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Author Topic: Why do some people complain about long RPGs?  (Read 10005 times)

Recca

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Why do some people complain about long RPGs?
« on: November 25, 2015, 11:39:24 am »
This is something that I've seen quite a few times here and at other sites lately. Why exactly do some people complain that modern RPGs are too long? Isn't that the point? Who wants to pay for a game that they could literally beat in a day or two? It would be an obvious waste of both money and time to invest in such a thing in my honest opinion. Besides, no one is forcing them to finish a game in one sitting or anything if they're busy or whatever, so why are they complaining about this in the first place? Isn't a longer game better than a shorter one?

It just doesn't make any sense to me whatsoever... I would much rather play a decent RPG with a long and interesting story line than a short and boring one that's a waste of money. And while we're still on the subject, why play RPGs in the first place if they feel that it takes too much time to finish? Personally, I actually feel that most RPGs are pretty short (both past and present). For example, it certainly would've been nice if Chrono Trigger was a bit longer. So, what are your opinions on this? Do you feel that most RPGs are too long, short or just fine the way they are?
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Bregalad

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Re: Why do some people complain about long RPGs?
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2015, 11:54:12 am »
I am not one of those that complained, although I can see that it is annoying when a game gets too long, especially when this game has flaws. Some flaws are much more tolerable for a 10 hours game than for a 100 hour game for instance. For example if the loading times are long, but you're playing 10 hours, you'll spend in total maybe 10 minutes in total at long waiting times, which is bearable. Buf if loading times are long in a 100 hour game, you'll have to stand 1 hour and 40 minutes in total at waiting times, which is unbearable (even though they're not longer than in the short game with the same loading times).

Same could be said at other flaws, the loading times is just an example that came to my mind. For example if the enemies aren't varied enough, or the combat system is good but too simple, or that the game is too easy, you won't be bothered by those flaws in a 10 or even 20 hour games, but you will in a 100 hour game.

Another reason is that people often have a large pile of games they'd want to play but limit how much they play simultanously otherwise it becomes a mess. Long games tends to monopolize the waiting queue and prevents to start a new game that you are waiting to paly. Of course it does not actively prevent it, but you know from experience that if you start yet another game, you'll necessarly abandon one of the game you started to play without completing it.

So if you're not a complextionist and don't care leaving lots of games half-finished, there's really no bad side in long games, but if you're a complexionist, it can become an annoyance.

Last but not least, if a game is really that long when you finally finish it, you are more likely no never replay it ever again (or at least not fully). However if a game is short, then you can pick it up every 3 years or so and finish it within a couple of week/months, which is nice. (Chrono Trigger comes to mind here).

Disch

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Re: Why do some people complain about long RPGs?
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2015, 11:56:07 am »
I'm not really a JRPG fan anymore .... I kind of grew out of them.  So take this for what it's worth.

With a few notable exceptions, I typically don't care about the story of video games.  Especially not RPGs where the story in all of them is pretty much the same.  IMO, the thing that makes RPGs fun is the feeling of getting stronger as you progress through the game.  It's why I tolerated DW1 on the NES for several play-throughs even though that's a horrendously shitty game that consists of literally 99% grinding and has no story.  Every time you get a level up, or get that next piece of equipment, you get a bit stronger.  And that is rewarding and fun in its own way.

But that novelty wears off.  In a really long game you either reach a point where you're an unstoppable demigod (no fun), or you feel like you're trying to scale a mountain that never ends.  It just becomes tedious.

This is highlighted in JRPGs in particular... as the combat in these games is usually simplistic and boring (hence why I don't really play them any more).  So the only thing really keeping you invested is the story (who cares), and that feeling of accomplishment from getting stronger.  And unless the game does something to mix that up and keep it interesting... it can easily become tiresome if the game is too long.

Bregalad

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Re: Why do some people complain about long RPGs?
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2015, 12:03:35 pm »
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It's why I tolerated DW1 on the NES for several play-throughs even though that's a horrendously shitty game that consists of literally 99% grinding and has no story.
Wow, I don't know how you coud do that. I'd sooner watch hours of storyline cutscenes, even if not very inspired, rather than grind in DW1.

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as the combat in these games is usually simplistic and boring (hence why I don't really play them any more).
Exactly my point, in a 10 or 20 hours games it's not a problem if the combat system is simplistic and boring because there is other stuff to maintain your interest. But in a 100 hour game, it'll become tiresome, unless there's other interesting thigns such as scenario, graphics, music or whathever.

Disch

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Re: Why do some people complain about long RPGs?
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2015, 12:05:23 pm »
DW1 is sort of like Solitaire.  It's not really fun, but it's mindless and soothing stress relief.

KaioShin

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Re: Why do some people complain about long RPGs?
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2015, 12:40:07 pm »
As you get older, free time becomes a valuable commodity. If I have 60 hours of free time in a month for gaming, I'd much rather spend them on on 6 tight 10h experiences than on one long slog of a JRPG. Of course if the game is really amazing, you'll gladly invest 60 hours in that too. I did for Witcher 3. But for, say, Legend of Dragoon? Hell no.

I don't know if this is an actual problem with RPGs these days, I'm more annoyed that every action adventure type game gets blown up by at least 20 hours of padding with open world collectibles shit.
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FAST6191

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Re: Why do some people complain about long RPGs?
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2015, 01:03:22 pm »
Some people got a haircut and a real job as KaioShin said. As was also said more length does not mean more better -- padding enough to double as some hybrid of stay puft marshmallow man and michelin man is not a good position to be in.

Why play them? There are systems I enjoy exploring and figuring out, one of those is not sportsball game. Spreadsheet with a bad UI though...

"Who wants to pay for a game that they could literally beat in a day or two?"
That would speak more to a lack of endgame content. Also with the things like Bethesda does then I only do the story enough to unlock some abilities (and sometimes not even then -- never earned a shout in Skyrim despite some 80 hours on a character) or because I happened to trip and fall into it (Fallout being a nice example here).
If the story was really worth it then maybe but game stories tend to... I would say be somewhat pulp like in nature but that would be an insult to pulp fiction. I invest 50 hours into a story and if my choices are game of thrones or skyrim it is not much contest (or battlestar galactica or KOTOR if you fancy a more sci fi setting, not that they are functionally that different). Now I would agree games might struggle to achieve such plot density and still be playable but even allowing games some slack on that front it is still not great for them.

It could also be that the world moved on and whatever that whatever might be termed RPG did well is now also done if not better then adequately in other things -- if I wanted a fighting game type experience then time was I busted out mortal kombat, street fighter... but today I have any number of choices or if not equal complexity to contemporary offerings then equal to the older stuff. For fighting then modern Ninja Gaiden and its ilk, for RPG then maybe Borderlands, puzzle games have been seen in other games for years and that is before we even get to ? elements.

There may be some that suffered the breaking of rose tinted glasses but at the same time things are not beyond reproach here and there are some valid points to be made.

SunGodPortal

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Re: Why do some people complain about long RPGs?
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2015, 01:42:50 pm »
It feels strange for me, an RPG fan to say that I don't like long RPGs because most just aren't good enough to maintain my interest for the ridiculous play times that they require. If I was a dork and played every RPG with a walkthrough I guess it wouldn't take so long, but to me that's not really playing a game.

A big problem I have with overlong RPGs (most) is that they don't have anything to remind you of where you are in the story and what you need to do next. This would not be a problem if a game were a reasonable length where you could beat it over the course of a couple of weeks. That's just not the case though unless you dedicate your entire life the playing said game and play no other games in the meantime. Many times I find myself getting bored with a lot of RPGs and playing something else for a while. I then return and have the think "Oh shit. I don't remember what I'm supposed to do next and these NPCs no help at all". I feel like I should be expected to keep a journal or something.

I think these days 40/50 hours is probably the absolute maximum of what I'd like to spend inside the best games. But most are not even that good. I have not beaten a single RPG on a console beyond the SNES (not that they were the best, many are primitive compared to the ones from the past decade or so). The closest I have come so far is FFVII (when playing it back in the day) and Odin Sphere. The second game there is super repetitive but also unbelievably addictive. I beat Chrono Trigger probably 20 or 30 times (I'm not shitting you) but I struggle to get through it these days.

I can't imagine any game being good enough to play for 100 hours. That's ridiculous. There are many televisions series and novels that have more story and don't get anywhere near 100 hours.
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Disch

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Re: Why do some people complain about long RPGs?
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2015, 02:29:29 pm »
A big problem I have with overlong RPGs (most) is that they don't have anything to remind you of where you are in the story and what you need to do next.

This isn't an issue in modern games.  They pretty much all have a "Quest Log" or something similar that does exactly this, along with tracking any and all side-quests that you're on.

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I can't imagine any game being good enough to play for 100 hours.  That's ridiculous. There are many televisions series and novels that have more story and don't get anywhere near 100 hours.

Well... to be fair it's 100 hours of game, not 100 hours of story.

It's easy to sink that much time into a sandbox game like Minecraft, or Elona, or hell even Skyrim if you dick around with the bazillion sidequests.  In those kinds of games, the story isn't the focus, it's just about being in a world and doing stuff.

SleepyFist

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Re: Why do some people complain about long RPGs?
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2015, 04:25:48 pm »
Depends on Tolerance/Preference, and how much time you've got to spend.

Bregalad

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Re: Why do some people complain about long RPGs?
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2015, 05:18:42 pm »
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I can't imagine any game being good enough to play for 100 hours
Well so far I think I reached the 100 hour bars with a great total of 3 games :
* Final Fantasy VII (PS1), but that was because of all the time dedicated to various sub-quests such as collecting all the enemy techniques, and breed all chocobo types. Just completing the game is doable in 35 hours.
* Dragon Quest VIII (PS2) - The only reason it took that long is because the battles are insanely long and every single enemy has a lot of HP and takes many hits to be defeated. Quite grindy too. I also did most optional quests, including one which is done after beating the game which is very long and hard
* Final Fantasy Tactics A2 (DS) - The very slow AI is a large part of why it took so long, each battle is ridiculously long because the computer things for age to decide what to do next. Since 90% of this game is technically side-quests story isn't part of why it's long, but you have to do some side-quests in order to be high levelled enough to continue the real story. Nevertheless I did all the quests of the game exept a couple which were really too hard.

So in all cases, it's due to gameplay/complectionist that it took so long and is never due to the story itself. Maybe for more modern games it is the case I don't know.

If you count all the time I spend loosing and restarting missions in Fire Emblem due to the death of any of my characters, then I probably spend well 100 hours on each of those, too.

KingMike

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Re: Why do some people complain about long RPGs?
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2015, 06:51:53 pm »
Do enemies in the FFTAs level-up with you, or was that just in random (non-story) battles?
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tvtoon

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Re: Why do some people complain about long RPGs?
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2015, 07:32:03 pm »
DW1 is sort of like Solitaire.  It's not really fun, but it's mindless and soothing stress relief.
Haha, so true. :) The secret, in most modern Dragon Quest games, is farming stuff as soon as possible.

It is not a problem playing games that take many hours to complete, however it is an overkill when, from 100 hours, you spent at least 10 moving around places. It is not a JRPG-only complain, mind you. I can tell you, for instance, that I have been going some Lv. 1 challenge in Sword of Mana for years, just because it is quick time job...

Also the game systems must keep you going on, as cited. That is the reason many companies prefer to invest their time creating MMORPG instead of old-fashioned stuff: it is more appealing to the general public.

SunGodPortal

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Re: Why do some people complain about long RPGs?
« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2015, 09:03:23 pm »
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This isn't an issue in modern games.

Thank god. Most RPGs are so long that I can't help but to stop playing them for weeks on end to play something else. I was much better at them when I was 12. These days I get bored a lot easier.

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Well... to be fair it's 100 hours of game, not 100 hours of story.

I knew someone was going to interpret that literally...

Even so, I can't imagine any game being interesting enough for me to WANT to sink 100 hours into it. That sounds unreasonable. I love RPGs, but nearly all of them are just too long.

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It's easy to sink that much time into a sandbox game like Minecraft, or Elona, or hell even Skyrim if you dick around with the bazillion sidequests.

I haven't played any of these. Are the side-quests a bunch of artifical lengthening like 1,000,000,000 fetch quests or are they varied enough to stay interesting?

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Depends on Tolerance/Preference, and how much time you've got to spend.

My attention span isn't what it used to be. I might be able to spend an hour or two on a game a night and not every night. At that pace, there are a bunch of RPGs that I will have to "play" a few nights in a row before I actually get to play them. Some of them take SOOOO long to get going.

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Well so far I think I reached the 100 hour bars with a great total of 3 games :
* Final Fantasy VII (PS1), but that was because of all the time dedicated to various sub-quests such as collecting all the enemy techniques, and breed all chocobo types. Just completing the game is doable in 35 hours.
* Dragon Quest VIII (PS2) - The only reason it took that long is because the battles are insanely long and every single enemy has a lot of HP and takes many hits to be defeated. Quite grindy too. I also did most optional quests, including one which is done after beating the game which is very long and hard
* Final Fantasy Tactics A2 (DS) - The very slow AI is a large part of why it took so long, each battle is ridiculously long because the computer things for age to decide what to do next. Since 90% of this game is technically side-quests story isn't part of why it's long, but you have to do some side-quests in order to be high levelled enough to continue the real story. Nevertheless I did all the quests of the game exept a couple which were really too hard.

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Synnae

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Re: Why do some people complain about long RPGs?
« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2015, 09:10:27 pm »
Hey, I actually spent 179 hours on Labyrinth of Touhou.



And also, I spent 392 hours on Genius of Sappheiros.



If you are wondering: yep. I absolutely love those two RPG's. They're delicious. ❤

Get on my level.

SunGodPortal

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Re: Why do some people complain about long RPGs?
« Reply #15 on: November 25, 2015, 09:18:44 pm »
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Hey, I actually spent 179 hours on Labyrinth of Touhou.

+

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And also, I spent 392 hours on Genius of Sappheiros.

Wow. You just blew my mind. :o

Also, those screenshots look so cute. :)
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Synnae

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Re: Why do some people complain about long RPGs?
« Reply #16 on: November 25, 2015, 09:23:15 pm »
Yep. Those two games have a large cast of only girls. They're really cute and the games are complex and fun to boot. ^^

Bregalad

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Re: Why do some people complain about long RPGs?
« Reply #17 on: November 26, 2015, 04:38:10 am »
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Do enemies in the FFTAs level-up with you, or was that just in random (non-story) battles?
Yes they do in non-story battles, which is most of the game. All the game's missions are arranged in a NxN gird, and only the diagonal N are story battles (I do not remember the value of N by heart), so the vast majority of the game is non-story battles, unless you are masochist enough to try the challenge to play only story battles.

magictrufflez

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Re: Why do some people complain about long RPGs?
« Reply #18 on: November 26, 2015, 12:48:44 pm »
I only complain about long RPG's when the stuff that's adding length is a bit of a slog (ie all the tacked on dungeons at the end of Grandia 1 or the busywork towards the end of the main plot of FO3, but there are plenty of other examples too).  I like the stories and world building of good games a lot, so if the extra length means I get a bit more in-depth with a well-written world, I'm definitely game.  There are games that go for the less-is-more approach too, but I like those when done right too.

I may not be able to match the Hour totals shown here with screenshots right now, but I can pretty well confirm that between all my playthroughs (for achievement grinding), I've easily spent ~300+ hours on Star Ocean 4.  That is probably the most for a single game I have, although FFX might come close, as I've had a few 100 hour saves on that too (thanks Blitzball!).  Anymore, if I replay older games I find my times a lot shorter than when I first played them too.

My FF7 save where I have broken all of the damage algorithms for final weapons and decked everyone out enough to take out all superbosses in under 10 rounds---all in under 60 hours--comes to mind fast.

Tharthan

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Re: Why do some people complain about long RPGs?
« Reply #19 on: November 27, 2015, 06:48:06 am »
I typically don't care about the story of video games.

Why's that?

If I was a dork and played every RPG with a walkthrough I guess it wouldn't take so long, but to me that's not really playing a game.

I agree with you here. Playing a game with a walkthrough isn't really playing a game.