|
Your continuous donations keep RPGWatch running!
RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Long Live the Long RPG @ Edge Online

Default Long Live the Long RPG @ Edge Online

March 3rd, 2012, 00:35
Edge posts an interesting article in rebuttal to a piece at Slate. A few days back Slate published Dark Night (After Night After Night) of the Soul, asking "is a 100-hour video game ever worthwhile"? A snip:
Dark Souls, a medieval fantasy game, was one of the best-reviewed titles of 2011. It was given perfect scores by the Telegraph, 1Up.com, and GamePro, and was named as “game of the year” in Slate's year-end “Gaming Club” by Michael Abbott and Tom Bissell. What happens in Dark Souls? You control a reanimated soul trapped in a violent purgatory. To escape you must seek out and kill phantasmagoric demons waiting in the distant corners of the world, thus proving your worth to the primordial snake gods who keep watch over the place.
In more than twice the time it would take to read Tolstoy's historical fiction, Dark Souls leaves one's head overflowing with useless junk like the difference in attack stats between a Great Axe with a fire bonus versus a Great Axe with a divine bonus. These bits of occult nonsense don't have an internal logic. In one early section, you'll fight a pair of gargoyles who live perched high up on a bell tower in a castle. These gargoyles, you discover, are especially vulnerable to lightning damage. Why a creature that lives on the medieval equivalent of a lightning rod should be vulnerable to lightning damage is not explained. Every victory in the game is built on a similarly dumbfounding bit of nonlogic.
Edge responds with Long Live the Long RPG:
I see two core arguments in Thomsen’s piece: 1) games are capable of offering their audience gratification, but ought to be enjoyed in moderation so as not to distract from more enriching artistic works and real-world pursuits, and 2) Dark Souls is an evocative, handsome and needlessly stubborn piece of game design that outstays its welcome by taxing players with dozens of hours of stultifying trial-and-error. I’ll start by countering the larger assertion and then seek to address some of the specific complaints levelled at Dark Souls.
More information.
Dhruin is offline

Dhruin

Dhruin's Avatar
Watcher
Super Moderator
RPGWatch Team

#1

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 11,964

Default 

March 3rd, 2012, 00:35
I didn't hear about the original article until now. Wow.. what an ass. This is really c-level amateur material. Who compares books and video games and expects to be taken seriously? Ridiculous.

I also think that there is more thematically to Dark Souls than is overtly obvious. Although "be a hero" is basically the goal in any game, especially any RPG, it's rare that a game shows this to be DIFFICULT. That accomplishing something is about more than clicking-to-win. I also think that, regardless of greater meaning, the game has oodles and oodles of atmosphere. In that way, Dark Souls almost resembles music more than books. It's about the emotions you feel and the place the game takes you. It's wonderful.

The idea that every form of media should converge on some sort of heavy handed metaphorical gobbledygook is just nonsense.

killias2:
Steam is the only answer. It's convenient, it's easy to use, it's simple and fast. It's great.
killias2 is offline

killias2

killias2's Avatar
Sentinel

#2

Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 354

Default 

March 3rd, 2012, 00:43
Jason Killingsworth confuses Tolstoy with Dostostojevskij as the author of The Brothers Karamazov at one point, but I guess one Russian novelist is as good as another, eh?

Anyway, I agree with both articles to some extent. Playing games can never ammount to anything more than time well wasted.
Mr Smiley is offline

Mr Smiley

Mr Smiley's Avatar
Watchdog

#3

Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 158

Default 

March 3rd, 2012, 01:30
"Anyway, I agree with both articles to some extent. Playing games can never ammount to anything more than time well wasted. "

It's a hobby. Most hobbies are basically leisure time. While we tend to look down on leisure these days, it's very important for most people's psychological well-being.
killias2 is offline

killias2

killias2's Avatar
Sentinel

#4

Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 354

Default 

March 3rd, 2012, 02:46
You could take his argument and insert any form of entertainment to it. Why have I spent so many hours watching movies? Why have a spent so many hours playing football? Why have I spent so many hours watching Tiger Woods? My wife might someday ask herself why she spends so many hours shopping.

Personally, when it comes to gaming, I'd rather spend a large quanity of my entertainment hours with a single game than spreading out those hours among many games. It's just my personal preference and why I like RPGs… because they tend to be longer and more involved.

I spend most of my life living up to responsibilities. No sense in guilting me or anyone else over wanting entertainment once in a while.

If videogames were around during Tolstoy's lifetime, perhaps we'd instead remember him as the world champ of Populace.

If I'm right but there is no wife around to acknowledge it, am I still right?
TheMadGamer is offline

TheMadGamer

TheMadGamer's Avatar
SasqWatch

#5

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Oregon
Posts: 1,936

Default 

March 3rd, 2012, 03:35
Hey, if I want a five minute game, I'll play Solitaire. The point of an RPG, for me at least, is to lose myself in an alternate reality or world. I want a place I can go to for fun and a challenge and if the game is any good, I'll play it for weeks or months. I don't want it to end. It's a journey, not a destination. The journey is the whole point.
Zephyr is offline

Zephyr

SasqWatch

#6

Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 242

Default 

March 3rd, 2012, 07:24
Kind of depends on the type of RPG to me.
I don't mind spending lots of time in an open world RPG like The Elder Scrolls or Gothic/Risen games. The hours just fly by as you explore the vast world and try to reach places that you can see in the distance and that you are curious about.
On the other hand in a story-driven RPG (e.g. Dragon Age, Drakensang, The Witcher) or a game that sends you through a series of levels (e.g. Alpha Protocol) I definitely prefer it if there is a sense of progression and if the game is a much shorter experience. These games have a habit of artificially inflating length with all kinds of filler crap, especially crap filler combat vs. trash mobs.
No, thanks! Give me a shorter, exciting, thrilling, edge of the seat experience over an epic borefest any day of the week! I find a 10 hour game with a captivating story much more desirable than a 60+ hour game with only a couple of great moments.
I also don't feel "cheated" if a game is short(er). I assess the value of a game by the entertainment it offers and not by the hours.
Moriendor is offline

Moriendor

Moriendor's Avatar
Spielkind

#7

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Schland
Posts: 1,835

Default 

March 3rd, 2012, 08:41
Any RPG less than 40 hours is a bit disappointing and lesser value for money to me
Just not enough time to properly soak in the atmosphere and gameworld.

That said, (it goes without saying that) if the playtime is artificially extended by filler combat or kill x quests then the game becomes a chore very quickly. Actually, its not uncommon to have 20-30 hour mainstream games consisting of that kind of content too so its really down to the creative team and not the actual game time itself…

I also without a doubt do not mind very long, story driven games, loving big-ass Fantasy and SciFi trilogies in books as I do… I do not even mind if the material has a little slump in the middle (that middle book, to extend the trilogy metaphor ) as long as it satisfyingly ties things together in the end…
JonNik is offline

JonNik

JonNik's Avatar
SasqWatch

#8

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,734

Default 

March 3rd, 2012, 09:11
I'm definitely not a believer that an RPG has to be 40+ hours to good. Some of the best RPGs I've ever played were in the 20-40 hour range. VtM:B, Deus Ex, System Shock 2, Arx Fatalis, etc.

On the other hand, I hate it when a game is too long for its own good, or just starts to feel drawn out. Dragon Age: Origins is a perfect example. I enjoyed it overall, but I would have liked it a lot more if it was about 20 hours shorter than the 80+ hours it took me to finish it. Divine Divinity is another game that would have benefitted greatly from having some areas cut out.
JDR13 is offline

JDR13

JDR13's Avatar
SasqWatch

#9

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Florida, US
Posts: 17,470

Default 

March 3rd, 2012, 09:27
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
I'm definitely not a believer that an RPG has to be 40+ hours to good. Some of the best RPGs I've ever played were in the 20-40 hour range. VtM:B, Deus Ex, System Shock 2, Arx Fatalis, etc.

On the other hand, I hate it when a game is too long for its own good, or just starts to feel drawn out. Dragon Age: Origins is a perfect example. I enjoyed it overall, but I would have liked it a lot more if it was about 20 hours shorter than the 80+ hours it took me to finish it. Divine Divinity is another game that would have benefitted greatly from having some areas cut out.
Well I was speaking in broad terms but yeah, I certainly need a bit of meat on my games for them to leave an impression.

Seriously though, as you quoted two of my all time favorites (Vampire and Arx) are you sure they fall in the <50 hour category ?! I have an impression that they were solid 50 hours if not more… (or perhaps it is my very leisure and completist playstyle?)

Anyway, I kinda agree with you on DAO. Some of the content (especially combat) definitely fell in the filler category. Overall though I was enjoying the game a lot so I did not mind that it dragged a bit towards the end and It didn't feel like a chore to me.
Last edited by JonNik; March 3rd, 2012 at 09:41. Reason: a bit of spelling for a change
JonNik is offline

JonNik

JonNik's Avatar
SasqWatch

#10

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,734

Default 

March 3rd, 2012, 10:18
Originally Posted by JonNik View Post
Seriously though, as you quoted two of my all time favorites (Vampire and Arx) are you sure they fall in the <50 hour category ?! I have an impression that they were solid 50 hours if not more… (or perhaps it is my very leisure and completist playstyle?)
My memory of Arx could be a little sketchy due to not having played it in 7-8 years, but I recall it being right around 40 hours fully explored. VtM:B is definitely less than 40, unless you're doing some serious hanging around.
JDR13 is offline

JDR13

JDR13's Avatar
SasqWatch

#11

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Florida, US
Posts: 17,470

Default 

March 3rd, 2012, 11:26
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
unless you're doing some serious hanging around.
I used to go to The Asylum and dance just to hear the song Isolated by Chiasm.

Returning to the gameplay length issue, are gameplay hours that relevant since we all play games in our own rhythm? Not to mention that the RPG genre has a great variety of titles and each can be played in a certain amount of time.

When I was a child, my speech, feelings, and thinking were all those of a child. Now that I'm a man, I have no more use for childish ways.
bloodlover is offline

bloodlover

bloodlover's Avatar
Sentinel

#12

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Vivec, Morrowind
Posts: 481

Default 

March 3rd, 2012, 13:34
JDR13 + Moriendor + TheMadGamer = <3

Its not really just a leisure time, there are studies shown that video games are a top brain stimulant, and one of the best choices to prevent Alzheimer and dementia. What is life really? why do you earn money for?

I m not saying short > long , but a non filler short > a filler long. Especially for a story driven game (which all games should be imo)
borcanu is offline

borcanu

borcanu's Avatar
muist

#13

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ro
Posts: 633

Default 

March 3rd, 2012, 16:20
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
VtM:B is definitely less than 40, unless you're doing some serious hanging around.
Heh, yeah but not 10 hours worth. I have to admit that the finer details of a game do start to fade after a few years (that is why I can replay some so many times ) and I do not really record time played (more like a broad estimate) so maybe I just remember wrong.

Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
My memory of Arx could be a little sketchy due to not having played it in 7-8 years, but I recall it being right around 40 hours fully explored.
This one though I do believe I remember right. Was a bit unconventional while playing through though (trying to find out how levels interconnected and returning to previous levels to see if anything changed etc)…

Oh well I guess these (and I am sure a few others) rare gems feel as long as they should (and I suspect when someone says x hours its more like x+10 for me)…

Wouldn't have minded 10 more hours of Arx or Vampire at all though
Or sequels for that matter
JonNik is offline

JonNik

JonNik's Avatar
SasqWatch

#14

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,734

Default 

March 3rd, 2012, 19:57
I recently finished my first playthrough of Gothic 2/NOTR and I have to admit to sort of wishing for the end a few times. The problem, though, is that I was was basically powergaming it and so I was doing a massive amount of running around trying to finish everything while at the same time being either massively underpowered or boringly overpowered. I think that's something that often gets missed: the longer and more involved the game, the more your gaming experience depends on how you choose to play.
epithumia is offline

epithumia

epithumia's Avatar
thiefmissions.com

#15

Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 70

Default 

March 3rd, 2012, 20:51
Originally Posted by epithumia View Post
I recently finished my first playthrough of Gothic 2/NOTR and I have to admit to sort of wishing for the end a few times.
I would have gladly payed double for that game to have double the length (as long as the content was NOTR level) That said the end was perhaps my least favorite part of the game (being, necessarily perhaps, linear and a bit by the numbers) so It is good tht part was kept very short…

Originally Posted by epithumia View Post
I think that's something that often gets missed: the longer and more involved the game, the more your gaming experience depends on how you choose to play.
This is very true, imo these games need to be savored. Why rush through all that excellent world design (Gothics) or work of art set pieces (i.e Witcher)…
JonNik is offline

JonNik

JonNik's Avatar
SasqWatch

#16

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,734

Default 

March 3rd, 2012, 21:10
Originally Posted by Mr Smiley View Post
Anyway, I agree with both articles to some extent. Playing games can never ammount to anything more than time well wasted.
That is wrong on so many levels…
zahratustra is online now

zahratustra

SasqWatch

#17

Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 2,232

Default 

March 3rd, 2012, 22:54
Originally Posted by JonNik View Post
I would have gladly payed double for that game to have double the length (as long as the content was NOTR level) That said the end was perhaps my least favorite part of the game (being, necessarily perhaps, linear and a bit by the numbers) so It is good tht part was kept very short…

This is very true, imo these games need to be savored. Why rush through all that excellent world design (Gothics) or work of art set pieces (i.e Witcher)…
I'd easily pay quadruple for doubling the length of Gothc 2, given your premise that it was the same quality as NOTR. When I find a gaming experience that I truly love, it doesn't really matter if it costs $3, $30 or $300.

There are not many games like that though, perhaps 10 or so over 25 years.

I can like a game that's 10 or so hours, but I will never love it (and I will never pay full price for it).

I also disagree that Dragon Age Origins was too long (as someone argued), and I would have loved it if they could have extended the experience by another 40-60 hours (at least) with a proper addon (as NOTR was). Awakening (and the other DLC) doesn't really count, as it isn't really the same game (though a good experience in it's own right).
Ithilien is offline

Ithilien

Watcher

#18

Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 72

Default 

March 4th, 2012, 01:04
Fallout. 20 hours and one of the best RPGs ever. 'Nuff said.

-= RPGWatch =-
Dhruin is offline

Dhruin

Dhruin's Avatar
Watcher
Super Moderator
RPGWatch Team

#19

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 11,964

Default 

March 4th, 2012, 10:03
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
Fallout. 20 hours and one of the best RPGs ever. 'Nuff said.
I agree, but you have to admit that you can only do it if you know where to go. If you follow the (if you can speak of one) narration you need a lot longer.

You can skip anything but the rat cave and the endgame, but this would only happen unintentionally in one of a million cases.

blackcanopus:
Steam is out of question. It's not convenient, it's not easy to use, it's not simple and fast. It's terrible.
"Where STEAM fails, the PHOENIX rises"
Sir_Brennus is offline

Sir_Brennus

Sir_Brennus's Avatar
Planeswalker

#20

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Germany
Posts: 356
RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Long Live the Long RPG @ Edge Online
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT +2. The time now is 16:37.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright by RPGWatch