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Cool Ben

I've played this game for 200 hours and it's rubbish!

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How many hours is too many to leave a negative review?

 

I often read through the Steam reviews when considering a game purchase but I do find it odd when people leave a bad review but have played the game for days and days, surely it can't be that bad if you are prepared to spend so much time playing it.

 

What do you think, is this a fair point or does playing a game for 200 hours mean you are the best person to review it?

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I go by the metric of if I'm still playing after an hour it gets a fair shake of the stick. I've abandoned games after tens of hours because I've realised its not for me, but 200 hours playing what you'd think is a bad game is masochistic and fucking stupid. Why would you? Who has that kind of time?

 

If you were to try and put a time limit on how long is long enough it'd depend on the game and the person. Some deep tactical rpg might need 30 hours at least to get going, but to someone who only has a passing fancy with those types of games 30 hours until it gets good is fucking lunacy.

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I'm trying to think what the longest I've played a game before dropping it because I wasn't having fun. I don't have much patience if I'm not enjoying a game pretty much straight away.  Recently, the most I can think of is when I put about 7 hours into Mass Effect Andromeda before I realised I hated almost everything about it. Although I think it was my goodwill for the series that pushed me that far. 

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I always try to put at least 15% of the game's duration, often 20%,  before calling quits. Working out how long that is is much easier now there's https://howlongtobeat.com/ :)

 

Saying that, I put about 19 hours into Sekiro before realising I just hated the structure too much to enjoy it. Classic Woody Allen, "The food was terrible, and such small portions" thinking, on that occasion.

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I think SFIV (in its various editions) was my most-played game of last gen - I must have sunk hundreds of hours into that - but I’d definitely alternate between loving and loathing it. SFxT was even worse...

 

I don’t leave many reviews on Steam but I do write online reviews for a website, and my general rule is that you shouldn’t have to spend too long “looking for the fun”. That being said, online reviews give me the luxury of “first impressions” bits and then final reviews, which are useful for enormous games such as Sekiro, Nier or Persona.

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14 minutes ago, mdn2 said:

I'm trying to think what the longest I've played a game before dropping it because I wasn't having fun. I don't have much patience if I'm not enjoying a game pretty much straight away.  Recently, the most I can think of is when I put about 7 hours into Mass Effect Andromeda before I realised I hated almost everything about it. Although I think it was my goodwill for the series that pushed me that far. 

 

I worry I might have hit about twenty hours in that. I really did not like it very much, especially almost every character. I have so much love for my lovable gang of misfits from the Normandy. There was enough mass effect in the combat to string me along but I eventually realised I had long ago stopped paying attention to what was even supposed to be going on. 

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There have been times when I've put 50+ hours into a game and it's been great but then something happens (a bug, an impossible boss, a massive difficulty spike, a change of game mechanics, etc.) which has made me think a lot less of it.

 

Hollow Knight is a recent one. Loved it until I realised I couldn't progress anywhere because it was too hard for me.

 

I've also played games to completion which I've not liked or enjoyed, partly because people have said they're great, you just have to play them through. I may be a masochist. Not a long game, but Undertale was one game like this. The Count Lucanor was another.

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I guess if a game is addictive and isn't giving you joy then it could be called a bad game despite lots of hours sunk into it. But I've never had that experience myself.

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Games change over time nowadays and can be ruined by a single decision. Kindalike how everyone is petitioning for that mech to be removed from Fortnite at the moment.

 

Similar with Overwatch. I put 1000 hours into that but haven’t played in over two years and the game I put 1000 hours into no longer exists.

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2 minutes ago, DC Lemon said:

Games change over time nowadays and can be ruined by a single decision. Kindalike how everyone is petitioning for that mech to be removed from Fortnite at the moment.

 

Similar with Overwatch. I put 1000 hours into that but haven’t played in over two years and the game I put 1000 hours into no longer exists.

 

This is actually a good point. And as No Man's Sky has proven, what can be what some see as an awful game at launch can be turned into something they our hundreds of hours into if they give it another chance.

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Most of the "played 200 hours, leaves highly negative review" examples I've seen are for games of the "as a service" variety and they usually just come off as a fan being butthurt about a tweak or a number of tweaks that affected the balance of the gameplay systems in a way they don't like. So they enjoyed the several hundred hours they played but then the devs changed the game.

 I think this explains the vast majority of cases.

 

Hypothetically (just an idea, I don't think this is common),  maybe since so many of those games are based on levelling up through mindless drudgery/repetitive addictive loops as opposed to fun (whatever that means) or player skill based challenge, perhaps people who get hooked by a game and waste a bunch of time and money on it before coming to their senses feel tricked/bitter and want to warn others.

As a more extreme example, I know a few people who played WOW for thousands of hours back in the day and don't have much positive to say about it when they think of the time wasted. I doubt they'd recommend it to someone.

I waste a lot of time on youtube but I'm unlikely to write a positive review of the experience or the merits of choosing youtube as a way to spend your time. It's addictive and shallow but oddly easy to waste hours on without really enjoying it, like a lot of these games.

 

Long games aren't really my thing, do people who sink hundreds or thousands of hours into a repetitive/grind based game generally look back on the experience fondly or as a waste of time?

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I average about 150 hours for the games I like.  Things like NMS, Skyrim, RDR2 etc  all of which I would give highly positive reviews for.  I normally know after a couple of hours if its a game I am going to like.

 

Depending on cost though, if I get a few hours out of a £10 game then I would regard that as good value for money and would have to factor that into any review.

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1 hour ago, moosegrinder said:

 

This is actually a good point. And as No Man's Sky has proven, what can be what some see as an awful game at launch can be turned into something they our hundreds of hours into if they give it another chance.

 

Or in my case, with NMS, the opposite. I didn't like a lot of the changes, although that's mainly because they introduced game-breaking bugs...

 

Not played it since the last couple of big updates though.

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I think it's a missed opportunity when I see Not Recommended Steam reviews at 500+ hours played, where it seems they've loved it but then burnt out and played too much to the point that the negatives of the game overwhelm all of the positives that hooked them for such an astonishing amount of time in the first place. A bit like 10 hour a day streamers trapped in a game for 3000+ hours until the point where the bugs drive them mad. 

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2 hours ago, moosegrinder said:

I'd give it a bit longer. I've had no bother with it but some have had issues.

 

I've already played it for about 250 hours :)

 

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Played Debate Dude (Dragonquest) for an unknown amount of hours, despite it being button mashing.... except yercan hold the button down from beginning to end. Corporate genius.

 

[ I'm getting really tired of having to type 'Original Dragon Quest' into Googs, because contextual referencing is getting tre cliquey and/or mainly about selling stuff, which was the deal on day one - but they never fixed the adsensei. YOU SUCK GOOGS MORE THEN REDSLIME FKXING SLIMEBALL. ]

 

 

 

New-Original-Dragon-Quest-Smile-Slime-Coin-bag-wallet-card-bag-Gifts-Plush-Doll-Kids-Toys.jpg_640x640.jpg

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It's a tricky one. I've played a few games to the point where I realised they were actually playing me. Hooking me with the kind of tasks that your brain finds kind of compelling. It's hard to criticise - I got value for money, but once I realised that they were using cheap tricks I dropped them right away. (It's why I won't play clicker things any more - I know it's designed to appeal to a base instinct that my brain will like, but ultimately I'll hate).

 

I've never left a bad review though - I've never felt conned into buying a game, so I'm fine taking the hit if I bought one I ended up not liking.

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I think it's very possible; I mean you may be addicted to the core gameplay loop or something that taps in specificily to your tastes but would you recommend it to other people? There's a lot of other reasons to, as mentioned the "games as a service" thing but also some games get complete Free to Play conversions in their first year without a whiff of reward for those who paid for it. Over monitisation, gameplay changes, server changes, unkept promises, slow development... There's loads of things that can affect the current state of the game; which could make people not recommend it.

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I reckon I've played at least 62.4 hours of Dig Out! on the PC at work just through having to kill five or ten minutes each day while waiting for some test to finish or a reply to an email etc.  

 

It's a terrible game and I've hit a brick wall in terms of progress as it'll take an age to grind out the currency I need to progress or I have to start spending money. 

 

Its an easy way to kill a few minutes so I'll just keep playing it regularly though. 

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It was never my favourite fighting game, but I put quite a lot of time into a couple of iterations of BlazBlue last generation. Arc System Works definitely weren't scared to make drastic and sweeping changes in the name of balance between iterations of the game, but I remember getting particularly burned by one patch in Continuum Shift, the second game in the series.

 

I'd actually started playing Ragna, the ostensible main character of the series, and was finally starting to invest some proper time into learning the character and game, as I was enjoying it much more than the last game due to the bigger 'muk community around this one. Like any other fighting game, I'd drill my bread and butter combos, hit confirms and pressure sequences for hours - there's nothing worse than dropping your chance at victory because your hands aren't listening to your brain, after all. But moreover, I'd actually spent a reasonable time learning matchups, as if there's one thing about ASW games that doesn't compare favourably to say, Street Fighter, is that a lot of the moves in their games aren't instinctually legible. You watch Ryu do any of his normal moves and you can guess whether a kick is light, medium, or hard. BlazBlue? Not so much. The speed of a normal in BB can probably tell you whether the button was light, medium, or hard, but the inclusion of the "drive" button, the OTT character designs and inclusion of weapons meant that rote learning was the only real answer to learning matchups. And this is important as it teaches you when to attack and when to defend against each character, and much more besides,  but before this turns into a deep dive deconstruction, just take my word for it that the game took a lot of learning!

 

Anyway, I had finally got a decent grasp of this Ragna character when a huge balance patch came out which basically threw the baby out with the bath water. While all his normals and specials looked the same, his combos fitted together totally differently. The best thing about the character was the incredibly satisfying juggles you could perform from his uppercut, but now they were gone. Even his methods of pressuring the opponent had changed. All of my knowledge of the game was completely useless, and worse than that - all my muscle memory, every instinct of how I should control the character was all subtly off and liable to work against me. I tried for a little while to adapt, but thought it would just be easier to learn a new character instead of fighting old habits. Unfortunately, no other character ever felt right in the same way, and I just gravitated back to Street Fighter. Which probably would have happened sooner or later anyway!

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This is called consistency bias, the truth is you enjoyed the game for those 200 hours, you wouldn’t have played otherwise, but your brain is not good about dealing with differing opinions on something over time, so it convinces you how you feel about something now, when you’re tired of something, is how you always felt about it, and therefore you only put in 200 hours to something shit because you were somehow tricked.

 

More people could do with knowing about cognitive biases, tbh.

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I remember putting the hours into all kinds of shit games in the past because I became a slave to achievements/trophies. Now I have less time I try to be a little more selective although having incomplete or lowly gamerscore on a game does my nut in!

 

Also got suckered into a few f2p mobile games, putting months of time in before realising how souless they are and that the best players have put real money in to get where they are. A recent example of this was Star Trek Timelines, I nearly put a whole year into it before crashing out at xmas.

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People play games for all sorts of social or work related reasons other than pure fun. Their view of the game is as valid as anyone else’s.

 

What’s much more of a pointless waste of time is bothering to judge other people endlessly on what they choose to do with their time or how they feel about it. It’s really got nothing to do with you.

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