Games are judged on several qualities: Gameplay quality, Graphics, music, story, and of course replay value. The more hours one can spend with a game, the better. More replay value means more value for your gaming dollar. But how important is replay value when time is something a gamer doesn’t have an abundance of?
For me, a game’s replay value used to be a big factor big factor when deciding what to buy. A good game for we was one that yielded at least 40 hours or more of playtime, regardless of actual campaign length. For years, the goal used to be sink as much time as possible into the game It used to be I would want to find everything in a game, try different approaches, and generally try to figure out different ways to do everything. If a game didn’t encourage that, then it wasn’t worth playing.
After leaving highschool, and especially after college I found myself with less and less time to devote to games, being able to sink hours upon hours into a game became less important. Instead of wanting to explore every last corner of the map, find every possible outcome to an encounter, or simply going through and interesting story time and again, I preferred to simply be able to have fun the first time through. A shorter game was a better game, and the ability to go through it again didn’t matter because being short on time meant either moving on to the next game or missing it. More value for the money is always good, but if the time to make use of it isn’t there, then isn’t it better to for a game to be awesome for one playthrough rather than good for several?
Maybe it’s a symptom of the desire to keep current, something that isn’t easy to maintain what with all the games coming out these days. (There are so many indie games that I would love to try someday, time and money permitting)
At any rate, how important is replay value and length to you? Is it essential to your game purchasing decisions or do you find yourself looking for shorter games? Was it always like that for you?