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Playing games you don't enjoy and the value of your time


Timmo
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Mass Effect 3 as part of the Mass Effect Legendary edition. I started it as a road to Triple Plat (each game has its own set of Trophies) and I had to force myself to get through 3 with the Plat in mind: which means doing some quests, obtain a certain amount of kills with certain abilities etc. Numerous times I said out loud "I'm so bored".

 

Previously, Kingdoms of Amalur which was another game I played with the Plat in mind which meant doing side quests, reading books, touching lore stones etc. The second the Plat hit I uninstalled it.

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I'm no Trophy/Achievement hunter, but I am both a) a fan of JRPGs and b) kind of stubborn, so I feel this. I often have a certain threshold where I think "I could be spending this time playing something I enjoy rather than playing this" and it's caused me to drop a few games. I think I made attempts to play two PSP Monster Hunter games and (both times) the barrage of menus, systems and tutorials completely wore me down. On the other hand, sometimes I literally can't think of anything to play and there's nothing being released for ages, so I'll persist with some mammoth JRPG (as with my Chrono Trigger playthrough this year… but I did end up enjoying that.)

 

Also: Persona 4. It's going to get mentioned, but I may as well get there first. :P The battle system is great and I dig the social linking and dungeon crawling, but if you shelved the game because of the enormous intro I can hardly blame you. You have to complete one tutorial boss (Shadow Yosuke), start the first dungeon and face another tutorial boss (Shadow Chie) - as well as digesting a lot of narrative - before the game really opens up, and for someone who isn't prepared for that kind of intro it's a bit much. Even beyond that, the high school premise isn't for everyone and the writing and characters can make your eyes roll, but you'll be invested because some idiot on a forum insisted it was great.

 

Basically, if you have the luxury of not knowing what to play, it's a good opportunity to try something new. But if you're able to walk away from something you don't enjoy - without feeling the sting of wasted cash - then that's nothing to be ashamed of.

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If I've invested a lot of time in a game already and I'm nearing the end, then even if I'm not enjoying it as much I'll often still feel compelled to 'see it through' regardless. I'm a lot more likely to abandon a game early on than I am after putting more than ten hours into it. I'm aware that this is stupid, however, so it's something I'm trying to change.

 

I think that, as I've got older, long games in general are just something I've taught myself to steer clear of. I can maybe do one 50+ hour experience per year. It's a shame that, as @Timmo says, lots of developers immediately equate length with value, however. This is something that I can only see getting worse as games become more expensive. I've read and heard a few opinions about the new Ratchet and Clank being 'just' 15 hours long and therefore poor value at £70.

 

Then again, however, if you do decide to complete a 50 hour + game, then that's probably a decent indication that the game in question is a good one if it can keep you coming back for that amount of time. BotW and the Witcher 3 I've put at least 100 hours into apiece, for example, and their depth is a big part of what makes them great.

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46 minutes ago, Timmo said:

Something I’ve realised as I’ve gotten older, when the balance of scales between not having enough games to play (I used to play demos over and over in Amiga days) has shifted towards having way more games than I can possibly ever play (Itch.io bundle, anyone?) is that my gaming time has way more value.

 

For me, the balance of those scales tipped over some time in summer 2013, when Fable 3, Assassin's Creed 2, and Dead Rising 2 were the first titles Microsoft released on Games With Gold. Haven't played any of them for more than a few hours, but I still vaguely intend to complete them (along with loads of other 360 GWG titles) one day! 👍

 

Just like I still think that one day I'll get through reading all the articles in my Pocket/OneTab browser extensions... and watching all those things I've had recorded on my PVR for 5+ years... and listening to all my podcasts subscriptions...

 

Spoiler

(Well, having said that, I doubt I'll ever give Fable 3 another try: last time I played it, I hit a bug where my character got stuck inside some scenery, and remained there after reloading. Good thing that happened within the first couple of hours of play, right?)

 

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51 minutes ago, Timmo said:

Something I’ve realised as I’ve gotten older, when the balance of scales between not having enough games to play (I used to play demos over and over in Amiga days) has shifted towards having way more games than I can possibly ever play (Itch.io bundle, anyone?) is that my gaming time has way more value. There is less of it due to being an adult, and as a result I will no longer put up with games I don’t enjoy, or have stopped enjoying. I have a massive backlog, just like all of us do, and there’s always something more worthy of my time than something I don't enjoy anymore. If your game turns to shit, I'm dropping it.

Yeah, this is absolutely where I am. I have such little time to game (although try to make an effort to do it, I just find it positively affects my mental health) that if I'm not enjoying a game it gets dropped. I got about 90% through ME:A and just hit a wall, and have no idea what happens at the end. It's kinda weird, but I just don't care, as much as I generally enjoyed it, and loved the original 3 games. Same for that recent Jedi game, it was fun, pretty, had an interesting story but holy crap, the skill wall just shot up like the north face and I rage deleted it. Perhaps I'll read the story summary on wiki or something.

 

Have absolutely no desire to 100% a game, though. There are a few where I've initially enjoyed it so much that I proclaim "this is it, this is the first game I 100%" but I never do. I still hope to do that for NMS, though :)

 

But yes, life's too short and parent gaming time limited. I have to be completely enjoying something or I shelve it/drop it completely. 

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In my younger days I probably did a lot of this when money was tight and I bought a stinker with my limited funds. For most of the 360 and PS4 era I switched to mainly renting games (first with Loveflm and then, when they went defunct, Boomerang). Without the sunk cost fallacy whirling in my mind I found I was much more relaxed about abandoning experiences I wasn't enjoying and using my precious lesiure time elsewhere.

 

As the schedule of disc releases drastically reduced during the life of the PS4, I eventually binned my rental subscription as it wasn't worth in anymore. At the momemt most of the games I play are on GamePass and, as with the rentals, I'm much more likely to pack in a game I'm not enjoying.

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2 minutes ago, TehStu said:

 

Have absolutely no desire to 100% a game, though. There are a few where I've initially enjoyed it so much that I proclaim "this is it, this is the first game I 100%" but I never do. I still hope to do that for NMS, though :)

 

 

Days Gone is my only Platinum, but there's good reason - the best bit of the game (for me) actually came after the credits, and 95% of the trophies were fun to get or just popped on the way to doing fun shit, nothing grindy. If more platinum trophies were like that I'd be much more likely to complete them (if I'm enjoying it, of course)

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4 minutes ago, Harsin said:

Remember the wankers who would unironically assure you Final Fantasy XIII got better if you just put 30 hours into it.

Ha! I stopped playing that at a certain point because, yeah, I got sick of the grind.

 

A very recent example of this for me is Assassin's Creed Valhalla. I was enjoying it, but it became tiresome, then Cyberpunk 2077 came out and I haven't been back to Valhalla since because, honestly, the thought of trawling that shitty English countryside fills me with dread.  

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2 hours ago, Timmo said:

 

I won’t name who said this somewhere else in Discussion, but honestly this just blows my mind. I can kind of relate – I’ve certainly put in hours to games where I sometimes have a bad time (FIFA Ultimate Team Weekend League, anyone?), but generally speaking I at least enjoy 90% of my time with those games. But to keep playing a game I’m not actively enjoying most of the time just seems like complete madness.

 

Something I’ve realised as I’ve gotten older, when the balance of scales between not having enough games to play (I used to play demos over and over in Amiga days) has shifted towards having way more games than I can possibly ever play (Itch.io bundle, anyone?) is that my gaming time has way more value. There is less of it due to being an adult, and as a result I will no longer put up with games I don’t enjoy, or have stopped enjoying. I have a massive backlog, just like all of us do, and there’s always something more worthy of my time than something I don't enjoy anymore. If your game turns to shit, I'm dropping it.

 

I think much of the issue falls to achievements and trophies, and the common trait of being a completionist. Not being able to settle until you have all trophies and 100% completion. The problem with that, these days, is that many games are designed to offer massive amounts of playtime to this demographic, even if much of that playtime is a tedious grind. Rarely is an extra playthrough on the hardest difficulty with a small amount of extra missions enough anymore to fully finish a title.

 

I’d be interested to hear if this is the only reason people play games compulsively that they don’t enjoy. I’m guessing another reason is that games that are familiar can be played without thinking, but again, couldn’t you play one you actually enjoy?


LOL. Is this me? I did spend a lot of time playing it again and again, and yes I agree that a lot of it did annoy me. The general crack of being out and about in the world is what I loved the most, sneaking about taking out the outposts etc.. 

 

But dear god the stuff that annoyed me:

1. The game takes a fucking age to start, waiting for the bloody logo screens and even connecting with the servers takes ages. It’s like it’s having to contact the server on Mars.

2. Then you actually get to take control,  but it’s that awful slow-walk story crap and again the whole opening section takes ages. 
3. The Bliss stuff can also fuck off, especially when it goes to a loading screen, or those walk forward slow-walk story bits.

 

I did load it up recently, and I loved messing around with those religious freaks. But then I wandered into Faith’s county to take out a few more outposts. But then I became a target and the enemy comes at me with their Bliss bullets and I just turned it off.

 

I want Far Cry 6, but I just know they’ll have more of those slow-walk bits which should be banned from gaming until the end of time. Far Cry could be such a great game without all that drug bits etc..

 

Gameplay is king, anything that stops me playing or takes control away from me can go to hell.

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I used to try and play everything which may have come from yarring back in the amiga days but I just don't bother with a lot of games that I'm either bad at or don't enjoy. 

 

I've not played a CoD for about 5 years now and no fifa since about 2005. Yet I've put thousands of hours into things that I know aren't maybe as "fun" as they could be but yet I enjoy them so that makes more sense to me than just playing something to get 100% or just because it's a new game. 

 

Enjoying it should surely be the point and I definitely stop some before the end if I get bored. I've not finished some games because the boss fight might be too much of an annoying game of attrition or some such. 

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13 minutes ago, Mr Do 71 said:


LOL. Is this me? I did spend a lot of time playing it again and again, and yes I agree that a lot of it did annoy me. The general crack of being out and about in the world is what I loved the most, sneaking about taking out the outposts etc.. 

 

But dear god the stuff that annoyed me:

1. The game takes a fucking age to start, waiting for the bloody logo screens and even connecting with the servers takes ages. It’s like it’s having to contact the server on Mars.

2. Then you actually get to take control,  but it’s that awful slow-walk story crap and again the whole opening section takes ages. 
3. The Bliss stuff can also fuck off, especially when it goes to a loading screen, or those walk forward slow-walk story bits.

 

I did load it up recently, and I loved messing around with those religious freaks. But then I wandered into Faith’s county to take out a few more outposts. But then I became a target and the enemy comes at me with their Bliss bullets and I just turned it off.

 

I want Far Cry 6, but I just know they’ll have more of those slow-walk bits which should be banned from gaming until the end of time. Far Cry could be such a great game without all that drug bits etc..

 

Gameplay is king, anything that stops me playing or takes control away from me can go to hell.


If it was you do you have a full time job? Any other responsibilities? Genuine question as I don’t think I could find that time to dedicate to a game even if it was the greatest game of all time!

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5 minutes ago, dizogg said:


If it was you do you have a full time job? Any other responsibilities? Genuine question as I don’t think I could find that time to dedicate to a game even if it was the greatest game of all time!


I did have a lot of spare time back then. 
 

I even managed to complete it on Infamous difficulty via New Game+, and it’s probably amazing that I didn’t fling the pad through the tv or nearest window during those awful sections of the game.

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I persisted with Yakuza Like A Dragon (which I loved right up to the credits) to earn the Platinum trophy and it was a ~15+ hour grind (half an hour before bed each night) that almost soured the experience. Entirely my fault, I could have just stopped earlier, content.

 

Insisted on playing through all three Uncharted games on the PS4 trilogy as well even though it was clear a little way into the first that I wasn't going to enjoy them. Plus it was about a decade too late for their spectacle to impress. Played a chunk of the fourth one as well when they made it free then realised it was my fault for getting annoyed every time I had to do a shooting in a shooting game.

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I only invest time in games I enjoy and I only go for all the trophies and cheevos if I truly love a game, like I did with Bloodborne and now Returnal.

 

Time is too precious.

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i got 100% on gta v.

I often mention it at work. I got all the nuke waste and the letters and all that and fucking hell, what a waste of my life.

I guess there wasn’t  else out at the time though so maybe I can forgive myself.

I sued to really regret the time I wasted on MMOs many moons ago.

 

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Just now, Scribblor said:

I couldn't give a solitary shit about achievements or trophies, and the second I stop enjoying a game I stop playing it.

 

Books, on the other hand, I find nearly impossible to leave unfinished, even if I hate them.

 

I have no idea why I'm able to respect my time with one medium but not with the other.

I've dropped so many books, including lots of 'classics'. Life's too short. 

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I definitely drop things I’m not enjoying for the most part. I’ve forced myself few a through cinematic 3rd person shooters for whatever reason. 
 

It’s rare I’d come even close to getting a platinum trophy in a game, even those I play a lot!

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I'd make a distinction between good but not great games that get out of the way we can play indefinitely for our own strange satisfaction, like my multiple replays of Extermination on PS2, and pushing your way through a really big game that you are actively disliking. I've not done the latter very often, but with RDR2 I used the really tedious story missions to give a bit of structure to just galloping around and soaking up the space, which I really enjoyed. And then now and then, oh, here's a good story beat, nice little character excursion, I'll have a bit of that.

 

Coincidentally I was thinking about starting a thread on games that feel endless and why that is. If it's not too off-topic I thought I'd bring it up here instead:

 

It was sparked by a comment in the Rabbids 2 thread about how the first game was too long. It's not really got any more content than Advance Wars, and it's not like you have to play it all, there's a clear critical path, but the former has its extra maps in all these neat boxes and the latter has it in one (no doubt hard to construct) seamless world of puzzles and secrets. To revisit RDR2, the fact that the story doesn't actually advance for the middle 60 hours makes you wonder if it ever will end. TLoU2 is currently suffering from a similar problem of stagnation. I loved Tearaway on the Vita but it could've ended after the last world or the fifth or the tenth - they just kept coming. Persona 4's opening is shapeless; Ring Fit Adventure doesn't let you see how many worlds it has.

 

I think it's all about giving the player a sense of the big picture. People like to know the shape of what they're setting out on, which can give them a feeling of both progression and of how far they are from something important. And that might mean they can anticipate a plot beat is coming up in an hour, or it might mean that they can see they're on world 1 of 6, but you've got to give people something to hang on to.

 

My CD's finished importing so I'm just going to leave this waffle as it is.

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The big problem is games do lots of nice brain stimulation rewards for completing bits of them, and this gets like transposed from an in-game activity to affecting how people consume the form of media itself. Everyone has mind goblins.

 

A good example was in the Game Pass thread, some people said like "well I had Game Pass but I just kept stop playing games the moment I stopped enjoying them" and the response was "that's good though right? You stopped playing a game you weren't enjoying for something you did enjoy" and the response was no, it was bad actually, because you're supposed to play one game at a time and see it to the end like when you were a kid and time rich but money poor, even though now you're time poor and money rich.

 

We could probably extrapolate further into other forms of cross-contamination - do people who hoard all the powerful items for the final boss and end up never using them have larger piles of shame? Probably. Personally I've started deprogramming myself from the mind goblins, selling the most powerful items that I'm not going to use anyway, grazing on games with no commitment to complete them, feels good man.

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I rarely complete games, they don’t hold my attention long enough and/or I get bored of the mechanics and/or they’re too bloody long. Astro’s Playroom is the only game I’ve ever got Platinum for, and completed all the achievements (and then completed again on another profile), because it was a joy to play, and only 4-5 hours in length. 
 

I had a good blast with Just Cause 3, but didn’t care for the campaign - liberated most of the initial island, flew around a bit, blew some stuff up, had my fun. I thought ‘hey, might as well complete the campaign’ then discovered how bloody long it was and quit / uninstalled shortly after. 
 

I started Persona 5 recently, but 5 hours in I’ve given up - it’s too slow, and too much time between save points. I know it’s a long game and I can see why, I can also see it being enjoyable if you have plenty of spare time, but I’ve tried it and moved on.

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I can’t even push myself to get through a tutorial that takes too long. I gave up on the Viking God of War after 15 minutes because the tutorial was fucking dull. I’ve got too much to play and not enough time to mess about on games I don’t love.

 

There’s some games I wish I could push myself into, I used to love the Final Fantasy games, but they all take too long to start for me now. I’d like to try the Persona or Shin Megami Tensei games as well, but again, too slow to start and too little time.

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I’ve only got all the achievements in a few games, and they were all things I really loved and just wanted to play more. Until Dark Souls I’d never done it at all, and my trophy history on PSN has so many games at 5% or less because I decided they were shit in the first hour or two. I don’t care if it’s 5 minutes or 500 hours, as soon as I go to turn a game on and I’m not exited to play it I just don’t bother. I like Gamepass mainly because it lets me continue playing games like I always have but I waste a lot less money. 
 

The exception is Dark Souls 2. I hated that, knew I hated it in the first few hours but persevered for hundreds of hours. Went through the game, gave up, bought it again when the version with the DLC was released, played it again, hated it most of the time. I didn’t beat the final boss in the end because I just couldn’t be arsed, I played the whole game and was sure I didn’t like any of it. I made my girlfriend promise that she wouldn’t let me buy it again, and occasionally I stop on it in the sale section and she reminds me that I fucking hate it. I just couldn’t accept that there was a sequel to Dark Souls that I didn’t like at all, I was convinced that I was doing something wrong or that eventually it would click.

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Never play anything I don't really enjoy these days, no matter the financial outlay.

 

I used to stare at the icons a lot feeling guilt, remorse and duty but then I just started the Abandoned Games thread and that helped exorcise the demons.

 

It's why I'm happy to only play the really good stuff. If nothing good is out, I'll go back to my old favourites or just not play games. I won't play anything just for the sake of it and if I'm not in the mood for gaming, I won't force it.

 

Works well for me, I get much more from the hobby now. 

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I'm forcing myself to play Mass Effect Remaster now. I'm not enjoying it one bit and ready to give up. 

 

Thing is the Mass Effect Trilogy original is in my top 20 games ever. I adored it at the time. I keep saying to myself.... It will click again. But its not. 

 

It's quite sad. 

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