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Finding time for increasingly massive games. How?


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On 29/11/2018 at 10:56, Pob said:

It saddens me that I've still not got round to playing the sequel to one of my favourite games of the last gen (Dishonored), but it's really important to me to give due time to games that I really enjoy. That means sticking to one epic at a time and playing it properly, not wishing it away and trying to rush it.

Yup I'm in the same boat, have still not played it either. :(

 

But yeah interesting discussion... Lately I find myself overwhelmed by my pile of shame and starting a new game ends up feeling a chore sometimes. Especially now that almost every other mainstream game wants to be the next open-world-GaaS experience it simply becomes too much. I've talked to my other half about it that while I very much enjoy this little hobby of ours I've also started having negative emotions from it. Even when I'm home now, surrounded by a fuckton of games, I get feelings of anxiety simply because I'm always trying to spend my time (with games) as efficient as possible while also reducing my backlog to acceptable levels. So I play Pokémon while watching football, I play Warframe while listening to a podcast/new music albums, etc. 

 

*inhales* Recently I bought: God of War (still in plastic wrap), Witcher 3, Northgard, Darksiders 2 (planning on going back to the first which I never finished and complete the entire trilogy) and I have three platformers on Switch that I've barely touched. I'm only a handful of hours into Pokémon, am still kneedeep in Slay the Spire, & Surviving Mars, have just started exploring the new Warframe expansion, about halfway through into Hellblade, also going through Pillars of the Earth and the Blackwell games but also have loads of multiplayer titles I want to play with friends and keep up with (CoD, Vermintide 2, Insurgency, Quake, Ultimate Chicken Horse). Last but not least I'm about 12 hours into Hollow Knight, which I've not touched for a while now, but I'm dreading to pick it back up again. It's just all too much! *exhales*

 

I used to limit myself to only 2 or 3 games at a time but as you can tell it's gotten out of hand. Which is why I've decided that I'm not going to buy anything videogame related for the foreseeable future, at least that's what I'm going to try. I'm very hyped for Smash and Just Cause 4 but I simply can't justify buying another game right now. Still looking forward to participating in our Steam Secret Santa again mind you (who doesn't like giving and receiving gifts!) but otherwise I'm done for the year and probably a good chunk into 2019 as well.

 

Are all hobbies as stressful as ours? Maybe I should take up stamp collecting or train spotting... 

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One reason I've played not much else other than Splatoon! for a year and a bit - 3 minutes of fun, repeated until I run out of time.

 

Although I occasionally take time out to complete *a* blockbuster game, but these days it'll be one you can do in 40-ish hours and which has decent saves. So Yakuza, Horizon: ZD and the like.

 

I gave up on Elite: Dangerous because the missions could go on for too long and you could lose track/time out.

 

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I used to try and play everything I could get my hands on but towards the end of last gen I found I was getting so I overwhelmed and just not enjoying anything so I've had to teach myself to limit what I play to some extent. I've still got a few games on the go but only one is heavily story driven whilst the others are stuff I can jump in and out of on a whim (so big game is FFXII with GT Sport, Fortnite and Dead Cells on the side and Persona Q as my portable game).

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I don't find it hard to complete long games and still really enjoy them, but I don't expect to do so in a week or two which I probably could have managed 10 years ago. Since August, I've completed Dragon Quest XI and Red Dead 2, plus put 20 hours into AC: Origins and probably another 30 odd into PUBG and RoE. That's about 200 hours in 4 months, so 12-ish hours a week.

 

Having something portable like a Switch or in my case a reasonable laptop helps a lot.

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I just buy stuff and add it to the pile of shame. 

My solution was to choose the Switch as my main console, and basically not but anything other thant 1st / 2nd party Nintendo titles at launch.  There are usually better deals to be had then, and there is little point in waiting for a price reduction!

I don't buy new release titles on ps4 or Bone (with the exception of Forza but that's so easy to drop in/out of, and only 1 a year...), and try to wait until a game is as close to £15 as possible before buying on these formats.

The problem is, some of the finest games have hit that price point, and are now in my pile of shame (Black Friday sales didn't help this!)

 

Are games too long...?  For folk like us, perhaps, but if it's an experience you're enjoying, then you always want more.  I put close to 120 hours into XC2 on Switch, and then another 30+ into the Torna DLC, and I'd still like to go back for more.

 

I try to play 1 long story focused game, and 1 or 2 shorter drop in/out games at a time.  I find it works best for me.

Currently, I'm playing Yakuza 0, Puyo Puyo Tetris, and... ummm.... Golf Story.  Ok, so that didn't quite work out, but Golf Story can be played in short sessions due to the fantastic sleep mode of the Switch, and quests are pretty short too.

 

The age of those 3 titles perhaps indicates where I'm at in the release schedules (I think they are all early 2017 games?).

I have unplayed Pokemon Let's Go waiting for me, but now also have a massive, massive pile of sealed games (mainly on ps4, and from 2017 - such was the quality of the releases)

 

 

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I most certainly don't have some kinda ennui as a result of these mega-games, I often appreciate the nice expanded length to them and the fact that a lot of them have open end-games that can effectively be played forever. It's not that different from a multiplayer game that you can just playing constantly. 

There's just loads of amazing games out at the moment... and playing anything near the best ones is a bit of a challenge, which is a mega understatement.  

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5 minutes ago, Freeman said:

now also have a massive, massive pile of sealed games (mainly on ps4, and from 2017 - such was the quality of the releases)

 

Why does anyone do this? Game prices only go one way, Nintendo stuff aside.

 

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My life choices are a lot easier on this front than some because, although I'm married and work a reasonably demanding job, I don't have kids. Nonetheless, I do apply a tighter filter now on what I buy and play. I try to only buy stuff when and if I'm going to actually play them. And I'm not often trying to multitask on the titles I'm playing.

 

I do find that maybe I have a higher tolerance for longer games as a result of a one-at-a-time approach. I quite like just sinking into the one title for ages.

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5 minutes ago, Kevvy Metal said:

I most certainly don't have some kinda ennui as a result of these mega-games, I often appreciate the nice expanded length to them and the fact that a lot of them have open end-games that can effectively be played forever. It's not that different from a multiplayer game that you can just playing constantly. 

There's just loads of amazing games out at the moment... and playing anything near the best ones is a bit of a challenge, which is a mega understatement.  

I meant ennui at the pile of shame, not at the size of the game you're enjoying. I like luxuriating in a 60+ hour epic as well. I don't think long games are a problem unless they are unnaturally padded.

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How do I find time?

 

Simple answer - I don't.

 

It doesn't seem fair or right to say that games are too big because essentially, games now (particularly single player experiences) give you FAR more value but these days, I just have to brutal and only buy games that I know I'll be able to play.

 

I've found out the hard way because I have so many games gathering dust.  Not because I don't want to play them and not because they're bad games, but because I can't find the time to sink into them.

 

I can't get on every night, and when I can it's maybe 3-4 hours.  It's not like I only play single player games either - I still enjoy a go on FIFA, I'm ALWAYS on Sea of Thieves which takes up most of gaming time, I enjoy dipping in and out of Forza Horizon 4, but look at this list of shame:

 

Zelda BOTW (played loads, not finished though - not touched for months)

The Last of Us remastered (played about 2 hours - not touched for over a year)

Horizon: Zero Dawn (played about 2 hours - not touched for over a year)

The Witcher 3 (played about 6 hours - not touched for over 3 years)

Red Dead Redemption 2 (playing at the moment, only on Chapter 3)

Uncharted 4 (approaching the end, but not touched for over 2 years)

Assassins Creed Unity (played about 2 hours - not touched for over 3 years)

Assassins Creed Syndicate (not even started)

 

Currently on that list, I'm playing RDR2 but I don't want to rush it as it's such a great experience.  But that means the long list just gets pushed back even further.  And it means I'm not even considering buying God of War, Assassins Creed Odyssey, Spiderman, No Man's Sky etc.

 

I wouldn't say this is a bad thing - I guess it's just what happens when games are so big and take up so much time.  50+ hours on all the above starts to stack up!!

 

First world problems, eh??

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22 minutes ago, Freeman said:

My solution was to choose the Switch as my main console, and basically not but anything other thant 1st / 2nd party Nintendo titles at launch.

 

Yeah, I did the first part, but now I'm buying all sorts of indie stuff and my Pile o' Shame is expanding exponentially...

 

Edit: But I do like spending time in immersive and unusual game worlds. So I'm playing through Vampyr at the moment, and have done Yakuza, Nier, Horizon: Zero Dawn. Just Cause 4 might tempt me back in to a mega-game experience - I spent over a hundred hours on 2...

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I gave up a long while back trying to find time for big time sink games. Last time I spent any significant time (100+ hours) on a game was Elite when I was at school! :)

 

Since then I realised that many of these 100+ hour games are pretty much grind-fests and tire quickly when playing them so never buy them anymore. I like games that give me a quick blast of fun (arcade type games / racers etc) or story driven games that can be completed in say 20 hours max. 

 

I could have more time to spend on games but choose not to as its only one element of life I enjoy and there are plenty of other things that I want to do with my time.

 

Oh and don't get me started on the sheer volume of games out there... Gamepass, Games with Gold.... lots of choices. Which I think is the problem in general these days with anything media related. If you are not careful it will consume your life so my plan is to be very selective going forward.

 

Right now I need to have look through my collection of games related stuff and have a zen moment and get rid of it all. Although I will find that extremely difficult.....

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13 minutes ago, smac said:

 

Yeah, I did the first part, but now I'm buying all sorts of indie stuff and my Pile o' Shame is expanding exponentially...

 

 

The steam issue... I have a digital pile of shame on there but at least I can't physically see it so that makes it kind of OK... :) 

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I dont!

 

My current "on the go" list is Super Metroid emulated on the Vita, Shenmue Collection on PS4, Astrobot on PSVR, Resident Evil 4 on PS4 and Modern Warfare Remastered on Xbox.  MWR was £4 at Cash Generator and I just wanted to see the levels set in Pripyat, because I went there on a trip.   I haven't bought a triple A game in ages, and the last major time sink I bought was Yakuza Zero which is incredible, impressive, huge, and yet hasn't got an ounce of the charm and appeal that Shenmue has.  The mammoth game experience that takes 170 hours to play, costs £60 and has DLC turns me off video gaming completely.  I'm fully aware that for the most part I am living in the past because they just don't make games that match my interests or lifestyle any more.  But they do! Astrobot is amazing, Mario Odyssey was great!  But Zelda?  Oh dooo fuck off Zelda.  It's got some good moments, but it takes the piss in terms of expecting you to play it for hours.  I have not got the inclination to play the first 10 hours to see whether I like it or not.  I enjoyed The Last of Us back at the time, but won't be buying the sequel.  It was a chore playing the first 5 hours of The Last of Us before the gameplay actually began.  

 

I played APB on Mame for an hour the other night with a massive smile on my face.   But I don't consider myself a retrogamer.  Astrobot on VR, Mario on the Switch, Ultrawings, Resident Evil 7, all occupied hours and hours of my time.  But I also sunk time into completing Night Trap on the Switch, which is inarguably a terrible game and always was, but I loved the laughs and definitely got my tenners worth. I think NightTrap was more of what I'd call fun than Read Dead Redemption 2 would be once you take into account that one is a tenner and the other is at least £50 and has DLC and "Ultimate Editions" Whatever the hell that means.  Exactly which Edition and which DLC goes into making the "finished product".  It's so telling that when you complete Resident Evil 4 you get Mercenaries, Seperate Ways, Operation Ada, and New Game Plus.  When you complete Rest7 you get New Game Plus and everything else is DLC you have to pay for.  Sod all that.  I'll pick up the gold edition in Cash Convertors for £8 in a year.  I'm not in any rush - it's not as if there's nothing else to be playng.  

 

I have never played an Assassins Creed game.  When they are £2.99 in a Cash Convertors I will pick one up and see what the fuss is about.  RDR2 will be mine when it's £19.99 or less.  But there's no incentive for me to splash out £50 , never mind £70 or £90 for various Ultimate Editions when I know I will only scratch the surface of what they offer.  

 

For reference, I put 130 hours into Earth Defense Force 4.1 on PS4, and counting.  That's how you make a video game.

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I've been smashing through my backlog. Most side missions in open world games are rubbish anyway so I just skip 'em. It's also shithouse that I spend more time downloading games on my X and Pro than I do playing them.

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I've just accepted I won't play as many big games as I used to.

 

My Gaming time has come down for 4 hours a night to 4 hours a week (maybe more if I watch NFL on a second screen Sundy nights), I still play most of the stuff I wan't to but have accepted that not everything is getting played and have learned to curb my completionist OCD and know when it's time to leave side stuff and crack on to the end.

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I tend to buy them and don't really play them then a decade later decide to finally give them a go as you'd like to play the third sequel so you'd best get on with it only to discover the first game is now fairly aged so the entire charade was complete a waste of time and money. And then go buy a PSVR to try that out instead.

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I have a ludicrously short attention span, even for stuff I really like.  I noticed the other day that my play time for Just Beats & Shapes (one of my favourite games of this year) is below 10 hours.

 

A game proudly proclaiming a playtime of 100 hours is off-putting, quite frankly.  20 hours is pushing it.  How often does anyone actually finish a game and think 'not bad, but could have done with being a bit longer'?

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I try to alternate the large 30-40 hour+ epics with a couple of linear, shorter games or indie games. If I play open world epic after open world epic, I not only start getting bored but also start becoming acutely aware that all of my gaming time is being spent on quite a limited range of experiences. I feel more fulfilled trying to play a range of shorter games and enjoying a wealth of experiences than only playing a few massive games per year.

 

Because of this, I do let some big games fall by the wayside. I'd quite like to try one of the new Assassin's Creed games as I haven't touched the series since Black Flag but I think of the size of the game and the time commitment and all the other games I would have to forsake to play it and it puts me off. I am playing RDR2 but once I've finished with it I'll probably just spend a couple of months playing much shorter games which require less commitment.

 

TLDR, I'm very selective about the open world games I invest in nowadays. 

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