Does Replay Value Matter Anymore?

For the rest of the gaming world.
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I used to evaluate a game by # of playable hours enjoyed per $ spent.

Now I have more game-hours on my shelf than I have hours available to play... and I'm still buying more games (if only just so).

I'm pretty sure my new criteria for games is just whether it's something new or otherwise a must-have. Not planning on getting Fallout 4 for this reason :sad:

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I don't think I ever really considered replay value important criteria with my purchases (or in any case I don't any more). I look for a solid experience that I will enjoy investing time into. Someone can say that a game has great replay value, but I feel like it's a very subjective thing - they might enjoy the game so much they like replaying it, but I might not. I'm more concerned with enjoying myself the first go around.

The first thing I tend ask myself now after "should I buy this game" is "will I play this game through to completion?" It's a broad category, but usually 'completion' can be attributed to some state or point within a game. The desire to play it to 'completion' usually involves things like you mentioned - is it a new experience or is the gameplay really compelling? Like that.

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The way I've always looked at replay value is by the amount of extra content a game includes, or the amount of multiplayer or online content a game includes.

For single player games like Zelda, where you have a lot of extra content, I consider completing the main story the most important part of the game. Then extras like heart containers and other side quests (bug catching, mask finding, getting all the bottles and upgrades/trading sequences done etc.) can be considered extra content to extend the value of the game while you play, or can be considered replay value because you can go back and get those things later. Usually I find everything in one play-through which extends the value of the game and the time taken to finish it, but I only just fired up my Ocarina of Time for N64 save file last year and got the 5 or 6 missing heart pieces I never got when I originally played it in middle school.

For multiplayer games, it's a different story. Mario Kart, Call Of Duty, Mario Party, Halo, and games like that can be played any time when you feel like playing a round of the game online, or have friends over and want to play the games locally or on a team against others online. This kind of replay value in my mind also applies to games that are single player, but that might be arcade style games that you fire up and play a quick round of, or other games like Solitaire or Minesweeper.

Because of the limit of time, I play games like Call Of Duty (or Halo) and play the campaign on Veteran difficulty. That's my challenge; playing through the campaign and unlocking as many achievements as possible. That game already has great replay value for online play and the hours and hours people spend playing it online, but I personally don't jump into online play very often at all unless it's with friends. For me, I've gotten my game's worth when I've finished the campaign. Replay value for me on this would be doing the campaign at a higher difficulty level if I really wanted to (in this case, Veteran is already highest), or hopping into multiplayer for a bit.

You mentioned limited amount of hours to play, and that's a lot of why I look at replay value in the way that I do. For me, I don't have much interest in playing through an entire campaign again, or even playing through a remake of a game again. This is the reason why I never got Ocarina of Time for 3DS, or Majora's Mask for 3DS; I already finished those on N64, and with my time, I'd rather play something new. What I would do though is pop one of those cartridges in again to complete a game 100%, like finding missing items and adventuring around the world again when I do that for nostalgia. But otherwise, once the main single player campaign or adventure is complete, I've considered the game finished, and can move on to something else, only coming back to that game if I REALLY want to play again or complete side quests and extras to 100%.

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I don't know - this goes both ways in my dome, cuz there's great games like Everybody Has Gone to the Rapture which is just five hours and Ground Zeroes and Journey and those might not have replay value (well, Devo says otherwise for GZ but let's think about the length.. also I've never played that one yet), but it's just about experience. Also games like Proteus are all about that first time; even my favourite game Shadow of the Colossus is all about that first time and that first big reveal at the end there.

And I love spending $ on those games because just getting to experience them is big to me; and then there's games like Mario Kart 8 which I just play and play solo, then multiuplayer and playing online and trying to get all the stars and then just getting all DLC and 3 starring all that shiz.

It's really late and I've been drinking all week so this isn't coherent though it isn't in the sober weeks...

And then there's games where maybe I spend too much money on them because of DLC (Smash 4) but I don't want to miss anything so I keep buying the DLC

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It really depends. Something like Zelda or Phoenix Wright I can play once or every few years and be happy with. A Star Fox or Smash Brothers game on the other hand should be fun to play over and over.

I don't like the hours per dollar valuation that people put on games. I can't stand fluff in games and that's what drives the demand for it. If I play 70 hours of Star Fox 64, I feel like it's 70 hours much better spent than 70 hours on an RPG with lots of filler quests.

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I started thinking about this after Afro's comments on Triforce Heroes.

I agree with Monkey, fuck the fluff. And in retrospect, I think any game with fluff would probably be better off without it, even if I enjoyed it at the time

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I think it depends on the type of game for me. For single player? Replay value isn't as important to me. If it's a good game and I enjoy it I'll go back to it for the sheer factor of playing it over again. I agree with link470 in that having those extras really does make the game shine but at the same time if it's good enough on its own I'll keep on playing it just for the sake of having that good time again, though I may not go back to for a little while. Optional modes definitely help though, like increased difficulty or special stages for post game content.

Multiplayer though? That's where it replay value really shines. It all depends on the type of game but for me, multiplayer should have something that keeps you coming back. It should have optional modes that spice up the game and / or a good amount of content that allows gamers to be unable to see everything in an average sitting. If a game is fun for a little bit but gets repetitive and boring after playing it a few times then that's when it really falls apart.

A perfect example is You Don't Know Jack. Those games are great fun especially with people who haven't played it but the lack of options as far as the game type really bogs it down. It's also easy to get into the habit of memorizing some of the answers, which is mitigated by the expansion packs but ultimately just inflates it instead of adding more to the content. Don't get me wrong, it's a fun game and I'm not knocking it, but I probably won't go back to it unless I play it with different people and even then the experience isn't nearly the same.
Ray wrote:I started thinking about this after Afro's comments on Triforce Heroes.
Replay value wise I'd say Triforce Heroes is kind of average. If you're a completionist, getting all of the challenges gets you the materials for some of the best costumes which is pretty sweet. But if you're not? Most wouldn't touch it ever again. It's a fun little game but there really isn't much motivation for getting 100%. Hell, the reward for beating all challenges is 300 rupees. No seriously. Like, what the hell. You guys couldn't have come up with one more badass costume? I'm fucking rich and own all the costumes at this point, why would I need money? An extremely missed opportunity to add some super costume to the game to motivate those to get 100%. Kind of disappointed honestly.

But this kind of highlights what I believe in replay value: there should be a reason to keep going. Achievements definitely help; while they don't really give anything tangible, just seeing that optional challenge on your wall is pretty awesome. Special modes or gear are a good way to add motivation as well. New Game + is a common example of something that can really spice the game up, especially if you enjoyed the base game.

In the end though, it really depends on the overall length of the game. If it's a lengthy single player game, no replay value is really necessary for me but it is nice to see. If it's a bit short, it would be nice to see something that encourages replays unless the price is low in which case I'm totally cool with that. But when it comes to multiplayer, I'll play a game a thousand times if it's a good time for all regardless of price. I feel those should really focus on creating something that people can keep coming back to and create more memories as they continue playing.

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Replay value is certainly a plus. In the event that I actually complete a game, if I desire to play it again at a later date, that's great! With how few games I've actually competed, though, I've only encountered a very few that I didn't eventually have a desire to play again. (Or the desire to play for the first time again, or the way I used to play them.)

These days, I really can't afford many video games, despite still wanting to try lots of them. However, I often end up going back to those that are easily accessible or allow for a lot of creativity. I play Minecraft relatively frequently as it provides for a lot of freedom of expression as I play. I also play puzzle games frequently, such as Picross 3D, Mario's Picross, Sudoku puzzles, Minesweeper, or crossword puzzles. They're kind of mindless fun. On top of that, games which let me pick them up, play for a little while, and don't really punish me for lengthy hiatuses are great! (*shakes fist at Animal Crossing, which would be perfect for this if not for missing out on tons of events and villagers getting upset and seasons passing and hair getting messed up and weeds growing and cockroaches showing up*) Right now, I'm kind of playing my roommate's copy of Destiny. It's not something I play every day, but I'll turn it on, beat a few missions, and then shut it back off. I don't really lose out on anything by not playing it obsessively. That's something I really appreciate in a game - one that I have the option of playing a lot, but can play it casually if I want. Epic RPGs with their endless tasks and sidequests overwhelm. In the event that I do beat one, remembering the amount of time I'll have to sink into it usually puts me off a second attempt.


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