3, and had to skip Far Cry 4 and a ton of others the last few years. Just too many open world time consuming games now, and I want to play them all.

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Beamboom
Thursday, February 19, 2015 @ 9:54:35 AM

You guys have just not reached my age yet. Wait and see when you do. :)

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berserk
Thursday, February 19, 2015 @ 6:43:37 AM
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Why mention and try to compare/defend ( length wise ) The order that have zero replay with a game like this that have plenty .Ya heavy rain was nt that long but beating it once was just half of the fun .

No excusing a full priced short game if there is no replay value at all .

Last edited by berserk on 2/19/2015 7:07:31 AM

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EMax
Thursday, February 19, 2015 @ 7:38:57 AM

What is replay value anyway? Take for instance, Heavenly Sword and GOW3. I still sometimes play them just to experience the story again. Isn't replay value just a bit subjective? Back in NES days, there were lots of games we played over and over again. I think FUN or how entertaining the game is should be a bigger factor. However, seeing that I haven't seen any reviews or played The Order yet .... I'm not sure how so many people seem to know everything about this game.

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Vivi_Gamer
Thursday, February 19, 2015 @ 8:18:10 AM

I don't think you can look at replay value is subjective - In the context of gaming critique it's really a term to define if a game actually has a variety of content to make replaying the game multiple times appealing - say a New Game+ mode, multiple endings or if it has an engaging online mode to boot.

I don't think having a good story necessarily means additional replay value in the core sense. However, I do believe feel that games with intriguing stories stand you as more memorable overall to me and I will me more willing to replay them eventually. But if the game doesn't have much to do beyond completing the story it just sits on the shelf for years.

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berserk
Thursday, February 19, 2015 @ 9:08:54 AM

The biggest thing that make me say no replay value is that you re supposed to not be able to skip cutscene at all if you replay the game .

With a game having half of it s playtime as cutscene or qta , it s just unacceptable for me not to have that option . Having a way of upgrading the weapons would help the replay value too .

Don t get me wrong , i ll get that game for sure , just not day 1 like i first wanted too .

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berserk
Thursday, February 19, 2015 @ 9:34:30 AM

Maybe i ll do like i originally planned ( when they were released in the same month ) and buy it at the same time as Bloodborne and using The order as a break from that game .I might find it worth it that way .

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, February 19, 2015 @ 8:16:32 AM
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Fallout 4 still needs to be huge though, that's different.

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mk ultra
Thursday, February 19, 2015 @ 8:22:14 AM
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I prefer shorter more focused games too. I hope the Order is short and sweet. That would actually be refreshing in this day and age where almost every game is becoming massively time consuming. Add on all the online and dlc and it's becoming more and more difficult to stay current on all the games I want to play. I would rather play a short solid game, like the first God of War, than a game that drags on too long. A recent example would be Alien Isolation. I loved that game, but i think if it was trimmed down a little, it would become more focused and be a much better game.

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Vivi_Gamer
Thursday, February 19, 2015 @ 8:22:57 AM
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I don't feel I have peaked that sense of age yet. If a game really grips me I can plow hours into it with ease. I am currently playing Persona 3 and I'm a good 70 hours into and don't want it to end. Luckily for me I have the FES edition, which is the release with the equivalent of DLC set after the main story... though this DLC is worth 30+ apparently... cant claim and PS3/PS4 DLC to offer such vast content.

Heavy Rain was certainly not 5 hours though and the appeal of Heavy Rain was the notion of giving the players actions the helm as to where the diverse narrative ends. As soon as I completed Heavy Rain, I was curious to see how else I could twist the games narrative through different actions and decisions. This sense of exploration I would love to see more in games. The Order 1886 doesn't have that though... so I can't justify paying full price for it, I'd certainly be all for renting it though and if I enjoyed it, I'd consider buying it at a later date.

Last edited by Vivi_Gamer on 2/19/2015 8:24:14 AM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, February 19, 2015 @ 9:31:25 AM

have u played Persona 4? Even better

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Banky A
Thursday, February 19, 2015 @ 7:29:22 PM

Still yet to play my Persona 3 FES.
FES for life. Your choice was a good one.

Listen to World. P4 the ultimate anime.

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big6
Thursday, February 19, 2015 @ 10:01:07 AM
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I'd take 5hrs of good gameplay to 15+hrs of boring gameplay any day.

And I agree... at my age, I think my sweet spot is in the 8-10hrs mark for a game.
It took me 15hrs to finish RAGE, and that was feeling a bit long for me.

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big6
Thursday, February 19, 2015 @ 10:02:55 AM
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As much as I loved Mass Effect 2, of the 50+hrs I spent on it, I think 10 of those hours were spent in the ship's elevator. Just saying...

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AMERICANSHEEPLE
Thursday, February 19, 2015 @ 10:41:13 AM

So true about the elevator. So true.

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AMERICANSHEEPLE
Thursday, February 19, 2015 @ 10:08:27 AM
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I prefer good games, short, long, medium it really doesn't matter to me as long as they're good. I've never gone into a game and said to myself "I hope that this game is (short, medium, or long) because I sure have a lot of stuff to do. That's why we save our progress right? So that we can pick up where we left off regardless of length. I have a 1 year old and a soon to be 4 year old so I value my time just as much as anyone.

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shaytoon
Thursday, February 19, 2015 @ 11:32:54 AM
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i completely agree as well. there are some games where im like okay are we done yet. okay i get it, can we just finish and get to the end. those games im playing for the sake of beating them as theyve caught enough of my attention to play through all the way. other games i ask for more which is rare nowadays.

destiny is the latest game ive spent a lot of time on since its release, other than that im spending most days playing evolve. destiny i touch maybe once or twice a week now just to get the weeklys/raid done, once i do those, i dont touch the game for a week unless a friend needs help doing something.

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Rachet_JC_FTW
Thursday, February 19, 2015 @ 6:59:57 PM
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yeah i know what you are saying but for me one thing hasn't changed much of the years and thats when i play a game or games in general i can't not sit there and play them for less than couples other wise is just feel i like i've had a decent go at it. like the other day 2 or 3 or 4 hours like think on rachet 2 that just the way i've been for years. and i always hate my dad and mum but dad more so saying to me you got 30mins to play games i was like really i can barely get started with 30mins i need more than that. but hey thats me atm maybe that'll change when my life gets more chaotic with getting a job, now that i've finished uni and others things might come in that demand more of my time i might be likely to side with you ben

but as of right now a games length doesn't have much bearing on me cos i can go for whatever

happy gaming

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twinspectre
Friday, February 20, 2015 @ 12:00:23 PM
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i enjoy games that take alot of times

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Gabriel013
Monday, February 23, 2015 @ 8:24:45 AM
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I'm the opposite. If I can finish a game in 1 week then I feel very little reason to go back and play through again. I have plenty of games like Uncharted 3 which I've finished once and never picked up again.

On the other side, I have the Mass Effect and DA trilogies, Skyrim, Fallouts etc and those I keep playing again and again. I don't care if a game is going to take me 3 months to complete because of few available gaming hours. That's a good return for $60. Especially as I'll want to pick it up and start playing all over again.

I'm more than happy playing 3 or 4 games per year as long as they keep me invested.

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