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Jamie John

Is it better to play fewer games more thoroughly or more games less thoroughly?

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I've been pondering this question for a while now. I'd say I'm very much in the former camp: I tend to play and complete fewer games, around one and a half per month on average, but it's rare that I don't spend in excess of 15 hours (and more often 30+) playing a game, if it's a good one at least and I find it sufficiently engaging. I wouldn't class myself as a completionist - I'm not one to hunt down every last trophy/achievement in every game I play -  but in the mostly single-player, linear action/adventure games I tend to favour, I do find the call of the collectible quite strong, and while playing I'll often go out of my way to hunt down secrets, complete sidequests and do, or at least attempt, pretty much everything the game can offer me to get my money's worth.

 

Sometimes, however, I wonder if the hours it takes me to do all these additional things would be better spent on experiencing new games I haven't yet played. The 30-40 extra hours it took me to track down every moon in Odyssey, for example, or the same number of hours it took me to kill all the marks in the FFXII remaster, or find all the shrines in BotW - I enjoyed doing all of those things (except the skipping moon in Mario <_<), but I wonder would I have got more enjoyment out of completing potentially five or six games in the same amount of time it took me to do them?

 

To be honest, I doubt I'll ever find out because I'm at the point now where I feel that I can't leave a game alone if there's bits of it unfinished. This means, however, that there will always be lots of acclaimed games that I'll inevitably miss out on and never get round to playing, more than if I was happy to just leave a game once I got to the credits, and that makes me a bit sad, really :(.

 

What about you? Have you always had the same approach to games, or have you found that as you've got older and there have been more demands on your time you've become happier to leave the extra stuff to other people while you focus on just completing the main quest?

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1 hour ago, Freeman said:

As a teenager, I rinsed my games because I didn't have the cash for new ones. As an adult, I buy more than I play, but as the quality and especially length of games had increased, I think its now more important than ever to move on when it feels right..

 

I think your point about the length of games increasing is definitely true. It's a rare thing nowadays to find a game which only has the main storyline and nothing else to it.

 

I guess my main point was that I do get some enjoyment out of going the extra mile and doing extra stuff in games, but it comes at the expense of missing out on other games I could be playing. It means that every time I start a new game it becomes something of a commitment, and choosing one game means that I will neglect many others. It's the same with everything else, you could argue - you can only experience so many things in a given span of time - but unlike with films, albums or books, for which there are no 'extras' (unless you include things like special features), with games the end point is a lot more indeterminate.

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Yep. I have similar, erm, commitment issues. I can't dedicate the amount of time to games that I used to or would like to. I struggle with an hour here or there in a long game  (Switch had made this easier though) so I spent a lot of time playing racing games or games with levels rather than story heavy epics. The problem is, lots of the best games are story heavy epics ;)

So essentially, I find that currently, I play small amounts of losts of games, and I do feel I'm missing out.

The Switch has changed that since I can now play whilst my wife watches tv, all the time commitment can be greater.

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With open world games and RPGs, I tend to dither off the main path and find myself burning out about half way through the main quest - see AC:O where I hit the 60 hour mark a third of the way through the story. At that point I make a beeline for the end credits and tell myself I'll come back to do all the side stuff later. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. Usually about a year later I'll jump back in (often with some new DLC) and 100% it. So it's more about how strong the draw to go back after some time is. Often I buy the latest hot game and play it for an hour then go back to the game I'm still chugging through. It's rare that I buy something at launch and it dominates my attention to the point where everything else falls by the wayside. Though that's definitely true of Monster Hunter World.

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2 minutes ago, Moz said:

With open world games and RPGs, I tend to dither off the main path and find myself burning out about half way through the main quest - see AC:O where I hit the 60 hour mark a third of the way through the story. At that point I make a beeline for the end credits and tell myself I'll come back to do all the side stuff later. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. Usually about a year later I'll jump back in (often with some new DLC) and 100% it. So it's more about how strong the draw to go back after some time is. Often I buy the latest hot game and play it for an hour then go back to the game I'm still chugging through. It's rare that I buy something at launch and it dominates my attention to the point where everything else falls by the wayside. Though that's definitely true of Monster Hunter World.

 

I hardly ever go back to a game once I've left it. I think that's part of the reason why I play games for so long - if I don't see everything the first time around then I never will. It's also very rare that I'll replay a game. I think in the last three years the only games I've gone back to replay are Dark Souls and Portal 2. I'd rather spend my time experiencing the novelty of a new game.

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I like to get addicted to one game, usually a FPS, on the PS4 and play nothing but that game and then other stuff on other machines - Switch being a non FPS type machine is perfect for this strategy!

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I have 2 game system, one main and one side game and its been working well for me.  I overdid it on purchases last year to build up a digital library of games ive wanted to play and completed a lot of smaller indie games last year.  Im going to try and make more progress on the epics this year (Witcher & AC) even though they are my 'minor' game - squad based online games getting most of my time. 

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3 minutes ago, fattakin said:

I have 2 game system, one main and one side game and its been working well for me.  I overdid it on purchases last year to build up a digital library of games ive wanted to play and completed a lot of smaller indie games last year.  Im going to try and make more progress on the epics this year (Witcher & AC) even though they are my 'minor' game - squad based online games getting most of my time. 

 

Im doing the same at the moment and it's working so far... I tend to have one epic/timesink title on the go, backed off by a smaller indie game.

Im actually managing to handle my backlog a bit as a result. 

 

Flitting from one game to another used to stress me out at times. It's just a matter of having the willpower to not be distracted by the next new shiny thing that's released. 

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23 minutes ago, fattakin said:

I have 2 game system, one main and one side game and its been working well for me.  I overdid it on purchases last year to build up a digital library of games ive wanted to play and completed a lot of smaller indie games last year.  Im going to try and make more progress on the epics this year (Witcher & AC) even though they are my 'minor' game - squad based online games getting most of my time. 

 

16 minutes ago, U-1 said:

 

Im doing the same at the moment and it's working so far... I tend to have one epic/timesink title on the go, backed off by a smaller indie game.

Im actually managing to handle my backlog a bit as a result. 

 

Flitting from one game to another used to stress me out at times. It's just a matter of having the willpower to not be distracted by the next new shiny thing that's released. 

 

Do you not find that one game tends to take your fancy more than the other, though, so you just end up playing that one, or do you consciously alternate between them, so one night you play game A and the next night game B?

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Neither. Don't make too many impulse purchases, but don't get too worked up over a "backlog". I mentioned this in the "relationships" thread recently, but who's really going to go back and complete some of the GWG and PS+ dregs because of a need to be "thorough"?

 

Also, play games until they stop being fun, I guess. I replayed the DS Viewtiful Joe on each unlockable difficulty not for bragging rights or "completion...ism", but because the gameplay was so much fun that I wanted to go back for more. I went back to Bloodborne again and again, playing through the base game about four times and getting my first Platinum trophy. However, with other games one playthrough is enough. :) 

 

(E: also from that thread, I mentioned that I also do the "one main and one side game" thing - generally it works out pretty well)

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7 minutes ago, Qazimod said:

Also, play games until they stop being fun, I guess. I replayed the DS Viewtiful Joe on each unlockable difficulty not for bragging rights or "completion...ism", but because the gameplay was so much fun that I wanted to go back for more. I went back to Bloodborne again and again, playing through the base game about four times and getting my first Platinum trophy. However, with other games one playthrough is enough. :) 

 

I think there comes a point, though, when even if you're not having that much fun with a game, but you're close to completing a certain aspect of it, you feel the need to plough on regardless, just so you can feel the satisfaction of having finished that particular bit. Of course, that could just be me - I have this thing where I feel like I can't give up on things once I've started and have to see them through, to the point where I occasionally won't start something in the first place because I know I'll have to stick it out all the way to the end.

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I only ever play one game at a time, really, and I play it to death before moving on. I’ve probably played ... 5 games in the last 5 years. GTA:Online, Mirror’s Edge 2, Batman: Arkham Knight or whatever it is, and Elite: Dangerous. I flirted with No Man’s Sky but it wasn’t for me. I’m not usually a completionist but I did the 100% thing for Batman because I am the world’s biggest Batman fan.

 

i know there are tons of great games out there but 1) I have limited time to play each week and 2) I find it really difficult to jump between headspaces in games without finishing one of them first. 

 

Oh oh I guess I completed Mafia III but it was a bit shit. 

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I tend to mainline a single game otherwise I get stuck in the paralysis of "hmm what shall I play tonight" and end up thinking about the games I didn't chose, like an unfaithful partner.

 

I'm definitely a "play a few games thoroughly" kinda guy as if I find something I really like, I enjoy getting fully into it, cranking up the difficulty, internalising the controls and getting really slick at it. If you flit between games or coast through trying to tick them off as quickly as possible I don't think you get half as much out of them.

 

However, I do think with many modern epics, especially open worlds, the sheer amount of things to do should be treated like a menu rather than a tick-list. I tend to pick the activities I like  and just do those. If I tried to do every crappy side activity and collect everything I'd end up hating it.

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1 hour ago, Jamie John said:

 

 

Do you not find that one game tends to take your fancy more than the other, though, so you just end up playing that one, or do you consciously alternate between them, so one night you play game A and the next night game B?

 

I don't really plan it, just depends what mood I'm in when I sit down to play. 

Just tend to try and make sure they are different styles of game. Ideally one epic balanced with something nice and arcadey.

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14 hours ago, Pob said:

 

However, I do think with many modern epics, especially open worlds, the sheer amount of things to do should be treated like a menu rather than a tick-list. I tend to pick the activities I like  and just do those. If I tried to do every crappy side activity and collect everything I'd end up hating it.

 

Depends how good it is, right? I dabbled in the side activities for Mafia III but it felt like drinking Diet Coke in comparison to say, finding all the Riddler trophies in the Batman games. Both are pointless and don’t achieve anything but the way the latter are presented within the world is engaging. Fuck the Riddler. That guy’s a cunt. There’s no way he’s getting the best of me. 

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All depends on how fun it is really.  Collecting everything in an Assassins Creed game is boring as fuck to me, so I avoid it and just play the main story.  But seeking out hidden gems in Breath of the Wild was crazy fun and I wanted to find absolutely everything.

 

So it just varies.

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I find the length and collectibles in some games overwhelming. Many a time I have turned a game straight off once I see just how much shit there is to do in it 

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That was one of the brilliant things about Breath of the Wild for me.  You had to figure out that shit on your own.  If they had popped up 900 korok seed locations on the map, I'd cry in agony and ragequit the game.  Knowing there are 900 korok seeds doesn't bother me.  It's gives a great "out of sight, out of mind" mentality.  You're cool to look for them because you honestly have no idea where they on, and you run into them all the time anyway.  But you're never really upset about not collecting all of them.

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35 minutes ago, clippa said:

I do find a challenge fun. I'm more than happy to stick with a game until I'm good enough to 1cc it and if I'm still having fun, to beat my score after that.

Some games have fun achievement, such as left 4 deads "escort the gnome" one.

I also like "the thrill of the new", that short bit at the start where you're plonked into a new world and you're discovering and learning new mechanics, that can be very addictive.

 

Collectables can get to fuck though, that's not a challenge, that's time wasting filler. I don't get any sense of achievement from that.

 

Gaming, if you're having fun, you're doing it right.

When I see people on here talking about their backlogs, I just want to punch them in the soul.

There are plenty of things in this god-forsaken life that you're constrained to do, or that you should morally feel compelled to do, don't let that spill into your me-time. That shitty game you bought last year on a whim and never played? Don't worry about it, let it rot.

 

See, I like collectables, most of the time anyway - the ones that require you to explore a level a lot more than you otherwise would (like the hidden orbs in Inside, for example), or that require some sort of puzzle to reach (like secrets in the Tomb Raider games), or that give you extra information about the story or game world (audio/text logs in lots of different games). Collectables are crap when they're just dumped in your path and require no forethought to get to, and usually when there are too many of them, like in certain open-world games when they just litter the entire map.

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I have one single player game (oblivion), one primarily multiplayer game (Pubg), and then one game for the 3ds.

 

Keep it lean keeps me keen.

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I'm playing JC3 at the mo'

 

but I'm just clearing settlements of badguys, to clear regions, to free islands.

 

I only do story-missions when I feel like it, and avoid side-quests if possible.

 

but there are two types:

 

instances where an A-B mission will pop-up (delivery missions, mostly, and some random rescue job)

and races. for cogs. cogs unlock abilities. abilities make the game easier.

 

but I suck at them, so I don't do them.

 

 

I'm playing it, so I can uninstall it.

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